Don’t Write About Me

photos by eryc perez de tagle

Him: Hey. I know you.

Me: Hey. Do you?

Him: Yeah I think so.

Me: From where?

Him: You’re the guy online.

Me: Oh shit. Yeah. I guess I am. Hi.

Him: Hi.

Me: What’s your name?

Him: Kelley. 

Me: Oh wow. I really like that name for a guy.

Him: Thanks. You’re…?

Me: Michael. It’s nice to meet you.

Him: You too. (pause) Oh my God. Do you have pie?

Me: What?

Him: Did you bring pie?

Me: To a Brooklyn gay bar?  No.  I didn’t.

Him: Well. You’re supposed to be the one who has all the pie, aren’t you, mister?

Me: I suppose I am.

Him: Well see?  You should have brought some.

Me: I’m hoarding it.

Him: You are?

Me: Yeah. I’m hoarding all the pie and nobody can have any except people I like.

Him: Aw!  That’s not fair.

Me: Also I tried bringing pie here before but it made my coat pockets sticky.

Him: Really?

Me: No. But you’re cute.

Him: Really?  So are you.

Me: Thanks. So are you hungry? Wanna get some cheap Mexican food?

Him: Right now?

Me: Yeah, or later. It’s always there, on Grand and Graham.

Him: You know what?  I better say no.  No offense.

Me: I’m… What? I’m not offended.

Him: Yeah but I better say no.

Me: Why?

Him: I’m just more of a prude than you are.

Me: So?

Him: So I’d better not accept a date invitation from you.

Me: ‘Cause you’re a prude?

Him: Yeah. I’m a super prude. I’d never have a website where I do what you do.  Post revealing photographs like that.

Me: They’re not that revealing, are they?

Him: Don’t you think they’re slightly dirty?

Me: Not really. I feel like I’ve seen worse in fashion magazines.

Him: Maybe. But there’s this context. It’s jarring.

Me: That’s on purpose.

Him: Well, mission accomplished.

Me: So, okay. So, don’t start a website where you post photos and stories like I do. What’s that got to do with having some cheap Mexican food with me?

Him: I just think I probably wouldn’t be the best person for you, is all…

Me: Well that’s why people go on dates. To find out if that’s true or not. And to have fun along the way.

Him: Thanks for asking. I’m going to decline.

Me: Okay. I respect that.

Him: Partially, too, I don’t want to get written about.

Me: Oh, I’m probably going to do that.

Him: No!  Why??

Me: Because it’s a slow news week, cutie.

Him: Stop.

Me: I don’t know why. ‘Cause that’s what I do. I probably would write about you either way, but now that you’ve implied I’m too slutty to qualify for a date, I’m definitely going to.

Him: Oh jeez.  That’s not what I meant.

Me: I know. But I have to capitalize on what’s going on in front of me – as a writer.

Him: I’m not an extrovert. I don’t want to be part of your thing. I like it, but I don’t want to be part of it. Why isn’t that okay?

Me: That’s fine. But I might write about it.

Him: Why?

Me: Because I write about conversations I have.

Him: I know, but just don’t write about me.

Me: You’re trying to censor my writing, and you just met me, Kelley.

Him: That’s not true.

Me: What else would you call limiting what I can write about? I’m kidding. I don’t think you’re really trying to censor me. Except for the censorship part.

Him: Okay, fine. Please don’t write about me?

Me: Sure. On one condition.

Him: What?

Me: Come have cheap Mexican food with me. Sit with me and chat for half an hour and I promise I won’t write about you, ever. You don’t have to ever talk to me again.

Him: No. I already said no.

Me: Okay. There it is then.

Him: But, don’t write about me.

Me: Eh. We’ll see…

WednesDATE: Alienation

photos by tri vo

Him:  How’s your night going?

Me:  Not bad.  I had a show earlier, and I met a few of my idiot friends out here for a night cap.  All in all, a decent showing for a Friday night, I guess…

Him:  What?  Why idiots?

Me:  Oh, I just call my friends idiots.  It’s a compliment, sort of.  They’re funny people, and we usually wind up acting like idiots.

Him:  I spent the evening alone.

Me:  I’m sorry to hear that.  Wait, by choice?

Him:  No, just out of a lack of things to do.

Me:  Oh, right, well then I’m sorry to hear that.

Him:  Are you looking for a boyfriend?

Me:  What?

Him:  Are you looking for a boyfriend?  Like, someone to settle down with?

Me:  I dunno.  I feel lonely sometimes.

Him:  I feel lonely all the time.  Completely alienated.  Even in a crowd.  Maybe especially.

Me:  I think I understand what you mean.  The world has become more alienating, somehow, as we increase our inter-connectivity with social media.

Him:  Haha…  Blame Facebook.  (pause) Yeah.  Facebook’s depressing.

Me:  How do you mean?

Him:  I wake up and check Facebook, and after a certain point i get depressed.

Me:  Can you say why?

Him:  It’s too much, maybe.  All these links and photos.  I saw pictures of my friends having a picnic, and I immediately got nostalgic.  I used to just GO on picnics.

Me:  Haha…  I can see your point.  Facebook has turned us all into voyeurs of the mundane.

Him:  I think it’s evil.  We used to call each other on the phone and catch up with each other, and now, instead we visit a friends Facebook page to scratch the itch of catching up with old friends.  But it’s not interactive.  It’s the illusion of interaction. 

