Category Archives: Essays

The Beauty of Ink on Skin

        She’s considered an outcast. Rejected by her peers and ignored by her parents. She does what she wants and doesn’t care. Because, after all, who is there to care anyways? Her hair is cut short with red and white dye creating a beautiful masterpiece that requires much upkeep. Her facial modifications in the form of an eyebrow and septum piercing look so natural she could have been born with them. The tattoos on her arms, hands, neck, and angles bring her skeptical looks from many people, looking at her as if she’s dirty, uneducated, and worthless.
They judge her. Do they know her? They do not. Do they care? They do not. Whne she walks into her day job at a local café, her co workers stare at her and ask her demeaning questions.
“Why do you have piercings on your face?”
“Do you ever eat? You are disgustingly skinny.”
“When was the last time you washed your hair?”
The same questions, and sometimes new ones, are asked over and over again. She tries to play them off as if she doesn’t care, and most days she doesn’t. But sometimes, enough is enough and she loses it. She loses sight of herself, who she is, and what she cares about. Sometimes, they win. But when she feels like self harming that’s when she resorts to do what they find so disgusting – body modification. She draws a beautiful piece of artwork, especially tailored to a clean spot on her body. She draws it over and over again, trying to make it perfect. She will only get her own artwork tattooed on her body. She says it makes it more meaningful, more personal.
She goes to the shop and pulls out her drawing, telling the artist this is exactly what she wants. She wants a gladiolus flower on the dent on the front of her stomach between her side and her belly button. She chose this because she didn’t have any floral type artwork on her body. But the most important reason is always be meaning behind the piece. The meaning doesn’t need to be universal, but sometimes it is. The meaning doesn’t have to be understood by other people, but sometimes it is.
The gladiolus flower is the flower that was given to gladiators after a victorious battle. It’s become a symbol of the strength of character. She sees each negative interaction with a person as a battle. A battle that she is determined to win – so she overcomes each interaction within herself, somehow creating a stronger sense of self each time. The battle with the pain of the needle, pulsating ink into her skin to create this permanent decorative composition, also makes her feel deserving of the gladiolus flower. The pain builds character. Each time, her character is broken a little in the moment, but afterwards she comes out stronger and happier than before; just like each negative comment she receives.
She will not allow others to beat her down in the long run. She will come out on top. She will prove the world and the stereotypes wrong. She will be triumphant; a gladiator.

All Are True

I am Straight.  Straight I am.  The thought of being with a girl is inconceivable.  It’s an abomination, according to the bible.  Men and women fit together sexually, two girls or two guys do not.  It’s the simplest way to live life.  All your rights handed right to you as you need and want them.  The difficulties of being “in the closet” or the possibility of being “outed” are never even on your radar because everyone assumes you are straight.  They are right.

The Bi-Sexual in me feels guilty.  Guilty that I can have the better life if I so choose.  But isn’t that one of the major points that GLBT community members make?  Is that it’s not a choice?  But if you’re part of the “B”, then it is a choice.  Why should I have to choose between men and women?  If I am able to choose men, why can’t lesbians?  Why can’t males choose females?  Why are bi-sexuals outcasts in what is supposed to be a supportive and loving community?

            I am Gay.  Am I Gay?  Yes, I couldn’t be more gay.  Thinking about being with a man truly disgusts me.  Being with someone who understands exactly how you biologically work is phenomenal.  The connection is so strong.  Sure, we might not fit together sexually, but our minds and hearts could not fit together better.  The emotional piece is so intense, so real, so genuine.  It’s refreshing and so real.  But basic human rights are denied to us.  They are wrong.

I am completely okay with gay people being out and proud, but do not show your affection in front of me.  No one wants to see the nastiness that is gay sexuality – out in the open.   The standards of society make my PDA acceptable.  But two guys or girls sucking face in public?  Never.  Ever.  Okay.

