How To Be A Best Friend Without Knowing Everything

I was taught from a very young age to keep personal matters private. Whatever problems I had at home were to be dealt with at home. And while I often times felt isolated because of my inability to confide in others, I understood the importance of keeping things secret. I knew how judgmental people could be and how quickly they could turn on you if you exposed yourself. I knew that the secrets I told people could color their perceptions of me. And the last thing I wanted was for that to happen. I wanted people to better understand me and where I was coming from but I didn’t want them to look at me differently.

As a result, I made a conscious choice to reveal as little as possible about myself. I discovered that as long as I was entertaining and present in my relationships that people didn’t really care all that much about what was going on at home or in my head. But to be fair, it’s not like people know which types of personal questions to ask. People have a tendency to ask broad questions like, “How are you?”, “How’s your family?” Those are questions that are easy to deflect or respond simply by saying, “Good.” Perhaps if people asked me more specific questions, perhaps if it seemed like they could sense that something was bothering me, I would have answered the question truthfully. But they never did.

I don’t like bothering people with my problems or discussing things that they have no experience in. And when I do tell them things, it’s not because I’m looking for sympathy- which is something I think people don’t realize. I don’t tell people things about my childhood or teenage years to tug on their heartstrings. The last thing I want is for you to feel bad for me. And yes, what I went through was difficult and yes I still have issues to this day. But the real reason I’m telling you this is because I just need to verbalize what I’m thinking and feeling. You don’t know how important it is to sometimes have a conversation out loud and not in your head. And it’s comforting to know I can trust someone enough to tell these stories to. But if I’m telling you things, it’s not because I want you to feel bad for me. In fact, that’s the last thing I want. I just want to be able to express myself and release some of the poisonous thoughts and feelings that are festering inside.

There are two types of people I tell these stories to: confidants and those with similar life experiences. And by confidants, I’m referring to the people who are always there for me no matter what. And even then, I really only tell these people when I feel like I’m about to explode. I really don’t like bothering people with my thoughts, but I know that when I do that it isn’t a burden to these people. I know that what I’m saying won’t color their opinions of me. I know that if I tell them something horrible or traumatic that they’ll just sit with me, maybe hold my hand, and know they don’t have to say anything in return. I’ve found that there are very few people (at least in my friend circle) that have experienced similar things to me. But I do have one friend that comes to mind. I know that when my friend asks me a question about my family that she’s asking in a more perceptive way than the rest of my friends. She’s asking because she knows that there’s another answer beside just “Good.” And I know when I tell her the truth that she understands what it’s like for me to being dealing with the issue at hand. It’s a type of solidarity that no other kind of friendship can have. And it’s nice to know that there’s a person who can hear all about the shitty things in your life and not feel bad for you. Because they know it too.

People often get upset when they find out that there are things about yourself that you never told them. I think though that we need to bear our own crosses sometimes. We need to suffer on our own. And I’ve found that I don’t tell people about my struggles because I don’t want to bring those things into our friendship. If this friendship is the one part of my life that brings me joy, I don’t want to taint it with problems from the other areas of my life. I know that people think that the best friendships are the complicated ones, the ones in which two people share every secret and cry through every sad moment. I like to think that friendship doesn’t always have to be complicated. Sometimes friendship is just sitting on the steps and goofing off. And if I had a rough day, that’s usually what I need. I don’t need to tell you something that will make you sad, or put me in a sour mood. I just need you to be there with the knowledge that if I do ever need to come to you, that you’ll be there for me. Because that’s all we really need in a friend.

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Why It’s Okay To Play The Minority Card

The first person I came out to was my high school English teacher. And before I get any further into this story- no, I did not come out to her because I trusted her or looked up to her as some kind of role model. In fact, I actually hated the bitch. I came out to her because I knew it would guarantee me an “A” on my final.

