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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Learning to Rise Above Dull-Witted Homophobes at Work

Few weeks ago, a potential new hire came into the workplace for a job interview. However, I didn't manage to get a glimpse of him until the last 15 seconds when the interview ended and he was escorted by the panel past our desks to the exit.

He was your typical average-looking fellow citizen who was overdressed and if I may be honest, looked gay. But then I started thinking, it's none of my business. And regardless if my assumption about him was true or not, all he has to say to relegate my auto-pilot judgemental instincts back into its place, is that he actually fucks woman.

When it started to register in my head that there is a very high chance that this new hire might be a fellow gay brother, I became worried about how he was going to be bullied when he starts his permanent tenure here, in a place where the people are pettily unhealthy.

This morning, a loud cross cubicle discussion about the new hire ensued between two female colleagues. I know intelligent people ignore, but man it still irritated the fuck out of me.

Female Colleague 1: [smiles proudly]
"Hey, you know that new guy that we hired? He's gay. I think he's gay. I mean I suspected it."

In My Head: [annoyed]
Oh for fuck sake! Wow. Bravo girl. Bra-vo to you for such a worthy accomplishment! You guessed out the gay guy! You have the gift that everyone would kill for! How cool is that?! Maybe from now on you can use it to guess the lottery numbers?! Maybe that might get you an actual applause.

Female Colleague 2:
"Oh really?"

Female Colleague 1: [smiles proudly]
"Yeah! Director 2 (the egoistical one) who was interviewing him told us all the other day that 'his gaydar was going off the charts, off the charts!' "

"Then Director 1 (the one I like) was like: 'Naah guys! Come on.' "

Female Colleague 2:
"Ho ho"

Female Colleague 1: [smiles proudly]
"Yeah!"

Female Colleague 2:
[turns to another permanent male co-worker, Colleague 3]
"Hey did you hear that? You better be careful! lol..."

Male Colleague 3:
[awkward and uncomfortable, pretended he didn't hear the comment]

In My Head: [extremely annoyed]
Lord, put me OUT of my misery by striking these peopl- No no no! Stop it. That is so beneath you. Stop it. Let it go, let it go. Rise above. Shush!

I think you don't have to be a genius to interpret how the final comment might suggest that just because the new hire looks gay or might be a homosexual, every other straight male person that is within radius is immediately in danger of being pursued, converted, molested, raped or whatever discriminatory verb you'd choose to use.

Readers must be thinking why would I give these people power by rehearsing their narrow-minded gossips in a bright journal dedicated to greater things? Well, these are exactly the kind of stupid mockery that happens in the close-minded world I live in, and my purpose here is to document it as part of the ongoing journey before I actually achieve true freedom one day and tune out.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Navigating the World of Red Flag Colleagues

Last week, I was commissioned by two upper level consultants to work on a report that required a lot of back and forth consultation while the associate above me was on leave. So I did my part, submitted it to them and waited for the next instruction.

Fast forward to Monday when both consultants were on leave, the client suddenly called the next person in charge and wanted it by the end of the day. The immediate associate above me started freaking out, with tantrums of course because she is now responsible for providing the client with the finished version in which she has no absolute clue. 

Due to the fact that I wasn't given any further instructions on what to do next, I had no fucking idea on how to proceed with handling a report that needed consolidated information, figures and approval from the two consultants who were not in the office.

However, as a responsible and initiative-driven person, I stayed back and single-handedly worked on it continuously until a version we "believe" is final was produced. The associate thanked me profusely for being such a trooper and I felt appreciated. I became that bottom level guy who had to finish the job of an associate.

To be honest, I never liked her from the start because of the amount of boisterous superficiality she tends to exude and the many betrayals she committed behind my back. But that night for some reason, my heart softened at the thought that there might be some form of genuineness in her and I shouldn't give into my defensive instincts.

Then guess what? Just when I thought things were going to be different this time, everything was forgotten and she did not mention any credit on my part the next day when answering to the consultant.

I was furiously annoyed! But then again, I can only blame myself for being so naive with people again and again. I couldn't believe that at the fear of not wanting to become the difficult version of myself that might get nasty, I disregarded my instincts and all the dishonourable red flags about this person that were knocking on my door. 

