Essay, LGBTQ, Life, Love & Romance, Millennials, Movies, Thinkpiece


I watched Call Me By Your Name on a flight back from Amsterdam recently (brag!). And whether it was the combination of airplane red wine and altitude, or perhaps a human, beating heart, I was so deeply affected by the viewing that I’ve floated in a fog the last few days, one that I’ve characterized as a “gay funk.”

A gay funk is a peculiar and particular kind of funk for me – and trust, I’ve got plenty of funk genres. It comes from a place of mixed happiness and sadness – the font of queerdom, the well of homosexuality.

I’m not going to get into it here – for a multitude of reasons, including that you are not paying me, sis, and also I doubt my psychiatrist would recommend that I do it – but I’ve spent the last few months coming to terms with the fact that a lot of my high school experience was fucked-up, and painful, and distinctly not okay. It’s hard in a lot of ways, to recharacterize something after the fact, but I’ve felt lighter for it.

So the idea of watching a movie that essentially splays out the past traumas I’ve been dealing with – youth and queerness and masculinity and love – sent red flares in my vision and, if I’m being honest, I actively avoided seeing the movie. But with the stretch of eight hours ahead of me and nothing to do but sit, I finally relented.

It also comes from a very legitimate place of cynicism. Queer men, particularly gay, white men, are luckier than others in our community in the fact that we have had more and varied representation in the media. But still, the idea of a movie that depicted my experience made me wary and scared. We get so few chances, and I didn’t want one to be squandered. I wanted to remain unseen.

But in a similar way to Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name truthfully and honestly depicted shades of my life in ways that felt like a tribute, rather than an exploitation.

It was painful to watch, Call Me By Your Name, but it was a curious pain because I felt it lancing me softly and beautifully. I felt parts of me uncoil, spirals of sadness that have been clamped up for so long. I was sad watching the movie, and jealous in ways, and unjealous in others.

Surprise, surprise, but I did not have a love story like Elio and Oliver’s in my high school experience. I had one, very intense and unrequited love – in the way that only seventeen-year-old closeted kids can love – but I related to the breathless, heartsick trill of their relationship. And honestly, I can’t ignore the fact that Armie Hammer is of the same mold as my high school crush: blonde and strappingly all-American.

So much of the romance in my life has been wrapped up with shame, longing, sadness and guilt, and that what I felt the movie portrayed so honestly. How love is propelled by a desire to satiate your own loneliness, quell the turmoil and the self-sabotaging desire to jump. Despite growing up in a world that was growing more and more tolerant of being gay, I don’t recall any positive representation of queer love in my childhood. I had no interactions with gay people, had no inkling that they could be thriving adults.

Watching Call Me By Your Name invoked a sadness similar to the first time I read Giovanni’s Room, sadness that our experience of love is so often colored by pain. I know that this can be a universal experience, but it feels particularly like the nexus of queerness. It’s sad, but it’s also comforting; that we’re a part of a lineage and history that extends beyond your singular, mortal self, despite that mantle being so wrought with pain.

Hence the gay funk: so many of the queer people I know didn’t get to have clean, cut-and-dry first experiences. They were tainted by who we were, and how the world treated us. So watching Call Me By Your Name made me viciously jealous of a tenet of teenhood that I missed out on. The movie made me sad for the kid that I was. The kid who was robbed of so many things, so many experiences. For all the love that I did have, there was so much love spilled on the ground, wastefully draining away. I’m sad for what he had to go through, for what he didn’t realize he was going through, and for what he would be going through.

But the movie made me happy in a lot of ways, because that pain was clarifying for me – it crystallized, for good and bad, the person that I am. It made me a fighter and empathetic and clumsy, complex and ruthless and fragile. It made me question who I was – it made me fight for myself. It grounded me in my own soil. It also reminded me that, in spite of it all, I loved being a teenager. I loved feeling all the nuances and complexity of emotions – first best friends, first break-up, first disappointment, first triumph. Like Mike Phelps was built for swimming, I was built for feeling things deeply. A lot of that (lol) was depression, but I think that even without being depressed, my body would be carved for intensity of feeling.

