Oct. 7, 2020

Episode 6

Episode 6

In this episode we discuss our some of our trials and tribulations as they surround coming out. How culture and society influenced our own stories and how it can influence the LGBTQIA+ community at large.  We also discuss our own insecurities within cultural norms and societal norms.  In addition we also touch on body issues and and stereotypes.


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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@theqloungepodcast.com and hit that subscribe button or listen wherever you get your podcasts. Hi, and welcome to the Q lounge podcast. I'm Eric and

Gil:

I'm Gil.

Eric:

And today we are going to get a little raw and go a little deep. So grab your lube, cause we're going to have a little bit of fun. So Gil. when did you realize you were part of the LGBTQIA community?

Gil:

Boy, it would be a lie to say that I didn't know, as a child because I knew I was different. but I definitely knew, like I said, it was about that senior year. So I was about like, what is that 17. Okay. It's pretty much what I knew. I was part of the community.

Eric:

Okay.

Gil:

Yeah, that's definitely, that's when I started realizing it, but I didn't really. Join the community until I got into college. And that's when I was like, Oh, this is my people. Oh, with you. When did you,

Eric:

how did you realize, what made you realize, or when did you have that moment where you're like, Okay, this is exactly who I am. Like, what made you realize that?

Gil:

Ooh. I, like I said, it was my, let's say my, when I met my friend, Zach, when it came back from, Oregon he, left, we met in like seventh grade, but when he took off to Oregon and he came back, our junior year, that I was like, I that's, when I knew I had interest in. Men boys.

Eric:

Okay.

Gil:

And then that's when I was kinda like, Oh, but before then it's I knew, like I could tell that they're attractive, but with women, it was just more Oh, they're friends. It never saw him as anything more than that. Or like a, that sexual where you're like, Oh my God, I want to, whatever to them. I'm like, no, absolutely not. Yeah, but with guys, it was like that my junior year I saw him, I was like, Oh wow, definitely. Now I knew from then. And I was like, definitely not straight, or completely. And I was like, maybe I'm BI. And that's what I told myself.

Eric:

I think a lot of us tell ourselves that we're bi. Yeah. That makes it unfair for people who truly are bi, bi, exactly. And that's why people are like, Oh, bisexuals, they're just greedy when no it's because we're trying to us as gay people are trying to fit into society's norms. And so we're like, bisexuality is more acceptable than. Gay or homosexuality,

Gil:

correct. Especially amongst men, like if it was a woman and I don't know if that's, the experience is more like a little bit more lenient it's, society a little bit more lenient on that, but a guys that's pretty much your either/or. Or do you want either straight or your gay bi men get a bad rap for that?

Eric:

Yeah, but they totally exist.

Gil:

They exist. Absolutely. and that's, I told myself that I was, but then it was really when it came to my senior year, There was a guy who was hanging out with, and I just found him very attractive and I was very much just infatuated with everything about him. I was just kinda I look forward to coming to school. I was like, Oh my God, I can't wait to go in. And it's just, I don't know how to explain it. It was just one of those like immediate things. And I was like, Oh, hundred percent. Okay. And that's what I really started coming to terms. And like I said, when I had my conversation with God, it was look that strike me down kind of thing. You're that? Or move on. obviously I'm still here. No lightning bolts from the heavens old Testament on me.

Eric:

So what was it like for you to come out?

Gil:

difficult because the easy part is liking or knowing what you're attracted to the difficult part is the repercussions of the action. it's because it's not the norm, there was that. Catholic guilt that's naturally built in us.

Eric:

so being the Latin X community,

Gil:

exactly and Filipino community by my little house, I think people forget about how Catholic Filipinos are and, we're not, like it's very much built into my upbringing and. There was that natural conservatives of yes. Liberalism when it comes to the general politics, but not, when it comes down to the family core,

Eric:

it's still

Gil:

very conservative. And that's the household that I grew up with. and I was very afraid to lose the people care about the religious aspect. I, it was like, whatever, like I said, strike me, call it a day, get it over and done with, but it was the family aspect that I was worried about in the dynamic and also really worried about losing those, the friendships and, just everything about it. That's the part that scared me the most that I was worried about. it took time. Once everything, once it got out, cat out of the bag. And I don't think anyone was really surprised though, on my mom's side a little bit not,

Eric:

we were just waiting. We had bets and a pool when you were going to do it.

Gil:

My mom knew my, yeah, it was a, it's still a shock to hear directly. Like I said, that somebody, et cetera, It's true. But once they tell you to confirm that it's like a shit.

Eric:

Yeah. but so you didn't have the whole dramatic story of, family turning their back on you or

Gil:

my father had a stroke when I told him.

Eric:

Literally or

Gil:

literally,

Eric:

Oh, okay.

Gil:

So what I told him, I told him outright, it was God, what was I 21. So I was coming back from also in college and I came home and I decided it was time to tell him. And then I told him, when I did tell him that later, that night after I left. He had a stroke, which of course my mom was cracking up because she was well not, cracking up, but she made a comment, it was more like, your dad's unhealthy, he's not in the best shape. I love that. She came to my defense because my father's side kind of blamed me for it for many years that Oh, you're the one. you caused that.

Eric:

I had no idea that this happened.

Gil:

Yeah. Yeah. I don't talk about it much.

Eric:

Okay.

Gil:

Yeah, it would, it just, like I said, I'm normally a private person about stuff like this, but here I am on a podcast. but yeah, he had a stroke, and that took some time. And like I said, the coming out of my dad's side, I was a lot harder cause I am the eldest and we have the Latin X, machismo. A way of life. And then

Eric:

you have to carry on family name that was a

Gil:

big part of that on my dad's side. So my mom's side is more like the relationships on my dad's side. He was the expectation you're a Saavedra male. You are, expected as a Gilbert, the third to, carry on. Okay. there was just all that extra pressure. So for me to come out and it was like a oh shit. What now? So yeah, that was really, it took years that took years to mend on my dad's side, yeah,

Eric:

I knew that there was,

Gil:

huh, it was different. It was just a little bit, it didn't go as smoothly as I expected better than others.

Eric:

Okay, so you weren't disowned per se. I know I knew that it was rougher on your father's side because I just always attributed it to them being part of the Latinx community, just cause I know what it was like. Being part of the Latinx community on my end. So I can relate to that. And I knew that's more, that's your Latino side of your family,

Gil:

correct. But I must say I must give my grandmother the credit, because my granny, pretty much Break the men, the Saavedra men from being Oh, you know machismo about it. She was the one who was really the one who moved everything. She's no, we don't disown family. and was very adamant about we treat everyone equal. We are Democrats under it, all liberals. she had to crack the whip. And turn everyone back, bring them back to their senses because I was also living with my grandparents at the time. I remember were in college here. So granny kept everything at Bay. Yeah. There was some sight whisper. She didn't tolerate

Eric:

it. Was it hard to accept yourself when you came out or did you accept yourself prior to coming out or at the time you came out or did it take you some time to,

Gil:

it's, I'm not gonna lie. It still takes me even to now like showing PDA in public. I'm not in, I'm not, it's something that

Eric:

I,

Gil:

I know I feel bad for Chris with that one, I think that. It's taken just, it just takes me time. I, because to certain things, I'm still a little bit on my own self conservative out about that, just cause I do worry. What if something happens even? Yeah. I'm in the Bay area, but there's still pockets I'm just. Naturally it is back in my mind, some of my upbringings and

Eric:

we get jump. not us when I say we, I don't mean you and I, but the community gets jumped often.

