Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How is Trevor Hoppe healthy?

What keeps me alive, thriving, and sane is quite simply my friends. I have been blessed over the many years to have a wonderful group of queer men and women (and everyone in between) in my life who have kept me sharp and critical in the face of a culture that would rather me as a gay man tell straight folks what to wear or how to style their hair (two fabulous professions, to be sure, but neither of which suit me).

I stay healthy by celebrating the mind-blowing sex I had last week over cocktails with my friends. I find pleasure in talking about sex and exploring what makes it so powerful for me, and my friends keep me sane by facilitating an open, honest discourse about our sexualities. My friends believe that sex is good, healthy, and potentially transformative -- and that shared approach is what bonds us together.

I stay healthy by hopping in a car at 11 PM on Friday nights to head to Detroit with a gaggle of gays in search of a religious experience on the dance-floor. The heavy bass moves through our bodies, keeping us moving, reminding us that we are alive and fabulous by exploding our senses through dance.

I stay healthy by resisting the push for me as a gay man to be "straight acting" and reject gay culture's most radical and destabilizing elements. If I am flamboyant or eccentrically feminine today, it is a statement against the pathologizing bullshit I put up with for years as a young queer who was urged to keep my wrist stiff and my voice monotone. Being a sissy is a politics for me, and it is that queer femininity that I share with my gay brothers that brings me joy and a passion to thrive.

In short, I stay healthy by celebrating what I believe being gay is all about: good sex, good friends, and a healthy skepticism for the status quo.

-- Trevor Hoppe
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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