Then I thought: "Okay M, time for a refresher's course in learning how to be smart! It's life's way of trying to tell you that you are every bit the greater good and respectable individual you know yourself to be, but you also need to get used to being extremely firm and controversial at the same time with people in order to have boundaries, and also to implement the things you feel is right."

As someone in his mid-twenties who is just starting out, I understand that stories like these in a world of jobs and survival of the fittest are not abnormal. There are worse case scenarios and work personalities out there, but I just needed a post today to vent my frustration.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Deeper Business of Being Beautiful Inside

I remember writing a post titled 'A Battle With Self-Acceptance' back in July 2012. That entry was formulated at the spur of a distraught moment where my own struggles with self-image was on a high. In that post, I remember telling a story of how a close friend of mine who is of a darker skin race, went through a process where she wished she would wake up to a day where her skin was lighter.

Today, I came across a very beautiful speech by recent Academy Award winner Lupita Ngong'o at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon and immediately decided to write it down. For I am extremely touched by this particular side of life that many coloured people go through. The entire speech is reproduced below to help further empower us all, me included.

#  #  #

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty. Black beauty. Dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: "Dear Lupita," it reads, "I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me."

My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me. 

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother's every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened. 

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, "You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you." And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be. 

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What does sustain us... what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away. 

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade in that beauty. 

#  #  #

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Playing by Somebody Else's Rules

The world is filled with all kinds of people. I've met some of them, and have definitely yet to come in contact with the remaining legions. I'm starting to realise that there is undeniable wisdom behind the following principle.

"The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own" - Michael Konda

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Do Your Part in Protecting Yourself

I was watching a television segment where an audience member asked the life coach of that particular show the following question.

The Girl:
"I just wanna know how do I become settled with when someone whom I really cared about betrayed me. How do I find the peace that I need to really forgive and move on, I... "

Life Coach
"Is it an important relationship to you?"

The Girl:
"Yes."

Life Coach:
"Okay. Have you shared fully and completely with the person, how you feel, as a result of this experience?"

The Girl: [nods head]

Life Coach:
"And they're response was?"

The Girl: [shakes head in tears]
"It was incomplete. It was just incomplete and so... I just wanna find the peace in my heart to just really move on with forgiveness in my heart."

Life Coach:
"No you don't, that's where you want to ultimately get to, but that ain't what you want right now. Right now you want to know why. Would that be accurate?"

The Girl: [nods head]

Life Coach:
"Tell the truth. So you did. You wanna know why, and I wanna support you. What did you learn?"

The Girl:
"I've learnt that everything in a relationships doesn't go perfect."

Life Coach: [smiling]
"Yes. Good and what else?" 
"Did you have clear agreements with this person? Or did you assume that they knew what you needed, wanted, would do, could do?"
"Did you have clear agreements with this person?"

The Girl: [silent]

Life Coach:
"That would be a no. Did you have solid boundaries that kept you protected and honoured?"

The Girl: [shakes head in tears]

Life Coach:
"No. And your boundaries are wishy-washy, flexible? You know you let stuff slip and slide, slipperation and slipin. Okay."

Girl: [a moment of smile in the middle of tears]

Life Coach:
"Tell me what's happening?" 
"I just had a little shift there what happened?"

The Girl: [back in tears]
"I'm realising that I didn't do my part in protecting myself."

Life Coach:
"And who, taught, you, that?"

Show Host:
"That's good. Who taught you that?"

The Girl: [sobbing uncontrollably without responding]

Life Coach:
"There it is! There it is. Who taught you that? It's okay."

The Girl: [sobbing]
"My Mom."

Life Coach: [walks up and embraced the girl in her arms]
"It's okay, let it go. There it is, there it is. Just let it come up. It's right there."

The girl broke down in the arms of the life coach and sobbed for a while as the camera continued to roll. After a while, she calms down.

The Girl: [sobbing]
"Thank you."

Life Coach:
"No thank you! Thank yourself for having the courage to tell your story out loud. That you have the courage to tell your story out loud. That's good taking care of you, that's good protecting you. You did good."

The Girl:
"Yes."

Show Host:
"Tell us what happened. What happened?"

Life Coach: [to the audience]
"She remembered a very young time when she had to do it by herself. And she didn't have the words to speak to betrayal, to talk about it. And it just came up within. And it came up in this experience with this friend of hers."

"And also everybody has a heart-breaking tag with mommy's name attached to it. Some little heart-breaking tag with mommy's name or daddy's name, or your sister's name or your brother's name. And because we really are all one? That struck a nerve!

