MonDATE: Bisexuals, and the Right to Privacy – Part One

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Him: Hello, are you Michael?

Me: Yes. You’re Sam?

Him: Yes. Hi. Nice to meet you.

Me: You too, Sam, I like your shirt.

Him: It’s Hollister.

Me: I like it anyway. Wanna take a walk?

Him: A walk? That sounds so weird and creepy, in the middle of the night.

Me: Is it? I just don’t really want to go drink right now. I’m trying to shed the winter layer.

Him: But isn’t a bar… Safer, somehow?

Me: We can stick to Colorado – it’s well lit. I’ll try to resist the urge to take you to a park and chop you into small pieces.

Him: That’s what I meant when I said weird and creepy!

Me: Let’s operate off the assumption neither of us is a murderous sociopath?

Him: You don’t seem like a sociopath to me.

Me: Thanks, man! I like your attitude!

(We walk for a while, chatting. I find out things about him. He’s in medical school. He’s into extreme sports, hiking, and surfing. He seems nice enough, and he’s no dummy. He’s read most of Kurt Vonnegut, so he gets points.)

Him: So, I guess you’re wondering why I’ve contacted you?

Me: I guess I am, now that you mention.

Him: I wanted to ask you a question. Do you mind if I ask a personal question?

Me: No, I guess not, as long as you don’t mind not getting a full answer, depending on the question.

Him: Haha, fair. Fair enough.

Me: What’s the question?

Him: Well, I have a few questions. Firstly, are you bi-sexual? I read your site for a long time and I always assumed you were gay, but now you’re married to a woman, and what’s the deal? Is she a lesbian? Does she need a green card, or whatever?

Me: Oh wow. I thought personal question meant something like ‘boxers or briefs?’

Him: No. You clearly wear briefs. I’ve seen your Instagram.

Me: Fair enough.

Him: Are you bisexual?

Me: Let me ask you a question. I’ll answer yours, but let me do the rudest thing and follow up a question with another question. Does it matter?

Him: What?

Me: Does it matter? The difference between me being Gay or Bi? Or even straight?

Him: What do you mean? Of course it matters. Of course .

Me: How so?

(There is a pause. He looks confused.)

Him: Do you realize, I’ve read you for years?

Me: No, I usually go into these meetings pretty blind. When I meet with people it’s much more likely they’ve lurked or stalked me, whereas I might only have a brief email and a fuzzy photo to go on.

Him: But how can you do this? You talked about Gay dating, alienation and minority rights for years. How do you just get to marry a woman and continue on like nothing happened?

Me: Because nothing happened. I got married. It was pretty important to me, in the scope of my life, but in the grand scheme of human events, it’s not even a blip on the radar. It’s just a marriage. Most people do it at least once.

Him: But why a woman? Are you Bisexual?

Me: Again, I don’t see how that matters. It’s clear that I’m definitely a member of the LGBTQ community. Right? And, consider this: you haven’t told me your sexuality, yet you seem to think it’s fine to pry about mine and my wife’s?

Him: I’m Bi.

Me: Okay, good. I’m Queer.

Him: What does that mean? In what sense?

Me: It means I am as Gay as Kurt Cobain.

Him: What about your wife?

Me: She’s whatever she is.

Him: Stop. This is frustrating.

Me: This is nobody’s business. One of the perks of marriage is people stop prying about who does what, when, with whom, and how.

Him: But I’m curious!

Me: Well, that’s flattering. Are you openly Bi?

Him: What?

Me: Do people know you’re Bisexual?

Him: Some people do.

Me: Your family?

Him: No. My brother knows, I think, but by and large, no.

Me: Your work friends?

Him: No. I don’t want them thinking I’m weird, or off.

Me: Your friends from school?

Him: No.

Me: So, pretty much, just the people you have sex with.

Him: You make it sound sad.

Me: No, you make it sound sad. You’re the one who made those choices.

Him: It’s just what happened. I’m a victim of circumstance.

Me: You’re what? 28? 27?

Him: I’m 30 this year.

Me: Okay, well, welcome to the club. I’m going to say something, and I hope you don’t get offended.

Him: Are you going to call me a Jerk?

Me: I don’t do that anymore, Jerk. Just kidding. No, just this: There’s no such thing as a victim of circumstance. Not really. I believe life is a series of choices. It’s in the art of choosing we discover what kind of man or woman we become. If you don’t like your circumstances you have a right to make a different choice. It might be more difficult to make a courageous choice. It might, in fact, be stupid to make a courageous choice. It might make your life more of a struggle to make an honest choice, or to have enough integrity to look your family in the eye and say, here’s what I am – here’s how I was born and here’s the way things are for me. I’m sorry you feel differently about how I should live my life, but then again, my life is the only thing that is arguably entirely mine – and I’m the one who has to live it.

