Sept. 9, 2020

Episode 1

Episode 1

In the premier episode, we discuss our discoveries and realizations into the LGBTQIA+ community.  We discuss our life during COVID-19 and we also discuss hook-up culture and the associated apps.  

Transcript
Eric:

Hello and welcome to the Q lounge podcast. We are your hosts. I'm Eric

Gil:

I'm Gil.

Eric:

Join us as we discuss news stories and life situations. As they relate to the LGBTQIA plus experience, please visit us at theqloungepodcast.com and hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, and welcome to the premiere episode of the Q lounge podcast. I am one of your hosts. My name is Eric.

Gil:

My name is Gil

Eric:

and we are here to discuss all things, LGBTQIA as it pertains to our lives and offer a platform for anyone else who would like to speak. If you would like to email us, you can do so at info.Theqlounge@gmail.com if you would like to send in your stories, whether anonymous or not, and if you would like to be a contributor, you can also email us. There is well, so we wanted to just create a space. To be open and have a dialogue about how certain events in the world affect us and how our history has effected us and where we've come from and what it was like for us individually. That's where we're going with this and I hope you enjoy the journey. So Gil, I'm going to just, start with you. I haven't known you what now? 15 years, 16 years.

Gil:

Yes, my gosh, it's been a whirlwind. It's it doesn't feel like it feels like yesterday. Sometimes

Eric:

it really does so Gill and I actually originally met because I was teaching yoga at a community college and he happened to just register for my class and I was his teacher for a semester. And. we became friends during the semester. Ish. I can't really be friends with students, but we were friends then, and then afterwards we just started hanging out.

Gil:

Yeah. As soon as we celebrate your 23rd birthday, I believe. And then we were able to officially hang out you your first performance at Wise Fool in Santa Fe. That was quite memorable

Eric:

by the way. Gil's so full of shit. I was 26 and, Yeah, that was a fun performance. I'm also a dancer or was a dancer. So that was one of my first performances. And that was an interesting show. So Gil, let's talk a little bit about how. Did you come to find out that you are gay

Gil:

there was a sign up sheet here in San Francisco and no, I knew young, but I didn't quite have a word for it. it was something that I knew it was different, but it wasn't. I don't know how to, it's just one of those things you just knew. I just knew I wasn't necessarily shy away from it, but it was something that I, not feel the need to jump out of my shell or are talking about something that I wasn't by. Sure. Myself sure. Out. but I came to full terms more my senior year in high school. And I had my conversation with God and in my way, cause growing up Catholic of course, and being a minority, the fear of God, obviously for stepping out of line and I just sat there in my bed pretty much asked him if this is wrong, strike me down right now, if not call it a day and I'll move on and nothing.

Eric:

Shocking.

Gil:

Yeah. So that's when I found out and kinda been on a journey since Oh, but yourself,

Eric:

going back really quickly. So when you say different, like how you knew you were different, explain that,

Gil:

different in, Oh boy. I had no desire, I guess it's the put it's like girls and stuff like that. Just never, I could tell they're attractive, but they're not in a way of, Ooh, I want to reproduce with this individual. If that makes sense. It was just not my, it was like, I don't see the appeal.

Eric:

just the fact that you say I want to reproduce. Says a lot. The word reproduce. It says a lot.

Gil:

Yes. And it was just something that, you know, like when I saw my friends and everyone else, and there was like, Oh, here, I want to go with that girl.

Eric:

No, not for me. Okay. Fair enough. Fair enough. So for me, my story is actually, I don't know if it's different than yours, for sure. Yes. we all have different stories. We all have different experiences. I honestly didn't really know until I was 22. I just, I was, I've always been shy and I've always been introverted, so I just never, never really thought about it. I thought I was super attracted to girls. But I had all my celebrity crushes as all gay guys do, but I thought I was just normal. I also went to a Christian high school, so that was a rough environment. Cause they were extremely hateful against gay people there. So I would say about 98% of them were like, Ready to burn gay people at the state kind of thing. Like they were pretty hateful. It was pretty intense. part of the reason why I don't agree with the religion and I have my views on religion as itself because of that experience. I too was raised Catholic ish, I guess I. Was baptized Catholic, but we stopped going to church when I was five and my parents were actually always pretty open about believe in your own way. So that was cool. So I didn't have any of those issues. I was just the high school issue and then I went to college in Des Moines briefly and There was a lot of close minded attitudes in that environment as well. I also, this is like the nineties, so that I went to that this all happened like the late nineties. So things weren't as open then either or as accepted. And they're still not as accepted as they could be now, but definitely a lot more than they were. Then anyways, I ended up going to. A gay bar with my cousin and their friends. And there was a bartender there that just caught my eye and I became I don't want to say obsessed, but obsessed. I went to the bar like, Almost every week. And then I just started hanging out at his bar all the time and then started talking to him and I would just became super infatuated with him. And I didn't know how to explain it or what was going on. And then I thought, Oh, it's just this person. And it's just this one situation. And then it just, I don't know, I had to reevaluate myself and look at it as for what it was So that was the first time I actually started questioning it. And then it was probably, a few years later that I was willing to accept it for what it was, but it was still even longer than that for me to actually accept it from a societal standpoint. And a personal standpoint.

Gil:

Yeah, it takes time. it's a journey. it's evolving even within the community. we know we evolve. I'm not where I was at 18 where I was at 28 and even now at 34, and things that I am learning about more, Even for me, always LGBT. And then I realized, Oh, we have, the rest of it that's added on within. And I'm educating myself every day. Something new learning about, or even about yourself.