Gil:

Correct. And

Eric:

bashed and Beat

Gil:

I don't want to put myself in a position and I don't want to feel like, Oh, this is my rights. And, but no, because there's still that there's still a chance and you

Eric:

don't like. honestly, it is your right to be able to be affectionate with who you, whoever you want to. the sad thing is it's definitely not normalized in society, so because it's not normalized, you still have to go cautiously or proceed with caution.

Gil:

Correct? Correct. And that's something like I admit to even those day, I've been out for quite some, many years now. You know what I'm proud of least the younger ones are out there out and about. I see them all over the streets and I'm glad I'm so glad they could do what we could not do. for me, I've slowly loosened up about it over the years, but, it's, it took me a while also, even though yes, I came out swinging for me. They're like, Oh, come on, try me, real ballsy. But then I reversed a little bit. I was like, okay. What does this look like? It'll really accepted every aspect of myself. And I was part of that growing process. Cause I'm like, what does it mean to be a gay person? What does it mean to, especially as a minority, I'm biracial, what does that look like? And, listeners, The great part of the community is that you find normally people who know what they're doing or relatively know what they're doing. And at least I had you in that kind of show me a lot of the ropes. when we met, cause I was still sloppy. I'm like, I don't know what's going on. You kinda guide me. So the father hen here, and that's the word I am appreciative of that. when I had the opportunity with. the gaybies that came near me, I try to pass down knowledge that I knew to them. Yeah. Pros and cons and, do's and don'ts and all that kind of stuff. But, it's just part of it. It's scary as hell.

Eric:

Very scary. did you think, or did you come into, I know you talked a little bit about the Latino and the Filipino side. Did you have any, hardships due to cultural. beliefs and situations due to the culture is you were born into, societal. I know we talked a little bit about it not being normalized, but did you want to touch up on any more of that?

Gil:

I be just from a, not necessarily from being gay within those cultures, but I, I. I'd like, I think other people, I always found myself with the odd balls or, stuff like that in the reason I say this because I don't speak Spanish. So I couldn't, I really didn't hang out with the, the Hispanics at school because they were like, how do you not know it? You look at, and then I got the other side where I understood Tagalog, but I didn't look Asian enough. Okay. So a lot of the Filipinos. Didn't want to hang out with me cause I didn't look Asian in their definition. So I always hung out really with whoever would hang out with, which was the Black kids, the White kids biracial. most of the time or the just kids that are just out of place, and that's was my. Group, I guess to say, but I felt more discrimination from my people or so to speak people

Eric:

speak on that,

Gil:

And that was just really odd. That's why I don't know my people or everyone else, but my own, my who my blood is, but

Eric:

okay. Yeah. And that's fair,

Gil:

but I felt better within the gay community. I felt less discrimination. I like somebody.

Eric:

Oh, that's good.

Gil:

But of course I'm like pre-AP or no fems and all that.

Eric:

Yeah. No, that's true. did you run into a lot of the machismo attitudes around you or no, I did. Okay.

Gil:

I did.

Eric:

what was that like?

Gil:

it was interesting because I could deal with it, but I don't know. I just don't. I like, as part of that, I had a strong backbone built into me with confidence. So I never let anything get me down or feel like, Oh, intimidated. I'm like, are you, I dunno if that makes sense, but

Eric:

okay.

Gil:

That's just my dealing with it. I heard I've heard a lot of. Stuff, Oh, that's gay, but it was just like ignorant that's gets my mind. I'm like, you just don't know.

Eric:

Okay. But did you, was that more from a societal or from family or

Gil:

societal?

Eric:

Okay. You didn't have to deal with it familiarly then?

Gil:

No, not familiarly like if I Went out of visited family then yes. But never really directly in my own household or anything like that. that wasn't a thing.

Eric:

Okay. Yeah. Good to know.

Gil:

Yeah.

Eric:

So

Gil:

I'll let you, how does yours your coming out?

Eric:

I know we talked about some of this in our first episode or premier episode, and like I said, mine, I didn't realize. That I was part of the community until I was like in my early twenties, looking back there was definitely signs. But I didn't, pay attention to those. Cause I didn't think anything of them. I didn't think I was different in any way. As I assumed everybody took like 20 minutes to pose for the perfect picture. And, I know I'm getting into stereotypes here. We'll talk about that in a little bit. And everyone liked to, Strut down the street. Like they were on a catwalk, like to me that I just thought that was normal, yeah. So I guess like looking back at it, I can be like, Oh yeah, there were definitely signs. But as I was going through it, of course. Yeah. And I, it's not like I walked like that all the time. And as I got older, I was definitely more submerged into the Latino culture. So it was all about trying to be a guy. Oh, but

Gil:

did you do the whole like Dickies and white shirt? And

Eric:

I didn't do the whole Dickies thing. I have it. I did, sag my pants and I wore baggy pants and I wore, I wore like the Raiders jackets and Hornets jackets. Yeah. And I hung out with a lot of um. I don't want to say a lot of gang members, but I hung out with some gang members and I hung out with, a lot of people in the hip hop culture.

Gil:

Okay.

Eric:

I was raised a little, I was on the outskirts of the hip hop scene. My stepbrother was, is a graffiti artist. And so he had a lot of friends that were in the hip hop culture. And I had friends that were in it too. But I never participated in it. So other than trying to break dance and stuff like that, of course dance

Gil:

is by association.

Eric:

But I did party with them on more than a few occasions. I was always, was in that role and that's how, those were the males that I always saw around me. Okay. So to me, that's who I was trying to be or who I. Emulated. And I almost flunked out of school when I was in middle school. Cause I was all about wanting to be popular. Cause I've always cared about what other people think about me. And yeah, I was, I don't want to say a bad kid, but I definitely was a very careless kid.

Gil:

Got you.

Eric:

and I, like I said, almost flunked out of middle school, but I did get it together. I think I left middle school with a 2.3 GPA or something. Like it wasn't awful, but it wasn't great either. And then, I went to a Christian high school because honestly my parents were worried that I was going to flunk out of school and they didn't want me to flunk out of school. So they sent me to a Christian high school. And, I did well academically there, I graduated fifth in my class and. National honor society and all that other stuff. But being in that highly Christian environment was also. Interesting to me and at the time, I still wasn't questioning who I was sexually. I didn't really think about it. I was like, Oh yeah, that chick's hot. That chick's hot, blah blah blah blah, but never dated anybody either. I was just always, I was always friends with the girls, but that was about it. Yeah. And, but I didn't really think anything of it either. I was like, Oh, I'm just a late bloomer. And, my religious beliefs are due to the fact that I went to this school. Gotcha. And so I'm not religious because of the school or that's a big part of it because I went to school with a bunch of hypocrites, I would say 98% of them were complete hypocrites and, It really turned me off. But at the same time, you hear people talking about how homosexuality is wrong. And if one of their relatives was gay, they would completely disowned them, or they would be in favor of them being murdered. And. You hear all of this coming at you for four years. So I think even if I had started to question anything, I would suppress the shit out of it. Yeah, absolutely.

Gil:

you don't want to be subjected to that.

