Monday, November 18, 2013

Of a Broken Hearted Mustache

As with anything, I can’t help the natural inclination to reflect on the anniversary of events. November is one of those months for numerous reasons, but for me, it marks the passing of another year with my mustache. The thing has a life of its own and is my most recognizable feature. I’ve met folks at conferences and events who’ve been able to spot me because of the damn thing, despite never having met me in person.

This November marks four years of growing upper lip hair. And while Movember seems like an obvious reason for me to have started growing bigotes in the first place, let me tell you that it’s not. Simply put, me growing a mustache was a result of having my heart broken for the first time and like any good heartbreak story, it’s a good one.

In the four years of having my magnificent mustache, I’ve shared this story with only a hand full of folks. The question of why I started growing one is something I’m use to, but I will usually say something that is funny and won’t have folks asking follow up questions after. So I would just say that I always had mustache envy, and that envy prompted me to grow one. And while that is one my reasons, it’s not the entire story.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Political Growing Pains

The act of being politicized was never something new to me, but taking action was. It’s only in these last few years that I have taken action in support, solidarity and/or against numerous issues. But the one issue that brought me into the fray of things was one that affected me directly and inherently, selfish. It was the Federal Dream Act. My foundation has been built on being selfish.

Up in till then, music, comics, video games and some television had sowed in me ideas, notions and ideals of social justice, but the connections were never made. There was never a spark to light something in me and push me to do something about it. More than anything, that was on me because I was and in many ways, still am a nihilist. My personal experience growing up left me longing for what I didn’t have and instead of doing something positive about it, I let it fester into something negative.

There was this one time at a party, someone was asking me which political figures I admired. Who were the folks that I looked up that helped me be socially conscious. The fact that I was cross faded aside, I replied by naming Peter Parker, The X-Men, and a few other fictional characters. When the same person asked me again when I was sober, I gave him the same answers. He thought I was yanking his chain, but I was just being honest. Fictional characters have more impact in my life than any individual you can think of.