And it’s funny, because if I saw that kid – seventeen-year-old me – I would think that he was beautiful. I would admire his grit, his humor, his broken attempts at concealing how deeply and tumultuously he cared. I would’ve found him brave, and witty, and endearing, even as he attempted to be as spiky as possible. It’s the lasting echo I’ve carried with me since watching the movie: deep, bursting love for the kid that I was, despite everything, despite all the pain. And that’s what the end of the movie was about. Closing yourself off from grief is another kind of trauma. Feeling things deeply is not a curse, it’s part of the experience.

So much of life is love tempered with pain. One doesn’t exist without the other.

celebrity, Love & Romance, pop culture

WE DON’T HAVE THE YACHT—Luann and Tom are getting divorced

After seven months of marriage, Real Housewives of New York City’s Luann de Lesseps D’Agostino and Tom D’Agostino of the Not-The-Grocery-Store-D’Agostinos have filed for divorce. At least they’ll always have Palm Beach. Or rather, West Palm Beach.

Reality television relationships are one of those bizarre things where I don’t know these people, will never know these people, and yet I still have (and feel as if I have a right to have) opinions and emotions about the breakdown of them.

Luann’s relationship with Tom (and his former relationships with her castmates Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan, the latter of which was a FWB-sitch) were a massive part of RHONY’s last season’s drama. And honestly, it was a large crux of this season’s drama as well. It brought us such golden moments as “Don’t let it be about Tom” and “I came from Palm Beach” and my ULTIMATE FAVORITE “WE GOT THE YACHT.”

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Love & Romance


It’s Valentine’s Day! This isn’t me reminding you because it’s impossible that you went almost the entire day before realizing this fact. As was pointed out to me this morning, Valentine’s Day is not recognized with any sort of bank holiday—ergo it basically doesn’t exist. Actually it for sure doesn’t exist. However, I still kind of enjoy it—it reminds me of cheap little candies taped to paper cards given out in grade school. Also I dig the color pink.

Things that have happened to me today precisely because it is Valentine’s Day.

1). Kissed my friend to get a free meal at Qdoba.

2). Read the OUT100 “Most Eligible Bachelors” 2017 list.

3). Was stuck walking behind a “cute” couple who had linked arms and blocked me in.

4). Listened to someone in my Columns class read a piece about power-eating pasta carbonara on a Valentine’s date and got misty-eyed.

Things that have happened to me today in addition to its being Valentine’s Day.

1). Stress-ate a burrito from Qdoba after having a particularly gruesome career advisement meeting.

2). Watched last night’s episode of The Bachelor.

3). Went to Trader Joe’s.

4). Made a grilled cheese (that hasn’t happened yet but I have a good feeling).

Things that I hope will happen to me on a future Valentine’s Day.

1). Someone buys me a burrito and I don’t have to go back in the closet for it.

2). Get on the OUT100 Most Eligible Bachelors list.

3). Horse-kick linked-arm couples in the back of the knees.

4). My husband makes me a grilled cheese with at least “eight dollars of Jarlsberg” in it.


Today is pretty and cutesy and annoying because greeting card companies told us that it should be. But that also doesn’t mean that we can’t make it pretty and cutesy and annoying. Millennials have the power to make anything annoying. I like the idea, despite its obvious commercial overtones, that there’s a day to be romantic and icky and loving. A day to wear pink and buy yourself chocolate and pretend to be in love with your platonic female friend to get a free burrito bowl.

Anyway, I’ve got to go finish The Bachelor and make myself grilled cheese. AND I bought myself Ben & Jerry’s yesterday and I didn’t sad-eat all of that last night so mama’s got a treat for later. What’s the saddest thing about this post? Is it that last sentence or are there too many things to pick just one?


