Sunday, May 17, 2009

Finals Stress and Gayness

[Sorry in advance for another sentimental, not too sensical post about stress.]

At my Lev library shift today, I had a minor panic attack. I have 3 finals in a row starting Monday (morning, afternoon, then Tuesday morning), and I'm nowhere near prepared for any of them. To complicate things, I had thought I'd be done with major HoCo responsibilities, but I've learned since formal that as co-chair, your responsibilities are never done. Fortunately, Jordan, my co-chair, is so awesome. But there are still those 3 finals and study guides to write, read, and memorize, and while I won't fail (knock on wood), after turning in papers 4 days late for 2 classes, I need to do well to bring up my GPA, which is horrendous right now. Other things I have to take care of, but have pushed off until after my finals include preparing for the arrival of 10 family members for commencement, figuring out how I'm going to survive in Argentina without going totally broke, and, of course, trying to make the most of the little time I have left with my friends who are graduating (really, where did senior year go?!)

But that's all peripheral to a deeper tempest within: a near identity crisis. Am I too gay? Too flamboyant? Too "femme"? Normatively, I know I shouldn't be offended by any of those things. But here I sit boyfriend-less, scouring M4M personals and striking out on dating sites (really more like hook-up sites), and I can't help but think that if I were less "gay", I'd have a boyfriend by now. And I debate whether my flamboyance is an act or a natural expression of who I truly am. Because I can turn it off when I'm at home, and don't want to attract too much attention to myself when I'm with the uber-religious grandparents/father. But here at Harvard, I get into a zone where I'm comfortable letting out the "oh honeys" and "girlfriends" and sashaying and other "stereotypically gay" verbal and physical expressions and mannerisms. But still, those are conscious, not unconscious, decisions. My friends harmlessly tease me when I do something "gay", but I don't think they always realize that I made a conscious choice to do it, most often to get a laugh out of them.

So I can "tune it down", but should I? Would I be happier, even if it helped me get a boyfriend? Because if the only reason he consented to go out with me was because I locked away the tiniest hint of femininity behind a "neutral" facade (because I can never be truly "masculine"), I'd always be on an edge with him, constantly policing my every thought, word, and action to not let anything "gay" slip. Could I live like that? Would it be worth it? I would say no, but neither am I completely happy with the present course of action. So, what to do?

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