Actually, I wanted to write that my body has betrayed me.
That sounds more dramatic and outside of my control.
The truth is that as I was leaning in towards the bathroom mirror to floss my teeth the other night, I looked down.
I looked down and in a moment of self-preservation unconsciousness I let my stomach out.
Couldn’t see my abs.
The hair on my stomach is going grey.
Fuck! I can even see how the tone and elasticity of my skin is changing.
For years I’ve had a stellar bod.
Not body. A body is just, ‘Meh, whatever.” A “bod”, oh ya, now that’s something to strive for! Continue reading “Today I Saw My Body in the Mirror and It’s Ageing”
Everyone has a story about their body. Some of us want to look great for the beach, to feel powerful and sexy when we’re in bed with someone, or to move easily without pain or discomfort.
My body’s story has everything to do with being gay.
As a kid I was always sick and had more allergies than you could count. I had allergies to foods, dust, pollens, and fragrances. I reacted in many ways, from a skin rash to hives, earaches that were beyond painful, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, and days spent sick in bed. To make matters worse, I was diagnosed as ADHD. Imagine pairing an allergic reaction and ADHD together! Suffice to say I never felt like I had much control over my body as a child.
Being sick a lot made me aware of how my body responded to food and foods that did not agree with me. Perhaps because of my mother’s intervention and perhaps because of being so reactive to food as a child, I never got fat. I was always skinny. When you’re sick all the time it’s difficult to gain weight. Continue reading “What I Learned About Loving My Body As A Gay Man”
The 10 Commandments of heteronormativity for gay men who want to fit in, fall in line, and be respectable.
1. “Thou shalt judge other gays.”
The way to fit in and never be suspected of being gay is to make fun of people who are clearly gay. Flamboyant much? Sound like a sissy fag? Perfect targets for humour and distain. Subvert the shame of your closet by making fun of someone else in an attempt to falsely make yourself feel better.
2. “Thou shalt hold your voice silent when others make homophobic comments.”
Don’t rock the boat. You wouldn’t want to be outed. Even if others don’t suspect you of being gay, just keep silent. The status quo loves it when you don’t support or stand up for the other. Continue reading “The 10 Commandments for Being a Respectable Gay Man”
One of my biggest realizations from reading The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs was that my success in life is directly related to my experience of having grown up in the closet.
The truth is I’m not afraid of success. Rather, I sometimes shy away from other people SEEING me as successful! I have been successful in many areas of my life and I’m aware of the difference between success and accomplishment, which I talk about in, “How Does It Feel When You’re Living Your Calling?”
An Interesting Paradox
If I want to help people think more queerly, the think outside of the status quo, I need to be fully out, vulnerable, and take risks. But at the same time, the young Darren that once lived in the closet likes the safety of not being recognized. Continue reading “By Fitting In Have You Left the Best Parts of You In The Closet?”
The trappings of normality in the straight world come with a cost.
Fitting in requires an investment of false energy (you not expressing who you are). Do you have the things everyone else does, like a house, a car, 3–4 weeks of vacation per year, marriage, children, etc.?
It’s easy to get lost in your career, pursing one achievement after the other. You neglect your health and your partner, unaware you’re still trying to silence the pain of being gay.
There is nothing wrong with having any of those things, like possessions or a successful career. But they can be distractions showing up as external validation. Fitting in, being seen as a success, helps you deal with your gay shame. Your outward achievements help you feel good enough in the eyes of others, but they doesn’t make you feel proud.
Being out and unapologetically fucking PROUD is a huge act of defiance.
Often as a gay man we feel there’s got to be more to life, that something is missing. How do you see your way out of the box if you don’t even realize you’re in one? Continue reading “You’re Gay, Out, and Successful – Is That All There Is?”
On Saturday, January 27, 2018 I was interviewed by my friend and media-personality, Shaun Proulx on his SiriusXM Canada show.
The topic of discussion was reinvention and that it’s never too later to change. I’ve summarized the main talking points with time stamps, below. Enjoy!
Continue reading “Why It’s Never Too Late to Change, No Matter How Old You Are”