            I’m Bi-Sexual.  Or am I Confused?  I like girls.  I like boys.  I am physically attracted to both, and emotionally attracted to both.  I have crushes on both.  I am able to have relations with both.  So why, why, why, does society make it so hard to be Bi?  The GLBTQ community hates bisexuals because it’s having the “best of both worlds”.  They also say that if you can choose between boys and girls; why not choose the opposite sex, because that path is so much easier.  I’ll tell you why.  You can’t control whom you fall in love with.  I am right.  They are wrong.

I understand that the world does not want to see me display my affection for my partner in public.  So why, is it okay for the straight community to put their feelings on display for the entire world to see?      The social standard makes me feel as though I can have a relationship, I just can’t show it.

            My best friends told me last night as we were driving to softball that she is bi-sexual.  My heart sank.  My best friend…bi?  This is not okay for my social status.  If she totally comes out to the entire school people are going to think I’m gay.   And that we are…gay…together! She’s like my sister, that’s disgusting.  No more sleepovers, no more “fake flirting,” because it probably wasn’t fake to her.  Great, she’s probably actually in love with me.

            I’m in love with both of my best friends.  A girl and a boy.  Why did God do this to me?  Why can’t I just like one gender?  I wouldn’t even care if I was gay or straight just as long as I didn’t have this constant battle within myself.  But I do.  I am stuck.  He’s so nice and funny and sweet, but so is she.   I have zero gaydar, so I cannot even begin to guess if they are either straight, bi-sexual, or gay themselves.  What if something happens with one, and they blab to the other?  Then my relationships with them are forever ruined, so the possibility of anything ever occurring between myself and either one of them is out of the question.

            My best friend thinks I’m in love with him.  How do I make it perfectly clear to him that I’m not?  That all I want from him is friendship?  Just because a person is gay does not mean they want to get in the pants of every member of the opposite sex.  In the locker room after lacrosse practice, he makes a conscious decision to change in a different locker isle.  When we shower as a team, he makes a conscious effort to be as far away from me as possible.  Before I came out to him, we changed and showered next to each other.  I feel the same about him now as I did before.  Why can’t he understand that?  He needs to get off his high horse and get over himself because he’s not nearly as hot as he thinks he is.  I mean, does he want to get with every girl he sees?  Simply because he’s straight?  No, he doesn’t.  Why can’t he understand it’s the exact same situation with gay people?  It makes me so angry.

            I only told one person.  Now the entire school knows.  I didn’t think that news would spread so fast.  Now she’s going to know I told because I was the only person that she told.  I’ve seen her once today, and if looks could kill my blood would be stone cold.  I didn’t think he would say anything.  I told him not to.  But of course, I let it slip that I was “freaked out because we have sleepovers, what if she watches me change and tries something while we’re sleeping?”  I care about her.  Why did I let that slip?  Why did I tell?  Did I want popularity?  Because I’m certainly getting it.  Maybe, in the end, this won’t be such a bad thing.  I might have lost my best friend but I’ve gained so many new ones.  I’ll make sure she’s sorry for making me feel so uncomfortable.

            One of my good girl friends told me that she’s gay. And now I’m starting to have feelings for her, too.  I can’t handle three different crushes, not even crushes – LOVES.  I never ever thought of her in a romantic way before she told me.  Is this going to happen with every girl that comes out to me?  Am I going to fall for her?  Am I actually gay and not bi-sexual?  Why is this so difficult?  Why can’t I be positive of who I am?  If I knew who I was I would be in a relationship by now, just like everyone else.  What if I was normal?

            He’s now avoiding me.  Great.  My best friend in the entire world, who I always thought would be cool with it, is avoiding me.  He’s spreading it, too.  What if I told the entire school he’s sleeping with the biggest druggie in school?  Would people think he was cool then?  That he uses her to get free drugs?  I don’t think so.  So why do people think he’s cool for outing his supposed “best friend”?  It’s not funny that I’m gay.  It’s not funny or cool that he outed me, something I could have and would have done in my own time and on my own terms.  I’ll curb the rumors and set the record straight.

Note : Wrote this for a magical realism piece – it’s meant to be all over the place. Written partially from my perspective (bisexual).