Eric:

the cool thing is too with. the letters just looking at the LGBTQIA plus spectrum, I think it's cool that it represents inclusion because as a marginalized group, we are excluded so much in society and to have an umbrella to. Be inclusive. I know there's a lot of exclusions, like personally amongst cliques and stuff, but the umbrella term to include everyone. So everyone has a place to belong because as much as we all hate labels and don't want to label ourselves, some people do. But a lot of people don't, everyone does it. So at least there's a place to belong. So you know that you do belong and it's not just, You're the weird one in society, which weird is cool. Anyways, I like being weird. I made peace with being weird probably about 10 years ago. And I think it's one of the greatest things in the world, but I know, especially when you're younger being weird, being an outcast is not so fun. And so I like the fact that there's the inclusion of pretty much everyone that society still tries to shun.

Gil:

That's true. That's true. I know for me, it was definitely I'm thankful for, at least with my mom building my backbone and that kind of, you don't let other people bully you. And that was something that I'm very proud of. It. If I was a weird, or if I like certain like me liking older music, older for my time. or, I am glad that it was already installed at a young age for me, even though yes, I was emotional, a typical cancer kind of thing, a Zodiac, with the mood swings and whatnot. But I, at least as I got older and got more or matured the backbone of that, you're your own person. Don't let other people bully you. you're going to be your own worst critic, and that really stuck with me. So that's why when people made comments, it's I never, it just reflected off of me. And I never took anything personal and in, I just always just, I didn't care. And I genuinely did not give them the platform to overshadow myself because I'm like, this is my damn journey and this is weirdo. This is how I feel. I'm going to come out my terms. And I don't know, that's just for me within, so that's why being weird. Okay. And I could bully myself.

Eric:

that's pretty awesome. Your mom's really bad ass by the way, because mom's amazing. That's really cool. I actually did not know that about you, so I've learned I let myself learn. no, I think that's a really awesome attitude that you are able to have, especially from a younger age. I, for a long time. Was super concerned with being liked and being popular with everybody. So I always wanted to fit in with everybody and fit in with society. I too am very good at putting myself down and have been for many years and have beat myself up emotionally for everybody. and I was probably the opposite of you. I'm very sensitive and very. Concerned with what public perception is. I'm not so much now. I still have my moments, but for the most part, I've dealt with a lot of that, but mainly in recent years, which is late for, a lot of other people, but Hey, it's my journey. And so that's when it was time for me to deal with it. I've always been pretty sensitive, so I was always trying to fit in. And like I said, I finally probably 10 years ago realized that being weird was actually really cool. Cause that meant you had your unique traits and you are not like everybody else and you offer, you had stuff to offer that. Not everyone else did.

Gil:

Correct. just in the time I've known you've grown. leaps and bounds, and you're, like I said, you own the stage for you and shy away, but now you're like, I'm here.

Eric:

So when Gil and I first met, I was completely, what's the word I'm looking for? Unaccepting of myself. That's not the word I'm looking for, but it'll work. I was completely unaccepting of myself and pretty much in denial of who I was. And so I did the whole, why is it your business if I'm gay or not, or, why do you want to know? Because I was super protective of all of that because I, myself was still questioning who I was and where I was. And. It took me a while to be okay with that. It's weird because a lot of people, most people pretty much knew before I did, or they knew before I was willing to accept, I should say as a better way to phrase it. But, I don't know where I was going to go with this, but I just know that experience was definitely interesting to me because now I'm super open with pretty much everything. but I used to be very closed off in my experiences and. Played the whole. I just like to go to the gay bar because they play the best thing, dance music, and lo and behold, I'm like crawling on the floor and whipping my imaginary hair around. Yeah, I think it was more than that. They just played good dance music.

Gil:

All surprise. The welcome basket was there this whole time? No, but even though you had the struggles within yourself, you never let. People close to, cause you always created a very safe space and that was something that I gravitated to you. And, I thought you knew everything. So I was like, Oh, Eric knew everything. I was a young gay back in the 1940s when I met you. And it was. You knew a lot and you're able to at least give me in. That's why I always try to pass on my knowledge, everything you taught me and, within what's special about our community, it had, it goes beyond just the color of your skin or beyond your income base or anything of that nature because it's, everyone could be it. but it's showing that next generation or that, that younger one who is an experience of, Hey, this is the ropes of. The way things are, this is what you should need to know how to be safe. How do you stay safe? and also teamwork in a sense. And so don't go solo don't, it, these are the things I did not know. And as I learned and became more experienced than I, once I saw somebody younger or the baby gays they're coming, then you start creating that safe space for them. And then hopefully they keep training and keep. passing on knowledge.

Eric:

that's really important. I didn't realize I did all that. So thank you. I've always been pretty much the person who just looked at everyone as equal. And I don't know, even when I was denying everything for myself, I never looked at anyone else's different? If that makes any sense? yeah I never looked at anyone as being different. So creating a safe space, I think has just always been. Part of who I am. I've always been that person that people like to talk to and people like to tell their problems, to. Even if I just met you five minutes ago, I've had plenty of conversations with people and I become that unbiased ear. And I think for a while it was probably a little weird for me, but. Now it's part of who I am. It's just me and yeah, I think I bullshitted you a lot though, too, because. I think I was making it up as I went along.

Gil:

Hey I did not know any different. I was like, okay. gullible. Yeah. It's absolutely but you did a good job.

Eric:

I think honestly, like a lot of it was Gil and I are both Latino. he's also part Filipino, but, Growing up in that culture. So having to be aware of what was going on, especially being in the community, you have a lot of that machismo attitude.

