By: Mary Khon

Hello Queeridos!

I started my last month’s column by saying that I hoped you were going to be reading my words out the “shelter-in-place” situation. Boy, was I wrong. Even before the month of May started, the governor had already announced the continuation of the “shelter-in-place,” So, I am not going to start this column hoping that we are out of such situation, in reality, I don’t think we will be out of it for a few more months. So welcome to June!

This is our PRIDE MONTH, but we have no public celebrations and parades so our PRIDE MONTH feels like any other month. And in reality, every since the whole “shelter-in-place” there has been no months, no weeks, no days, just a continues haze of being awake and being asleep.

It is very challenging to think positive and stay positive during this pandemic. Yet, we all are trying our best to make the best of this situation, I’m sure of it. It is also very hard to stay calm, finding serenity, and inner peace when a lot of people are practicing irresponsible behavior. Especially when you have protestors (actually white terrorists) in Michigan and protestors (actually whiny spoiled white people) in California. It is devastating to go through the day, mostly feeling anger and hopelessness because we have no jobs, no money, and no stability in our lives.

And yet, among all this darkness there are people who are working hard at keeping us entertained, happy, and positive. And they do it by creating silly videos, inspirational videos, comedic videos, meditation videos, exercise videos, yoga videos, singing challenge videos, and so much more.

I have been amazed at seeing the so many different challenge videos, especially within our LGBTQ and Queer People of Color (QPOC) communities. There is the “Don’t Rush Black Gay Love Edition” video, about gay black couples, first wearing sweatpants or jeans and then wearing elegant suits. There is also a video out there about trans men who are first dress in casual clothing and then just wearing underwear and looking super sexy and super sensual, and… OMG! Gorgeous. And how about the video of the “makeup brush” challenge where you see drag queens first out of drag and then totally in drag, or just gay men first without make up and then with makeup on. Or the “Don’t Rush Challenge Black Gay Dads Edition,” where you first see the dads with children doing a simple mundane activity and then suddenly they are all dressed up to the max! Or the “Don’t Rush” challenge with single lesbians of color, or the “Don’t Rush Desi Drag Edition” video and the “Don’t Rush Fat Queer Edition” video. I mean, there are so many videos out there that it’s just magical, exciting, and uplifting.

Close to where I live, a gay Latino couple have been challenging their Facebook friends and Instagram followers to re-create Latino art pieces using household items, similar to the Getty Museum Challenge. They have also challenged everyone to create a “Corazon” using different household items. I admit I accepted both challenges and participated. Then, there are the people who simply create funny, uplifting videos based on the pandemic we are experiences, and yes, I have created a couple of those videos myself.

My point is that among all these trials and tribulations, many of us are rising to the occasion, trying to do our best to continue with our daily lives. We are in a strange, normal reality at the moment and we are never going to go back to our “normal lives.” We are going back to a life without the pandemic but it is going to be a “new normal,” where we would have to be more careful about many things. For example, many educational institutions are planning to go full online for the fall semester (Aug-June) of this year, not allowing students and/or employees to step foot on campus until spring 2021. The cinema and the theatre won’t be operational until about December or January of next year; same with sports arenas and any other type of entertainment that requires physical contact, mass gatherings, and in-closed spaces. When we go back to normal, it won’t be normal, it would be a “new normal,” a different normal, a normal I cannot even visualize yet but one I am slowly getting ready to step into when it arrives.

For now, I’ll just continue watching funny videos, challenge videos, and inspirational videos. I’ll just continue trying to be part of any “house challenge” task that any friend offers me to participate on. I’ll continue reading books, watching TV series, films, walking around the neighborhood, creating silly “My life in COVID19” videos, and keeping myself afloat. It isn’t easy but it is necessary to find my own normal.