Life Coach: [turns to the Girl]
"So now look at the lesson, here's your only homework, forgive your momma. You gotta go back there! Forget this friend and that'll clear up once you're clear with your momma. And I don't mean you have to go to her to forgive her, you do your work." 

The Girl: [nods head in promising smile]

Life Coach: [smiles]
"You good? You sure? Okay."

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Only Trouble with Resisting Temptation

"The only trouble with resisting temptation is that you may not get another chance" - Laurence J. Peter

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Quietly Crushing on My Director

There is an unpublished entry sitting on my dashboard that was casually drafted about a month ago. It talks about my magnetic feelings of admiration and reverence for one of my bosses in his early thirties that is slowly turning into a crush. What's new right?

I decided against releasing it because firstly I thought: "Okay, how many more of these unrequited crushes can I have?" Like that senior from university, the dream guy from Québec, or my high school class presidentAnd secondly, I didn't want to write about something that might pass and become insignificant in due time. 

So the brief story regarding my boss is that he and I share the same Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI). What are the odds considering my type is hypothesised to exist in only 1% of the world's population? My admiration for him started when he first interviewed me for my current position and I left the office a couple of hours later, thinking that I've never connected with an interviewer like this before.

My heightened interest in him grew exponentially as I got better acquainted with the great personality and oceanic mind he possesses. I can't help but wonder if our types are psychically drawn to each other. I have a very strong feeling that he likes me too, but not that way because he is straight, a firm Christian and has a girlfriend. Damn, they always are!

Physically, he is not what I've ever envisioned myself to want as a boyfriend. But by being him, he makes my heart flutter in nervousness whenever I'm around him. He is very smart, nice-looking, popular, confident and sensibly mature.

Whenever he and I have conversations, I find myself learning a lot from his leadership. And staring at his lips and stubble! If we were two souls who are not bounded by the limits of gender, universal order or whatever, I think there might be great potential for genuine attachment and romantic regard to happen. 

My fantasies of him so far are mostly never outright sexual. It revolves a lot around us being in the presence of one another, going out to dinner, cuddling up together, or even driving up to a secluded scenic hilltop where we would kiss for the first time.

Throughout the initial weeks, I used to love talking to him. Then came a point where people started getting suspicious of my behaviour because I might have gone a little too far with my loquacity without realising. But then again, colleagues from the current office are of the petty, immature type, and you really can't let that kind of narrow-mindedness win.

At the expense of wanting to protect me, I slowly distance myself from him to let things die down and deter suspicion. This went on for a while and gradually, the crush I had for him slowly dissipated, but came back after a few weeks when I needed to work directly with him again.

There are times like today, where a discussion with him would engender an ultimate feeling of inferiority and inadequacy about myself. I am intimidated by his success and at the same time, emotionally affected by this little crush I'm having. Can he see right through me? Does he think I have what it takes to be as successful as him? Does he think I'm naive or unintelligent? Mercurial?

Anyway, it's already the eleventh paragraph as opposed to the original five I've allowed myself. So I'm just gonna put a cap on my tangential emotions and try to go to bed.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

My Apologies for the Delayed Replies and No Replies

Hi. I would just like to inform guys who have written to me recently or within the past year that I'm sorry if I failed to formulate an updated reply or have missed out on getting back to you. My mailbox is slowly growing with numerous emails coming in and I personally haven't been managing my time well enough to keep up with the capacity. But be rest assured that I will try my best to gradually back track and do something about it.

However, if it's been a while since you sent me something and you'd like to hear from me soon, you can drop me a quick message and I will dive back into it as soon as I can. Thank you and my sincere apologies!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

If You are Neutral in Situations of Injustice

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor" - Desmond TuTu

Friday, 7 March 2014

When Your Dream Isn't Manifesting As Dreamt

Interviewer:
"What do you say to someone who’s trying so hard to live their dream and yet nothing has happened, and then they say: 'Should I give up?' "

"What do you tell them?"

Spiritual Teacher:
"Well if you’re living your dream, what are you looking for? See people try to look for their dream or find their purpose, when the truth is, you have to do what you do, and allow the purpose to unfold. Don’t go after the person, go after what brings you joy, doing what you love, being present moment by moment, and everything else will unfold."