Gil:

yeah, just to tell you a quick story, the night was young. We were going to a revival of the Pulse in off of central here in Albuquerque. And I remember the first time seeing the, "shanking" Gays coming in. it was a whole group. They were, yes. I was, I think 20, it was right before I turned 21, so I was not allowed into the real part of the club. And I remember seeing them coming, all these cholos coming in and I was like, what the hell? Oh my God. I was like, my life's going to end tonight. And then they started having the high pitch voice. it shook me on to my core because I was like, wow. How diverse our group is also,

Eric:

it is very diverse.

Gil:

because stereotypes, it, cause as soon as I saw him, like I made my judges, my judgmental things and I'm like, Oh, wait a minute. They're part of us.

Eric:

we're all guilty of making our judgments. but yeah, I like it. It's cool that how. Broad, this community really can be or is, and it reaches so many different people. And I like how inclusive it is overall. we come in with our own prejudices and I guess our own fears and fears Navigate how we react to situations.

Gil:

but it's interesting I'm just thinking out loud, looking back now I'm able to speak about the coming out story, very sophisticated as a Matured adult, like at the time let's be real, the emotions were real. it's not just the coming to terms where it's like a movie it was that day to day. You're up and down rollercoaster of, Oh, today I'm in a much better place it into mental health takes a tank. Your first love your first breakup, the, everything involved. Does he like me? Does he not? Oh, he straight, ah, nine out of 10 times, that's the issue that we're dealing with and it was definitely a journey even now as an adulthood. we've seen it evolve in the last decade plus. But it's definitely, it's funny to look back now because at the time everything was magnified. Everything we did was just, it was huge monumental. And now I just sit back and laugh and Oh, I remember that, but it's entertaining now.

Eric:

that's a good point that, the way that all plays out

Gil:

you talked about your first kind of like crushing how you realize, so for me, I'll let me go into mine then. for me, it was my junior year. And I saw one of my good friends who I'm still friends with to this day. Zachary, came back from Oregon. So when he left in eighth grade, he had a little skinny twig, ginger or left took off to Oregon. And then within a couple of years, he came back or junior year. And I remember I was sitting there on the computer. And I looked up and he walked in and I was like, Oh, I was like DAMN. Cause you know, I haven't seen it yet. Also. I was like, Oh Jesus, any kind of question about maybe if I was, or wasn't pretty much just swung my pendulum on that. Definitely. 100%. And then I also have a more like infatuation with this guy. it was the beginning of my senior year and that's how everything, it really liked that solidified. I was like done no questions. it was just something that kind of came out of nowhere. and it's something that never really crossed my mind either is not that I was against it. I was just never, I didn't think about it. Yeah. And it's only, I was attracted to people.

Eric:

At Least You were able to embrace it and you embrace it early. that's one, that's one thing I don't want to say I regret, but I kind of regret is that I wasn't as open as, and willing to embrace earlier in life. And so I feel like I probably missed out on certain things just because I was so guarded.

Gil:

I didn't do anything in high school though. And now was the thing that, part of me do I regret? I don't know. I just, I think the look enough, what's scary. It hosts, of course there's like a part of the guilt part in ours. The things that kicked in later, it was like, do I, react all these emotions with the guy? Oh no, this must be bad. and then the whole God and everything else that kicks in.

Eric:

Yeah. that's a lot of society bullshit that happens where

Gil:

absolutely.

Eric:

where am I supposed to have these feelings and are these feelings valid and, Oh my gosh, I'm evil. And I'm going to go to hell and what the fuck is hell anyways? One could argue that we are living in it right now.

Gil:

hell is being married to Trump. Yeah. Thank you Melania. She got her green card,

Eric:

touche.

Gil:

As you can see our political leading right now,

Eric:

little to the left. Or in my case, very much to the left usually. Yes. no, but, yeah, I often wish I would have actually known earlier and 22 it's not late, but it's definitely not high school. But even then, I wish I would have accepted it, like at 22 or even 24, and really allowed myself to live. More, so in the community and be a bigger part of the community. I went to the clubs every week and sometimes oftentimes four times a week. but I honestly just did go dance 90% of the time, like I was research

Gil:

of course.

Eric:

Yeah. But yeah, I just literally danced, but, I just wish I would have been a little bit more open and more accepting of it back then, so that I actually would have just allowed myself to live my authentic self. But I'm also not going to sit here and regret it because I can't go back 20 years or 18 years or however many years it is and be down about it. Oh, I have to deal with say I've accepted myself now. And how far a while. And I still love all my memories from what I did. And, I'm excited to keep moving forward, and to share whatever experiences I do have with other people who have questions. Who maybe questioning themselves or who may be, scared to talk to other people. It's something that I feel is important. we have the community and the communities can be very supportive. It can also be you're very exclusive too. I hope that people want to discuss their things and be more inclusive and not so exclusive.

Gil:

I think the goal is always to make sure that the next generation is going to be able to do things that you were not able to as like your parents, they give you the opportunities that were not granted to them, but at least ensuring on the go forward, and definitely within the community. And, we could argue about the social media, what the impact it has within the community on creating certain stuff. Or further pushing certain stereotypes of no fems, no Asians and going on to that because Lord knows. And I'm out of that scene cause I've never been part of it. I don't know what the App

Eric:

world

Gil:

I missed it.

Eric:

Yeah. You found you're the love of your life. Before Grindr was even a thing. Yeah.