You see, we were assigned a final essay that involved us writing the first chapter in the story of our lives. I felt very uninspired by the topic and by the course itself which made writing the essay incredibly frustrating. And my teacher was not the gentlest of graders- in fact, she hardly ever gave out any “A’s”. And after getting a poor grade in the class a quarter earlier, I decided to do what I had to do to guarantee a good grade in the class. So I played the gay card. I knew that my egotistically maniacal teacher would LOVE to hear that she was the first person I came out to and I knew that the ego stroke would make her grade me in a more favorable light. I mean how could she give me a poor grade? I was the first person she came out to! As far as she knew she was my savior.

Now don’t get me wrong, being gay is not at all a walk in the park. But instead of looking at me being gay as some sort of handicap I’ve learned to strategically employ my identity to get ahead in life. In classes I’ve used my homosexuality as a way of setting myself apart from classmates. I was the most well liked boy in my Women’s Studies class because I was the only gay one. I had a different story than my straight classmates, I had a certain kind of vulnerability and individuality that made me somehow more worthwhile in the class. It’s almost as if I got a free pass from her condemnation of men because I operated outside of the standard of what it means to be a man.

Where’s other places I “play the homosexuality card?” I play it when I interact with women, especially the one’s I’m just meeting. Girls have a tendency to like how sassy and effeminate I am and it helps me to land new friends. I’ve found that being gay has made it easier for me to get away with saying certain incredulous things. In fact, I’m much more likely than a straight guy to get away with calling a girl slutty or fat. It’s as if being gay is somehow a free card to say and do whatever I want. I mean what are they going to do? Punch the poor, cute gay guy? I also plan on using the homosexuality card when I audition for the Real World or Big Brother. I mean I have to play it while being gay is still seen as being trendy!

It’s my opinion that all people, majority and minority, have some way of using their social identity as leverage. Although, each group has different leveraging power. Straight, white men certainly have more opportunities in life than black, trans* women and I don’t think people should feel guilty about living their lives in a strategic manner. The issue is that we shouldn’t use our identity in a way that promotes dishonesty or any unethical behavior. I mean what I did to my teacher was certainly not the most ethical of things and I know that. But it’s something that I did. And you know what, sometimes people do bad things and that’s okay. I mean we all do unethical things at some point in our lives, as long as we’re not doing any real damage what’s the harm?

Beyond ethics, I think that our minority status impacts our own individual identities. My experiences as a gay man have shaped who I am as a person. I think a lot of my humor and creativity stems from the fact that I’m gay. Being an outcast led me to pursuing creative outlets, such as theater, which helped me find my passions and become a more artistic person. In fact, I’m kind of glad I’m not a straight guy because I’d be boring as shit. The point is- I’m gay, I’ll always be gay (unless science intervenes) and that will always play a role in what I do and how I do it.

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Here Goes Nothing: A Student Film

This summer I took my first real foray into film in my Television Field Production. I learned (in theory) how to operate a camera, set up lights and use editing software. In reality, I learned how to press a record button and convince my roommate to set up lights for me. I took this course because film has always been an interest of mine. Before, my interest in film was strictly acting related- I wanted to be the next Spencer Breslin. But as I got older my love of film shifted from acting to writing. I no longer wanted to be the one reciting the lines, I wanted to write them. So I decided to take this course with the hope that I’d be able to cultivate my writing skills while learning the fundamentals of film. Because if I want to be the next Lena Dunham (but like skinny and less annoying) I need to know how to do it all: write, direct, produce, act and find opportunities to be nude.

Here Goes Nothing is a film based on a previous work I had written which was half autobiographical half LOGO special. And by that I mean that Charlie is playing a less flamboyantly gay version of me and Taylor is playing himself. It was filmed over the course of two days in my apartment and it was a BITCH to make. My two actors (as lovely as they are) had little grasp of the dialogue and it certainly didn’t help that I had no idea how to operate a tripod. I do think that they’re performances are notable, however, and that they are better in this than Lindsay Lohan was in anything she did after 2006. I am  also painfully aware that the shot choices are not all that interesting and that the lighting is a hot mess. But I can share this with some sense of pride- I mean after spending 12+ hours in a studio editing this shit I have to at least believe it’s passable.

