Tag Archives: New York City

PRIDE. (Or, Misery, Loneliness, and Dread.)

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So, I just got back from my trip to London, and I’m very disappointed to say, it was horrible. And making everything even worse is that now I’m back in New York City and WorldPride is going on, so gays are everywhere.

…Having just read what I wrote above, I think I need to clear something up – I am gay. Not a homophobe.

Let me explain where the problems are coming from,

So, I was in London on a press trip for Pride. It was me and two other reporters from the US. Then, the big part of the trip was the flight back to New York City for pride. On the flight, the 3 of us US reporters were seated amongst 30 gay UK reporters.

The 30 UK reporters all knew each-other. The gay media scene in the UK isn’t that large since the country isn’t that large. So, all the UK guys were sassily cliqued up with who they knew, and didn’t take the time to introduce themselves to any of us.

NYC Gay Pride March 2018

To make it even worse, to celebrate Pride, the plane started playing “gay music” to celebrate. Britney, Madonna, Cher, Ariana – all singers that I really don’t give a shit about. In only a few minutes, the plane stopped functioning like a normal flight. Everyone had gotten up in the aisles to dance, mingle with their friends, and drink.

It was the stereotypical bitchy sass-fest you’d imagine with a group of gay men. The UK reporters loudly gossiped about the bad parties they had gone to, the lame gays they knew who obviously weren’t as cool as them, and bragged about the trips they had gone on (which…HELLO! We were all reporters who had gone places! Who the fuck are you bragging to exactly?)

One of the US reporters found a UK reporter he knew, and gleefully jumped up and ran over to his group to join in on the “fun.” And throughout the entire 8-hour flight – a flight that was supposed to be celebrating pride, equality, and the LGBTQ siblinghood – How many of those reporters do you think ever took the time to introduce themselves to me, or ask who I was… The answer is zero. 

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And that’s the problem with PRIDE in general.  PRIDE has nothing to do with Pride. PRIDE has nothing to do with friendship. PRIDE has nothing to do with equality.

PRIDE is a status symbol. Gays wearing a rainbow shirt is like a straight guy wearing a Patriots jersey. It’s social signaling, saying “I’m on the team.” Attending PRIDE parties is like attending a football game, it’s for fun. Nothing more. There is no moral high ground to PRIDE.

It’s a bunch of people dressing up and partaking in the gay societal norms, snapcahtting, instagramming, and tweeting all along the way…for one reason alone. To say, “I WAS HERE. I DID THIS. I’M COOL. I’M TRENDY. I’M PART OF THIS.” 

New York City Gay Pride Parade 2015

When we landed, they put all the reporters in a bus and took us into Manhattan. In the bus, everyone howled and raved about the flight…

“Did you see….OMG they were so smashed, I was like, Gurl!”

“OMG! It was so nuts. I literally can’t believe it!”

“And OMG…. was like, hogging so much aisle space when he was dancing, I was like, honey, this a cramped space, you need to be more aware, like OMG, right?”

And so on…

All the reporters who had gotten sloppy drunk, were now thrilled to have something new to talk about. AND OF COURSE, when retelling the stories of the sloppiest people, they never included themselves. It was always someone else who was the sloppiest. Someone else who didn’t partake the way they should have, someone else who just didn’t get “how it goes.”

I felt like I was back in high school. I couldn’t believe grown adults were acting like children.

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The band PWR BTTM has a song that says, “When you are queer, you are always 19…” And I think that’s true. It seems like the gays are always so immensely immature. Like they’re always trying to be the popular girl they never got to be when they were young. All that hiding and lying they had to do in their youth explodes when they finally come out as adults, and then, they live forever, trying to be the Regina George they couldn’t be when they had the chance.

I was supposed to cover WorldPride with that group of reporters. In fact, we got put up in a very fancy hotel. And were given swag bags that had some very valuable things inside (like gift cards loaded with $100).

But I just couldn’t handle it. 