Gil:

I think what, at the time it was oh lord Craigslist. It was that the thing or you do the drive-bys or

Eric:

no, I actually met, I met many people on Craigslist. Actually. I did the Craigslist thing. I did the grindr thing. I did the scruff thing.

Gil:

You had to meet them in person back then. It wasn't like now where I could order jack in the box deliver in my house. And then a boy is on his way at the same time.

Eric:

yeah. And see, I've always been, like I said earlier, I've always been super shy, so I never talked to anyone at the bars unless they talked to me. And, so apps have made it a little bit easier to talk to people, but then there's also a lot of attitude and a lot of fake. Fake people, but there's also like truly like fake profiles on there that aren't even real people. but you also do have the very, exclusionary language on there as far as no femmes, no fats, no, whatever this race or that race hookup culture is very interesting to me.

Gil:

cause it's been there. it's not new. I don't when people were like, it's new. I'm like, no, honey. It's pretty much there.

Eric:

It's I think it's. More at the Palm of your hands. it's more accessible than it used to be. Cause you have all these apps. I've only really used three or four, but I know there's way more than that.

Gil:

I thought it was just the one.

Eric:

Yeah. I'm actually right now, not on any of them because they can also be. They can also really fuck with you mentally. So at least they do with me and I've talked to a few other people who have said the same thing, but again, everyone's experiences are different, but They're a good way to combat boredom. Sometimes I do get on them and stay on them for a couple of weeks just cause I'm bored. But, I don't know. I've had fun times with 'em definitely. they serve their purpose. I didn't meet the one obviously, cause I'm still super single and have been very single, pretty much 99.8% of my life. But, they serve their purpose as a distraction. You can definitely, get lost in the moment and have. Hopefully more than five or 10 minutes of fun, but often five to 10 minutes of fun. Sometimes it's more, yeah, I will say for a long time, I had never had one night stand. So even if I hooked up with somebody on one of those apps, we hooked up a second and a third time as well. But since then I have had a few one time only is, and that's fine too. Cause before marriage Eric,

Gil:

I am quite shook right now.

Eric:

Yeah, I'm a total slut. Like I'm pro slut, so that's not even a secret. Had I been more accepting going back to my earlier comment, had I been more accepting when I was younger, I probably would have slept with everybody. but I didn't,

Gil:

PSA use protection. Oh yeah.

Eric:

Always use protection, I can't take Truvada and I haven't tried Descovy yet, but I can't take Truvada for prep because my liver had such a severe reaction to it. Oh, okay. I ended up in the. ER, and ended up in the hospital for a week. And I had only been on it for two and a half weeks. So it was crazy. So yeah, it's protection is still the priority. And I think, people need to educate themselves. I can't sit here and tell everyone what they need to do and what they should do sexually and for protection, because I don't have that authority, but I do think that it's important to do your research and while it does. Provide a barrier against, HIV. It also does not protect you against other STIs candid and funny, not really funny story, but candid story. I was I on it at the time. I don't think I was on it, but I was still being bad and not being fully protected every single time. And I ended up catching something. And it's gone now. It was bacterial, but I ended up catching something and I had to get a treatment for it. And it was eye opening for me. Correct. so I definitely made sure that I wasn't as nonchalant, is the right word and right way to say it about, my sexcapades, if you will. I knew that I needed to be, I need to put myself first and be a little bit more, proactive in my priority of safety. for the most part have been since then, I think I've had a few slip ups. Like I can probably count like two, maybe three. But for the most part, I've been pretty on it as far as protection is concerned

Gil:

in the current thing that we're in right now with the pandemic, you'll want to treat sex and it wasn't the same way where it's better to wear a mask. Otherwise without the mask, there might be a potential to catch the COVID. Absolutely. It is the exact same way. Wear a glove, wear your mask. Nice and simple. And instead of it, that's what it is right now.

Eric:

That's a good point.

Gil:

The risk.

Eric:

How are you doing during this whole COVID chaos?

Gil:

let's see. When it first happened. when California first went into shutdown, my mental health was a little ruffled, I should say. there was a slight fear. because I wasn't sure how bad or what restrictions we were going to have over, going to grocery stores are able to leave the city, your city limit. Are all that kind of stuff, not so much on shortages, but also I'm curious how people might become primitive. And that was a slight fear because I'm like, I'm not prepped with a gun. I'm not, I'm half the height of most people. It just that part of me had, I did have anxiety. but as things loosened up a little bit, a couple of weeks after I was better, I got a little bit better. I was furloughed like millions of others, during the time period. So I was furloughed for a, little over three months, ended up now, currently working and stressing just like it was prior. And. I'm in the customer service realm. I'm part of retail. So I'm a normal Joe, like others. How are you coping?

Eric:

I'm honestly coping really great. being an introvert definitely helps. so that's a plus, I've pretty much lived my whole life like this. no, I guess like when it first started, it was very concerning because you didn't know what was going on and what was going to happen. And there was a lot of like back and forth and there was a lot of uncertainty and there still is for sure. Cause it's still a pretty new virus.

Gil:

it's real.

Eric:

It is real. It's not a hoax people. Yeah. So I had an acupuncture clinic cause I'm a doctor of Oriental medicine. As one of my jobs. I actually have a few jobs, but, I ended up closing my clinic probably two or three weeks before New Mexico went into shut down. I would say. About two weeks. I was super proactive with it. and then I have a part time job. I teach yoga at a gym and then I also groomed dogs cause I've been doing, I've worked with animals for so many years that it's just hard to let my clients go and it's hard for them to let me go. So I still do that part time or did that part time? And so with all of that, it was weird and having to close, it was everything. And being on furlough with the gym, at least for, I think like a month and a half. And then they just said, we can't pay you anymore. I think I'm still far loaded with them, but, They pay, they did pay us for a month and a half, which was really awesome. Yeah.