"When people say: 'I’m living my dream but nothing’s happening', they’re not telling the truth. They have an attachment to a particular outcome, and therefore, that’s what they’re going for, but they’re not telling the truth about it."

"And I have to say that, forgiveness is such a powerful tool. And those people that aren't living their dream, or when their dream isn't manifesting in the way they want it to, I guarantee you they have somebody to forgive. And it's such an easy thing, it’s such a powerful thing, but so difficult. 

"So forgive everybody. For everything."

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Afternoon Lust Over a Hot CEO Named Sam

I was invited to attend a media interview today with a hot CEO named Sam. He is the founder of a franchise event where a couple of corporate parties including mine, is currently involve in. I've seen his picture in a newspaper write-up before, but never thought his looks commanded any 'special attention'.

However when I met him in flesh for the first time today, the blood-hungry vampire in me was suddenly awakened from a deep slumber and put on high alert. The man was a stud in his mid thirties. I could smell and devour every ounce of the pheromones that make him the tall and lean sex-on-legs that he is. His handshake to me was dominantly firm and hard. My nose in particular, was just picking up scents throughout the entire time he and I were in the same room.

I couldn't help but spent every moment observing the guy like a jaguar, trying to look for possible eye-contact but to no avail. Okay, so he's straight. Not to mention egoistically arrogant with the way he acts around us. I felt so incredibly aroused just by staring at the warm veins on his tanned neck, his lips, his earlobes, his biceps, his open palms and his fingers. I wanted to explore him completely using only my mouth.

There was a moment where his right ankle was exposed at a 4 figure seated position and I wanted to sink my teeth into his bare instep. I spiralled into a galaxy of my own. He's constructed out of all the classic features that ignite the sexual fire in me. Stubble studded jaw, chiselled face, spiky hair, dark dreamy eyes, amazing hilly physique and arousing skin. I molested every part of his upper and lower body with the only way I know how, my sight.

Just the confident way he moves and the way he talks. God, yum. There were intervals at which he casually pulls on his own t-shirt and caresses his own hands. It was so distracting and it drove me insane. But what really fuelled the radioactive warmth and blood in my attention for him, along with the mid-erected tool in my pants, was his heady scent. It was the perfect mix of a sporty cologne, coupled with his natural masculine scent. Jesus. He smells great. I was lost for words.

When facing a journalist or on live camera, I witnessed how he was able to turn on a certain public image at the snap of a damn finger. And with that, he became the most skilfully charming person with the media. I have no idea where this is all coming from, but I found that arrogance of his so sexually attractive. Good-looking 'ass hole' kinda guy?

Although I wouldn't peg this round of arousal as something completely uncontrollable, but during one of my few visits to the bathroom, I took the opportunity to sort myself out. Effectively blowing off some stream with a rehearsed image of him and I pressing up against each other in front of a mirror wall. I repeated the process a couple more times after I came home and here I am writing a chapter on this.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Mail: The Tormented Guy Who Feels Left Out

On a restless afternoon at work, I received the following letter in my mailbox.

His Email:
Greetings! I've felt the pangs of horniness and loneliness more acutely today than usual, for a slew of reasons, and in my despondency, I decided to seek some comfort. Some consolation. Commiseration. So, I typed in 'gay sexual frustration blog,' and yours was the first to come up. 

Being a queer is tough. In our hypersexualised mainstream culture, the subculture of gay men seems even more so astonishing in its marked eroticism. Twinks and bears, married men meeting in parks on the dl, polyamorous relationships, etc, etc, etc. So often, it seems as if cum is the cornerstone of our community.  

I'm a bit relieved, but also a bit jealous, that this blog came up. As of late, I've been considering starting a blog, and given how severe my love-sickness can be, and how impactful my sexual frustration can be, I was considering starting some kind of blog, similar to PostSecret. Something where, specifically, gay men, can come together to talk about their own feelings of sexual frustration.

After skimming your blog (I intend to read it more thoroughly after completing this email), I feel as if I can relate to a number of points and emotions. Just to give a VERY condensed biography (with an emphasis on sex and sexuality), I began the process of coming out after high school graduation to a few trusted friends, and came out to broader members of my family and on my college campus in my senior year, at the age of 21. I was very religious most of high school, and was a complete virgin at the time of coming out, having wrangled with years of guilt and a thorough subscription to Catholic virtues, with all its concomitant repression.  