Humor, Love & Romance


I hate when my throwaway tweets get as much traction as the tweets I carefully crafted and sent out, hair slicked and cheeks rosy, like orderly schoolchildren. I also hate how I “carefully crafted” tweets about me being hot like a model or me making a Matthew McConaughey pun. Which is a lot harder than it looks, because I had to look up how to spell “McConaughey.” Those kinds of things don’t just come naturally, you know.

For the last day, I’ve been messaging some guy on Tinder. I don’t know if he’s trying to act chill, or is just super against punctuation, but it turns me into a crazy person. In the span of a few messages where he, apathetically, asked me what I was doing, I recommended that he check out “Einstein’s gravitational waves theory that was proven right this year” (I accidentally lied, it was 2015 I think). I spun out of control, and I spun out of control hard. This was just after he said he was bored and I offered up that I read the Wikipedia pages for food when I’m bored, like “sandwiches and stuff.” And stuff?

I don’t think it’s a love connection, but there’s something about horrifyingly bland conversations that I can’t ever step away from. Like, I need to talk to them. And if they don’t use punctuations and don’t ask me any questions—oh my god, that’s so hot. He, like, doesn’t care about me at all. Such a turn-on.

Actually, I’m re-reading our conversation for this article and I’m…a lot. But he’s, like, nothing so maybe I’m overcompensating. I mean, I’m writing an entire blog about it, so I’m definitely overcompensating.

But what, I wonder, was the outcome he was thinking? Like will we tell the children of our adopted/surrogated children how their boring grandfather charmed their hot, former-model grandfather by giving one-word responses?

“It was 12:19 am, and I was listening to a podcast and trying to quiet the voices in my head enough to sleep,” I’ll say, my face creepily ageless from years of black-market dermabrasions. I’m dressed in all cashmere because I got all my sweat glands Botoxed away. “Your grandfather texted ‘Hey.’”

I’ll look at my husband of 70 years (we’re 90s+ in this scenario, but I look amazing, you guys), who will be sitting in the chair next to me, staring at me with thinly veiled contempt.

“He said he was ‘doing alright just bored,’ and I knew that he was the guy for me,” I’ll continue, shaking off the slow-burning acidic gaze of my husband.

“I suggested he look into Einstein’s gravitational wave theory,”—all my grandchildren nod because we’re all smart as fuck—“which has some interesting revelations on relativity and spacetime,”—probably irrelevant at this point in time, since we’re all living in a wormhole near Saturn’s outermost ring—“and he said, and I’ll never forget this children, ‘Yea I’d be too confused’.” I’ll grab my husband’s hand, just tight enough that he can’t easily slip away.

We don’t have a lot in common since he told me his interests were “Beer and hiking; lacrosse, reading; just chilling,” and I listed mine as “drinking, tweeting” and then lied and said, “I like hiking” too. That was a boldfaced lie, because hiking is just glorified harder walking, and walking is the worst.

After our grandchildren go back to their respective spacepods via teleportation, I’ll start cleaning our champagne glasses (I refuse to make tea) and clearing away the remnants of our caviar. He’ll be sitting, staring at me over the lip of a can of beer. The silence will be thick and heavy, hanging between us like sodden clothes caught in a rainstorm.

But then he’ll use one little phrase to crack open the mustiness of a 70-year-marriage. My iCranium will flash behind my eyes with a new message. From him.

I’ll open it.

“Wyd ;p”


Article, college, Humor, Love & Romance


A few weeks ago, I briefly mentioned that I had noticed a lot of people getting together as the weather took a turn for the colder. I made a hilarious joke about Noah’s Ark and biblical floods (very well-received, don’t you worry). I put it out of my brain until a friend/fan of mine, Emily Rizzo (her life is so glam I want to reside in her pocket and just observe) brought it up again when we were getting coffee/I hijacked her and her other friend getting coffee.

“Have you heard of cuffing season?” she asked (ugh, she’s so good at asking questions, which is very important for a fan. It shows I’m not just a glamorous social media prop to her).

“No, what the fuck is that?” I answered, thinking it must refer to pant-lengths, which is a political issue I am very passionate about. However, she explained/I figured it out because I wasn’t listening that closely, cuffing season is exactly the phenomenon I had witnessed.