Gil:

they just paid me out altogether in case I don't return.

Eric:

And then, yeah, so that, that whole thing was scary. Cause you just, you didn't know what was going on, but actually like being. Able to just chill and it's actually been really healing for me. It's been really cathartic. This whole experience. I am probably in a much better place emotionally than I have ever been in my life, which is weird. It's also that in itself has actually been really scary for me to like actually wake up and not hate myself has been really odd for me. And it's been scary cause it's not my norm. It's not what I used to. Cause I am like the King of self. I was the King of self-loathing and self hatred. And now I'm not like, so it's actually been really awesome for me, as far as emotionally within my own being. Now I will admit, even though I am an introvert, I am started, I have started to miss the option of seeing people and hanging out with people. so like I've gone on a few hikes and I've met with friends here and they're six feet apart mask, of course, but. There needs to be up for me. There needs to be a little bit of interaction here and there. now I do hope that things can change start to return back, but I know we are having to wait for our vaccine and we're having to wait for therapies before that's even a remote option to even contemplate, But no, I've actually been really okay with it personally. I do miss going to the gym and I haven't gone to the gym since February, so that's been a really long, but that sucks. yeah, but I do yoga at least I would say probably four times a week. And I picked up bike riding again. After 10 years, I decided to get on my bike and start riding my bikes. And now I do probably at least 10 to 15 miles each bike ride sometimes a little more. Okay. and if I don't ride my bike, then I will either practice dance or I will, go for a three to five mile walk. Or hike and that's most stays of the week, although it's been super fucking hot out here lately. Like we're having a record. Heat in August, like August has been a record setting August for, how hot it's been. And it's not Phoenix hot or El Paso hot. Or death Valley or Palm Springs, hot or Las Vegas hot by any means. But it's still like in the low hundreds, so it's still pretty hot

Gil:

it just, for any viewers, if they aren't aware Albuquerque itself is had over 5,500 feet. So you're talking Denver elevation. So there were high desert in comparison to death Valley being below sea level, or, Phoenix as well as just being pure hell. Albuquerque is a lot higher. So they do. Experience, no extreme, cold, extreme heat, here and there.

Eric:

yeah. Yeah. So it's gets hot, early. I'm by no means a morning person. So for me early is like eight 30, nine o'clock. Maybe seven 30, I guess I try to get up at seven 30, but by the time I actually get up, it's about eight, 15 to eight 30. And then, It's really hot by then. I'll usually still drag myself out. But when it's like hitting nineties at 11 o'clock, I'm pretty much done. but other than that, yeah, it's been pretty, it's actually been pretty. Okay. I don't mind not having to go to work right now. Luckily I was able to get unemployment, so that did help out a lot as well. But I actually am going back to work officially going back to work later this week. So we'll see how that all that goes.

Gil:

Yeah, it's definitely everything right now should be safety first. And to the best we can humanly do it. Yeah, I could definitely see it's been therapeutic in some ways, because while I was off during the time, it was very focusing my health and I'm like, Gilbert, come on, let's get back together on this one. I baked for the very first time in my life. Wait,

Eric:

you hadn't baked prior.

Gil:

Never baked.

Eric:

I thought you were like a huge Baker.

Gil:

no,

Eric:

because I know you're like Susie homemaker, like All that other stuff.

Gil:

I don't mind cooking. I got lazy. I'm not gonna lie. We'll go with cooking. because my, one of my sister was living with us. She's amazing cook. So she took over the kitchen and I'm like, okay, I'll take over and cleaning. but I actually baked for the first time and I followed, Ina Gartens. It was like one of her easy recipes it's on Instagram. And I was like, okay, I will try to make that sucker mostly because I was in protesting and Costco who they are. My area did not carry a specific a muffin. It was just like cinnamon based muffin. That's really, mates has a great glaze on it. and they just ran out they would keep running out and I'm like, God darn it. So I'm going to go ahead and yeah. And myself then fine. Yes. I had fun. I actually had a low, it was very calming. To bake I found some like solace in it. I don't know why it was just very therapeutic. No,

Eric:

I've heard that from a lot of people I'm by no means a cook. Like I hate cooking. Like I know how to make reservations and that's about it. I can, scramble an egg and I can make a pretty. Mean spaghetti? ish, but that's like where my culinary attributes end, but I know I've, I know people who love to cook and who are amazing cooks and who loved to bake. And I always hear how cathartic and healing baking is. I know my mom loves to bake bread when she's really upset and pissed off. She likes to beat down the dough, but, And she, she used to bake a lot. and not always because she was mad or upset, but she just used to bake a lot and she used to make cakes and all that other stuff, but she always just said like how she enjoyed it. And then I've talked to other people who are into baking and it's really therapeutic for them. It's a way to put like part of you out there. It's for me, I used to be a dancer and I used to perform. And dancing was very healing for me for a really long time. Now it's poetry so yeah, writing has been therapeutic for me in itself. And so is yoga. I love doing yoga. But yeah, I can, I didn't know. You hadn't baked prior to, I knew you were like an accomplished Baker,

Gil:

cause I

Eric:

always pictured you in your apron.

