i like you the way you are. stop trying to be facebook.
Dianna Agron as Luci
Hey, internet. I’m James Johnsotn, and I write the Wicked Intervention column over at Multiversity Comics. I don’t think I’ve ever addressed that here too much, I’ve been too busy shit-posting. But it’s late and I’ve been thinking a lot about WicDiv and I don’t want to…
I’ve been reading Gillen and McKelvie’s Wicked And Divine. It’s a comic about becoming a popular artist, or at least, that’s how I read it. It’s told through a number of gods that you could see as being vaguely analogous to pop stars. I see it as an extension of my childhood reading of Anne…
As someone who never thought they’d have any kind of meaningful relationship when they underwent the process of changing their life, tonight was a reminder of just how wrong I was.
There was a time, before I started transitioning, when I sat myself down and made myself face the incredibly possible reality of having to proceed through life without friends. More than that, I made myself accept the (false) belief that I am someone undeserving of love.
I believed that accepting this as a reality somehow made me stronger, that the resistance to letting people in was a survival trait, something that I would need in order to protect myself.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more wrong about anything in my entire life.
If there’s something I’ve learned in this small handful of years where I’ve actually felt like I’m alive, it’s that you will always be able to find people you can love, and love very deeply. But the rarest kind of person is the person who will help you find a reason to love yourself.
For the longest (and sometimes still current) time, I have always found myself tearing down the progress I have built because I don’t think I’m deserving of it. When it comes to my gender identity, how I look, the things I do, everything, it all falls apart like so many dominoes. I’ll get down on myself because I will always find a reason to be convinced that I am not good enough.
I count my lucky stars every night, thanking whatever fates have decreed that I be surrounded by so many loving, caring people who do more than just “be there.” They insist on helping me rebuild and become better than I was. They help me find a reason to love myself again, and that, that is the truest, most purest form of friendship that I can think of.
Tonight, I had to say goodbye (not permanently) to someone who is that friend.
Those of you who know me know that I don’t do well with goodbyes. Separation and distance is not something I handle well. However, with this friend in particular, I wasn’t concerned.
I wasn’t concerned because I remain convinced that regardless of whatever space comes between us, whatever distance finds its way to separating us, we will always remain
friends family. Tonight, I refused to cry, because I know deep down inside that there will come another day, sometime soon, where we’ll continue on like we were never apart.
Of the few things I’ve learned in how to be a good friend, it’s that it’s never the things you give them that make them remember you, no.
It’s the love you help them find within themselves that they will always remember. They are the fingerprints left directly on your heart, reminders that someone has decided that they have found something within you to love and care about.
As long as I remember to love and care about myself enough to stop trying to shatter everything, I will always, always have a piece of these people I so desperately love to carry with me forever.
Goodbyes will never really be goodbyes, and distance will hold no sway over the feelings that will remain deep within my heart for as long as I live.
This family that I have makes life worth living.
I think that’s why it’s really difficult for girls. For me. We follow narratives and our fingertips trace the contours of the stories we love and we long to escape within the confines of our own lives. Meet your boyfriend in the pouring rain and yank down his mask and kiss him upside down. Run with your boyfriend to the front of the ferry and throw your arms out to the side and scream, “I’m king of the world!” If you are a girl in love with a boy, your possibilities are infinite.
If there is a special girl in your life, you love her as a friend. You love her as a friend, but she becomes less important to you as you grow, and you leave her behind for a boy. She might even stand next to you when you marry the boy, and she might catch the bouquet of flowers that you throw to her. You’re giving her permission to move on, move away from you. It’s a ceremony of separation.
But if you should fall in love with a girl - and loving and falling in love are two very distinct things - the first kiss is the end. You’ve all seen the movie. Or the television show. Or the after-school special, or you’ve read the book that was banned from your school’s library for containing Sexual Content. The point of your story is not to fall in love. The point of your story is to struggle. Your story begins with a lie and climaxes in a truth and ends with a kiss. In the movie of your life, forty-five minutes are devoted to you figuring out how to say that you want to kiss girls, and another half-hour is devoted to people’s objections, and maybe the last fifteen minutes is you kissing the girl. Maybe you don’t even get to kiss the girl. Maybe she tells you that she’s flattered, but she doesn’t bat for your team.
The critics swoon; it’s realistic, they say, so realistic, to depict the struggle of the modern teen, the heartbreak of irresolvable incompatibility. Isn’t that always what celebrities cite in their divorces? “Irreconciliable differences.”
And so you’re lying on the floor of your bathroom, your knees curled to your chest, or you’re on your sofa with a pint of ice cream, or you’re in bed watching your favourite sad movie on Netflix, and the collective weight of all that you consume settles on your shoulders, leans in, and whispers, “You were never meant to fall in love.”
You were never meant to fall in love. Your story ends in tears or it ends in death. Jack Twist was bludgeoned to death with a tire iron and Ennis Del Mar was left alone in his closet to dance with an empty shirt. Alby Grant found Dale Tomasson swinging by a noose in the apartment that had been their safehouse, their respite, and he sank to his knees and cradled Dale’s bare feet and he cried. The Motion Picture Association of America axed Lana Tisdel and Brandon Teena’s sex scenes, but they didn’t have a problem with the extended shot of Lana cradling Brandon’s corpse in her fragile arms and falling asleep next to his body.
Love and intimacy are ours only in death, or so it would seem.
I don’t want to die. Isn’t that a very human experience? Not wanting to die? When does anyone who looks like me get to grow old and raise grandchildren and hold her wife’s hand as the skin wrinkles, turns translucent?
Sometimes my father asks me if I’ll ever date a man. Sometimes he doesn’t ask. “You are attracted to men, and you dream about falling in love with men,” he says, as if he can will his imaginary daughter into existence merely by speaking about her. Or maybe he is just looking out for my safety.
He’s seen the movies, too.
He loves me.
He doesn’t want me to die.
and gets impostor syndrome yet again, a jessica lachenal nightmarish reality
told in infinite parts.
There’s a weird kind of fucking irony about how a whole office stands up and claps and cheers and whoops when the Fedex person picks up some stupid computer hardware to be shipped out and how suddenly there’s all this eye-averting silence when an actual good worker leaves.
I just don’t know how to continue working in an environment that cherishes these grey boxes on the desk more than the welfare of its workers. An environment that has some of the brightest technological minds that are somehow inexplicably hostile about gender.
The industry takes two steps forward and three steps back every day, and today is a day where things just got a little worse. Today, we lost someone who cared.
But we still shipped something, so I guess it’s whatever, right?
I love this city so much, and I hate that there’s no other way to exist in it without caving in.
When Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World came out, I was in one of those token depressive moods, and I went to go see it in the mid-afternoon, alone, and I was sitting there during the opening and then the blaring Beck song came on during the opening credits and I realized, you know what, it is gonna be…