Eric:

Yeah. Yeah. Cause yeah, you don't want to be beat on and teased and bullied. I remember when I was little rewinding way back when I was like five or six years old, I was on a fishing trip with one of my uncles. Yes. I used to fish when I was little and he had made a comment to me. This is like back in the day when you could actually, he was like drinking beer as he was driving me to the mountains. He had made a comment to me about not, loving someone the way that my other uncle loved somebody. And I was like, okay, like I totally did not understand it. I actually think I was probably seven or eight when this happened, I was just like, okay, whatever, I just blew it off. Cause I didn't understand what he was talking about. And then a couple of weeks later, or later that week I was doing yard work with my mom or something. And I had Oh yeah, uncle said this about uncle. So and And she's what? I really wish he wouldn't have said that because my other uncle is gay and, So I was like, Oh, okay. I'm like, why? And so she told me, but she told me, and I'm like, you know how your dad and I love each other. That's how your uncle and so love each other. And I'm like, Oh, okay. And then that was it. Like I was done with it. like cool. Everyone should love everybody. Yeah. So yeah. So fast forward, back to high school and everyone's Oh, gay people are evil and being gay is wrong. I'm just like, wow. I do not. Envy anyone who was gay. And we had a kid in the school who was definitely a lot more flamboyant in his actions and he was constantly bullied. And I just remember, I don't want to be that person. Like I, not that I don't want to be that person because I didn't identify with him in any way, but I felt bad for anyone who was being put through that situation. And yeah. Then I went to college and again, I didn't really think of it. Like I didn't have any issue with it I didn't think I was at all. I hung out with the guys that were on my dorm floor and I went to, I originally started out in Iowa, so in the Bible belt and I honestly never really questioned it oddly. And I know I had a friend the first time a friend ever came out to me was in college and it was a female friend of mine who I'm still friends with to this day. And I know when she told me. I was just like, okay. And because again, I guess to me, it just, wasn't a big thing. I did start to realize at that point, though, of what homophobia was

Gil:

gotcha.

Eric:

Because I started to see people, mocking people, really hardcore for being gay and making threats to them. And that didn't sit well with me. I'm like, it's really no one's business. Who is what? And like you were saying earlier with the, in the men's mindset, going back to toxic masculinity that we talked about in a previous episode, um in the men's mindset, a woman being a lesbian was okay. Okay. But a guy being gay was not. Yeah. So I was around a lot of that, up until I was probably like 21, 22. I dealt with a lot of that being Latino, two of my three uncles are very homophobic and they didn't talk to my other uncle and they always made like really snide comments and. I may not have understood them at the time, but then as I got older, I was just kinda Oh, wow. I don't want to be on anyone's shit list. But, yeah, I think I, as I said in our first episode when I was 22, was when I actually realized that I was because I fell in complete infatuation with a bartender

Gil:

or when

Eric:

you no. And I went back in Albuquerque. Yeah. At The Pulse nightclub represent for The Pulse that no longer exists. And that was before it was pulse and blue. It was just the pulse. yeah, it was one of the best clubs I've ever been to, honestly. but even then, like I just thought, okay, this is just like a one person that I'm attracted to. I'm just attracted to this one guy. And that's how I sold it to my lie. That's how I sold it to myself. And despite the fact that, I was going to that club every single night that it was open. And hanging out at that bar and talking to that bartender every single night, but I was never me flirting because I am I'm even to this day, I'm like the worst flirt in the world and I'm super awkward. but we would just talk and chat, but was also like, this was, I don't know if they do it now. Cause I haven't been to a club. In a while. And I haven't been to a club like this in a while where you can stick money in their underwear. So it's

Gil:

been a while.

Eric:

Okay. Yeah. So I was always like tipping in the underwear. Cause that was just always fun for me, even when I was like, Oh no, I'm straight. I just like this one guy. but yet I was at the gay club two to three nights a week, almost every week. And I was like, Oh, I just like the music they play Janet here. I liked the music. of course they played Janet

Gil:

for research. Of course, Eric research

Eric:

and. But even then, even when I finally accepted, Oh, I'm attracted to this guy and I'm attracted to this guy and I'm attracted to this guy, I would still like make out with women and stuff like that because I'm like, no, but I still like women. But then I was like, no, like I'm still like really attracted to this guy. And now this guy, and now this guy, and everyone around me knew, cause it's not like I try to live in like this huge macho bubble by any means. I'm not a very macho guy. Me I'm very straight passing in a lot of ways, but unless you hear me talk

Gil:

or you're in front of me

Eric:

or I'm in front of Gil, Or I'm in front of some guy that whose attention I'm trying to get. And I drop into the splits and start shaking my ass, but I digress. I forgot what I was going with that Yeah. So it's not like I'm in this like macho bubble by any means, but I still was trying to portray that. And so like the first time I ever did anything with a guy, I was like, Oh, I'm just experimenting. And this is just. Someone that I know. And we're just going to see what happens. And I'm just a dude and I want to get off. And so that's fine. And I just did all these weird things to justify it to myself. And like I said, yeah, everyone pretty much around me. knew. And like I said, I wasn't in this macho bubble, so it's not like I was, Oh, I am man. And I only like women, it was. Me just being me and me being free. And that's one thing I love about the gay bar scene or the club scene is I was never more comfortable in my own skin other than dance. Then I was when I was at a gay bar. people always ask me like, why I like gay bars so much, or why I like to go clubbing so much. Yes, I do love to dance. And so that is always a big factor, but I feel more myself. It was always an escapism from the reality that I was trying to live. Yeah. I was able to just be myself and be free. So people who are

Gil:

it's, all the norms are gone. Yeah. It's the walls come down, everything come down.

Eric:

Yeah. I was honestly like, I would be on the stage dancing with like my belt wrapped around my neck and my arms, like cuffing myself and like thrashing. And those are literally I would be doing that. Correct. And, and you, I think you can vouch for that. Oh yeah.

Gil:

Like I said, when you and I, we used to go, it was just. Freeing, we just dance, literally start to finish and close down the club. And we just had fun. I am by no means a dancer, but I just got a few drinks. Shoot. I could dance anything suddenly

Eric:

and see with me, like I can dance completely sober. Yeah. But I can't talk to anybody. Yeah. So I would have at least a couple of drinks, just so I could talk to people because I am so socially awkward. I still am to this day and I don't even drink that much. but no, that's why I've always been a huge fan of the clubs for myself. And I was like, let's go clubbing because it was a place for me to be free. And for me to just be me, myself and knocked down my walls. So my friend circles pretty much knew me from that. Arena. And they didn't really know that my internal struggles that I was going through. And so even when I would go to the male strip clubs and everything else, I. Rip down those walls, but I was still like in the back of my head, Oh no, I'm just here to have fun, but I'm not really into these guys. And it's stupid to think about it now, but it was just the psychology on my head because I didn't want to be that person that my family hated. And I'm not even that close to my uncles, but that my family hated, or that I was taught was evil through school.

Gil:

Huh it's you're being indoctrined into this culture, to this environment.

