Thursday, February 14, 2013
I saved this one until last because it’s a really excellent, important question. I remember the day I came out to my family like it was yesterday, and I don’t think it’ll ever really fade. The first person I told was my mom: she had picked me up from work and we were having lunch at one of those generic pub-food-with-vague-Asian-influence chain restaurants. I told her at one point in the conversation that coming out was scary because I didn’t want to be defined entirely by my sexuality, but if I remained in the closet then I was quietly condemning myself to that definition. I think about that conversation a lot, because that dynamic presents itself at least once every day. Being gay is just one small part of who I am, and I could give you a few things that loom equally large in my life - music and talking about it, for one - but it also affects every conversation I enter and every action I take, even if it’s just in a nominal way. My sexuality certainly doesn’t define me at this point, but it seeps into everything I do, and that includes writing about music.
There are obviously times when being gay rises to the forefront of my opinion about a song or artist, whether it’s Azealia Banks calling Perez Hilton a “messy faggot” or Tegan and Sara singing about where their lovers leave their makeup or the handful of Deerhunter/Atlas Sound songs I’ve mentioned in previous answers tonight. But even when my take on a piece of music is superficially unrelated to my sexuality, there are always connections lurking in the background. For instance, the fact that I do most of my writing on Tumblr tends to result in sexuality bubbling up, because my participation in this community has really affected my awareness of a variety of queer perspectives. Maybe a song reminds me of someone I went on a few dates with, who happened to be a man; it makes me want to dance, and I think about going to gay bars with my friends or convincing my boyfriend to dance close and slow with me on my bedroom floor; it makes me angry, and I think about intolerance along homophobic lines. I know there are plenty out there who would vehemently disagree, but I believe that every piece of writing, music writing included, is ultimately autobiography. The ghosts of every experience we’ve ever had are lurking behind every sentence and ducking behind every bit of punctuation. Some people try to fight this, and that’s their choice. I embrace it, and I can’t imagine writing without it. 
So, in one sentence: my sexual identity never really “comes into” my mind when I’m writing because it lives there permanently, and even when it’s being the worst tenant possible I know there’s no chance of eviction. 
Also, my apologies for not answering these questions like a normal person and forcing everyone to click on pictures. I was entertaining the hope that someone might like the answer enough to share it with other people.

I saved this one until last because it’s a really excellent, important question. I remember the day I came out to my family like it was yesterday, and I don’t think it’ll ever really fade. The first person I told was my mom: she had picked me up from work and we were having lunch at one of those generic pub-food-with-vague-Asian-influence chain restaurants. I told her at one point in the conversation that coming out was scary because I didn’t want to be defined entirely by my sexuality, but if I remained in the closet then I was quietly condemning myself to that definition. I think about that conversation a lot, because that dynamic presents itself at least once every day. Being gay is just one small part of who I am, and I could give you a few things that loom equally large in my life - music and talking about it, for one - but it also affects every conversation I enter and every action I take, even if it’s just in a nominal way. My sexuality certainly doesn’t define me at this point, but it seeps into everything I do, and that includes writing about music.

There are obviously times when being gay rises to the forefront of my opinion about a song or artist, whether it’s Azealia Banks calling Perez Hilton a “messy faggot” or Tegan and Sara singing about where their lovers leave their makeup or the handful of Deerhunter/Atlas Sound songs I’ve mentioned in previous answers tonight. But even when my take on a piece of music is superficially unrelated to my sexuality, there are always connections lurking in the background. For instance, the fact that I do most of my writing on Tumblr tends to result in sexuality bubbling up, because my participation in this community has really affected my awareness of a variety of queer perspectives. Maybe a song reminds me of someone I went on a few dates with, who happened to be a man; it makes me want to dance, and I think about going to gay bars with my friends or convincing my boyfriend to dance close and slow with me on my bedroom floor; it makes me angry, and I think about intolerance along homophobic lines. I know there are plenty out there who would vehemently disagree, but I believe that every piece of writing, music writing included, is ultimately autobiography. The ghosts of every experience we’ve ever had are lurking behind every sentence and ducking behind every bit of punctuation. Some people try to fight this, and that’s their choice. I embrace it, and I can’t imagine writing without it. 

So, in one sentence: my sexual identity never really “comes into” my mind when I’m writing because it lives there permanently, and even when it’s being the worst tenant possible I know there’s no chance of eviction. 

Also, my apologies for not answering these questions like a normal person and forcing everyone to click on pictures. I was entertaining the hope that someone might like the answer enough to share it with other people.

Notes

  1. jamiesoncox posted this