Happy Pride Month to all my beautiful queer friendos, out there!
This year, I wanted to do something that could be simultaneously important for the queer community, while also not taking discussions around our liberation and empowerment too seriously. When Pride Month or discussions around LGBTQIA+ topics come around, it almost always has a tendency to become a drag, a reminder that we're still second class citizens. While it's important to shed light on our oppression, because we are still VERY MUCH targeted by those in power for having our rights stripped away, being queer isn't all doom and gloom. We have so much to be joyous about as queer people, and I wanted to give that joy the spotlight this month.
I've lived in the Phoenix, Arizona area all my life. Aside from four years of living in Flagstaff for university, which is just over 100 miles north of Phoenix, I've spent my whole life evaporating away in this hellscape of a desert. So doing the math, that's a grand total of 25 years of being roasted alive by how much the sun spites us, here. Plus side? I'm still alive, so take that, Mother Nature.
Where I live was never much of a thought in my life until I started getting closer to 30, feeling the desire to create more stable connections, and feel like I have roots in the place I want to call home. I always knew Phoenix wouldn't be home forever, but the thoughts of leaving became too loud to ignore when I moved to an area in the city where I thought I'd be happier, and I'm still...not happy. Don't get me wrong, I love the friends I've made here, and the family members (that I still talk to) that still live here. However, I can't shake the feeling that I don't have a foundation, here. I've had to fight tooth and nail to feel like I even have some sort of tie to this city, and even then, most days, I feel incredibly isolated.
"But Jeff, have you tried-" yes, I have. "Okay but why don't you-" yep, already did that. "Have you considered that-" dear reader, I've tried it all. Even my therapist said something along the lines of "I've watched you try so hard to fit in here and none of it has gone the way you want it to." I'm not here to justify why leaving my hometown is the correct choice, and I'm not here to (entirely) talk crap about where I grew up. This city is gorgeous in all its own ways, but I'm not here to explain to anyone why it's no longer for me.
I'm here to talk about Seattle.
It's absolutely bonkers to me that I've been streaming on Twitch for a whole 5 years, now. Five years of one of the hardest jobs I've done, but also the most rewarding, and most revealing when it comes to my work ethic, how I deal with setbacks, and adapting on the fly. I can't picture myself doing anything else right now (except perhaps doing narrative work for video games...hint hint nudge nudge, game devs) and this job has definitely given me so, so much to be grateful for, as well as help me rack up accomplishments I never thought I could attain.
on top of my already existing depression. It’s not always easy to turn these steps into a routine, but with a lot of practice, I’ve been getting better at recognizing when my thoughts and feelings are stemming from depression, and these practices have definitely helped stabilize my mood on days where it’s in the dumps.
even born, and stuffing my face with candy corn (I know, I'm polarizing). October is always one of my favorite months of the year, where I get to fully embrace how much I love all things spooky, which I already do throughout the year, but October just makes it so much more special. To make it even more exciting, I'll be closing spooky season out with a fright-filled, spooktacular weekend full of raising money for charity!
After a nice, long-time-coming, well-deserved trip to Disneyland with a good friend, I feel the clutter in my mind put into neat little drawers, ready to tackle the big things I have coming up!
It feels good to get all of this out there. It feels good to truly manifest the growth I want to see in my life. I hope to see you cheering me on, as I continue to work for it.
Learning to care for myself as a content creator has been one of the longest, most arduous journeys I’ve ever faced, and to be completely honest, it will probably be a constant one. It’s one thing to worry about the variable income that comes from full-time, independent content creation, and it’s another to worry about the mental weight of not only that, but everything that comes from being in a space that gets inherently looked at as competitive. Sometimes it gets so overwhelming, that I can’t even begin to think about how to grasp that weight, and throw it out of my mind.
The first EVER Gayming Awards is happening this Wednesday at 12pm PST, and I'm super excited and honored to be co-streaming it onto my Twitch channel!
I wanted to write this not only as a moment of catharsis for myself, but also because I know several non-binary folx out there might feel the same way. No matter where we fall on the non-binary spectrum, I know several of my friends have felt pressure to present more masculine, or more feminine to feel desirable, and sometimes, more androgynously to be valid.