A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE: Notes of an Antiquated Queen
By Mary Khon
How were the festivities? Did you party till the cock crowed at least three times? I hope so because otherwise I would be very disappointed in all of you, my queer ones!
Now that Pride Month is over, it is time to head to the beach and sunbathe our bruised bodies. And no excuses, queeridos! Because I can sense many of you don’t want to.
That’s right, dhalings. Many of you will head off to the beach but will refuse to display your beautiful brown bodies to the world. Why? Because even though, deep within, you do want to expose your body to the warm and welcoming caresses of el señor sun, you also know, very deep within, you may not feel completely adequate with the physical frame you have. On top of that the trolls will be out criticizing every inch of your beautiful brown physique.
I know this because I see the commercials everyday. I see the photos and the magazine headlines: “How to be Beach Ready in 30 Days or Less,” or “The Beach Body You Always Wanted,” or “Your Body: Fit, Tone and Ready to for the Beach” I mean, the amount of daily manipulate garbage being sold to us about how we should look and why is overwhelming. And while at my age I really do not give, how shall I say it?” Oh, yes, me vale madre, I know many of you, especially young brown gay people, are in fact very susceptible to such idiotic manipulations. I know this because I was young and I worried about the smallest and most insignificant thing about my appearance and, of course my body. I remember cancelling plans just because my hair did not “look good” and I knew people would be criticizing me for such atrocity. If I care so much about my hair, imagine the pressure I put on myself when it came to my body.
Oh, the suffering! I always thought I was too dark, not too dark, too fat, too skinny, too short, too wimpy, not funny enough, not cool enough, not socially apt enough, and on, and on, and on. So, if I already had those insecurities and then you add the hundreds of messages about how your body supposed to look in order to have the “perfect physique” in order to be the guy that all boys and girls want to be with, imagine my trials and tribulations.
I share all these, queeridos, because it is my hope, if you are starting to feel pressure or staring to feel inadequate, or starting to feel like you don’t belong, or to believe that your body isn’t perfect, that you take a step back and realize that no one, no one can decide what a perfect body or an attractive body is. The time has come to stop believing the bullshit corporations constantly try to sell us. We must not allow Hollywood to influence our way of being and thinking. Besides, Hollywood’s ideal of the attractive is the tall, lean, muscled white guy. We are the opposite. We are the tall, short, muscled, skinny, queer body that has personality, appeal, and heart. We, the people of bronze bodies have nothing to do with the Hollywood look and magazine tabloid. We are different. We come in different shapes and sizes. We speak in a different language and walk at a different rhythm. For those reasons alone, we should be very proud of how we are, how we look, and how we feel.
Ignore the tabloids and the “perfect bodies” propaganda. We don’t need that crap to be happy and to be liked. All we need is ourselves, with our own brown bodies and unique features. We don’t need to be skinnier, or taller, or lighter or anything corporate America is trying to sell us by making feel insecure. We are who we are and what we are is exactly how we should be.
This month, being the hottest month of the year, walk proudly on the streets, at the park, and on the beach. Show your body just as it is, with all its unique features and its glorious brown color. Trust me, now that I’m older, I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that having the perfect hair is not important at all. That being shorter is not an imperfection but a uniqueness about who I am. That being skinny or fat or having a rounded face doesn’t mean I’m defected, on the contrary, it means I am distinctive. There is no one like me. So, go! Be proud and be queer. And have fun exposing your brown beautiful body!