Gil:

Yeah, it was definitely. Yeah, it was something different. I wanted to do something new. and I learned how to bake or buy little stuff, little stuff. Let's listen. Yeah. I'm not quite there yet. Nowhere near, a French Baker in any capacity, but yeah, it was something I picked up and then, Just a little workout and just try to, I didn't ever knew as you get older, it's harder to lose weight. you gain a new shape to say the least I did not sign up for that. it's something that. I definitely started to be more aware of, I loved dancing and it was something that I also went to the clubs and it was, do you dance? I that's what I went there, get drunk dance and close it down and I learned that from you, and I miss it. Yeah, I do miss that experience being there. So I used to create my little playlist that I, every day 11 o'clock everyone's gone either. Someone's asleep. Or like my sister worked at night or so she was already gone by then graveyard. And I would just put on my music headphones and just dance for an hour, two hours and just, it doesn't quite match being. At the club, obviously,

Eric:

no, not at

Gil:

all that experience, I, that was my hour or two at night. I was away. I, it was my zone.

Eric:

That's awesome. Cause I've struggled with my weight. pretty much my whole pubescent to adult life and even being super active and being pretty mindful of how I eat. Yeah, it can be really hard to lose that shape as you get older, but I've pretty much always had that shape, which kind of sucks.

Gil:

yeah, I was gonna say wait. I think it is just being a lot more mindful. When I like, for me, when I was in Europe it was eye opening on, it's not just the walking, the helping cut. I was losing weight while I was in Europe. but it's definitely, I think it's the food and it's the quality of the food. and I think that's definitely something in America where we could definitely improve on and something. For the down the line, you know what it's put into the food to keep it lasting six years, And it definitely out there, everything was, very fresh. they weren't slamming 14 pounds of food onto your plate and expecting it to be gone. It was to me, the perfect portions. And it was something that was very eyeopening to see how other cultures are doing, because their food's amazing. It's not like they're not adding butter. it's very good. but it's definitely, I think it's the quality and quantity of the food that is being served.

Eric:

We have to think about it too. The standard American diet sad.

Gil:

yeah,

Eric:

appalling no, but the acronym is sad. Standard. American diet is sad. It is though. and it's true. It is really appalling and sad. And I have my moments of cheating and falling off, but for the most part, I'm very mindful of it. yeah, I've, I've been, I have been thin before and I pretty much had extremely disordered eating at the same time. Just not eating a whole lot and doing like hours and hours of cardio. And it was fun. It was fun, too, whatever I wanted to wear at that time. Cause I had a 29 inch waist, which was small for me.

Gil:

I was gonna say, genetics, I know play a portion to this, because I felt like a part of me. It's I've never been skinny, or gay, skinny as listeners you will be hearing about. Eventually, there is the difference between straight skinny gay skinny and within the community. Yes, I was slim, but I wasn't skinny. Yeah. Or, even at my absolute smallest, I could possibly get, is a 28 waist and that was it. But for my structure, for my height, I'm not built tiny. I've never been built tiny, I've, always a wider frame. and I've had my ups and downs and, I, a part of me also has a fear of if I, one day, I decide to diet and I decide to be very good. I could still probably get hit by a muni bus and die and it would be irrelevant.

Eric:

Yeah.

Gil:

Oh, that's why you also don't want to skip a good ice cream cone either

Eric:

I like ice cream, but I don't eat it that often. I'll go through spurts for all eat ice cream, like maybe for three days in a row. And then I won't touch it for like months.

Gil:

Oh Jesus.

Eric:

now what I do eat a lot of, or when I want a dessert, as I eat a lot of whipped cream. Cause there's not a whole lot of calories in it, but, I've actually, even that I've cut back on tremendously. Like I used to go through one of those little like reddi whip cans, like possibly every week and a half. Oh, wow. And now. I have one that's sitting in my refrigerator that I've had in there for three months.

Gil:

I have never finished. No, I have thrown them out. Never got through a whole bottle.

Eric:

I should probably throw this one out. Cause it's probably not any good, but, yeah. it's interesting what the body does as we age and yeah, there's definitely. Gay skinny versus straight skinny and gay fat versus straight fat. And that's another thing that's interesting in the community. as much as we want to be inclusive, we end up excluding some people based off of that. I'm sure we're all guilty of that to some degree, whether it's on weight issues or other issues, I know I've definitely had my moments where I wasn't as inclusive as I wish I would have been or am now for sure. but I can see it. It's all here. It's the exposure. And it's the educating yourself and changing your narrative, taking control and changing your narrative and not listening to. The conditioning that we have as we grow up, because a lot of what our opinions and thoughts are due to conditioning that we pick up and environmental. And once you're able to sit back and educate yourself and really get to look at things from your own perspective and your own point of view, you actually get to make your own decisions. And you come to terms with the fact that Oh, Hey, That thought process is really fucked up. And it's not how I want to view people or not how I want to be perceived and how I want to perceive others. but that's, that's a choice that everyone makes for themselves. At some point it's hopefully more people choose to be kind and inclusive, but, that's everyone's own particular journey.

Gil:

Correct. And I think it takes time. It's just like every movement. it will just, it's just a matter of the next generation chipping away, little by little to the ultimate goal. And it ultimately, I think within the community definitely be inclusive of everyone since they hodgepodged us altogether. It is definitely some, I, it's good. It's something that we have something to strive for, but definitely we have this natural that I would say natural, maybe it's you don't definitely learn behaviors. On it. I know age is an issue. Gays getting older. Oh God, you hit 30. You might as well jump into the grave. Do you know if that's things that I might get over?

Eric:

Do You think that stereotype's still there?

Gil:

It's going away little by little, but I still think it's there.