LA Pride Parade 2018 (Photo by Chris Tuite)

If any of you have read this blog before, you know that growing up, I was treated like shit. And to spend a weekend surrounded by people like this… people who would gleefully throw someone under the bus if they knew it would give them publicity… I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I was on the verge of crying when I walked into the hotel room. It was gorgeous, on the 16th floor, in downtown Manhattan. The entire room was just stunning, with a bathroom anyone would kill to take even one shower in. I looked through my swag bag… and saw all the expensive things inside. I felt horrible for giving all of this up. The amount of money that must have spent on it made me feel sick, for being privileged enough to just leave it all there.

But then I thought about having to stay there the whole weekend. Stay there with those people. Stay there listening to non-stop gossip about people I didn’t even know. Nonstop social media obsession, snapping pictures of every moment to be seen by their adoring “fans” online. Could I really do it?

The answer was no. When everyone went up to their rooms, I quietly checked out and left.

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And now, here I am. Alone.

This was going to be my first PIRDE. But instead, I’m going hide from it. It’s hard knowing that everyone can find such pleasure and happiness in things that don’t mean anything to me. And it’s even worse that since I’m gay, everyone thinks I’m SUPPOSED to love this.   Everyone talks to me like this is the fucking super bowl for gay people, and want to know how excited I am.

But I’m not. In fact, I hate it. I hate that everyone gets to have fun except me. I hate that once again I’m on the sidelines. I hate that my personality has once again not clicked with yet another group of people. I hate that when you’re gay, society tries to box you in, forcing you to only assimilate with other LGBTQ people. Because I don’t feel that they are my people.

At no point during that flight did i ever feel represented. At no point did I ever feel welcomed. At no point did I ever feel included. Or even wanted. The reality is that gay people are just like straight people – We’re diverse. There is no one lifestyle that we like. So, to assume that all gays want to wear rainbows, listen to Madonna, and get smashed as they gossip like 1950’s housewives is bullshit. And what’s even shittier is that the gays willingly jump into this lifestyle like there’s no other way to live.

 

So, from me to the world, I kindly say, fuck all of you.

~ The Dark Horse

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Anxiety, My Dear Friend.

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So, as I’ve stated before, I’m living in New York City and have somehow stumbled into the beginnings of a writing career…Something I never thought would happen.

It’s sort of like the beginning to every cheesy chick flick ever.

For real…

Chick Flicks that I know of where the lead character is a writer/works for a magazine: 13 Going on 30, The Devil Wears Prada, You’ve Got Mail, Ugly Betty, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Sex and the City, Morning Glory….. The list goes on.  Anyways, moving on….

The point is, things are…going well.  People may even think I have talent. A recent article I wrote got picked up by Newsweek, The Miami Herald, Philly Magazine, Houston Chronicle, Yahoo News, MSN, Fox News, and tons of local CBS and FOX stations…it even aired on the news, like, on TV! 

On top of that, I was sent on assignment to Mexico early this month, and have a trip to London in June.

IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING? 

real?

 

If you need some context as to how crazy this is, go back and read my posts from 2013, 2014, 2015, even 2016! I was agoraphobic. I was working in retail. I felt like the ugliest failure that ever existed. I always felt like I had talent. But I also felt like nobody would ever want to hear my voice.

I felt that I was an eternal failure destined to be the outcast until I died.

Ok look…I’m still the outcast and probably always will be. BUT, I’m an outcast who is becoming successful.  And that’s worth something, right? 

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But, despite the growing success, I still feel anxious. And I’m starting to understand that the feelings of anxiety may never go away. I still have moments where I go “I really hope they like this article, cuz I don’t want to lose my job” or “I wonder if I’m going to lose my job someday because of the way writing careers are going…”

But, such is life in this industry.

Triumph normally requires risk. If I wanted career security, there are a lot of boring jobs I could have. I could go back to working for a phone company…cuz that was fun….(rolls eyes so hard they hurt)

 

But with accepting my anxiety, it also seems to help. Whereas I used to be convinced my life was falling apart, now I have moments where I get anxious and I feel the dread and fear that comes along with it. Then, I take a breath and remind myself that I’ve already been through hell. I’ve already felt what it’s like to have nothing. I’ve already been in a situation where I was having sex for money. I’ve already been completely alone.