This film taught me that I really have no interest in making my own movies. I’m far too lazy for that. But it did remind that I do love writing and that it’s something I’d like to explore in the future. Maybe someday I’ll even be able to take a screenwriting course and write my own film (which will star Natalie Portman of course).  And if not- I can always make my own scripted sex tape!

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Why You Shouldn’t Ever Say “I Knew He’d End Up Gay”

A week or so ago I learned that I was the topic of conversation at a neighbor’s dinner. Apparently the son (who I had been “friends” with as a child and preteen) muttered: “So that Connor kid. Is he gay yet?” To provide some context, I need to say that I have not spoken to this “friend” in at least seven years. And I say “friend” in quotations because our friendship was entirely based on convenience. Our houses were within walking distance and we found ourselves playing together simply because there was nothing better to do. I also say “friend” like this because he was never much of a friend to me. He was a bully, someone who got pleasure from tormenting me because he knew I wouldn’t fight back. Essentially he was an uglier Regina George and I was Gretchen Wieners, mistreated but afraid to be excluded. It’s important to note that I really don’t think about any friendships I had before high school. Before high school, I was a very confused outcast struggling to come to terms with himself. As a result, the only people I think about are the ones who took the time to get to know me as the person I am now. Chances are if the only things we had in common were playing video games and our love of flinging dog poop at other kids that I don’t really ever think about you.

What bothered me most about this situation is the way the question was framed. While I cannot entirely know what tone it was expressed in, I can’t help but feel that it was meant to be some kind of insult. It’s almost like gay could be replaced with anything: “Oh has he dropped out of college yet?” “Is he a crack addict yet?” It’s as if he was implying that being gay was something I should have been ashamed to end up being. What got me even more agitated was the idea that he knew that I was gay before he did. As if me being gay was some big joke I hadn’t been filled in on yet.

People need to know that those of us who are gay have some idea that we are well before we come out. It’s not as if gay is written on our foreheads and everyone can see it but us. People also need to know that it takes us longer to process the whole “gay” thing because we’re the ones it actually impacts! So you know that I’m most likely gay? CONGRATULATIONS! What does that mean for you? Nothing. What does that mean for me? It means that I may be passed up or fired for my sexual orientation. It means that I won’t be able to get married in certain states and it means that I could get rejected by my family or be a victim of a hate crime. See, it’s so easy to run around saying “OMG he’s totally gay and doesn’t know it.” It wasn’t so easy for me to tell certain family members without feeling like I had somehow disappointed them (which I totally didn’t because I’m #flawless)

Coming out is a long road to self acceptance. But just because it may take some people longer than others to come to terms with it doesn’t mean that those some people are dumber or more oblivious to who they are as people. It just means that these people have a lot more factors weighing on them. So please don’t act as if you are some prophet because you guessed that I’d turn out gay…because I didn’t turn out gay. I was always gay. And you were always an asshole.

It used to bother me- the idea that my neighbors would one day have some gossipy conversation about how that Connor Doherty kid turned out being gay just as they had expected. I hated the idea of former friends’ parents saying things like “I always knew something was off about that one” or those friends making a joke about how they had used to be friends me. But then I came to a realization- 90% of the women in my neighborhood are stay at home moms with no hobbies or sex life to occupy them and their spawn are pretty much as useless as they are! And then I thought about how little some of my peers have changed since middle school, and as it turns out I’m actually kind of relieved that I’m gay. Because if I wasn’t maybe I wouldn’t have ended up so creative or been bullied so much- and if I hadn’t been bullied maybe I wouldn’t be as motivated as I am now. And if anything at least it makes me a minority in a sea of terrible heterosexual white people.

