It’s that time of year again. Out with the old, and in with the new attitude. I have high hopes for 2019, but I know my dreams won’t come true without some effort on my part. Next year, the change in my life will begin with changes in my life.
No more fighting with boys over their “black” talk on Grindr
That I will be asked “Can I ask one question?” in the future and know exactly what’s coming next is as certain as death and taxes. The last time, the follow-up was “Just I’m curious. Is it true that black people have huge d—ks? I never had anything with black people.” I just rolled my eyes, sighed, logged off, and went about my business.
That’s already progress. Hopefully, in 2019, I can train myself to skip the eye-rolling and the sighing because life is short enough as it is.
Start taking extended breaks from Grindr
For all of its negatives, I still think Grindr is one of the best things to happen to gay men in the past 20 years. It gives us an instant community in the cities where we live and the ones we visit, making it possible to meet other gay men without spending money and drinking ourselves into a stupor. I have more sober first-time sex in one year, thanks to Grindr, than I had in all of my pre-Grindr out years combined.
But good things come to those who know too much of a good thing can be unhealthy, not just physically but mentally, too. In 2017, I applied this approach to Facebook, and started taking months-long breaks from it. I’m now down to one post every two months, and I haven’t scrolled through my News Feed since September.
I’ve never felt happier and healthier in the social media age. Can regular Grindr purges make me feel the same way in the age of dating and hook-up apps? I’m ready to find out.
Continue to work on my masculinity bias
I’ve never been the guy to put “straight-acting” in my Grindr profile, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t secretly placed a higher premium on it than I should. I don’t consider myself to be gender fluid and probably never will, but I’ve begun to appreciate it in others. I sometimes even find it sexier than the rigid, binary alternative.
Now the next step is to make masculinity as irrelevant in my head as penis size already is.
Stop giving up on guys so quickly
I’ve been meaning to address my lack of relationship stamina ever since my mother and my best friend pointed it out to me during a mini-intervention on the way to my 28th-birthday party in 1997. That means being more tolerant of imperfection, tossing out my deal-breaker checklist, and learning to control my insecurity and jealousy – or at least not letting them keep me from trusting.
Support more LGBTQ artists, especially musicians
Several years ago, I wrote a HuffPost essay titled “Pop Music Could Use Another Decade as ‘Gay’ as the ’80s.” What I didn’t realize then is that pop music already has one. Even though they aren’t necessarily hitting the tops of the pops like Sam Smith and Frank Ocean, LGBTQ musicians are doing amazing things.
I discovered Canadian Charlotte Day Wilson via her 2016 song “Work” while binge-watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix over Christmas, and the guy I’m currently dating in Prague is an artist and drag queen who has been introducing me to other great LGBTQ and/or gender-bending artists previously unfamiliar to me. First up: Michigan native BØRNS (real name: Garrett Borns) and a guy from Seattle named Michael Hadreas who calls himself Perfume Genius.
When Karel first played me PG’s 2017 track “Die 4 You,” I was in love by the 1:50 mark. Unlike Smith, Hadreas’s image hasn’t been tweaked for mass consumption. I’m not crazy about his moniker (full disclosure: I rarely dig stage pseudonyms), but his theatrics and androgyny only enhance his sonic sex appeal.
Watch every version of A Star Is Born before Lady Gaga wins Best Actress at the 2019 Oscars
It probably won’t change my life, but it might justify my holding out hope that Glenn Close will pull an upset and win for The Wife. If she doesn’t, I want to have back-up when I say that Gaga’s take on A Star Is Born’s rising supernova isn’t better than those of her three predecessors (Janet Gaynor in 1937, Judy Garland in 1954, and Barbra Streisand in 1976), none of whom won Oscars for the role.
Gaga does a decent job, but her performance is more a triumph of singing than acting. I’ve already confirmed that she’s at least number two by screening the original with Gaynor and Fredric March, which is more rewatchable than the overpraised 2018 remake. Two down, two to go.
Keep trying to make a difference, one Queerty post at a time
You don’t write about things as potentially inflammatory as racism and homophobia without attracting detractors. I’ve made my peace with that, and I won’t let my critics deter me from sharing my point of view, no matter how uncomfortable it might make some.
I’ll try my best not to get too preachy, but in 2019, the soapbox stays.