Me:  Yeah.  I get where you’re going.  I try to keep my social media time as low as possible.  And I try to isolate what I think Facebook is good for, and just do that.

Him:  Like what?

Me:  One liner jokes and self promotion.

Him:  But that’s the problem.  Everyone’s like that now, and NOBODY’S looking for a boyfriend.

Me:  Haha…  I guess you’re hunting for one?

Him:  Yeah.  I’m really lonely.

Me:  I don’t like the idea of saying I’m looking for a  boyfriend.  I feel like it’s similar to saying ‘I don’t feel complete without being validated by somebody else.’

Him: Ugh.  That’s how everyone feels.  I just really want a boyfriend.  I don’t care if it’s not a popular point of view.

Me:  That’s pretty clear.  It’s been my experience that people fall in love when they’re ready to do it – when the meet the exact right match for it.  There’s no use putting it on a timetable, or trying to manufacture it.

Him:  Why not?

Me:  I dunno.  Don’t you think that there’s already a lot of pressure, without adding expectations?

Him:  It’s just that…  New York men are just looking for the next person to have sex with.  Nobody wants to settle down.  I liked it better in Berlin.

Me:  You lived in Berlin?

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  Of course you did.

Him:  In Berlin, everyone wants to have a boyfriend.  Then when they’ve been in a relationship for a little while, they start looking to ‘trade up.’

Me:  Sounds like Boyfriend Hopscotch.

Him:  Haha…  I guess so.  But I prefer it to this…

Me:  May I make an observation?

Him:  Okay. 

Me:  I think you might be depressed.

Him:  You might be right.  Aw.  That’s so disappointing.

Me:  What?

Him:  You’re not looking for a boyfriend.  But you’re going on a lot of dates.

Me:  I’m meeting a lot of people, and writing about it.

Him:  Yeah.  I guess.  Pardon me.  I have to check my phone.

Me:  Did you get a txt?

Him:  No.  I just want to check Facebook.

Me:  Ah.  Right.

Him:  Don’t put this on your blog and call me a Jerk.

Me:  I wouldn’t think of it.  This conversation barely qualifies as interesting.

Him:  Wow.  Now you’re being a Jerk.

Me:  I have my moments.


Imagephoto: roger wingfield

Hi.  I searched.  I read.

It was funny, offbeat, intriguing.  A lot of it.  But I’m wondering if it’s okay to say there was something troubling in there as well? 

I was reading the letter to you from Kevin bemoaning the racist attitudes he encounters among gay men.  You were – justifiably – sensitive to his concerns and gave a mostly reasoned response.  That disturbed me in his letter were the ageist comments, especially given that he was complaining about people stereotyping Asians.  I felt sad that he needed to stereotype older men.  What was more troubling was your compounding of those stereotypes in your response to him (“weirdos who are decades older”). 


It’s a destructive image that plays itself out in sites like Grindr, where some men make assumptions merely based on age, with no other facts to back up those assumptions.

You seem like a thoughtful person.  I doubt you really believe that all older men are ‘weirdos’ or ‘creepy’ or that all weirdos are actually older men.  So, I’d just ask you to be as thoughtful in how you address ageism as your are in addressing racism.

Thanks for listening.



Hey A.Y.,

Thanks for reading, and thanks for writing in.

You’ve brought up a very valid point, and given me quite a bit to think about.

I’d like to clarify that I never said that all older men are creepy or weird.  I said that I had been hit on by creepy weirdos who were decades older than me.  I’ve also been hit on my creepy weirdos my own age, and jerks who are much younger than me.  Also, I’m sure that at some point, to someone, I’ve been the creepy weirdo.


I’m not going to be dismissive of your point – that Kevin’s letter had some ageist sentiments, or that by sympathizing with him on certain points I appear to condone ageism.  That certainly wasn’t my intent, even if it came off that way.  I don’t condone ageism.

I think that we, as a gay community, could certainly stand to exhibit more tolerance, sensitivity, and kindness toward each other.   I’m sorry if Kevin’s letter (or my response) offended or hurt your feelings in any way.  That wasn’t my goal.  I can’t speak for Kevin, but I’ve corresponded with him a bit, and he’s a bright, kind fellow – I don’t think he was trying to hurt people when he penned his letter.

ImageThis does, however, lead me to my secondary point.  Intent.

Kevin expressed to me, in an email, that he’s tired of ‘creepy guys… that are older’ hitting on him all the time.  I agree with you, that it might come off as an insensitive, ageist statement – but I don’t think his intent was to be hurtful. He was just expressing frustration in an email to me.  If anything, I’m to blame, for making it public on my site, and seeming to sympathize in my response.

I think there’s a difference between that, and making ‘ching chong’ jokes in public, to someone’s face, because you’re mortified that an Asian tried to talk to you.  The difference being intent.  When you do that, you’re purposefully trying to be hurtful – and I think that’s kind of evil.


This dialogue is very helpful, A.Y..  You’ve certainly given me pause. We could stand to examine ageism in the gay community, and I do think we could better police the offhanded remarks we make, especially in public and on the internet. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.

If I were to substitute race for age, I’d be uncomfortable making a similar statement. “I get hit on my a bunch of creepy weird Asians,” probably wouldn’t fly.

Even so – this last bit of observation begs an entirely more frivolous question:

Where are the creepy weird Asians when you need them?

(Seriously – get at me.  Jerks.)