by: Mar Curran
Since my parents found In Our Words — yes, I’m one of the queers who was outed by this site so thanks, Nico and Patrick! — they have persisted in asking me to keep my opinions in check on the website. In particular they want me to stop mentioning masturbation. Whoops, I’m at it again!
After discussing this with Patrick Gill, we came up with multiple things I should refrain from writing about: my new legal name (future employers, please ignore my pieces), illegal activities, anything too personal that would scar me for life to hear my father repeat back to me (try to pick which quote from Queers And Cats Episode 1 he chose). My parents and I finally came to what I see as an understanding when I told them I will not stop writing, but will try to be more aware of what I put on the internet. In turn, I asked that if they didn’t like what I had to say they either stop reading my work or just keep it to themselves. My therapist is really empowering me, obviously.
Instead of making my life easier, it makes me obsess occasionally about what I should not write about. Should I skip a piece on being sexually assaulted? Would writing about being a bottom be too much? Will it be painful if I write a piece about why I hate certain songs because of childhood memories? How many mentions of the word masturbation are too many? (I’m kidding of course on this last one. There’s no such thing as too many masturbation jokes.) Here is a partial list of things I have come up with that I should refrain from writing on to preserve my own sanity as much as possible.
Things I’ve said to my sideburns to encourage them to grow.
No one needs to know which Demi Lovato songs I sing while stroking them in the bathroom mirror, hoping to one day be a bear instead of a cubtwink. In general I try to keep a lot of details about my transition private for now, as there are many people who have yet to be told anything about it.
Douchey things my close friends have said that made me cry.
While a lot of them are funny and amusing looking back, I know it makes my friends cringe to think of hurting me and my parents love to bring up any aspect of my relationships they don’t think is healthy, so this is better left untouched.
Phobias and fears I have that I worry a Jigsaw-like killer would use against me to murder me if they were revealed.
Because nothing is worse than dying one of the painful, frightening, and unrealistic ways you have nightmares over.
Things I have said about murder that make me worry I will be an innocent murder suspect someday.
How many people can I casually tell, “Oh, yeah, I love to read about serial killers and watch Law & Order: SVU fairly regularly,” before one of my friends goes missing and I’m in a lineup? My interest in criminal psychology does not make me want to murder people, but if Marilyn Manson can be blamed for Columbine then I will stay worried about this.
Music I have that police will use to label me as evil if I’m a murder suspect, or am found dead in a suspicious way.
I don’t want to give Sleater-Kinney and Beyonce a bad rap, y’all. I have to keep it on the straight and narrow for their careers.
Friends of mine I might end up marrying someday.
Do you have those friends who people are always asking you why you two aren’t married? Or people you get along so well with that if you both suddenly found each other attractive it would just make sense to be partnered? I have a few of those. The internet doesn’t need to know who they are, though.
Places I’ve thrown up.
My parents have made it very clear that the few references to being drunk I’ve made in my pieces make them think I’m an alcoholic. Not all of my vomiting is alcohol-related, I don’t do it often, and quite a few of the stories are hilarious due to relating to Ramen and hats, but I’ll save these for when I’m older, I think.
Things I think people would say about me if I was on an Intervention episode.
Related to the above, when I watch Intervention marathons I can’t help but ponder what my loved ones will say about me. Will they mention my creative spirit? My queer and trans*/genderqueer identities? My teenage depression? My love of shopping and Bloody Marys? Who knows, and hopefully we never will!
Examples of traumatic childhood moments and some parenting decisions my Mom and Dad made I don’t agree with.
I have to save something for the memoirs I’ve been telling them since I was thirteen that I was going to write! Augusten Burroughs, prepare to have my book compared to yours. Also saved for the memoirs: that time my Mom thought I was addicted to Tylenol but I just had 4 impacted wisdom teeth.
Mar Curran is a trans/queer rights activist and community organizer; he is on the boards of Video Action league, Advocate Loyola, the Queer intercollegiate Alliance, and works with GetEQUAL. As spoken word artist, he has read at each All The Writers I Know event. He studies Communications and Women’s Studies at Loyola University Chicago. Curran likes beer and cats.