My Story

hard reset: some thoughts on summer

hard reset: some thoughts on summer

Hi, hello, blogosphere! I'm back after a month long hiatus, thanks to first year grad school finals and all other chaotic things flying through life the second half of May. I'm not exactly sure what I'm back to say in this post exactly. All I know is a lot has been whirling through my head over the last month or so and I've been wanting to write again. So, here I am.

As I've seen a lot of friends I hadn't seen for a while over the last couple weeks (since OBVIOUSLY my social life also suffered in the midst of writing all my final papers and then just wanting to be a hermit for several days immediately after), people have been asking me how I've been doing and what my plans are for the summer since I don't have class. After doing that classic Minnesota (and Asian thing) where I mitigate the effect of having a free summer by saying that this will be my only class-free summer because I'll have class every summer after this one until I graduate, I've found myself at a slight loss for words. This isn't necessarily because I don't know what I want to do with this stretch of three months or because I don't have any definite goals, but it's more because I'm entering this summer in a completely different state of mind, emotions, a completely different state of everything than before, a hard reset if you will. (I've also been using the phrase "if you will" quite a bit, and I can't tell if it makes me sound pretentious or not...oh well.)

why I use queer as my identifier

why I use queer as my identifier

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way over the last two years or so, I've gradually shifted away from using the term 'gay' to describe myself and towards the term 'queer' as my new preferred self-identifier. This is something that everyone has probably started to pick up on, but for me, it was such a gradual transition that I didn't even realize it had happened until one of my good friends/mentors pointed it out while we were having lunch the other day.

We were sitting in the dining hall of my old university where she works, catching up on all the different life happenings that had transpired since the last time we had seen each other, and she mentioned there was something she wanted to ask me. She noted that I had been referring to myself and many of my friends as 'queer' rather than as 'gay,' 'lesbian,' or even just 'LGBTQ' as I had in the past and was curious about that shift in language. The question took me a little by surprise, not because it struck any particular sensitivities, but because I hadn't been fully aware that I had changed the way I referred to myself until that very moment.

getting back together

getting back together

Something that you'll know about me if you've known me for a little while is my complicated relationship with the church. You could say that things have been on-and-off for the last several years since coming out, for all the obvious reasons. Calvinism. Complementarianism. Oh, and of course, the bigger kicker, non-affirming LGBTQ theology.

Just the other night, I was sitting in my car, talking to my sister in the driveway about how for about three or four weeks straight immediately prior to me beginning what would become my 3-year hiatus from church, the head pastor felt the URGENT NEED to sneak something into the sermon about how depraved or broken or lost queer people are, by virtue of existing. It didn't really matter that the sermon had been about Peter denying Jesus three times or the Great Commission or some other completely unrelated topic. Apparently, this particular pastor happened to be massively convicted that he had to speak against queer people. Cool. Not relevant. But I guess we'll go with it.

That was the last straw essentially. At that point, it didn't even feel like a pastor reiterating the church's established beliefs on sexuality. At that point, it just felt like a cruel reminder that at this particular church, queer people were certainly NOT welcome, unless of course they were willing to entertain notions of lifelong solitude or conversion therapy.

And so, I left. 

the sacrifices we make, the losses we endure

the sacrifices we make, the losses we endure

Spring and fall are arguably the seasons when I feel the most in tune with my creative and spiritual energy, and this spring, I've been thinking quite a bit about the cycle of seasons and all the metaphorical wisdom there.

Around March and April is when spring typically starts to roll around in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring always brings to mind several different interrelated ideas. Renewal. Revival. Rebirth. Regrowth. Resurrection. And if you notice, all those words have that prefix re- attached to the front (sorry, everyone, this is where my inner linguist comes out), which tells you that it's a return to something, a going back to a previous state. But the underlying connotation there is that there was a departure from that previous state first, and in all those words, the implication is that there was some form of destruction or deterioration or death.  And as with the seasons, I think this same cycle tends to play out in the lives of queer people as we come into our own. I think many of us tend to wade through a season of sacrifice and loss prior to finding renewal and regrowth. 

yuri on ice: the queer love story that changed my life

yuri on ice: the queer love story that changed my life

I actually shivered a little from nervousness as I sat down to FINALLY write this post. This story is one that I've been wanting to write since all the way back in October, but for a long time, the ability to put it all into words had been eluding me, probably because, like I said up there, this show, this queer love story that I watched is solidly in the running with the top 5 most life changing experiences I've had. Within that top 5, I'd say that the life changing magnitude of this queer romance ranks higher than any formal church experience or anything else that's happened in a strictly "spiritual" context, which might surprise some people, especially other Christians.

And if you know me, you already know I'm talking about Yuri!!! On ICE.