Miscellany - Maybe '80s TV Holds the Answers to Life's Questions

“Why am I such a misfit?” That line, sung by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the little elf in the Christmas classic that I watched four million times as a child, seems to apply to my life now as a 28-year-old man. I have been feeling a little lost, doubtful — even jealous.

I have tried to become the best person that I can be. (No, I’m not in the Army. Don’t ask, don’t tell!)

Sure, I have limitations, but I feel at this point that I have earned that distinguished line for my obituary: “He was a good person.” However, the limitations that have influenced me to pursue what I felt was important in life now leave me with doubt about where and who I am today.

I’m apprehensive, wondering whether I should enter my land of toys as a “misfit” where I will thrive. Or maybe there is some other path that I am supposed to travel on.

I look back and wonder whether I ever really let my hair down and acted “crazy.” Sure, I used to drape a bath towel over my head and pretend I had long hair, but that isn’t what I’m talking about. I’ve always acted older than my age, and I wonder whether I would be more sure of myself today if I hadn’t exercised such caution. Would I have a huge group of friends? Would I be going to parties and clubs, rejecting phone numbers and advances because they weren’t my type?

When I go to functions or interact with other gay people my age, I feel as if I don’t fit in. My waist size is 35, and I wear clothes from the clearance racks. I find success in my actual work and not in salaries, cars and pencil pants. I don’t really date, and I have never had a boyfriend. I don’t go to clubs and dance to music that can send some into epileptic seizures. My Facebook page has less than 500 friends.

I educated myself as much as I could and I still do, but why? Would I be happier if I hadn’t sacrificed to learn or if I had gotten drunk all the time and acted crazy? Would people like me more? If I hadn’t inhaled every calorie in sight, would my once-thin body have stayed that way instead of ballooning into the shape of an apple? Does my size matter?

When fitting in with my age group wasn’t working out, I tried fitting in with an older crowd by tagging along with an invited friend to social functions. I once jumped in shock as a shorter, stout man tried to grope the areas they warned about in public service announcements on Sesame Street. I zoned out as discussions of politics and house renovations left me dreading home ownership.

So what is it? Why do I find myself wanting what I don’t have and what I’ve said in the past I don’t want? Why does the sight of fellow gay people in relationships make me ask myself why I am single? How do I stop those thoughts? How do I know if who I am and what I do is right?

I look back to my childhood in the ’80s for the answer. Back then, it was always time for afternoon TV after I had had lunch and played outside.

Now I sometimes wish I were He-Man, pulling out some sort of ancient sparkly sword and declaring that I, with the power of self-confidence, will protect the very core of the values and choices that I felt were necessary.

I wish that I could just stick out my stomach and, being the “bear” that I am, change people’s perceptions and judgments with some sort of magically inspired tattoo shooting from my gut. Care Bear Stare!

I wish I could relieve my doubts and calm my worries within 30 minutes (including commercial breaks, which take an eternity to a kid in his grandmother’s living room).

But I can’t. Despite medical advances and plastic surgery, I can’t transform into iconic fictional characters from my childhood. I’m here in 2009, trying to live with the choices I have made and be confident in the person I have become.

I have one life to work with. My path has had plenty of obstacles, and it may not be as pretty and paved as some, but it’s mine. I have to remind myself of that so I can put away doubt and jealousy and make the contributions to our world that I can. Otherwise I might as well have been a cartoon, entertaining and fun, but something that you eventually lose interest in.

My friends are who they are, and I have accomplished every goal that I have set. So what if I don’t text 10,000 times a month, date every week, or squeeze into size 31 jeans.

It’s OK that I don’t pretend to be a host on HGTV and grab younger men’s buttocks and make bad jokes.

I’m a person who has come from something and who will go on to somewhere. I just have to be ready to take the journey — as only I know how to take it.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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