Sometimes I miss what it’s like to be a child. I miss being able to entertain myself for hours in my garden and I miss being able to go on adventures with my neighbors.  I miss the ability to be friends with everyone because there were no differences to separate us yet. But then I realize that knowing who you are is such an invaluable thing that we can only learn with age. I mean being able to play “make-believe” for hours is great, but so is looking into a mirror and seeing the reflection of a person with a lot more strength and tenacity than you thought was possible. So in conclusion, suck on that bitches (*Cue Janis Ian sound effect as she dives into a pile of girls*)

 

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10 Annoying Things People Do On Facebook

1.) Seriously share articles that are clearly satirical or blatantly untrue.

I’m not a doctor or anything pero like you sharing a picture isn’t going to save some child’s life.

2.) Comment on someone else’s wall post

Newsflash bitches, if my friend writes on my wall it means he was trying to talk to ME! If you didn’t receive an evite to this conversation please see yourself out.

3.) Not wish me a Happy Birthday on my wall.

If you’re online and we’re friends then you are socially obligated to wish me a “Happy Birthday”. If you don’t just know that I will actually begin to plot your death.

4.) Invite everyone to your Facebook events.

Okay, so here’s the deal- if we’re not friends then please DO NOT invite me to your birthday party/college event/bar mitzvah of your cousin. Chances are you don’t actually need to invite all 900 of your Facebook friends and if we haven’t spoken or seen each other in three years than chances are I don’t want to go to your party anyways.

5.) Using hashtags in a non-ironic way

People who use hashtags on Facebook are the reason why I support euthanasia.

6.) Update us on every insignificant life event

Facebook statuses are only justifiable for a few things: telling a funny joke or really interesting story, sharing exciting news or looking for suggestions. DO NOT tell us every little thing that goes on with your life. Also, if you make more than 3 statuses per day please realize that you’re annoying. And like even more annoying than I am.

7.) Tagging people in statuses or doing weird chain mail.

I REALLY don’t give a shit what you’re grateful for or who you think should play Elphaba in Wicked…but I will still most likely read it anyways.

8.) Make overly positive statuses

This may sound like the rantings of a bitter person, but being positive 24/7 is ANNOYING! Good for you that you’re happy but please stop making your life seem like it’s perfect. Congratulations your life is better than everyone else’s, go shave your back now.

9.) Sharing photos on both Instagram and Facebook

Isn’t this like overkill? I mean are your pictures really so great that you need to share them twice? Like maybe that slice of pizza was really delicious but please sit down.

10. Facebook messenger

So this isn’t technically someone people do….I just wanted a public forum to say that Facebook messenger is the fucking worst and that Mark Zuckerberg is a life ruiner.

 

 

 

 

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Pretty Little Liars Summer Finale: Mona’s Demise

If there’s anything I’ve learned from binge-watching Top Chef (stay with me here) its that the people/characters who receive more screen time are the ones most likely to get the axe. Its pretty intelligent if you think about it. Producers want the viewers to relate to the character so that they’ll be emotionally invested in their departure. If the person/character gets little screen time it most likely means that they’ll be sticking around until the producers deem it fit to reveal their backstory and connect them with the audience.

To be fair, Mona has always played a big role on Pretty Little Liars. Heck, she was the original “A”. But it’s also fair to say that she’s been on-and-off again on the series, important but not so important to be featured in every episode.

 

If there’s anything I’ve learned from television (specifically reality tv) its that producers love to give more screen time to those who are about to get the axe. It’s understandable. They need to get viewers to relate to the character or person enough that their departure is in someway sad or distressing. And those that don’t get ample screen time stick around- with the knowledge that their character will be further revealed as the series or competition progresses.