Eric:

Exactly. I was totally indoctrinated into those beliefs. And even to this day, like it's still hard for me. And then so had a lot of them traumatic experiences as a child, which we will probably get into another episode, but like a lot of sexual assault type stuff that happened to me as a child. And even as of 10 years ago. But a lot of that also influenced me. So I thought, maybe I just like guys, because it was familiar to me because of experiences that had happened with people and so it was just a lot of confusion and a lot of. It got me into the whole self-loathing and self hatred, which was also fueled by the fact that I do have depression, which I started having depression when I was like 13. Like when I started going through puberty, is when I started suffering from depression, all the hormonal changes and that has stuck with me till this day. And so it was a lot of me putting on airs of inside. This is who I wanted to be, but outside everyone saw this other me who was actually the real me, but I didn't want to see myself as that person, but I wanted to be that person. So every opportunity I had to be that person I took. So I always went. Clubbing because I got to actually be free. I got to wear my see-through clothes. I got to do up my hair, I got to put cologne on my crotch. I got to just be, quote unquote myself. but even then, it took me a while to come out and it took me a while to. Come out fully. So I pretty much all my friends knew and pretty much most of some of my family knew. And once it was assumed, I didn't deny it, but I didn't sit there and tell everyone like, yeah, I'm gay, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It was just like, Oh, people assumed it. Cool. I'll just let them assume it. And they're right. So I don't need to. say otherwise, and then that's how it was with my family too. For a long time. It was very much Oh yeah, everyone knows. Yeah. and we had discussed it like, Oh yeah, whatever, but it wasn't talked about, it was just kinda Oh yeah, he is this way. And we're not going to worry about it. We're not going to talk about it. We don't need to advertise it. And that carried on to any relationships that I did have because I was always in the mindset of, if I'm in a serious relationship, then I'm going to proclaim it to everybody and be like, Hey everybody look at me, I'm gay. And this is my lover and we're partners and we're getting married or whatever.

Gil:

Yes.

Eric:

That would give me a reason to fully verbalize it to the whole world, even though the whole world already knew. And I had already had conversations with people individually. okay. So when I would be in relationships with people. I would be like, okay, we'll see how this goes. And then if I need to introduce to anybody, I will introduce, but it never went and it would never went very far. So I never had to introduce to anybody. and then, and I think at one point I just was like, I don't know that I realized I was probably self sabotaging myself, but I was like, I'm going to just make this proclamation to. The whole world in case the world actually needs to hear me say it in case I need to hear myself say it to the whole world. because I didn't want to be in that position where okay, I am starting to date someone and I start to like someone and I'm still very single people. So that's not hasn't happened, but I didn't want to be in that situation where. Okay, I'm going to throw at you this information, and now I'm going to introduce you to this person, and now I'm going to overkill it. So I'm like as long as everybody knows and everyone knows where I'm coming from. And then if I want to introduce anybody, like it's already expected, the groundwork is already there. Plus it's actually a very freeing experience. It's a very freeing experience. Now I will say aye. I'm a huge, what's the word I'm looking for? I am vehemently against other people, outing other people. Yeah, I think everyone needs to come out in their own time. Whether you are five years old or you are 95 years old, like that guy who was in his nineties, I think he was like 90 years old, just came out. Oh, it was all over the internet. And it was a beautiful thing. And he found out that the guy that he was in love with when he was younger, had passed away, which was really sad. So in your own time, I think you come out when you are ready, you shouldn't have other people pressuring you to come out. And I, like I said, I'm vehemently against people outing other people. Cause then you're taking that from them. And that's a part of who they are and it's for them to decide like in the Love, Simon movie where the kid I forgot what his name was, but he outed Simon and. I was so mad in that movie. I was so mad for him for doing that. And I still feel the same way. Cause I've had friends through, we're not friends anymore, but people who I thought were friends who outed me to other people and it's not again, it's not like people didn't know. But

Gil:

yeah, but it's not their story to tell.

Eric:

Exactly.

Gil:

And I agree because especially the coming out part it's so for me, relieving, it was kinda like that finally get to exhale.

Eric:

Yes, exactly.

Gil:

I don't know how to explain it. Like I felt better. And at that point it was What else do you got or just gonna throw it at me? I don't know. I just felt I felt good. I felt like I could actually grow as a person instead of trying to keep building more. It's three more, face on to yourself. If I throw more foundation and throw more makeup, I look, no. Let the bitch chip throw in your skincare. that's what it felt like for me, I felt relieved.

Eric:

No, I liked your analogy. Yeah, it was a huge relief. I didn't have a huge, I haven't, I have probably the most boring coming out story ever it was basically like, yeah, I know. Aha. And it was my reaction to my friend, my first friend ever coming out to me, it was like, yeah, everyone knows okay, what are we going to do for

Gil:

lunch?

Eric:

Awesome. Which at this honestly, it's cool, awesome. I don't have to worry about. Yeah. People not liking me, people turning their backs on me. I don't have to worry about any of that. But at the same time, I didn't, I didn't get any of the theatrics, which I'm glad, but I was expecting it, but I don't know why I was expecting it because my parents are pretty chill. I will say like with my stepfather, we, it's not something that's talked about a lot. But it's not frowned upon either. yeah. They know I'm super like LGBTQIA rights and Oh my God, this person's doing this and this person's doing this to the community and this is evil. and actually the Albuquerque social club. I don't know if you remember that place. Oh yeah.

Gil:

Oh, I remember

Eric:

they're closing what, because COVID they can't afford to pay all their bills, but my mom was actually like, I want to donate to them and I was like, Awesome. thank you for wanting to support the community. There's a, GoFund me to help raise money for them. So we'll put the link on our page

Gil:

Yeah. And we got to save places like that. Like I said, this is, these are all the safe places for the youth and everyone else too, that we're, we have stories. This is a it's if you ask almost any other gay person, Oh, where did you, your early twenties or whatever it is when you came out the club. This place, this, like the one restaurants or whatever it is, the gathering, our gathering hole, where we get to us, it's like, for me, it's I will never forget. What's my first club. I went in Sacramento off of 21st street called club 21 unoriginal, the very I love Faces. Oh, yeah, that's another, that was the second one I went to. I went with my, with Moe and, he took me out there. So I was like 18 of course going to the gay club first off. Like how do I dress that? I didn't know what to dress them. I look back and I'm like, God, that outfit was so hideous, but you put your best. It was your first shot. the very first

Eric:

song I remember hearing at the club. Oh, sorry. I said, I think I introduced you to style at the clubs.

Gil:

Yes. I learned through you what to do correctly. The very first song I remember hearing at the club was Don'tcha from Pussycat Dolls.

Eric:

That is a good song. I remember the

Gil:

first time, the first song I remember hearing, I was like, Oh my God, I'm here. The

Eric:

first time I ever heard that song, I was in Fresno visiting my friend from Iowa, the friend who had came out to me, the first one that came out to me, I was visiting her in Fresno. Oh my God. She was like, Oh, of the song. and she didn't know who sang it at the time. And I had never heard the song before. Cause obviously Albuquerque was like way behind anything. And They played that song at the gay club at the gay bar that she took me to. And I was like crawling all over the floor. And I was like, totally into that song. I was like crawling in between people's legs and all kinds of stuff. Like I always used to do when I was younger. That was fun.

Gil:

No, it's w. You remember the stuff you'd like it said, these are stuff that they'll go away. I, all the good memories, they're there,

Eric:

you remember with that song crawling between someone's legs? When I had my legs wrapped around someone else's waist and I'm crawling with my hands underneath someone's legs and there's like broken glass everywhere. And I'm like, don't cut yourself, but keep dancing. It was just like, so into it.