Him: What’s that have to do with the way the world is?

Me: To say you’re a victim of circumstance is a bit misleading when you’re the one creating your own reality.

Him: That’s arrogant. That’s incredibly arrogant, and I knew you’d say something like that. I knew you’d come up with a way to make me being down low about my sexuality my fault. My sexuality doesn’t define who I am anymore than my liking baseball defines who I am. Why do I have to make a huge issue of who I’m sleeping with? Doesn’t my mother deserve a good birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving without me ruining everything by talking about sex with dudes? Why are people so obsessed with where I’m putting my penis? It’s nobody’s business.

Me: And yet, you’re so very obsessed with where I’m putting mine.

(There is a long pause. He starts to speak, then stops, then looks confused.)

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

 

Letters

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Hey Michael, 

I’m the guy from Duke University/UCB that you talked to on Friday at the Blue Boar. Since talking to you I’ve followed your advice by not fucking anybody in the comedy world and so far it’s going great. It was fun hearing gossip and an honest perspective about UCB, and I’d love to pick your brain again about how one goes about turning comedy and song writing into a career.

Rick

Hey Rick,

It was fun talking to you, too.

So, yeah, don’t fuck any comics. I’ve watched a few of my friends date themselves out of career options when relationships with other comics go bad. One friend in particular springs to mind. She’d had so many failed relationships with UCB comics that there were few teams at the NYC theater who would have her perform with them. Politics, politics…  She’s still successful in her own right, but for my money I’d do it differently.

Aside from that, my only other advice is keep going. And, don’t just improvise. Write jokes. Write sketches. Write pilots and spec scripts. You never know when you’ll meet the person who can put your script in the right hands. Also, just keep writing and performing as much as possible. That sounds cliche but it’s true. Keep at it.

I hope this helps, and please invite me to your shows?

Michael

Dear Michael,

 
You may not remember, but about two and a half years ago, I wrote you about being in the closet at the Naval Academy. I just wanted to say thank you so much for the advice you gave me to stick it out. Soon after you posted your response, I started to come out and the response was mixed but mostly good. My last two years at school were much better since I wasn’t worried about people finding out about my sexuality and I actually found a great group of friends who were either out or in the process of coming out. This past May, my boyfriend and I graduated from Annapolis and started our careers as officers. I am so glad that I decided to stay and just wanted to again say thanks for helping me make that decision.
 
Sincerely,
Brad
Thanks, Brad.
It isn’t very frequent I get a follow up from one of my advice letters, and it’s nice to know I didn’t steer you in a disastrous direction. You and your boyfriend sound totally adorable and everyone in the world must be jealous when you two arrive at a military function in dress uniforms, holding hands. In fact, I’m picturing that right now, and I’m wondering if you two would like to come photograph for the blog in uniform?
Thanks for coming out of the closet. It’s important we stay visible, since the world needs positive gay role models. You boys are an inspiration.
xo
Michael
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Stop. Be still.

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Him: Are you okay?

Me: No. Obviously.

Him: Stop. You look tired. Stop. Don’t. Don’t hug me. You always try to hug me.

Me: I need affection. Please hug me.

Him: Stop. Fine. Yes. Here. Hug me.

Me: Thanks. Let’s lie down?

Him: No, I’m not here for that. I’m here for you.

Me: I’m fine.

Him: You’re not.

Me: I am. I’m fine.

Him: No, Michael. You’re not. You’re not fine at all. Some very traumatic things happened. You’re trying to act like you’re fine, but you’re bouncing off the walls. Be still.

Me: I can’t. I don’t. I don’t have time for being still, not for one second. I have so much to do.

Him: Why am I here? Why did I come over here? Do you know?

Me: Kiss me.

Him: Stop. No. Stop.

Me: I need affection. Hug me again.

Him: Okay fine. What happened?

Me: Lots of stuff.

Him: How was LA?

Me: It wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped it would be.

Him: Are people mean?

Me: Uh. Some of them are, yes. Extremely.

Him: You mean at the Network?

Me: No. I mean other comedy types that I thought were my friends.

Him: How was the Network?

Me: They were nice enough.  I had no idea what I was auditioning for. I had to stay in my hotel room for three days straight while they grilled me about who I was. I was isolated. I quit my job, lost Alex over it, and I got so exhausted that I might have showed too much ‘realness’ in the final interview.

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Him: Wait, you lost Alex over it?

Me: He was terrified of being alone for six weeks. Maybe he just didn’t really love me to begin with, though? Soon as he said yes to moving in with me, the smiles stopped.

Him: He stopped smiling at you?

