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 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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