Gay Problems

gay relationships, same-sex relationships, relationship advice

Being gay and in a relationship isn’t easy in this city, where, in spire of the fact that segments of the larger population are accepting  of same-sex partnerships as part of the norm, some of us  prefer to “grow together” as couples in relative privacy. As in: locked away in a room or a lodging house, afraid to be found out.

My partner and I are discreet. We don’t ever talk about “us” to our friends. We pretend to lead separate, single lives, and we meet occasionally in secret–once, or twice every other week at home or somewhere chary. We bond, fight, laugh, gorge on gossip rags, and dissect our friends’ Facebook status updates like ladies who tea.

I understand same-sex relationships collapse largely because one partner prefers to keep the arrangement hush hush (in the closet). But we survive–we cope. Or we try to. We cook and we clean after ourselves but I worry all the same. I do not want to stay discreet forever, it’s not healthy and it’s not a lifestyle I espouse; I’ve been open about relationships, and my sexuality in particular, for as long as I can remember.

I just want to kiss and cuddle him in public I guess, wave him around like a flag, and the throng can stare for as long as they’d like. There is nothing strange or unbecoming when two men (two consulting adults mind you) elect to express their love for each other publicly.

Please make no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Love is love.

T.

 

The Virtue of Saying Little

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I recently reactivated my Facebook profile following a month-long “cleanse”. I felt instantly overwhelmed by the familiar; photographs of young mothers and their children, manicured lawns, and women posing artfully before mirrors, their heads tilted on one side, hands bent at the hips.

A caption over one photograph told this unsuspecting reader to “fight the good fight! Never give up”

Whatever she said.

***

Once upon a terrible valentine, I was an aggressive Facebook user. A troll who bombarded friends and non-friends with updates, quotations from the holy book, righteous lecturing, the works. I wrote very frequently about politics, about fashion, sex, about issues that concerned the national interest, and I pretended to revel at the immediacy of my own delusions. But deep inside I was playing a character (even when I wasn’t aware of it), a persona, that of a well-to-do provincial, who knew it all, and seen it all. Who read Plato and Jean Bodin, embraced the full spectrum of post-modern political philosophy and proffered poorly constructed arguments to an audience who didn’t care.

I gave up when the likes began to dwindle. My dear, it was discouraging.

So I found Instagram and began to communicate using only photographs, a medium that was foreign to me (until now). Pictures photoshopped and doctored to a T. Innocent “selfies”, evolved into photographs of street peddlers, urchins in funky, neon hand-me-downs frolicking about and red-tinged stills of drug-saddled sex workers earning a living in alleyways all over town.

I was telling a story in pictures.

And while I was limited to images, and constricted to a few pixels, I found it immensely fascinating…that I could convey an idea this way. That I could express so much, and say so little (or nothing at all) liberated me in some way: in such that my art, my photographs could more or less, speak for itself.

***

So Facebook.

I posted an entry today. A photograph of half my face. I posted it without much ado, without a caption. 11 likes and counting. A woman wrote a comment complimenting my eyes. I failed to thank her. Not that I had to.

Sex Scandal

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“Can you believe it? They did it in their uniform”

Said the lady. Her friend, halfway through his cigarette, coifed like men his age, offered an alternative, something more elaborate…a video of two (presumed) college students, naked, frolicking in a bed, rolling around like circus animals, panties and boxer shorts sprawled on the cheap linoleum. The room, according to the man, looked like an altar after a ritual. Messy and post-coital.

It was a sex scandal.

Plenty of them. Hordes of barely there millennials eager to record every passing conquest. Uploaded every second, every hour, on sites like RedTube, fed to an audience of impressionable adolescents. And when did sex  ever lose its sacredness, its mystique? When did we become voyeurs, privy to a party we have no business  being in… when did we become witless animals reduced to satisfy a singular craving: our concupiscence.

I don’t mean to proselytize, but news of a new scandal is never good (and I run into these conversations all the time, in alleyways at night, in red-tinged hallways). The “fuck of the week” is not something I enjoy talking about, not only because it represents an obvious moral decay, rather the consequences that beset these kids are far too great, far too painful to fathom, some of them are irreversible in fact. Careers  are ruined, someone’s hopes dashed, obliterated. But what’s troubling me is that most of them cluelessly consent to this.

I don’t know if they’re stupid, or misguided. Maybe misguided.

–Artwork by Arthel Tagnipez, Private Collection

On Poetry

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I like to write poetry. I enjoy the process immensely. Waking up to a good day, heady, and full of ideas. It takes a while to put pen to paper, to paint images with words, like a master portraitist. But I get there eventually with a little rhyme and rhythm; pulsating beats, a pack of rabid metronomes I can only hear but I cannot see.

My photographs complement my poetry. I know when I started I was more than a little straightforward…I presented images as is, real and unfiltered…but lately I let myself loose, I let myself experiment with colors and subtle variations on subjects previously explored. For one, I let the laws of poetry take precedence over photographic technique. This is why my present work lends itself a certain je ne sais quoi, slowly morphing into abstraction, into the realm of pure expression.

Honestly, my poems are dark, on edge; my personae are troubled individuals meting out their grievances in rhyme, or in some distant language only they can understand. Poetry is an exercise in patience, futility even, or poetry can mean absolutely nothing (depending on context)…poetry should be felt, the words should be sung in the privacy of one’s mind, played out, like an instrument of music.

I write from a place far away, many try to uncover the symbols and the meanings embedded deep within my compositions, some dismiss them as banal, some are quick to dismiss my works as reflections of my troubled mental state. But I pay these people no mind, I never do.

Poetry isn’t that simple.

Artwork by Dyck Cediño