What’s the dealio, yo?

People who I knew as single were starting to drift into each other, and the amount of handholding went skyrocketing. But what’s behind this turn towards #love? Is it born (borne?) out of a desire to not pay for heating (body heat is, like, the best kind of heat)? Is it a reaction to the more dangerous fall weather (bears, black ice, and basic white girls)? Or is it the desire to not have your multitude of nosy aunts not breath down your neck during the holiday season (I wouldn’t know; all my family knows I’m gay so no one asks me any questions)?

“I could see how it could be a thing,” said Grace Pearson (a general beautiful person but also so nice; so unclear). “I could see how in Boston, where the weather gets so dreary, that it could be a thing.”

Pearson (but why is she so nice?? Pretty people don’t have to be nice) said that it’s not a phenomenon that she’s particularly observed, but one that she fully believes in (i.e. Santa Claus).

When I looked to the source (Urban Dictionary), I found a definitive definition (and a lot of misogyny—come on, you guys). The “top definition” defines “cuffing season” as thus:

“During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

The word seems to be, at least according to a Vogue article (Vogue, you guys), derived from “handcuffing” and holds the implication that whether or not either party wants to, social norms and a primal urge seem to have locked them in love-rigors until spring’s thaw.

However, when I talked to one Olivia Wiles (AMAZING skin, great voice—like scrubbed velvet on a chilled winter morn), she knew exactly what cuffing season was. When I asked her to “give me all the t,” she did not let me—and enterprising young journalists everywhere—down.

“I don’t know if it’s an active decision, like “oops it’s fall gotta get cozy”. But I think there is something evolutionary in us that when the leaves change and it gets colder we crave a companion,” she said.

The autumnal activities also provide a strong incentive for coupling up. “Fall is also just such a coupley season: apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, holidays,” continued Wiles.

“I think it is definitely more primal.”

Andrew Cavaluzzi, a boy I went to high school with who still won’t admit that we’re dating (it’s, like, stop playing hard to get, babe!!!), was as truthful about his thoughts on cuffing season as untruthful he is about the state of our relationship.

“I think it is definitely more primal,” said Cavaluzzi. “There was always this innate fear in humans that we might not make it through winter.” Cavaluzzi also made the interesting and important point of body-affirmation. “Winter leads to less confidence in oneself, leaving people slightly more glum and therefore [they] look for external approval, i.e. relationships.”

As the weather gets chillier, “the relationship statuses are poppin’ on Facebook and flames are igniting,” said Wiles.

Callie Ahlgrim, a young woman whose love for me is as deep as her dimples (great dimples, you guyz) feels that cuffing season is less Nature v. Nurture, and more “You’re afraid you’re gonna die alone.”

“It’s the same kind of idea where people get lonely around Valentine’s Day. You’re alone every other day of the year as well, you’re just freaking out over a made up phenomenon,” said Ahlgrim after I begged her to comment. I also begged her to tell me if I was pretty; she did not respond.

However, studies (I’m assuming) show that as the year shifts from winter to spring, relationships end as people get hotter/tanner. And in the cold drawn breath of the ultimate winter—death—we’re all going to be alone. HAPPY THURSDAY.

Ahlgrim offered some sage advice (and some sage, amiright) to cope with the impending doom of death via singledom. “I think that the lonelier you get and the more you feel like you need someone to be romantically involved in your life, the more you actually just need to focus on yourself and your own shit.” Beautiful words from someone who refuses to acknowledge my external beauty.

Do you like my new Thanksgiving-themed banner?!

LGBTQ, Life, Love & Romance, Rambles


No, seriously, what does it mean?

I think that there’s a difference between “doing what you want” and “getting what you want.” That’s a difference that has evaded me for a while, because when things didn’t go my way, I felt dejected. But that’s passivity, waiting for something to happen to you. But doing what you want, that’s active. That’s bold as shit.

