An Open Letter To The Gay Millennial

An Open Letter To The Gay Millennial

Advice from history and current events
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To whom it may concern,

The new way of life observed and practiced by the gay community is free to a comparatively obtuse degree when placed beside its horrific past. However, is this newfound freedom fully appreciated by gay millennials? Are we thankful for the past sacrifices made by ancestral members of our community, or do we simply take them for granted with carelessness and frivolity?

It is important to understand that gay history is full of oppression, suppression, and depression. Indeed, past inquisition, brutality, and the eventual government atrocity of a certain negligence from the 1980's to 1990's committed by the elite of the USA has left a lasting brand upon the working backs of gay, lesbian, trans, bisexual, questioning, and queer people, who ironically serve societies which have, for centuries, encouraged civilian participation in the bodily and emotional destruction of the peoples belonging to this umbrella community.

The back alleys and restrooms of clubs, bars, and restaurants; abandoned houses and house parties alike; rooftops, rivers, forests, fields, and basements all were places of first and last love, as well as bloodshed, fear, and death for anyone even thought of as gay or bisexual. All these places could either be paradise or live nightmares for LGBTQ people, yet only recently, and ever so suddenly, the mental paradigm has turned itself around, and the force of collective empathy has become stronger than ever, gaining in momentum with each new natural discovery. And now with progress and providence, we have fun apps like Grindr.

Unfortunately all this new and sudden freedom, and I use the term loosely, has permitted an air of promiscuity to linger from the olden days when gay men could hardly love one another, and unquestionably not overtly. The most painful part of it is that now we have the opportunity to love and marriage, which stands before us like a pearly gate ajar, however our history seems to have been so damaging that the desire for sex and fear of betrayal is encoded more strongly within our gay genetics than that of love or emotional connection. A demon was born within gay culture, and must now be exorcized by those of us who seek to love and be loved.

You may ask yourself, "what even qualifies a person to be promiscuous?" To this, I impart permission to the reader to consider and think for himself or herself on the meaning of this word. Promiscuity is described similarly to and shares associations with words such as wantonness, licentiousness, and immorality. Wantonness being the lack of consideration for the feelings of others, it is simple to see how promiscuity and promiscuous persons might perpetuate within themselves, and spread to others, a harmful attitude or negatively selfish philosophy which would affect not only sex, but also some favorable aspects of personality such as generosity, and may corrupt things like motivation overall. Concepts in the same manner with licentiousness and immorality, however, are subject to social and cultural opinion, such things essentially being defined as taboos. This brings to question the quality and scope of gay social-consciousness, self-awareness, and prudence.

So how do we go about fixing this? Perhaps by awakening others and ourselves to the reality of intimacy inherently linked with the act of sex, learning to empathize with those who develop romantic feelings for us after such potentially affectionate moments. Perhaps by dissociating our selves from random sex as a recreational activity, and it from gay culture as an indicator of desirability, popularity, or attractiveness. Perhaps again by learning to love more parts of ourselves than the physiological supposed to be used for making love, and finally, by learning to play our predestined and exemplary part of propriety in change through history. To be perfectly clear, the purpose of this letter is not to "shame" or embarrass anyone for their sexual practices, but to implore some degree of thought in the minds of gay men, to spark some insight to consideration of what our culture has become, and who we really believe ourselves to be.


Respectfully yours,
Alique Wicks

Cover Image Credit: palmspringslife.com

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Things To Know Before Dating A Firefighter

You'll learn how to tell the difference between different kinds of sirens.
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There are just certain things you are going to want to know before dating a fireman. In my experience, I had to learn along the way. But at the end of all the calls, constantly smelling his gear in the car and sometimes even cancelled plans, I sure do love my firefighter!

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons To Date A Country Boy

You were promised a list, so here it is:

1. If they are even within 20 minutes of the station, they will always leave you to go on a call.

No matter the circumstances, if you have a fireman on your hands, he will jet to the car and be on his way.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Date A Police Officer

2. Meeting nights are not something you try and fight with them about. They are going to leave and you do not have to like it because it wasn't up to you anyway.

I have learned that these nights are not optional. Yes, other people miss them, but not my firefighter.

3. No matter where you are or what you're doing the minute they hear a firetrucks horn, they're looking for it and hoping they're not missing anything good.

You will learn the lingo. Structures, fully involved (the good stuff) smoke alarms, cat in a tree (ehh I mean they are fireman...soooo still good stuff).

4. They know the exact difference between an ambulance, cop, and, of course, a fire truck siren.

Which means that you will have to learn, too.

5. You’ll have to accept that when he has to do hall rental cleanup, you're going with to help.

You fold the chairs and he stacks them. And Im talking at like 12 a.m.,1 a.m.

