Aug 11, 2014


The view around 17:00 --- the view is downhill, and the weather is also downhill, since four weeks

Aug 3, 2014

Coming out and of age in China (2) (reblogged)

Here's the second part of a wonderful story by Massoud Hayoun, an Arab-American who went to China at the age of 19 to learn Mandarin. The piece---originally published by Gawker---is here reblogged with the permission of the author. The first part sits under this link. All illustrations are by the Chinese artist Jin Linfu.

My sexuality was transgressive, once upon a time. In China. Exquisitely so, because it showed itself only under the cover of darkness, hushed in back rooms, crammed into what was the only gay bar in Beijing (not for prostitutes) at the time and in Chinese—a language I could speak in without fully hearing myself. A language I'd speak the truth in, however filthy. A language my family, my God, my countries would never understand.

In that sense, Chinese is, perhaps more than any other, my mother tongue. I can conjure the heart arrhythmia of that era—saying things I never would have said in English, in what has now become my most familiar—and preferred—of foreign languages.

Nowadays in New York, I've taken an apartment in Chinatown, on the off chance I'll have some sensory experience that recalls what I only know how to refer to as my original sin, that year of study abroad in China. That sin being the excitement of being wanted for the first time, by other men. To me, those were the moments where I suddenly started to have worth.

That is, before I realized that being wanted sexually is, in this life, the height of intimacy for me. I don't say that with much disdain. It's mostly a choice, of late. With all the men I've slept with since China, the sights, sounds and smells of being momentarily wanted have become too familiar. Grotesque. Mediocre. If I stay with the same man for too long—sometimes more than an hour, I suddenly water down into a puddle of inauthenticity.

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