Gil:

That's where we're, also I it's different kinds of songs and music and stuff like that. That's what I would hear it. learn other songs where I'm like, Oh my God. Because I normally listen to either eighties new wave or I'm listening to alternative and indie. And I'm like, Oh, look at this pop scene. And I'm like, Oh, I didn't know about XYZ. So that's also where I got to update my playlist a little bit

Eric:

umbrella.

Gil:

Oh my God. Yes. A rhythm. Isn't a dancer. that's

Eric:

a great story. So Gil and I were, we had probably been at the club for, I would say like an hour and a half, maybe two hours.

Gil:

Yeah, I think closer to two,

Eric:

two hours. We had been on the dance floor the whole time. Other than we probably had three or four drinks each. And then we're dancing and dancing. And then all of a sudden we're like, Oh my gosh, I need the bathroom so bad. And I have a power bladder. I can hold it for ever, but once it hits and we're like, okay. Oh my gosh. And so we're like painfully walking to the bathroom and we're like, Oh my gosh, there's a line. Like what the fuck? We have to wait in line. So we're sitting there waiting and we're like, Inching closer and closer to the stall. Cause I think there was what, like three stalls is the great thing about gay clubs is that they're all unisex bathrooms pretty much, but the women's bathroom at that club particularly was worse than the men's and, which was not true at The Pulse, but at The District it was. And We were like in so much pain and like inching closer and closer. And I think we were had like one or two people ahead of us and one person ahead of us and they start playing rhythm as a dancer. And we both look at each other and we're like, Oh my God, rhythm is a dancer. Totally forgot. We had to go to the bathroom, ran back out to the dance floor and threw down for what, like two or three more songs. And then we're like, Oh my God, I need the bathroom and painfully walked back over there. I think the lines were pretty dead at that time. I would only

Gil:

have died,

Eric:

but yeah, that was a fun time, actually. I don't know why it was such an entertaining story, but yeah, it's always been a favorite of mine.

Gil:

Yeah. mine too, it just it's so much happens that, like I said, the club and just that memories and stuff like that. and I think that's why, I'm sure people could remember when we had that, the shooting in Orlando at The Pulse and how much, even though I didn't know any of them, but it just felt like it violated. Part of the culture.

Eric:

Awful. I was completely devastated when that happened. And I had only been to that. I had been to that club a couple times, but obviously not anytime near when it happened, but I was, I still remember Oh my gosh, I've partied there before. And it was a completely devastating moment in our community. And the sad thing is too, the whole event was sad, so another terrible thing that happened. With that is the fact that we can't donate blood being gay males. We cannot donate blood. Yeah. And so here, our community has been shot and is bleeding out and needs blood. And we can't even donate blood to help our community. And that law is still in the books. Yeah, I know they like did some amending to it because of the CO VID antibodies but you still have all these rules not rules, but, all this gating criteria that you have to pass before you can even donate plasma. Because you are a gay male who has possibly had sex with a male in the last three months. And therefore you're at higher risk of HIV, even though that's not even really true anymore.

Gil:

Correct. It's so outdated it off of bigotry with that,

Eric:

and it's honestly, it's the toxic masculine culture again, because these guys who are in power, like I don't like the fact that these guys sleep with guys. And so we're gonna make it hard for them to do this and do that. And it's really sad because. You can only donate blood. I believe if it's like a family member and you're like an exact match for something and they okay. It's but I don't even know if that's true. I just know that. We typically can't donate blood.

Gil:

Yeah. So yeah, so our clubbing days, good times.

Eric:

I know we like to talk stereotypes every once in a while. we always say stereotypes exist for a reason because there's some truth to them. Now I've been thinking about this though, a lot lately, do the stereotypes exist because there is a truth to the stereotype or does the stereotype exists because there's this expectation from society or from culture. And so you're just living up to that expectation.

Gil:

That's interesting.

Eric:

I almost

Gil:

want to say. I think it's living up to,

Eric:

I think the same thing too. I think that people in society will say Oh, these people, this group of people act this way or this group of people act that way and it's not Oh, I want to act this way, but you think I'm going to act this way. So I'll show you what I can really act like. Or you're just so tired of being silenced all the time that you're going to. React.

Gil:

Yeah. Or it could be that's all people know. So that's kinda what they have to act like or they feel that they would have to act

Eric:

yeah, because that's what society wants. Yeah.

Gil:

Yeah. And I think that is it because at least for me, like this is not to. Make any negative comments about Albuquerque about, but I felt especially within the gay scene there, like a lot of people fit a stereotype. I was like, Holy hell, where they said they were gay, they're gay or they're straight or hella or straight or macho. I want to know, I felt that a lot. It, I don't know. Like I said, if that's a mix of the, part of the culture part, is it. That because that's all he see or that's all they think a gay person or a straight person has to be like, and it'll be like out of a bigger urban area that wasn't such a, like I said, you couldn't tell. Who was who? And everyone's blending in. And. I always laugh. Like when I go to Seattle, I can tell they're straight gay where on the spectrum they are, or not on the spectrum whatsoever. I was so bewildered.

Eric:

I'm sorry. There's a lot of metros in Seattle.

Gil:

Yes. Yes. It, and that's just, it could be

Eric:

Metro.

Gil:

Yes. Oh, and I think we, I lean with you on that one. It's a little, I think it could be.

Eric:

So w what stereotypes would you say you fit?

Gil:

Oh, geez. None. Absolutely not. I, my own person,

Eric:

as you clutch your imaginary pearls,

Gil:

right? I'm like what me,

Eric:

the voice gets super dramatic and you get that high inflection. I

Gil:

don't know which one I would really hit. I know the. The more alcohol me, the gayer I get

Eric:

and the more you and I hang around each other.

Gil:

Oh, Jesus. Two flames.

Eric:

Yeah.

Gil:

I don't know. It's hard to be impartial and myself because like I said, I don't know what I would be or what group I would be fitting under with that stereotype. I don't know. What do you think for yourself?

Eric:

You have one? this isn't interesting to me, so I'm going to lead in with a story first of course, because I'm a super long winded on this podcast. even shy and quiet in person unless you know me really well. so I've done a lot of. app dating an app hooking up. Everyone knows that by now. And so I used to get this question a lot, especially when I lived in Denver, these guys would ask me, so what makes you gay? Or why are you gay? Or what's the gayest thing about you? It was like that question in some form. And I would always respond with one of two answers either. Cause I like to fuck dudes. Or because I like to give blow jobs or I like to suck cock. that's what makes me gay come on now. And they're

Gil:

up to the basics.

Eric:

Yeah. And then they, so they were always like, no, but what makes you gay? And I'm like, cause I like to suck Dick. And I'm like, Oh, okay. So you want to know because I'm a huge Janet Jackson fan. So I have my divas, I fit the stereotype of the gay guy with his little divas or because I like to dance. Cause I'm a pretty, I'm a pretty decent dancer. Like I have a good sense of great

Gil:

dancer.

Eric:

I would be like, I like to dance. I like to do yoga because at that time, yoga was considered more of a woman's fitness routine, even though it's so much more than just fitness. And it is for everybody, even though not every pose is for every body, but

Gil:

yoga

Eric:

is just great all around. And so I'm like, but I also like sports and Oh, okay, that makes you a dude but so that's cool. We can hang out while you have my Dick in your mouth, blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, okay. But, so yeah, they always wanted to know, what was the stereotypes that I fit like, do I like musicals? am I into dancing? Yes, I'm into dancing. Yes. I like to go to clubs. Yes. I like, at the time I liked my fruity drinks. Yeah. Now I'm a beer and wine person or a Mojito with no sugar and extra lime and extra mint but I never wants to buy a new one, huh?

