Imprisoned by the babble

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Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Placing his nearly empty wine glass on the table next to the couch we were carefully perched on opposite ends of, my date excitedly pulled out his phone to show me a Tik Tok video he recorded.

“I’ll show you the one without sound first,” he said, glancing expectantly at my face to make sure I was looking appropriately eager to watch his failed backflip attempt that went viral on the platform a few months prior.

He hit play, preemptively giggling at the hilarity of the video. In it, he stands perched on a short stone wall edging the garden in his parents’ backyard, about to attempt a backflip at the end of a midday workout. …

Why loving Emily in Paris feels like an act of resistance

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Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash

Netflix’s newest hit show, Emily in Paris, is a frivolous tale about a gorgeous American woman who doesn’t speak French and who clumsily romps around Paris after getting sent there to work for the French branch of her marketing agency, Savoir.

The titular character, Emily, has very little tact, an armload of charm, and an Instagram account that inexplicably gains thousands of followers when she posts a picture of a croissant, which is the catalyst to many of the show’s pivotal moments. …

A forgotten poem written from inside the closet

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Photo by brenoanp from Pexels

It’s not often you come upon a portrait of the person you used to be, but that’s what happened as I was sifting through memorabilia from my high school days this weekend.

My parents are having work done on their house, which required us to move a stack of boxes filled with remnants of my childhood from their secluded corner of the basement. They’ve sat there for years, as neglected as only the most treasured memories we don’t want to let go of — but have no practical use for — tend to become.

Among essays in Spanish and complex calculus problems I could no longer solve even with a gun to my head, I found a poem I wrote for a freshman year English class that I have no recollection of penning. …

Ruminating on the awe of nature’s beautiful violence

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Photo by Breno Machado on Unsplash

Last night, I bore witness to a reckoning.

As I was finishing a novel called The Overstory — which reminds humans that we are quickly draining the earth of resources and, due to our own pitiful hubris, we will soon eradicate ourselves — a thunderstorm rolled in on a wave of darkness, shaking its electric fists.

A lover of the violence only the sky can create, I cracked my window open to let the storm pour into my apartment until my bones shook. …

Musings on the concept of a soulmate

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Photo by liu yunyi on Unsplash

Isn’t it just so pretty to think that all along there was some invisible string tying you to me?

This is the line Taylor Swift delivers with a soft, lilting voice on “invisible string,” a romantic folk ballad from her latest album, folklore.

As someone who is perpetually single, the song’s theme has imprinted on my mind like a bruise — could there be an invisible string tying me to an unknown lover out there? If so, how can I tug it and get this person to cross the distance between us?

As this pandemic stretches on and quarantine becomes the new normal, I’ve finally accepted the fact that I can’t keep putting my romantic life on hold — so, like any self-respecting Millennial gay man with a desire to meet my soulmate during a global crisis, I downloaded Tinder again. …

Why losing a friend can be harder than it seems

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Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels

It took me eight years to break up with my best friend.

I met Sean (not his real name) during our freshman year of high school. He said something funny on the volleyball court at tryouts — where we were both attempting to make a name for ourselves — and I laughed.

That was all we needed. I was drawn to his wit and lighthearted attitude, and he was drawn to my quiet intelligence and my willingness to laugh at his jokes. From that first moment, Sean established himself as the leader and I established myself as the sidekick.

Sean and I had a lot of fun together. No one else made me laugh as much as he did, and we would find magic in even the most mundane moments, like recording a video interview with an old stuffed animal we found in his sister’s bedroom, or sitting on the couch prank-texting our friend’s crushes. …

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Shifting priorities helped me find a better balance

Before the pandemic shoved us all indoors with merciless efficiency, I was a full-time employee working 40-hour weeks in a bland, gray honeycomb of an office, trudging across town to spend my time in the physical presence of my coworkers five days a week.

The weekdays crawled by like drugged-up slugs and my weekends often felt like a waterslide positioned on the edge of a cliff, guiding me swiftly toward another bleak Monday morning after a few days of blissful freedom. …

The answer to everyone’s favorite question

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Photo from Pikist

If you’re queer, you’ve been here.

You’ve made a new straight friend. The two of you are starting to get closer — you’re not as thick as thieves, but you enjoy your time together.

Over a drink one evening after work, your new friend sits up straight, leans toward you, and says, “I have a question.” Their eyes glint with curiosity and their mouth is curled into a gentle, empathetic smile.

You know what’s coming, but you swallow a groan and ask, “what’s up?”

Your new straight friend grabs your hand over the grubby bartop and asks, “when did you know you were gay?” Then they exhale, lean back, and wait expectantly for an answer that will further them down the path toward Ally Enlightenment. …

How I converted masculine angst into queer liberation

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Growing up, I was a good kid — but even good kids get punished sometimes.

Clashes with my older sister were the catalyst to most of my run-ins with parental law. She would refuse to hang out with me and I would pester her until she snapped, leading to skirmishes that would get us both banished to our rooms.

I would slam my bedroom door, collapse onto a bean bag chair colored like a soccer ball, grab a journal and a few glitter gel pens in various colors, turn on some music, and write my childhood angst into oblivion while the soundtrack of my queer anger raged through the small boombox on the shelf next to my head. …

It shouldn’t have been groundbreaking — but in a way, it was

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Photo by Author

I’ll be the first to admit it: I haven’t delved much into the world of gender-bending fashion. I hesitate to even use the term “gender-bending,” because gender is a social construct and fashion is whatever you want it to be. The idea that pieces of clothing have a gender expression is somewhat ridiculous.

It’s just fabric.

But we live in a society that chooses to assign genders to the clothing in which we adorn ourselves — and I, for the most part, wear things that tend to support my expression as a male. …

About

Evan McCoy

Writer, marketer, avid reader, and expert on all things pertaining to being a gay man and eating cheese. Find me on Instagram and Twitter: @ev_mccoy

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