While Mona played a central role on Pretty Little Liars, it was obvious from the start of the episode that she would be the Liar biting the bullet. Not only did they give her double her usual screen time, but they introduced her mother at an extremely random and convenient time. So when 90% of the summer finale focused on Mona, I knew she was the one who was going to die. Although I do have to admit the promo of Hanna crying over the unspecified murder did plant this notion into my head. But come on- they introduced her mother for crying out loud! They pulled a Top Chef- they made us empathize with the character, gave her more screen time than the others and then axed her to stir up emotions.

Pretty Little Liars is in its 5th season. Viewers and critics alike love to comment on how little the show has actually revealed and how its managed to sustain itself without really giving the viewers any solid answers. Its fortunate for PLL, however, that viewers are willing to spend an eternity to find out who “A” is and that the show’s premise is stable enough to warrant a 6th and 7th season which have been ordered ( I can’t say the same about the sinking ship that is Revenge)

The show has come up with a rather brilliant way of holding its viewers captive: explosive finales. Every season finale has resulted in Twitter meltdowns with viewers chiming in at the insane plot reveals and plot holes. In fact, these finales are so well constructed that they make watching the whole season worth it. So with this finale, it became clear that the producers needed to do something outrageous. And what’s more outrageous than killing off an important character.

Mona was killed off because she was likable but not so likable that fans would riot if she died. To be blunt, she was no Ezra or Caleb. I mean I’m sure people are wishing Paige or Melissa had taken her place, but no one is too upset that she was the one to go.  Mona was also killed off because she was becoming a problem for the producers. The show already has one brain (Spencer) so keeping two around would speed up the timeline of the show immensely. Viewers would expect two people as brilliant as Spencer and Mona to be able to figure out the “A” mystery. And Mona knew too much for her own good- she had to die so the show could survive.

Seeing Mona’s dead body in the car, I was both relieved and disappointed. I was relieved that the her death was concrete enough that she wouldn’t have some Ali type return but I was disappointed to know that this is truly the end of the road for our brilliant mastermind. She may have been annoying and dressed way too professionally for high school, but she was smart, sassy and pretty which are all things I value immensely.

So here’s to you Mona. RIP bitch.

 

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24 Thoughts About the VMAS

1.) Did someone hold the cast of Orange is the New Black and force them to come to this travesty of an event?

2.) What the FUCK is a  Riff Raff?

3.) Dark Horse won best Female video because………….Egyptian appropriation?

4.) Why does Ariana Grande sound like she’s gargling mouth wash when she sings?

5.) “Bang Bang” is a hot mess.

6.) SHOW US YOUR TITTIES, NICKI!

7.) There are a lot of boring white women performing tonight (looking at you T-Swift)

8.) LOL Lorde won the VMA for Best Rock Video

9.) This show is literally 15 hours long.

10.) Sam Smith is so good at being sad and gay.

11.) Does Usher still come out with new music? Does Maroon 5 still deserve to exist?

12.) I’m confused about this whole Miley Cyrus homeless thing…. but yay for awareness?

13.) 5 Seconds of Summer will only have about 5 seconds of relevancy.

14.) Didn’t Chris Brown get shot at…like yesterday?

15.) Black Widow is a shitty song. That is a fact.

16.) Remember when you fell off the stage, Iggy Azalea?

17.) FINALLY QUEEN BEY HAS ARRIVED!

When she reaffirmed she takes no shit for anyone.

18.) Why wasn’t the VMAs just a Beyonce concert?

When she gave the world the "My Body Is Ready" reaction GIF they didn't know they needed.

19.) Are those Asian women in white face behind her?

Even this person is like, "Please, Beysus, whisper your Holy ways into my pale ears."

20.) FEMINISM

And of course, when she threw the gauntlet down. Shots fired y'all!

21.) It’s Beyonce’s world.. we’re all just living in it.

The Internet Just Died During The Beyonc� Performance At The VMAs

22.) Blue Ivy is so cute! Nothing like that hobbit North!

23.) Yaaaaaaaaaaas Carter family!

And let's just say, those rumors were finally addressed...

24.) Thank God this fucking show is over.

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