Eric:

I think generally society loves youth, but yeah. I feel like I get hit on a lot more now that I'm older. Than I did when I was younger, I will fully admit I'm really stupid when it comes to people being interested in me. Like I have no sense of people flirting with me. Like I cannot tell if someone's flirting with me. Yeah. The story time we can do

Gil:

that. Oh,

Eric:

go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Gil:

It's okay. we'll tell them another story is later or that one, but yes, no, we'll bookmark that.

Eric:

yeah, I'm really dumb when it comes to that type of stuff, but, yeah, I feel now that I have the quote unquote, daddy look. That I get hit on a lot more. I get hit on by a lot of young people, but, and I don't view myself as looking that old, but I think I probably, I now have a gray beard, so I guess I do, but,

Gil:

I think that, I think there's something within me that I need. I don't like that. Daddy son, theme, I don't know. It just for me, it's just, I don't understand it. Cause it's as soon as we hit 37, people are like, Oh your daddy. Don't like, Oh, don't you dare? I don't know why I just said, say I almost got offended.

Eric:

I think that's all perspective though, because yeah, if you're like me being 41, if I was

Gil:

since

Eric:

when?, if I was to, Meet someone who was in their sixties, they would be daddy to me. And I would, so I don't think that just because you reach a certain age, you are daddy, but yeah, I guess it all depends on who the other person is too. Like how old they are. I don't know. I was just genuinely curious on your thoughts on that though, because you said the whole ageism thing, and once he reached a certain age so I was just trying to get clarity on, if you re, if you still think that's a big thing in the community

Gil:

It's at least the people like I've talked to about it. like for me, like I know it's always like me dating. Let's say if I was in a dating scene cause like dating super older. Super. Yeah.

Eric:

He's married. So he's not dating, but

Gil:

yeah, no, I haven't been on the market since the stone age at this point

Eric:

we've ever really been on the market. He was on the market for six months. Go ahead.

Gil:

I don't know. It's I couldn't see myself, but. He liked super older or super younger. It was because people have been around. It's always been like within the same, Couple of years plus, or minus a couple of years. I don't know. I know things change, you get attracted to different people for different, it becomes kinda blurred. I know that, but I always felt like it was still such a youth leader, like within the community, it's such a youth driven, gotta look young. It gotta do it. It's not any different from women. Yeah.

Eric:

Okay.

Gil:

That's no difference.

Eric:

I think that's where I was going with this society. So that's definitely a very fair point.

Gil:

But the definitely for me, some of the title part order, Oh, you're a daddy now, or you're this? It's no, I guess that part of the labeling. I don't care for, to put it politely. I am not necessarily the big unless to me. If you're with that person and you guys are going, that's different, but I hate it when people just casually throw it. Oh, you're like a dad now. I am not, I don't know.

Eric:

But that's also goes to Like women when they date younger guys and they're like Cougar. Yeah. that's the same thing. It's not necessarily right, but it's a label that people want to put on people

Gil:

or gold Digger when you see somebody young dating some older person and you're like, we know why they're together. we've seen it. For me, I'm in sales. So it doesn't matter how I'm like, however we need to pay for this. I do not care. I accept all currency.

Eric:

Do you accept Bitcoin?

Gil:

we're not there yet, but soon I'm sure. We accept even a Chinese credit cards is not like that to have the we-chat I believe is one of their major payments. So we do accept that as well.

Eric:

Okay. I actually do. I do not have any Bitcoin. I'm not that cool. Yeah, I don't have any cryptocurrency. I think I have a bank card and that's about it.

Gil:

I still have physical cash coins.

Eric:

I actually do have that. I have a coin box.

Gil:

I know, I definitely still do. I'm not gonna lie during the pandemic. I, it pull cash out just in case.

Eric:

No, I, one of my neighbors was talking about that when the pandemic first hit was like, make sure you have a bunch of cash with you. I'm like, okay. And then people were like, we don't want you to use cash because you don't live on it. so know that was actually a really good point that, women go through that a lot too. yeah. I see your point as far as the age, the ageism, we are a very youth obsessed culture in general, but I feel like. We still have that male privilege that works since we are guys ,if we identify, we can, get away with looking older and still being okay.

Gil:

Yes. As long as you're not around other gays. Yes, you can.

Eric:

No, but see, I don't think that's true. I think that. You can definitely pull off the, not saying you specifically, I'm not aiming this at you, but you can pull off the quote unquote daddy vibe or that distinguished gentlemen look and still be considered very attractive, even as a gay man.

Gil:

Yep. I would hope so. Cause you're gonna spend most of your life older.

Eric:

I'm already in that group, so yeah.

Gil:

Yeah. Skincare routines. That's what I say.

Eric:

Now, I am lucky. Knock on wood. that I've always had really nice skin. So I'm happy about that. And I rarely have used sunscreen. I've started using sunscreen probably about a year ago. Purposefully using sunscreen, not just Oh yeah, I should put some sunscreen on before I go on the six hour hike or whatever it was. And then I would remember it then, but now I'm actually like, when I go for my walks on my bike rides and everything else, or I know I'm going to be out in the sun for more than like 15 minutes. I'm like, I got to slather this shit on.

Gil:

Yeah You got to take care of your skin. Take care of it. No matter what your color.

Eric:

Yeah, it's good. You have to. Yeah,

Gil:

I know for me, I darkened very easily. It got outside a couple of minutes later. I have a whole nother shade darker. and, but I definitely have been apply more sunscreen and just because I feel like I. Just, I had just have to, as I get older, I realize if I don't and my ignorance will kick in and I'm like, I'll be fine. 30 years later, I'm like, Oh Lord, what happened here?

