(featured photo by Allison Michael Orenstein)
Him: Hey. You’re T.’s friend, right?
Me: That’s right.
Him: Pie guy.
Me: Ha. Yeah. Pie guy. That’s me.
Him: That’s cool.
Me: I guess so. It’s gotten out of hand.
Him: Has it?
Me: I think so. In a good way. People have been really nice, and really supportive.
Him: How so?
Me: I’ve had people – strangers – send me art and make me things. I have had a few people make watercolors or digital images. Two people designed aprons for me – well three, actually. My mother commissioned the very first one that says Pie Man on it.
Him: Your mother??
Me: Yeah. She reads the site. Is that weird?
What do you do?
Him: I’m an Architect. It really weighs me down. Bureaucracy.
Me: I think architecture is inspiring.
So what’s your deal? Is there some sort of message you’re pushing?
Me: Hm. I mean, yes. No. Probably? I think people should live openly? I just post about what happens to me on awkward dates, or weird exchanges in New York, and I juxtapose those cringy moments with pics of me baking with cute boys and artists i like.
Him: Why do that?
Me: I guess that I want to mix domesticity with a very obviously Gay lifestyle. I’m trying to get Gays and Straights to see Gay sexuality (and poly-sexuality) as an option that is compatible with domesticity. Plus who doesn’t love to see cute boys baking and read about them suffering through dating mishaps?
Him: People love to watch attractive people suffer. It’s crowded tonight.
Me: Metropolitan on a weekend. But look at all these talented boys. It’s all right here in this room…
Him: What is?
Me: Everything you might need to launch a career, start a movement, or change the world. All these boys need to do is realize they’re brothers, and start loving each other instead of ripping each other apart. They have the talent and connections…
Him: That’s the stuff I was talking about. I don’t get that stuff, when I hear it.
Me: Oh. I tend to speak philosophically sometimes. It’s annoying. I think we (the Gays) could really do to start loving ourselves and each other much more than we allow ourselves to right now. We have this tendency rip into each other, and act bitchy or jealous of one another. We shouldn’t do that. Our purpose should be to build each other up, not tear one another down.
Him: That’s human nature.
Me: Don’t do that.
Him: Do what?
Me: Don’t be dismissive and excuse the behavior.
Him: Can you say that it’s not human nature?
Me: No, but what I can say is this: I’m not that interested in focusing on how the world and people are so negative that we can’t achieve gains in our community. I’m not interested in reasons why we can’t achieve brotherhood.
Him: Brotherhood? Seriously?
Me: Other oppressed minorities have achieved moments of brotherhood and solidarity and I know that if we don’t use simple excuses like ‘that’s human nature’ to indulge in an empty pleasure like ripping each other down, that we might be able to start loving and supporting each other.
Him: Ugh. That sounds like a lot of work.
Me: People just need to re-wire themselves, I think. Instead of immediately being ‘over it’ or sarcastic, they could try supporting their brothers. For instance – you expect people here to be default setting stand-offish right?
Me: But, if you make eye contact with someone and touch them, for instance, when you’re speaking to them, they feel you trying to connect with them, and they’re bound to show you their best side.
Him: Really? Is it a special moment for them? Do they unlock a spiritual connection with each other?
Me: Stop. We can have this conversation with each other but it’s going to make me upset if I feel like you’re being glib, flippant or dismissive.
Him: I just don’t believe you.
(long, icy pause)
Him: I don’t believe you really feel this way. It sounds good for a second but then i don’t believe it.
Me: That’s a mixture of self doubt and fear talking.
Him: Haha! What??
Me: It’s intimidating hearing a strong, confident point of view. I’m guessing this subject is something you don’t think about often. Most Gay people are tired of their own oppression and tune it out. You don’t exactly know how you feel about this subject and now you’re being called upon to comment on it, and your knee jerk reaction is to be negative and try to find ways to chip away at my philosophy, rather than formulate your own. ‘It’s human nature.’
Him: Here’s my philosophy: any extreme statement is wrong. Extreme statements are always, always wrong. Period. That’s why I don’t trust your philosophy.
Me: Is that all you’ve got? ‘You’re wrong?’ Here’s an extreme statement from the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.” Here’s an extreme statement from Gandhi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Are those statements wrong??
Him: I just don’t trust your philosophy, or that you believe it.
Me: Is this what you do when you meet friends of friends? You call them phony and liars?
Him: I didn’t do that?
Me: Didn’t you? You just told me that you don’t trust my philosophy or that I myself believe it. I don’t know how much more blatantly you can call someone out for being a liar. Maybe you feel threatened or lazy? Your philosophy takes the power away from negative extreme statements, sure, but it also takes the power away from anything positive too. What you’re left with is powerlessness. You’re left with sarcasm. You’re left with nihilism.
I don’t find that at all inspiring.
Thanks for chatting.