I’ve already lived the life that I fear I’ll have to live if everything falls apart.

So what am I fearing?  I survived it once, I could do it again.


 

But I don’t think I’ll have to.

I have a feeling…

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A good feeling.

A feeling that things are working out. I think maybe it’s a mixture of hope and confidence…two things I’ve lacked in the past. The more stuff I get published, the more people want my writing, and the more people want my writing, the more secure I feel in my writing, which makes my writing better, which makes more people want it, which…

you get what I’m saying. It’s a positive feedback loop. 

 

So, I guess the point is this – I felt that I was a failure FOR YEARS.

Again, go ahead and read this blog if you don’t believe me. I spent way too much time hating myself. I spent way too much time believing others that I was worthless. I spent too much of my life not living my life.

And while I still feel anxious at times, I’m not letting it control me. Anxiety is a fucking joke – it’s a cunt that will try everything it can to fuck you over. Don’t listen to that bitch.

If you need help because you’re feeling depressed, anxious, have PTSD, or any other issue – call your local lifeline (here is a list of all the crisis lines around the world)

And whatever you do.  Don’t give up. You’re better than that.

Rock this shit out y’all! 

nick

(Who is this? Is this Nickleback or something?  Hoobastank perhaps? Good lord…)

 

~ The Dark Horse

(No this wasn’t proofread. #SozBro!)

 

 

 

I’m Getting Paid to go to Mexico!

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So, major, major things are happening! 

I moved to NYC recently to start interning, and since moving here, everything is just booming! One of my internships is at a travel magazine. In February I started blogging for them, which turned into writing articles for the website, and I helped edit the last issue, which means my name got printed in the magazine’s Masthead…That’s right, my name…..IN PRINTIN A MAGAZINE! (Can I officially start referring to myself as writer now?  Have I “made it” ? )

And now, I’m working on my first feature article to get published in the print magazine, AND I just found out I’m taking what’s called a press trip to Mexico.

I never knew what a press trip was.

I never knew how much money could be spent by companies. It’s literally mind-boggling.  As someone who has spent my entire life bored out of my mind working in restaurants and retail, working 9 hour days only to have a 30 minute break, just to make 8 dollars an hour…. It’s seriously fucking crazy. Our magazine is sent gifts ALL THE TIME by places and companies wanting us to write about them.

And a press trip is where a tourism company, hotel, or airline, PAYS REPORTERS TO TRAVEL THERE in exchange for having an article written about it.

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So….

I get to travel.

AND GET PAID. 

Is this even real life?

 

People around the world, listen to me. Hard work actually does pay off. I spent so many years thinking I’d be bored and miserable forever. Thinking I wasn’t good enough for a job I loved. Thinking I wasn’t smart enough to make my dreams come true.

I didn’t start grad school until I was 27. I won’t walk and receive my diploma from Harvard until I’m 30.

And up until I got back in school, my life was a raging shitshow (as any of you will know if you’ve been reading my blog before then)

I was a late bloomer. Depression, loneliness, anxiety, self-doubt, and self-hatred controlled my life since I was 10 years old.

…since my life went to hell.

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But you know what, I didn’t give up.  And if any of you out there feel like you’re the outcast, or feel hated, or even if you hate yourself – It can get better. 

Hope is real. And hope can get you through.

And I know it’s hard. I fully understand that believing in yourself, when all you hear your entire life is how shitty you are, is basically fucking impossible. It takes so much strength. So much hardship. So much perseverance.

But it’s so worth it.

You deserve happiness. You deserve success. You deserve it all.

 

So the next time some bitch comes along and tries to put you down, rock some hardcore Miranda Priestly realness…

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And remember…

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You’re better than them.  You always were.

 

Travel on my friends,

The Dark Horse

 

(This was written out of passion, not logic! So, no, this wasn’t proofread)

Taking Time for Yourself is Important

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So, I’ve been here in New York City for about a month and a half now, and it has been one hell of a whirlwind.