Gil:

No seeds.

Eric:

Oh yes. And when I drink water with lemon, I have to deseed my lemon. Yes. I am very OCD about that. But yeah, they always wanted to know what stereotypes I fit. And so like for me, it was, I like to go to the gay bars. So I was in the club scene. I like to dance. I have my divas, I drink fruity drinks. and also like when I would go to like gay, friendly places or events, I think I always, I dress a little bit more of the part than I would like in my every day life. Yeah, no, I dressed the lighter. It's a little bit more flamboyantly, not over the top because I still wasn't comfortable enough to do that, but I would still put on, I would make sure, like I wore see-through clothes or super tight clothes I would spend two hours looking like I just threw something on and. I was completely not put together, even though it took me two hours to have that, not put together a look and I always rocked my hats.

Gil:

Absolutely. I was gonna say, I've never not seen you at least start the night with a

Eric:

hat. Yeah. those would be those are kind of surface level stereotypes, but those are stereotypes that I know I fit in. I can be super dramatic too. I still say that I'm pretty dramatic. everything is like the end of the world to me. And then I, so I react on emotion really quickly and I am a very emotional and passionate person.

Gil:

Sarcastic is I'll be that sassy queen. Yeah. It's normally me. I'll say something completely. just because. Yeah, the SAS is where I know I'll fit a stereotype. And me working in retail, like you just have to have a personality and quick wit otherwise you're going to get screwed so fast and not in a good way.

Eric:

And see, I've never worked in retail and I've never worked with food.

Gil:

boy, I've had both.

Eric:

So I don't know. I know people are assholes. Yeah, but I've never dealt with them in that regard

Gil:

is you have the gays have to work the retail so we could deal with this. We're a like, no let me tell you why.

Eric:

Yeah. And see that's another stereotype I fit, but it depends on who I'm with, but I can be hella judgy. And I can be super catty. Like when I'm with you hella catty together, we

Gil:

pull it out of each other

Eric:

and we pull it out of each other. Sorry. That was funny. yeah, so I can be that person too, and I can be a little bit gossipy, but that's something that I've grown out of more so now, but I used to be able to be a little bit of gossipy but I guess I've outgrown that stereotype.

Gil:

Okay. Yeah, the gossip I always try to avoid. Cause I just like he gets it when it gets sloppy. I was like, aye.

Eric:

I don't think I ever liked to gossip about people. I always wanted to hear the gossip and want to know the gossip. That's what it was for me. I want to meet with that. I used to just want to know what that gossip

Gil:

that's what Chris says. He is.

Eric:

Let me put that on. Oh, yeah. That's like the only Spanish word I know..

Gil:

Yeah. It's funny being some of these stereotypes where you just like, Oh, I'm not it. I'm like, you're a gay guy. working in a city in a beauty department.

Eric:

Yeah. So you could also say I'm a, I was a dancer for years, so that's a stereotype I fit besides liking to dance. I was literally a dancer. and I was a belly dancer at that. Which is a societal stereotype. Dog groomer. Yeah. Yoga teacher flexibility teacher.

Gil:

Huh.

Eric:

I fit those stereotypes.

Gil:

Yeah. Yeah. That's, it's funny when you started looking back at your own, like I said, your own stereotypes, it, at least for me, I like to tell myself. The lie of I'm rarely in any of those. And then sometimes I'm like, ha wait a minute. Let me just pause this for a second. Cause that's always my natural reaction. I'm like me now. I'm not part of that bubble. As I clutch my a Pearl, it flipped my imaginary hair to the side

Eric:

and roll your eyes. And that's all, that's a stereotype. I do have I, can I roll my eyes? And I roll my eyes. I have a friend who teases me and it was like, I can literally hear your eyes rolling, or I felt your eyes roll. And she's in a completely different place than I am. And she'll send me a text. Are you watching such and such show? Cause I literally just felt your eyes roll and I'm like, yeah, I am. And yes, they actually did just do that.

Gil:

Oh, yes. So I have a question now that you're experience that's life now, you're going down your journey. Now that you look back to smell, the roses a little bit, and you saw a reflection of you like your 10 year old self or whatever, pick an age. What do you feel that you would be telling that person who's having a slight panic attack? You're like, where the hell am I going with life?

Eric:

Okay. In they're coming

Gil:

specifically the coming out, not on the, career path or anything of that nature, but

Eric:

no, but like in the, yeah.

Gil:

What would you tell yourself now?

Eric:

what would me as the now person? Yeah. Tell, yeah, it would depend on the age,

Gil:

that moment where you felt lost. Where you felt like I'm not sure it could have been like you even look 10 years ago.

Eric:

Okay. So as it pertains to me just coming out, then for me dealing with who I am as my sexual orientation. I would honestly tell myself to come out a lot sooner. I would tell myself to accept it a lot sooner and to embrace it and be proud of it. To find a support group, not just family, but like to find friends that are going to support you as well, because people who are going through it or who have gone through it, they know what you're going through at least to a point or to a degree. And you guys can be there for each other. it is true. That community is a family for each other in a lot of ways. Yeah. And I would honestly tell myself just to come out sooner, be proud of it, embrace it, slut it up. Yeah. And sleep with as many people as you wanted. And don't be a prude. I'm not a prude, but, Just enjoy life, have fun. Be who you are, experiment with, what you want to experiment with and live. Don't be so afraid of offending other people that you lock yourself into a little box. So feel free to express yourself. Feel free to expand your horizons and feel free to live and live your truth and live your authentic

Gil:

self. put

Eric:

that's what I was home myself

Gil:

hashtag.

Eric:

And what about you?

Gil:

it's very much in the same line, we're going to have to listen to the same thing, but I think definitely it's live. there is no tomorrow. And I think it's that really, that honesty with myself is like the coming out, knowing who I am was not the issue, but really genuinely if I was going to be a little bit more flamboyant, be it. And own it instead of still, having that reservation, it just cause I overthink it.

Eric:

I wish I would have been a lot more flamboyant too, And I think that's,

Gil:

I think honestly, if I was in this modern times probably would have been a lot more flamboyant than I am. And I think I would have been more in debt with fashion. I am not gonna lie. But because I do admire, the good clothing, I like premium clothing

Eric:

and you're around,

Gil:

I'm around it. I love it. I adore it. I don't wear it. Cause I'm the frugal part of me kicks in. I'm like, no, you don't do that. honestly I think if I just really just been me the way I wanted it, I would have easily gone in debt that way. quite easier. But also I think the other big thing would have just been. Date around a little bit more, just take the opportunity because I think I was so cautious about who I was going to be with. And I think that kind of might have potential closed doors. but at the same time, do I regret the path I went? No, because I wouldn't have met quite a few people. but definitely I think I could have been a little bit more open.

Eric:

that's a good point. one thing I would say that I did is I always was like, I need to work on myself. I need to work on myself. And so I never wanted to date people when I was younger. Cause I didn't want to bring my baggage to them or to a relationship. And so I was always very, conscious of that. But now looking back, like I'm like had I just accepted myself, I would have already been and,

Gil:

yeah.