I was listening to a podcast last night as I drifted into a sleep where I dreamt the apocalypse was occurring—weirdly, this is a scenario I dream about a lot, and in my dreams, I last a lot longer than I think I would in real life—and the podcast was taking about the idea of “manifestation.” It’s like the Secret, but a little less Wiccan and a little more realistic. No shade 2 Wicca.

But they were talking about manifestation and how setting positive, strong goals in your life sets you on a path towards making active choices and seeing those goals “manifest” in your life. You might want a boyfriend—that would be a manifest. Eh? I don’t know if I believe in manifestation, but I do believe there is something in active thinking.

Now, doing what you want comes in degrees. Totally doing what you want is something we like to call “dictatorship.” Not a good look. But doing what you want, making active and positive choices means that you’re not stalin your life. Get it? Stalin? Stalling? I’ll leave. No, you stay—I’ll go.

There are people who I hate, people who seem to have everything going right in their lives. They’re the ones standing at the podium, accepting the Pulitzer Prize, and I’m the one in the audience, making the jerkoff motion and rolling my eyes. To each their own. But maybe it’s less about the fact that they are “lucky” and I’m “unlucky”—anyone who’s ever seen me knows that I’m very lucky, genetics-wise, and intelligence-wise and humor-wise and charisma-wise, and wise-wise (v, v wise)—and more that they are making choices that direct them towards their goals.

I have goals. I have dreams—prophetic ones, but also career ones. So if I have some sort of dream, what the fuck am I doing to make them happen? If the answer is nothing—I’m not going to answer because I’m afraid of the answer—then I should kick myself. Because WHY AM I WAITING?

I was walking back to my apartment from class the other day—like Friday? Idk, I’m not a historian—and I had had a bit of a downer week. Class was stressful, and not in a “fun, running around, hectic” stress kind of way, but in a “I WANT TO SLASH YOUR TIRES” stress kind of way. But the week was over, and I was buoyed by the thought of the weekend, and I realized that life is finite and we’re all going to die, one by one, until the void swallows Earth whole like a python swallowing a wild pig in the Amazon.

Well, I didn’t think exactly that because I’m in therapy and on medication and stable, but I thought, “Why the fuck am I not doing what I want?” I’m used to mostly getting my way—when you talk as loud as I do, it’s kind of a given that people will give you what you want so that you shut up—but I’m really bad about seeking out what I want. I let things happen to me.

And for what? It’s not like great things are plopping into my lap. Everything that’s a positive in my life is something that I sought out, or something that I was passionate about. Even this grand old hooker of a blog started because I was like, “I HAVE THOUGHTS.”

For noxample (not an example, because I’m shielding the actual occurrence behind lies) I decided to bake cookies. I’ve baked cookies before, but it never really turned out great. It was always at the wrong time—too close to dinner—and it always ended up not great. I would get nauseous, or not hungry, or I wouldn’t want them. But I thought about what I wanted—I wanted cookies. So I thought, “What am I going to do to get them?” I have to be annoying and bold and bake those cookies. They might not end up the way I want, but if I don’t bake them, and I still want them, then the only person I have to blame is myself. And that’s not something I’m comfortable with—being the one to stand in my own way.

The cookies didn’t work out. Maybe I didn’t add the flour, or the sugar—idk, this is a fake example and I don’t know how to make cookie dough. And I burnt my fingers. And it sucks. But at least I fucking tried. And at least I decided to do what I want. I’ve wasted so many hours and seconds, agonizing over what to do, that the relief of making a decision—any decision—makes the blow of not having the cookies I want soften.

We should do what we want, and be okay with not getting what we want. I’m bad at it. I’m bad at manifestation, because I take every speed bump as a road block. I let the fear of burnt fingers stop me from making cookies. But even though I scalded my fingers and burnt the cookies and fucked everything up, I don’t regret it. Because I did it.

I’m getting hungry/missing Ina Garten, so I’m going to stop talking about cookies. Even though it wasn’t actually about cookies; I’m stupid, so I’m thinking about actual cookies now. Snickerdoodle. UGH.


Source: // I’m sorry but isn’t this actually kind of a funny joke?