Working on my thesis, and interning in TV, and writing for a magazine, and editing for a literary journal – It has been non-fucking-stop. And I love it. I absolutely love how busy I am and how much fun the work I do is, and how there is potential for my future now.

It’s amazing. It’s like I’m finally getting the things I want. My hard work is paying off!

 

However, having said that…

I’m definitely also working a little too hard. I’m working 7 days a week. (I’m even feeling a little guilty for taking a few minutes to write this blog post rather than do editing for the literary journal). And that’s a problem. 

I’m starting to feel the effects of burn-out.

sleep

 

I wake up in the morning, even after a 7-ish hour sleep, and I can feel that I’m only recharged to maybe 80%. I can feel the sluggishness setting in. I can feel the bags under my eyes forming. The dreaming and yearning to go home for a little vacation where I drink grandma’s ice tea and play Minecraft and ride my bike. I can feel the wanting a break. A rest…

 

AND THEN I WAS WALKING THROUGH CENTRAL PARK ON MY WAY HOME FROM WORK ONE DAY…

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And in Central Park, you can dedicate park benches and write little messages to loved ones, remembrances to deceased loved ones, and all that general plaque type stuff that you see on benches around the world.

And for some reason, I’m walking passed this one bench, and I happened to look at it, and it said,

“If you could just learn to slow down…”

 

And then my name was written right after that.

No joke.

Not kidding. 

I stared at the bench. I’m not one to believe in secret meanings or the universe sending me messages, but something about this.  It was like exactly what I needed to hear at the exactly the right time. It was so surreal.

 

So now, It’s Sunday, and I’m going to work…but I’m also going to take breaks. I’m taking some time to write this blog post, because I love my blog and it makes me happy to write it! I’m also going to go for a little walk at some point this afternoon too.

In short, I’m just going to slow down a little bit. 

Now, I was going to add a GIF into this post about writing. Something to show that I was taking time to write or whatever… and then I found all these horrendous Bradly Cooper GIFS that are just tragic, and make me laugh.  So, for your pleasure, I think I’ll showcase some wonderfully bad Bradly Cooper typing GIFS.

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Ok, so here’s Bradly in some sort of writing rainfall.  WHAT IS THIS EVEN FROM? Is this from that movie where he plagiarizes everything from Shakespeare or something? Wasn’t he in some movie called The Words? Or something like that?

 

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FULL BLOWN LITERARY HURRICANE! 

This is the type of shit that could life Dorothy’s house right up out of Kansas.

 

Alright, enough Bradley bashing. Remember to work hard, but to also take time for yourself. Your career is only one component of your life and only one component of happiness. Remember your health and your social life are important too!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

Living The Dream… And It’s Truly Surreal

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So, I’m here in New York City, and everything has spiraled out of control into the best thing ever. I’m here because I recently got an internship in television. Then, last week, I was published for the first time. Now, I also have a paid position blogging for a travel magazine. I had no idea when I started blogging back in 2014, desperate to reach out to others because of my depression and anxiety…that I would ever get a paid blogging job.

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE MY LIFE WENT? 

WHO IS THIS NEW GUY I SEE IN THE MIRROR? THE ONE WHO IS MORE CONFIDENT TAHN I EVER WOULD HAVE IMAGINED? 

(touches face with hand) IS MY SKIN EVEN LOOKING BETTER? 

People of the world, I ask you this…

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

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You always see the storylines in movies and books that tell you hard work pays off in the end.  But you never actually believe it right? (At least I didn’t). I always thought that happiness was something other people could obtain. Happiness wasn’t ever meant for me. It seemed like no matter what I did, everything would blow up all around me all the time.

I kept telling myself, “I am working hard, right? Is this all in my head? Is every other human trying even harder? Am I lazy and undeserving and just don’t know it?”

But I guess it goes like this: A train weighs about 18,000 tons.

It takes a lot of energy to make 18,000 tons move. It isn’t like the flick of a pinky can make it happen. And that’s what I was. I was a stopped train. I was a chicken running around with my head cut off. I was desperate, lonely, in pain, had no connections, was working in retail (and was doing a horrible job because I was bored to death everyday) so I wasn’t exactly building my resume.