Me: Yes. He would look for reasons to provoke me. He wouldn’t smile. He wouldn’t eat food I made, even when I knew he’d skipped dinner. I got a few promotions, and career advancements. He wouldn’t show up to celebrate them.

Him: Wow.

Me: He left me right when I needed him most. He left during the hardest callback process of my life. Whywouldyoudothattosomeone?

Him: Michael. Slow down. Things are fine now, right?

Me: Sure?

(long pause)

Me: I hate this so much.

Him: Stop.

Me: Lie down next to me.

Him: Stop.

Me: That’s why you’re here.

Him: Stop. Stop pacing around. You’re crawling out of your skin.

Me: Why did he do this?  I hate this the most. I told him I didn’t want a relationship but he kept at it. He kept coming over.

Him: You need to be still. People play games. They don’t even know they’re doing it.

Me: Somewhere along the line he stopped smiling at me. Started making me beg for affection. Cruel. I had to work so hard for every morsel.

Him: That’s how us Asian boys act when we don’t get monogamy.

Me: I offered him monogamy.

(pause)

Him: You offered him monogamy?

(pause)

Him: What did he say?

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Me: He told me it was too late – that I should have wanted monogamy the whole time. That I should have known when I met him. I told him the next time he tries to change the mind of a grown man, expect it to take much longer than 8 months.

Him: Hm…  That doesn’t sound right. That sounds like an excuse. Maybe he’s just a kid? Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants?

Me: People are cat-fishing me now, online. They’re making up fake profiles in order to say cruel things. Why is everyone so awful?

Him: Stop. Be still. Okay. Lie down. I’ll lie down with you.

Me: Kiss me?

Him: No. Just lie here with me. I want you to be still. It’s okay to cry, but don’t move. Just be still. I’m going to touch your face a little.

(he touches my face. tears slip out of me. we are quiet for a long time.)

Me: (whispered) He tricked me. I don’t trust anybody now. He took that away.

Him: Stop. You trust too much anyhow.

Me: No. Not anymore.

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(long silence. i am still. my diaphragm shakes.)

Him: Stop.

(long silence. tremors build inside me.)

Him: Still. Be still.

(long silence. i control the tremors)

Him: Good. Still.

(i turn away. i am still. i breathe, but not too deep. he starts to snooze. he has no idea i’m still crying)

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Letters

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piefolk_tkha38tommy kha

Hi Michael, 

 

I’ve been following you on piefolk for a few months now, and I see that you reply to some fan mail. Just wanted to let you know you’re hilarious and awesome for putting it together. 

Your blog’s been more than just soft core, its posts especially like No Straight Potential that remind me how big and limitless the world is when I’m down. 
I’m 19 and attending UCLA right now and I imagine the east coast to be a wonderful place full of the hottest comedians. 

If ever I get the chance to visit new york city.. I’d love to get a picture with you (as naked as possible) 

 

Thanks for amusing me many a evenings. 
Chris W

Thanks Chris.

‘More Than Soft Core’ is going to become this year’s motto. No, wait – Turn It Yes is this year’s motto. Oh well. Maybe next year I’ll be more than soft core.

Both coasts have nice people, but if you come visit I’ll definitely show you around the comedy scene a bit, and photograph with you.  Next time capitalize PIEFOLK when you write to me, Jerk.

You’re beautiful, brother.

piefolk_tkha14

(From Tumblr)

beverlycrusher asked: So listen, I make aprons, and I’ve read your site forever and it makes me want to make you an apron. Is that a thing? Is that a weird thing? I’m not entirely certain.

It’s a thing. Paulo Raymundo already made an apron for me, and he’s a fancy designer. I would be flattered and giddy if you made an apron for me. Contact me at piefolk@gmail.com for more dialogue about this. You’re lovely!

piefolk_tkha30

vaccinium asked: Hey! You probably don’t remember me, but we spoke a few times on a website that’s now shut down; Dlist. That was not too long after I had started telling people I’m gay, and reading through your blog helped me a lot in relation to feeling less isolated in my sexuality. Also, you’re an amazing guy in general, and reading your posts just gave me this great feeling, knowing there are considerate people like you in the world 😛 Anyway, I was wondering, why have you started updating tumblr again?

Good question. I quit my temp job recently to pursue ‘being myself for a living.’ That means more tumblr posts, and social media in general.

I’m glad you’re feeling less alienated. It hurts my heart to think about gay people suffering in isolation. Don’t let other people make you feel ashamed of being yourself. Just go be yourself as hard as you can. It’s the best gift you can give – to yourself and the world.

piefolk_tkha32

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Starbucks: Part One

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Him: Let’s grab a coffee. Oh, ew, nevermind.