6. When you come around the firehouse, there will be jokes made and they'll mess with him about you or even you about him.

Honestly it's a giant bromance going on and they prey on this kinda stuff.

7. At first, you won't really have a name to the fire guys. Until you're around long enough.

You'll just be Boyfriend's name's girlfriend.

8. The fire pager goes where he goes.

Next to the bed, in the car, next to your bed, your living room, EVERYWHERE. And even if it's not the real pager, it's the dog app that I can never remember the name of so dog app it is. (Say that really fast to get the full effect).

9. They will probably wear their station shirt/apparel at least 4-5 days a week.

AT LEAST.

10. If you've got a good one, you're always put first. The list will always go "You, the firehouse, me, everyone else."

But secretly they always want to put the firehouse first.

11. You will learn and know more stations, trucks, members, and chiefs than you will ever want to admit.

Unbelievably true.

12. When you're driving and you see a fire station, you'll have to look at it.

If its an amazing building, you'll have to remember the name. And then you'll have to tell him about it. And then you've just proved number 11 correct. Add it to your list.

13. Never make plans while he's on a call. You can never know when he'll be back.

Even if the calls are short, they could stay at least another hour washing the trucks and being boys, of course.

14. In case you didn't understand the severity of the first one, if you are on the phone and you hear the pager go off in the background, just tell him you love him and hang up.

Because if you don't, he will. "Got a call, Love you, bye." Mid-sentence is always what you want to hear.

15. You'll never want to watch "Ladder 49" again.

You will cry like a baby and then want to make him quit.

16. Outside of the stations, fireman tend to forget that fire isn't a toy and it's pretty damn hot.

*Playing with the lighter fluid or burning things on the stove*
"No it's alright, I'm a firefighter."

17. You will start your own station shirt collection.

From NYFD memorial shirts, a station from where you're vacationing even acquired old shirts of his, you will have started your own pile of station shirts.

18. You can't get angry or upset when he is unavailable because he's going to go to the firehouse for the fifth time that week, or if there's another fire prevention thing to do.

You can't be mad because he's doing what he loves and also because a man in a uniform isn't too shabby.

There are a lot more things to know before dating a fireman, but the rest you'll just have to learn along the way.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things To Know Before Dating Someone With Anxiety

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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The Daily Struggles Of Living With A Name That Is Not Considered 'Normal'

My name is No 'O' Livia.
Livia
Livia
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If you have any name that is not considered "normal" in the book of baby names, you feel my pain on this. While I feel thankful to have a first name that is not the most common, it can be very frustrating at times when I need to explain to people that I am "No 'O' Livia."

When I was little I would have done anything to have a "normal" name and get the 'O' added to my name, yet at almost 21 years old, I now am forever thankful my mom decided to think out of the box.

So to answer the question you're probably wondering, there really is not an 'O' in my name.

Why?

Simply because my mom didn't want it and liked the name "Livia" better.

Anticlimactic I know.

The first day of school is always a bit of a struggle. For example, yesterday I started my summer class and my teacher had a quick Q&A form with me in front of the whole class about my name, how to spell it, and why there is not an O.

Speaking of class, in high school whenever there was a substitute teacher they would call the roll until they got to "Lee-ve-a" I would silently roll my eyes and explain it was pronounced just like "Olivia" but without the 'O', no weird pronunciation is needed just because a letter is missing.

Legal documents also tend to be a nightmare because even if I meet someone and get them to say "Livia", they still automatically think that my legal name is "Olivia", so they write that on a document, then everything is messed up and now "No 'O' Livia" is sad.

On the plus side, I get to wow the elderly customers that I serve at work.

Me: "Hello! How are you all today...my name is Livia, I'll be taking care of you..."

Older customer, pushing glasses up to the top of their nose and squinting while leaning in much closer to look at my name tag: "But why is it not Olivia"

Me, fake laughing for the 15th time that night: "Because I couldn't buy the vowel!"

Customer: "Hahahaha, boy, are you clever!"

(Not really, I've used this saying probably ten thousand times already and I do it in the hopes that you'll like me and tip well.)

Now that this name issue is over, hurry up and tell me what you want to drink.

So I maybe have a few jokes. But what was not funny was when I was little and wanted a souvenir with my name on it from a new place that we had visited. You know what I'm talking about, the little touristy key chains you see in gift shops, or the personalized coffee mugs, license plate names, etc. Well, my childhood did not consist of any of these items.

Traumatic, I know.

So for what its worth, I am happy to be named Livia. Although frustrating at times, I feel it gives a good story and is a name people will remember!

Now for getting it added to the book of baby names...

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash
Livia
Livia

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