And then I started working towards making my life better. 

Started from the bottom. Got back into school, working at Whole Foods to pay rent.

Then, unpaid internships led to…more unpaid internships…which led to really poorly paid internships…

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The engines on the train were heating up, but because the train wasn’t moving, I considered myself a failure. I didn’t notice the rumbling sounds of power underneath my feet. I didn’t see the steam rising from beneath the bowels.

Then those poorly paid internships led to well paid internships, and I started putting on events at school, and then suddenly I’m here in New York City, and it seems like possibility is everywhere. Suddenly the world doesn’t seem like a place that will always oppress me and keep me down. (Well, they can try, but fuck them.)

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I’m on a train chugging full speed ahead, and now I’m looking out the windows as the world swooshes by, wondering how the fuck I made all this happen.

Never ever stop believing in yourselves.

We got this!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

New York, I Have Arrived!

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Somehow. Someway….

It happened.

I’ve finally arrived.

I’m in the land of Joan Didion, Robert De Nero, and Anna Wintour.

And It’s so insanely exciting and cool and terrifying and thrilling and wonderful and stressful.

I mean, people, listen to me, I am currently writing in a cafe in Manhattan, surrounded by brownstones with iron fire escapes, and the sounds of honking and all the rest of those very New Yorkish things.

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And obviously that sensory overload is good and bad. Sensory overload can lead to anxiety. And I’ll be honest, I’m getting a tad of it.

It seems like too much has gone right. I mean, who lands a good job in New York, finds an amazing apartment at a great price in a wonderful neighborhood, has good roommates, and…. is actually happy?

Does anyone else out there feel like happiness is one of those things that other people get, but the we don’t?

It’s like I’m waiting for the floor to drop at any moment.

Like, maybe this job will fall through. Or the owner of the apartment will sell, and I’ll have to move….or worse, what if I can’t find a place afterwards? And then I have to leave because the stress has caused me to have a mental breakdown and lose my job? It seems like I’m so used to pain and misery that I no longer have the ability to even believe that a good life exists.

It seems that whenever something good starts to happen, a hurricane alarm goes off deep within me. Some old sailor starts screaming, “Batten down the hatches!” I start to brace for the bad to begin again.

perfectstorm

AND YOU KNOW WHAT?

THAT FUCKING SUCKS AND IS UNFAIR.

 

And you know what else? I’m really fucking over it. Done. (Or for all you eighteen-year-olds out there, I’m #done).

 

It isn’t fair that I have to live a life convinced that I don’t deserve good things. Or think that I’ll never be happy.

Fuck that. 

And Fuck all the people out there who have conditioned me to be this way. 

Fuck all the kids from my grade school who called me faggot.

Fuck all the kids in high school who spat on me, and who told me they’d beat me up if they ever saw me in the bathroom.

Fuck the teachers who stood and did nothing.

But double fuck the teachers who made comments themselves. I’m looking at you freshman year health teacher who told me I’ll die of AIDS simply for being gay.

And also to my old German teacher who was openly homophobic. 

Not to mention EVERY SINGLE religion teacher I ever had, who told me I would go to hell. 

Fuck my old boss at Aeropostale who made fun of me for having depression and anxiety. Im sorry that you’re a grown 37-year-old woman who’s life has amounted to working in a bumfuck mall in a cornfield in Ohio selling cheap clothing to little girls that fall apart after a month. 

Fuck everyone in Ohio who discouraged me from dreaming big. Who told me the world would eat me alive. Who told me I’d never be good enough. Who told me I was stupid. Who told me I was ugly. 

FUCK ALL OF YOU. 

CUZ GUESS WHAT MOTHERFUCKERS, 

I live in Manhattan now. And I just got a job in television. And I’m finishing up my Master’s where I’m putting together a book full of my essays. 

So, here’s my cock. suck it.

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Werk.

 

I’m ready to embrace a life of meaning. A life where maybe I can even help change other people’s lives. A life where I’m happy and fulfilled. And I’m done even remembering what a bunch of boondock Ohioans tried telling me about life.

~ The Dark Horse