Eric:

I also had to, because I used to have really thick hair, but now I'm bald. And when I go outside, I have to make sure if I'm not wearing a hat or a bandana, which I'm usually wearing a bandana, but when I was in Las Vegas last year, I made sure that I slathered that stuff all over my head. Cause I wasn't always wearing a hat in Vegas. And so I was like, yeah, make sure that I bought SPF 50 even.

Gil:

No, that's true,

Eric:

but I think we value youth a lot in this country. which is cool. It's fine. But I think we can, it's also a little bit detrimental to us as we get older as well. It's unfortunate that we allow. ourselves to get caught up into those vicious cycles. I am super guilty of that, or have been super guilty of that as well. It played into my self deprecation.

Gil:

it's, for me, it's funny because at least from an age wise, I love being more in my thirties, I just feel like it's a little bit more stable and emotionally. You know what, no, I don't ever want to put bags on the youth at all now, but I'm like, my God, I was a mess. Yes.

Eric:

I have to say Thirties was fucking amazing. when I was getting ready to turn 30, I was freaking out for four months before I turned 30. I was freaking out about turning 30. And then as soon as I turned 30. It was like the greatest thing. It definitely helped that I was and Las Vegas, I love Las Vegas, Nevada. it definitely helped that I was in Vegas for my 30th birthday and I was there for five days and I went clubbing every single night. that definitely helped soften the blow, but I have to say thirties, at least early to about like 30 to, about 36 were absolutely amazing years. Like I loved those years and even, yeah, like my early thirties were amazing and I really loved for the most part being in my thirties. I'm trying to get used to being in my forties. And I honestly really didn't like twenties until about 26. Like I thought 26 was good, but like 21 to 25 was just No, it's a mess.

Gil:

Yeah. At least for me, it was that it was a mess. and I thank Chris for surviving with me with that part of it. But

Eric:

how long have you guys been together? 11

Gil:

going to be 11 years.

Eric:

Fuck you guys have been together for a really long time. That's

Gil:

been a hot minute. Yeah, we found, lived quite a few.

Eric:

So you guys have been together since you were in your early twenties.

Gil:

Yeah. So he and I was 23 when we met and he was going to be 22. and I was just, it was, I was a mess, I just felt like emotionally everything up until I was 20 closer to 26. And I felt like after about 26, things were calming down.

Eric:

I'd say, yeah, 26. It was a great year.

Gil:

It was a good year. Like I really can't bitch. I don't know why it just, but it was like 19 to about 25. I was like figuring everything out and, jobs and doing this and that. everything was magnified. It felt like everything was just magnified. and there was no reason to, but especially when I look back and I'm like, really. Did you need to go suddenly emo on everything no. Over dramatic, comb your hair back, pull it together. and then when I hit 30, I, I did exactly what I love doing this traveling. Cause he and I were out in, let's see what I turned 30. I was physically in I was in Boston. I was at Fenway park seeing the giants take on the red Sox and that was a fricking amazing game we lost. but it was a great game. but I was doing something I loved, which is baseball for my birthday, but as also,

Eric:

yes, Gil is a huge sports guy by the way. You guys.

Gil:

Yeah. Yeah. And I had a great time. I was in New York. We were in Rhode Island briefly, who are Boston, I had, a really good time. so just like with you for your 30th you're, doing what you love, you don't be, I was doing what I. Greatly enjoy. And my thirties have been wonderful even during the pandemic. Like it's, I haven't sat there and sulked, Oh my God. I'm like, under preplanned for my next vacation and be the best damn traveler next year. Yeah. I can't really complain. In my thirties, at least

Eric:

no thirties

Gil:

thirties. It's been wonderful.

Eric:

I really liked my thirties, yeah. Thirties were pretty great.

Gil:

shoot. At least now I have the financial means to do what I need to do.

Eric:

Oh, that's good. Cause

Gil:

yeah, more so than before I think,

Eric:

in my thirties I did too, like late twenties, early thirties. I did. things are crazy up and down. So probably not as well off now as I was then definitely not as well off now as I was then, but it fluctuates. And then obviously COVID did not help by any means,

Gil:

but you did take the leap, the, I always say like you took the American leap with. Starting your own business, being an entrepreneur, that is a totally American way of what I'm going to change it. I'm going to change my life. I'm going to follow my passion. It's very American and you're doing it. And it's going to take time. It's never easy. We're not like others who inherited money off the bat. And we're like, here's 5 million. Do something with it. No,

Eric:

it's true.

Gil:

It's a risk. We know it's a risk, you know it, but you're. Building something out.

Eric:

I actually have a couple more businesses that are hopefully popping up soon. yeah, no, that's definitely true.

Gil:

yeah, it's literally the American dream that it's an equal opportunity to start something and hopefully it blossoms.

Eric:

Yeah, no, that's very true. I don't always think of it that way, so yeah, that's good to have that reminder once in awhile

Gil:

yes, we'll grant him the wish.

Eric:

hopefully we'll, I don't want to say see you in two weeks, but hopefully we will be in your ears in two weeks. So

Gil:

stay safe. Wear your mask. or your glove

Eric:

bye

Gil:

Thank you for joining us. We hope you enjoyed your time in the Q lounge. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions on topics, or you would like to be a guest or contributor, please email us at info.TheQlounge@gmail.Com or through our contact page at theqloungepodcast.com while you're there hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcast. If you would like to further support us, hit that donation button

Eric:

until next time live in your authenticity.