Me: What?

Him: It’s not Intelligensia.

Me: Oh yeah. I’ve read that name a lot. What’s Intelligensia? It sounds like a philosophy about fair labor practices, or something.

Him: Um, I don’t know about that. I just know that Intelligensia coffees are fresh roasted daily in vintage German roasters. This is a Starbucks. That’s not the same thing.

Me: It’s not, but it’s New York in February.

(long pause)

Him: Okay fine, but I’ll get a tea. I’m kind of a coffee snob.

Me: That’s becoming clear.

Him: Oh, sorry. We don’t all have blogs about progressive gay thought.

Me: Don’t apologize. Some of us are coffee snobs. That’s cool. It takes a village.

Him: What?

Me: It’s a saying. “It takes a village to raise a child.” Although I might amend that statement so say “It takes a village of gays to raise a child right.”

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Him: Ew. Gays don’t want children.

Me: Ew. Yes they do.

Him: Ew. Who told you that?

Me: Ew.

Him: Ew, what?

Me: Just ew we keep saying ew.

Him: Who told you that gays want children?

Me: I guess I told myself that.

Him: Sounds so heteronormative. No thanks.

Me: No thanks?

Him: I don’t want to live in a world where gays want to have children. Why should we emulate the behavior of people who oppress us and treat us like there’s some sort of sex hierarchy, where their sex is perfectly normal, and in fact wonderful, and our sex is shameful and dirty?

Me: That’s a good point. We shouldn’t emulate that sort of behavior. But what does that have to do with having children?

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Him: To want to raise children is to support the narrative of that sexual hierarchy. That’s how their sex is so pure and gentle, because it leads them to their precious children. Meanwhile, we keep having sex for the fun of it, because it’s all we can do, and they label us as ‘forever adolescent.’

Me: I think they’re just jealous. How’s the tea?

Him: It’s mundane. Starbucks Chai. I’ve been there, done that.

Me: So, how –

Him: It’s trite.

Me: I get it. I get that you don’t like Starbucks. I actually really like the coffee here.

Him: Ew.

Me: Ew. So, wait. Can I ask you a question?

Him: Okay.

Me: What about adopting? Doesn’t that not-support the heteronormative paradigm?

Him: Wow that’s terrible grammar.

Me: Ew.

Him: Ew what?

Me: Correcting grammar in an interesting conversation.

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Him: Oh. You think this is interesting. That’s cute. Okay. No. It doesn’t not-support the heteronormative paradigm.

Me: Why’s that?

Him: They’ve been using us for thousands of years to clean up their messes. To write their philosophies, their theater, their music, to cut their hair, to design their living spaces, to make their clothing, to act in their movies, to fight their wars, to farm their fields – they’ve been using us to clean up after them.

Me: Okay…

Him: Now they’ve gone and overpopulated the world – vanity. Their own vanity has driven them to overpopulate the world. And now they want me to pitch in and love their children and raise their children? No. I’m sorry. No thank you. I’ll keep my job as a graphic designer, and I’ll go to Fire Island in the summer. I’ll sleep with twinks and I’ll do too much blow on the weekends and I’ll get along just fine. Yep.

Me: Wow. You, uh… You have some opinions.

(pause)

Me: Can I say something? Can I make one observation?

Him: I don’t know, can you?

Me: Right. Grammar.

Him: It’s important.

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Me: Not as important as where your heart is. Hey – if you did adopt a child – wouldn’t that be like taking a child away from their influence? Wouldn’t you in fact be taking a child and raising him to be less heteronormative?

Him: I don’t know. I just don’t know if I could take the heart break. What if the child turned out straight?

Me: Best case scenario she doesn’t.

Him: She? A girl? Jesus.

Me: Maybe a girl. Why not a girl?

Him: EW.

Me: No ew. I did some research. There’s sound evidence that girls are actually just people.

Him: EW. EWEWEWEWEW!!!

Me: No ew.

Him: Yes ew.

(pause)

Him: There’s gum under this table.

(pause)

Him: Starbucks.

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Datingadvice.com

IMG_1268eryc perez de tagle

Datingadvice.com  asked me to write a piece for them.

I wanted to talk about Grindr and Gay Dating.

I’ll post more about this in a few days, or you can click the link above.

I think we could all relax a little bit about Grindr. It’s just social networking.

I have met really great friends and lovers on social media.

Calm down a little, fags.

Winky-smile emoticon.

Grindr profile

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10 Best Gay Dating Bloggers

IMG_4042adam gardiner

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Datingadvice.com has been kind enough to name me one of the 10 Best Gay Dating Bloggers! 

This is an honor. Thanks guys. You’re the best.

March 2, 2011 Piefolklex millena

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