I received my first blowjob the next year, drunkenly, from a gay friend (who, in retrospect, was a frenemy, and ultimately detrimental to my well-being, but who I often associated with because I found him utterly beautiful) who made it very clear it was an act of charity and pity. Indeed, it never happened again from him. A spate of somewhat embarrassing and unfulfilling sexual experiences followed, and here I am, at the age of 26, still an "anal virgin." If judging off heteronormative standards, where loss of virginity is equated with penetration, one could label me a virgin, in that sense.  

Romance is coldly omitted, given the fact that I've never had a relationship. Having lived in small towns, for the most part, the overwhelming majority of my dalliances have occurred with married men, largely met on Craigslist, which casts yet another pall of anxiety and remorse over my sexual life. I've had sex a few times, but I've never come CLOSE to making love. The story of my romantic life has been a series of unrequited affections, one-time dates, and a few 'dates' that later turned out not to be dates at all. In short, I have been perpetually love-sick, resulting in a needling malnourishment of the soul.

Too often, this state of affairs casts me into a severe depression, and I'm sure has propelled me more than once into seeking the bottle as a source of readily available comfort. One need not feel alienated and bitterly lonely when Mr. Jose Cuervo is by your side.

But I digress... I feel as if no matter how I measure it, I'm at the 'bottom of the barrel.' Sex is something I've never felt comfortable discussing with friends, largely, of course, because it was generally absent in my life. Even so, after having had a few sexual experiences, I decline to discuss such matters, due to the sheer lack of fulfillment I felt after these experiences took place. It's an issue which has caused me immense mental and emotional distress. Often, when hearing about the sexual escapades of others (or, in fact, when HEARING them, as the case was when living with promiscuous roommates), I fly into a jealous rage, feeling embittered in my own frustration, before sliding into a sedated depression. I often get the sense that everyone's sexual life far outpaces mine, in both quantity AND quality. And as for romantic life, it's no contest, seeing how mine's thus far been stillborn.

I apologize for this corpulent message, but after reading a bit of your blog, I get the impression that I'm not the only one who feels as tormented by his thoughts and experiences when it comes to this matter. Again, I hope to delve into more of your posts as time goes on, but for the meantime, felt compelled to message you immediately.

I hope you're able to respond as time allows, and hope I may hear from you soon; additionally, I look forward to any future posts on the blog. Cheers!

#  #  #

My Reply to Him:
Thank you so much for your wonderful letter. It always feels nice and emotionally reassuring to receive something so thoughtful in the middle of the day. It was so beautifully expressed, and so accurately put into words that I am speechless as to how much I can relate to the frustration, emotions and depressing thoughts you go through.

What was even more heartfelt behind it all, was your deep sense of hope pertaining to the unpleasant journey we go through as gay guys. The homosexuality, the gay sex, the love-sickness, the feelings of solitude, and the search for romance that just seem to effortlessly show up in the arms of others.

That jealousy and envy you express so vividly when other people find love or incredible sex, I would be lying if I said I was immune to it all. In fact, the scenario of watching other people fall in love and have good sex is slowly starting to make me believe that this might just be, for lack of a better word, an "unfair" reality of life I am meant to live through. That in many ways, I am not good enough or worth a certain minimal requirement.

I try very hard sometimes not to go into self-destructive waters with that kind of thought, but I'm human and there is only so much I can withstand. Often times I might seem okay on the outside, and act like it doesn't bother me at all that I am gay, on my own, and struggling to find my way. But deep down, I really don't know if I should genuinely be upset over screwing my own head to find out what's wrong, or just accept things as they are. I have yet to figure that part out.

Anyway, I genuinely think your letter to me has expressed another part of my emotions that I could never courageously put into words. If I'm not mistaken, many other guys go through the exact same thing behind closed doors or in their own silence. 

This online journal of mine was created as a cathartic outlet for me to document a process I've been going through since a personal downfall that was triggered back in 2011. You are a very talented writer in your own right my friend. So trust me when I say you don't have to be jealous of anything, because I believe that someone like you would go on to create something even more valuable to a larger part of society. In your own time, in your own creative space, and in your own destiny. That would be my instinctual reassurance to you.

Keep in touch, and thank you so much for having shared a part of your story.

All the love and support in the world, M

Monday, 3 March 2014

The Empires of the Future

"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind" - Winston Churchill