Humor, Life, Love & Romance


In the Splash Zone.

“Okay, so take a candid photo of me looking away, but I want to be laughing, and I want to look thin,” I say, punching the emphasis on the last clause, hoping to impress the very dire nature of having a Thinstagram (making that happen?) onto JR, who is not exactly up to the onerous task but is the only person who is sitting across from me, thus giving him the ability to angle the camera in a flattering way.

In the swampy air of the bar, sitting on a reclaimed church pew and in a $10 Uniqlo shirt, I swivel towards Loren, because in this “candid” photo, she’s the one I’m “laughing” with. Sweaty fingers curl around the sweating glass, and as I turn and dive into the first “pose”, the cup slips out of my fingers. The G&T contents douse my left leg but most goes directly into Loren’s crotch as the cup bounces off her thighs and rolls into the nether regions of the Brooklyn bar floor.

JR was kind enough to capture my immediate shock and mortification, so here is that photo.


Source: Danny McCarthy

After mopping up the church pew and Loren’s vagina, we sat back down and listened to a sixty-five-year-old man backed up by a black woman in Casual Friday realness and a drummer in a Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirt and wedding ring.

Do you remember in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Aberforth Dumbledore was introduced and you were like “Oh wow, there’s someone who’s an even bigger old hippie than Albus Dumbledore?” This lead singer was the Aberforth to Bernie Sanders’s Albus.

Thirty minutes previous.

Sandwiched between Loren and JR and heavily aware that I’m blocking Cool Black Girl in Red Braids and Snapback from seeing the band we came to see, I’m staring at Hot Lead Singer. He’s lean in the way that all indie singers are, with large capable hands and artistic veins tracing up his smooth forearms. He croons into the microphone, the bulb of which nuzzles his hooked nose. The way he sings feels authentic enough, but it’s like watching a TV show of what an indie band should look like. The low, gravelly voice, the scrunched eyes, the intensity. The overlarge Hawaiian shirt open over a sharp-clavicled chest and clashing printed shorts.

As the sweat pools in my lower back, I realize that this could be my future. Dark, swampy Brooklyn bars, JR and Loren, making eye contact with cute boys in polo shirts. Sweating glasses of amoretto sours and clinking bottles of Blue Moon. The wreathing aroma of someone’s last blunt, the ember of which is probably scattered on the front stoop. For the first time, after the initial awkwardness fades, this feels like it could become something grounded in our reality.


Source: Danny McCarthy// Be honest, is this an Instagram or a THINstagram??

I’m graduating in less than a year. In less than a year, I’ll have to be figuring out my plan for the next few months. If I stay in New York, manage to get a job, and eventually scrape enough money together to move out, I could make this—standing in bars, listening to alt bands, black tees and light-wash denim, gin and tonics splashing onto my shoes—into a life.

Back at Splashgate.

But this is what I get for trying to be a hip Brooklynite: drinkless and sitting next to someone whose vagina is wet because of me (yes, I hear it too. It’s a hilarious joke, but focus on Splashgate).

And when I think I’m all cool and hip, I remember that I ate a Frosty in the car on the way over, and that I still can’t properly pronounce “February.” And these are things—I’m imagining—real adults can do. Not the Frosty part; everyone loves a good fucking Frosty.

Trying to plan for the future feels a little premature when I still feel like such a kid. I mean, all around me, people are growing up, but I think it’s a mark of still being in school—and in that school mindset—that I see myself as a kid. I work with seven-year-olds, and really, their frame of mind is not that different than mine. I have a slighter firmer grasp on economics and a better appreciation for logic, but other than that, we’re the same.


Anywayanywayanyway, this post has been sitting in my “Minimized” folder for almost a week, and I didn’t plan ahead for a blog today—spoiler, I write them ahead of time—so I figured I would just publish this one. Also I’m gonna do a quickie bonus post either today or some other time, of an article I thought was funny, but a little sparse. Kind of like a bald comedian—eyoooooo.

Literally what was I talking about?