Eric:

Dealing with myself and, patching up a lot of wounds. there would still be some there, but, yeah, a lot of it would just been acceptance. Yeah. I think I would have been, had I been ballsy enough to excuse the pun. To be flamboyant. I think I definitely would have. I definitely had some flamboyancy to me. Like I said that,

Gil:

but in a very, like I said, that natural unapologetic, this is the way, if you peel back the layer and just really, who was that? How would the true Eric look day to day? I'm with you on that one. If you'd like I could have been, it would have been a little bit different.

Eric:

Yeah. I admire the younger generation or the generation we have now because for the most part, or at least what I see, they're unapologetically who they are. And I think that's amazing. I love that, but I also, I still do. I'm actually jealous of it, but I think a lot of it is also. They have the opportunity to do it now, correct? Because of all the strides that have been made.

Gil:

Yeah.

Eric:

So it's

Gil:

true. It's just like all the men who, you know, who died during the AIDS crisis, we lost an entire generation practically they don't, or they're not here, it's you're starting from scratch again.

Eric:

Like 86,000 or something like

Gil:

that is absurdity.

Eric:

And Reagan did nothing about it.

Gil:

Very interesting. Feels like modern times. we're gonna that the Republican president are we shocked?

Eric:

Yes.

Gil:

The economy crashed in a Democrat, comes at FDR to clean it all up. We have the AIDS crisis, a Republican's ignoring it at 80,000 plus die. Now we have this orange fuck.

Eric:

What did you hear about his tax returns? Oh, I, that was like, that was the great, that was like the feel good story of the day.

Gil:

I pay more in tax than he does.

Eric:

Yeah. Yeah. Me too.

Gil:

anyways, back to, but,

Eric:

but just honestly, just as a sidetrack, cause we went political for a brief moment. the. SCOTUS nominee that he put through Amy Coney Barrett. She's very anti-gay. Yeah, she has verbally agreed with the dissents on marriage equality and transgender rights. She mis-gendered. transgendered women. And so that's just something that we have to really be aware of because they are trying to push us back into the closet.

Gil:

Yup. We're already out.

Eric:

Yeah. I'm not calling back, even if it's a nice walk in closet, like a Beverly Hills housewife walk in closet. I'm not going back.

Gil:

No wardrobe changes or anything of that nature, bitch. We out.

Eric:

Yeah,

Gil:

it is what it is.

Eric:

Are there any lessons you've learned?

Gil:

I think definitely making more, I think bridges and being less, I dunno, it's just being open to feedback or learning stuff from other people within the community. I think that was definitely a good thing, I don't know if it's a cultural thing of respecting your elders or just, Used to hearing, unsolicited, but good facts about life. Like I said, that's why I think part of my coming out and I was searching unknowingly for somebody to show me the way, like I found you. And you and I learn from

Eric:

their stories.

Gil:

Yeah. w we might've, like I learned a lot from you from Oh, the dos and donts. And that was that, like I said earlier, but that was, I think, a good thing that I did. And I learned, like I said, cause I didn't know what the hell, like I said, it was sloppy it was, a hot mess. I, at least I, that was a good learnings,

Eric:

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I think that mainly like the lessons go back to, what also, what I would have told myself back then is really just to, as I always say at the end of this podcast, live in your authenticity because. that's the best version of you. You can be like, no, one's going to be a better version of you than you are. So don't try to live into those people's expectations of who you need to be in your life, be your authentic self. Yeah. And I think that's a huge lesson that I've learned. Cause that authentic self of me, like I said earlier, was apparent nightclubs and apparent on the dance floor. Like on the stage, like if you ever saw me perform on stage or on a video, on a camera, that was, those were the two places that I was the most comfortable in my life. Cause that's where I could be completely myself and just rip all my walls down. yeah, I think that's probably the biggest lesson I've learned now is just to be your authentic self and realize that you are going to fuck up from time to time, but

Gil:

it's okay.

Eric:

Yeah.

Gil:

The people need to realize it's okay, it's going to happen. And you're going to learn, you're going to get back the hell up. And keep moving. You keep moving on.

Eric:

I'm still every day, which I think we all do. And I embraced the fact that I learned there was things that I thought were true or that I thought were acceptable two years ago, four years ago, 30 years ago. And now I'm like, what the fuck? Like, why did I even think that like even a month ago? Why didn't I think that was okay. Probably not a month ago, but still I do learn every single day.

Gil:

And, body image is another thing

Eric:

that we can talk about

Gil:

that's a whole other episode,

Eric:

but,

Gil:

and that's, I don't know. That's definitely something that as I've gotten older and I look back at photos and I'm just like Gil, you should have taken 40,000 photos of yourself because I know that's something that I've always had issues with. Always It's Oh my God, you're not gay. Skinny or maybe the angle of the light hit you two off, now to look back at the photos and I'm always like my God, I was beautiful. I was handsome as hell. Oh, hell buddy. decent looking at least, or like my body that I always used to think I was so fat. And I'm like, what the hell are you thinking? Have you looked down recently? that's a love handle. I think just being a little bit kinder. I think that's with age, you look back at your years, a little bit kinder than you are at the time. It's something you're the over critic and it's hard.

Eric:

That's a really good one actually, to be kind to people in general, but also to be kind to yourself. I remember, I was, and I'm going to talk about the body thing and a little bit too, but a body image thing, I was at a dance workshop with a really big name dancer. and I'm gonna paraphrase what she said, but we were talking about how we talk to ourselves as dancers. And she was talking about how, the way we talk to ourselves. We would never put up with someone else talking to us that way. Yeah. We always, we are so hard on ourselves and we criticize ourselves so harshly that if someone else came up and started talking to us that way, we would say fuck you. Like who the fuck do you think you are? But yet we allow ourselves to talk to ourselves that way we even wouldn't allow someone to talk to a close friend that way, but yet we're going to allow ourselves to talk to ourselves that way. So I always do say this. Most of everything I learned in life, I learned in dance or at mirrors dance, because that's just true for me. But, As far as body image, I've struggled with my body image. Most of my life. I think anyone who knows me knows that I have severe food issues. I also have food allergies, but I have food issues. And, can all be actually probably, what's the word not tracked back. traced back. That's the word I'm looking for? Traced back to, when I used to play soccer and when I started going through, cause I, yes, I used to play soccer people. I was going through puberty and I had started to put on a little bit of weight and I had a soccer coach tell me that I shouldn't be playing soccer. I was too big and that I needed to play football. But I didn't want to play football. Yeah. So after that, I going back to living up to people's expectations. I started living into that expectation. other stuff from childhood that I alluded to earlier in the podcast also triggered. Some of that, but I was always very much subconsciously putting a wall up. So I allowed myself to gain weight. I, in my early twenties, lost a lot of weight in a very unhealthy way. As far as like eating six to 800 calories a day, doing three hours of cardio every single day, seven days a week dropped a bunch of weight within three months and kept it off for a little while. A few years. And, I, was very, I pretty much lived that way. I look at pictures now and the same thing, Oh my gosh, I remember being able to wear whatever I wanted to wear. I looked so cute. I looked so good, but at the same time, like I couldn't go out and enjoy life. if I went to eat with my friends, it was basically like, yes, I will have some lettuce and mustard. And you guys are eating like hot wings and nachos and spinach dip. And I will have my water or I'll have some alcohol cause that's going to be the only calories I can take in for the day. which wasn't a fun way to live either. No. and then when I was doing all that cardio, so like I lost a lot of muscle mass and I lost a lot of weight. I also, I started working at a gym and I had a lot of the trainers there that were my colleagues. telling me that Oh, you have to much of a cardio body. If you want to have a nice body, you need to lift more. So then I started like making the transition from cardio, doing. 21 at 21 plus hours of cardio a week to doing 15 hours of cardio a week. And then I like fit in some weight training and it was good for a while. Weight training makes you hungry. Yeah. And so then I started eating more and my body just didn't react to. To that. and so I'm always like in this cycle of not eating enough food or eating too much food right now, I'm in a pretty healthy balance. it's taken me years to be okay with food. Like I was filling out some stupid questionnaire on Facebook a few months back, and it was like, what's one, what's one thing about you that people wouldn't realize. And I. Was in a triggered state. Anyways, I was like slipping into a depression. This was probably like six or seven months ago, maybe a little bit longer. And I was triggered already. And so I was like, aye, don't like eating food. if I could go my whole life without eating, I would be super happy, but I know I need to eat. So I do eat, but a friend of mine was like, I had no idea. You didn't like. Eating food. Are you had issues with food? Because we always go to all these great places and have all this like amazing food. I'm like, yeah, I know I need to eat. And it's not like I don't eat and I can throw down yeah. A meal or two, but I don't know. They prefer to not eat. Like I can go almost a whole day without eating and then I'll just help, like a couple of little snacks and I'm done. And that's not good.

