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This fruity lavender shirt will be the first and last Medium that I buy until I’m at least 30.

June 12, 2010

We went to H&M on Thursday evening to spruce up our summer wardrobes. First of all, I hate going downtown — sometimes I feel like Powell Street is worse than Times Square, but then I remember that it most certainly is not. For some reason, whenever we go to H&M together, we end up staying for nearly two hours. It’s so overwhelming, and by the time we get on Muni to go home we’re both sore and worn out beyond belief.

I have two new shirts and some fun, very disco boxer briefs. The main reason for the trip was so I could get something summery for Frameline’s Opening Night gala on Thursday, but most of what I tried on had a really uncomfortable fit. H&M’s cuts are pretty inconsistent, I find — but then again my body type is rather inconsistent as well, and it’ll be a long time before I feel validated in expecting that men’s fashion will ever be designed for curvier bodies. In the end, I bought my very first men’s medium button-up from there. It was a defining moment and that trip made me vow to a healthier lifestyle in the coming months because I’ve worn a small or extra-small for as long as I can recall buying men’s button-ups from H&M. They are always slim fits — I like them that way and so does my girl — and if I shop at other stores (namely Banana Republic ) the smalls tend to be too baggy, still.

Curves

I tend to associate baggy with sloppy, though I understand why dykes & co. like the way it hides things, and how comfortable baggy clothes can be. In general I don’t try too hard to conceal my curves. I’d be no match for these hips, even if I did try — and in my own experience, donning baggy jeans to hide big hips just draws more attention to those areas. But I try to smooth out my curves into nicer looking, angular and linear slopes, if you will.

Layering is great for smoothing out lumps and dips, and as far as I have found, it’s the most effective method for how comfortable it is. The San Francisco climate is particularly convenient for folks who layer for these purposes because one can count on it to be cold and/or windy enough to warrant extra layers. In general I have about 3 layers underneath my actual “outfit” — binder, beater, and plain white undershirt (tee) — and that works really well for me. Sometimes the temperature climbs to a point where it becomes uncomfortable, but those days are truly few and far between. Luckily it’s never humid, so I’m able to handle the weather pretty well under all those layers.

My jeans situation is pretty simple. I have never actually tried to fit into men’s jeans, but just by looking at them I know it is impossible to fit into something so straight. No pun intended, I swear. All of the jeans in my current pants cycle are from Old Navy. That’s mainly because they’re so cheap, and I go through a few pairs every year (thigh rubbing, yeah yeah). They have some nice slimmer styles, and I like the way skinnier pants look with my shoes. Many of my most endeared pairs of jeans have come from the Gap, too. They’re much better quality and those cuts are reliable and predictable (Old Navy is terribly inconsistent), but at least twice the price.

Coming out to myself

June 6, 2010

There are so many phases to this.

Social interactions in the Cloud make people so self-reflexive. When I decided to actually start this blog, I was so torn about my presentation, its title, and my online identity. The worst part is always making a short bio, because in truth I don’t really know who I am at the core, and I often refer to geographical markers to describe myself.

It’s hard for me to think about my identity before moving to San Francisco. It’s definitely because I felt so misplaced in the suburbs, though at the time I didn’t know why. We’ve all heard this story before, so I won’t elaborate beyond saying that I grew up in an affluent suburb of New York City and was unhappy. In the months leading up to my move I only remember being so insanely excited, about changing everything and starting over. And now that I reflect on that summer leading up to my first year of college, I am fairly certain it was the happiest part of my “childhood,” because all I could think about was how different everything would be, and how I had control over my identity. This is very, very, largely due to the fact that I graduated in a class of 99 students, and most of us (at least two-thirds) knew each other since kindergarten, and in such a sheltered environment it was really difficult for anyone to redefine themselves.

I was not a rebellious kid, by any means. I did my homework (except for math), wouldn’t touch cigarettes or alcohol or any drugs, and when I was 14 I had to prove just how pure I was by going vegan for like two years. That was weird. I felt restricted (duh) and precisely on my 18th birthday I got my nipples pierced, just for the sake of feeling liberated. And I did, when it happened. That liberation felt great, but it was channeled in the wrong direction. I was on to something, though.

At this point I had admitted to myself that I was “bi,” relying on that term to feel “half-straight,” which meant I could round up to “straight” and be happy with myself — which is ridiculous (for a few reasons) because ten months prior, I applied to Mills College thinking, “oh nice, I can finally be in a relationship with a girl and it won’t be weird.” Really. That’s the power of denial. I really hope the whole “bi as a stepping stone” thing is on its way out. Youths today are coming out early in life in wonderfully high numbers, and my high school experience likely would have been drastically different had I known any out queers. At all. (Though a friend and I recently started a Queer Alumni Facebook group and we were  less than surprised by those who stepped out of the woodwork.)

The realization came on National Coming Out Day. I remember feeling like I had finally exhaled when I was able to recognize that I am, in fact, gay, as semantics go. The satisfaction I got from simply acknowledging that I’m gay was astounding. It was like all this tension I had from my teen years evaporated and I wasn’t even unsure about myself anymore. This, I’m sure, is a common reaction, but I really like rethinking that moment because of just how certain I felt right then. I think back then, l I was able to define my sexuality, however I didn’t have the resources to explore gender identity.

Since then I  have learned to embrace my own masculinity, and rather than shun it, as I had learned to do after I reached the age of “that tomboyishness is not cute anymore.” Learning to embrace masculinity has been so rewarding for me.

I like changing.

On Pride.

June 5, 2010

We’ve been together for almost two and a half years, and as stereotypes would have it, we have been “living together” since like, two weeks after we met. Like, we spent two nights apart after our first date and since February 2008 we haven’t been apart except for when one of us had to leave town. Anyway, we lived with roommates prior to this, but moving into our own place is nice because I enjoy walking around naked, and our new neighborhood is a lot safer.

It’s noisy, too, but our friend sewed some heavy velvet curtains so now our place is regal and quiet.

Our apartment is just about a one-bedroom. The living room and kitchen look out onto Market, Castro & 17th Streets, the well-known intersection with the rainbow flag, and Harvey Milk Plaza. It’s a fabulous location in a number of ways, and Pride is coming up in less than a month, so I doubt even the heavy velvet curtains will help bring noise levels down to a sleepable level during that whole weekend.

Now. Pride is an interesting thing, especially in San Francisco. Actually, I’m sure Pride events are interesting everywhere (and there’s a documentary in Frameline this year that addresses the differences of all these events), and when I lived in New York I wasn’t aware yet of just how gay I am so I never went to one. I often wonder what San Francisco Pride would look like if it were devoid of all the suppressed queers from out-of-town. It wouldn’t be a regular night in the Castro (that’s really not my area of expertise anyway), but it absolutely wouldn’t be as wild as it is when we invite people from around the world to convene on the Gayest Intersection of the Universe and demand “equality” via body shots. And I’m not condemning fun or celebration, though I know I sound like a grouch.

But, anyway, Pink Saturday is going to happen below our fire escape and I get to watch the whole thing. I’ve lived in San Francisco for going on four years (this will be my third Pride – isn’t it cute how queer transplants count Prides like birthdays?) and I look forward to this one because I’ll get to people watch from the comfort of my home, and with easy access to my bathroom. That’s invaluable on Pink Saturday. I plan on making a time-lapse video of the ebb and flow of the crowds below our place, and that might be the most exciting of all!