Gil:

No, not at all. Not at all,

Eric:

but no, I, but I still have my food issues. It's something that I actively dealing with all the time.

Gil:

Yeah.

Eric:

It would

Gil:

affect more people than I think people let no, because it's you could hide it.

Eric:

Yeah. And honestly, it's still probably it's my, one of my biggest triggers is it, as soon as someone says anything to me about my weight. Even if it's an innocent comment, it will trigger me. And I will go into starvation mode or I will go into a super deep depression where I just cannot function for five or six days. And I know depression isn't necessarily just triggered by someone said something mean to you, but. I just, then I go into that cycle of life, offloading and self hatred. And then my body's just you can't function today. It's painful for me to get up for me to pick up my head. I'm like, just leave the lights off and let me sleep for the next five weeks, because. I'm a failure. And I like go into that. Like I said, that whole detrimental cycle of myself. So yeah, that's my thing with, body image and. Food. That was a little candid. Wow. I think, feel like I just got off the therapist's couch.

Gil:

How does that make you feel? but it's a very touchy subject. I at least within the community. And I know it is cause that's obviously why we have 14 gyms in a one block radius. It's because it is pushed. Yeah. and for me, it's, I didn't realize getting older or more matured, metabolism is things are slowing down. So the same things I used to love to eat. I can't eat anymore because now I'm like, Oh my God, acid reflex or, Oh my God, I can have so much red wine. That's going to trigger something. Or, I've had a modify.

Eric:

I've only had acid reflux once in my life. Oh,

Gil:

it's not pleasant.

Eric:

It was not, it wasn't pleasant. The one time I had it.

Gil:

Yeah. I experienced it more in the last like year. Than I ever have. I've never had it before. I did suddenly in my mid thirties, I'm like, Oh, what the hell is this? Yeah, I think it on fire.

Eric:

Yeah. I think I had it like for the first time I made maybe an hour, not an hour and a half ago, a year and a half ago. It was the first time we ever had. I was like, Oh my gosh, what is this feeling? this is acid reflux. Now I know why people hate it. And now I know why they take all those medications for it. And I was super dramatic about it. And then. Yeah, I don't, it was weird. I've. Was not a feeling I would ever want to have again.

Gil:

I know it's. So like I said, we just need to stop being the critic to ourselves, definitely I do believe in being healthy, within your means and not all body shapes are the same, cause I'm never going to be at the six. my ego tells me I'm like six two easy, but I'm not going to be that six, two European built. And I'm not built that way. I'm just a shorter of pocket size as I like to say. Yeah. I've just more petite structure, but I'm not built narrow. I have there, I have always been a little bit wider. I've always been even as skinny as I was still wider than I looked wider than other people.

Eric:

yeah. I've always had a huge ass. Yeah, like really big hips and thighs. I just always have. So even like when I was super skinny, I always, I still, for the most part had to buy pants that were like two or three sizes too big for me. And then just belt the crap out of them because nothing would get over my ass.

Gil:

I don't have one, so I don't have to worry.

Eric:

and even now, like people want me to be bigger than I am and. Because, I do have a weight. I do carry weight, but people are expecting me to be like a four XL. Oh God. And I'm like, no, I'm actually like a medium, large, depending on the yeah. But, yeah, it's a lot of. Negativity that comes at us when it comes to body image. And that speaks, it's so many people, so much of society in general, just they judge people on how they look. And I do know that there's like the whole. Actual body positivity thing versus, metabolic health and all of that. And that's another subject that we can go into at another time. But I think it's people need to be a little bit kinder when they talk to people about that and not make assumptions. you just have to really look at the lens in which you ask questions about, especially when it relates to a person's weight and appearance.

Gil:

Yeah, that's true. Because like I said, not everything's the same, not everyone's built the same, not everyone's going through the same situation. Some people had maybe, a bad accident and a gain weight because organs aren't functioning the same as they once were.

Eric:

Exactly.

Gil:

You don't want to assume. You never want to assume.

Eric:

I remember I was at this dance events. This is actually just happened a few years ago. And I had been really sick. Like I was really sick. I had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks. I had not been able to work or go to school or anything. I was definitely ill. And, I ended up going to, once I was getting better, like a couple of weeks after I started to feel better, I went to this dance event and some of the dancers that I knew were like, Oh gosh, you look so good. You look really skinny. wow, you look great. You've been doing. And I'm like, I was literally just very sick. Like I was in the hospital. This is not a good situation, but thank you for the compliment. I remember another time as a dog groomer. One of my colleagues that I worked with had a client that came in and they were telling me client like, Oh my gosh, I've been meaning to tell you look so good. What have you done to lose so much weight? And the girl's I've been really sick. Like she just found out she had some like autoimmune disorder or something and. I was like, yeah, you have to really be careful how you say that. And then you also have to think like, when you tell someone like, Oh my gosh, you look so great. You look amazing. how do you feel, blah, blah, blah. Are you telling me that I didn't look good before? Or that you're only like recognizing me now because of how I look. So it's I know it's not meant in malice most of the time, but it's still a tricky line to walk. Yeah.

Gil:

And I'm just mindful.

Eric:

And let me say this, by the way, I am all for being self-advocative and I am all for being healthy and working out and enjoying it and all of that stuff, but do it for yourself and on your terms.

Gil:

Absolutely.

Eric:

I work out almost daily. and I love to workout. I miss the gym, but I'm too scared to go because of the COVID era. So

Gil:

you believe in science.

Eric:

Good job. I believe in science. I fucking love science, which is also a great website.

Gil:

Okay. Any last words for us this evening?

Eric:

No, I think, just remember to be true to yourself. Thank you for joining us tonight on the podcast. Yeah. And remember to live in your authenticity

Gil:

until next time.

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.