Monday’s Watch, Listen, Read

Watch

I would not have made it through high school or college without some of my best friends. We were all outsiders for one reason or the other. There’s a kinship shared between outsiders during those tumultuous years that helps you get through. I could not imagine life without these friends and relatives, some of whom happened to be gay, lesbian or bisexual. These peeps were my film camp buddies, musical theatre program friends, my prep school and college classmates, my relatives by marriage, and my family by choice.  They were (and still are) my rocks.

The main thing you learn from being an outsider, gay or straight, is that it sucks when you’re in it, but it helps you to become a stronger person. You learn a lot faster that life isn’t about judging or winning, it’s about loving and living in those little moments of beauty — seizing them wherever and whenever they can be found.

Whatever you’re going through now, know that you’re not alone.  There are other people going through the same thing and it will get better. Every day you wake up and every night you go to sleep, you’ve conquered another demon. Keep going. The world has so much to offer and you have so much to offer the world.

Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project is a series of videos aimed at gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered youth. The message is simple: whatever you’re going through now, it gets better. No amount of bullying or loneliness should push someone to the point of depression or suicide. You are worth more than that. Listen to Dan & Terry’s story and to all the other videos on their YouTube page. These stories will one day be yours, too.

Listen

This song has been playing on a continuous loop in my head. The paper animation in the video reminds me of a Victorian-era valentine. Beautiful.

Read

I’ve been catching up on back issues of the New Yorker, so this week’s reading is a little less formal but no less habit-forming: Refinery 29. This site is one of my daily go-to sites. It’s a bit of an obsession. I’m sure they have my IP address flagged as a stalker.

I’m not a person who spends a ton of money on clothes. I’ll splurge the day I find the best pair of jeans ever created (or maybe a custom pair) or if I find a fantastic pair of shoes I know will haunt me for years to come if I don’t buy them — this has only happened three times, so far. Apart from those things (and perhaps, one day, an Oscar dress) I’m a pretty practical shopper. That said, I grew up with a mother who made us compare fabrics: brushed cottons and cashmeres to acrylics and polyester. “Feel the difference? You don’t want that rough stuff against your skin.” Our mother always told us the staple pieces in every wardrobe should consist of at least one crisp, white man-tailored shirt, a pair of black pants, a good pair of dark jeans, a nice black leather belt and a dark brown leather belt. Everything could be built on from there. Most PTA moms wore khakis or Lily Pulitzer. My mom dressed like she never left Manhattan, all clad in black with the occasional pop of a white collar. You can take the girl out of the city …

My mother’s fabric obsession lead to my sister’s interest in fashion and later, her degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. My love of fashion is quieter, though no less passionate. You can wear what you want and I won’t judge (like my mom and sister do) but I’m very specific in my tastes.  I’ve also forecasted my share of trends. I take full credit for bringing back the chandelier earring. I was also wearing a Mad Men-style skirt and peep-toe shoes six years ago, when Matthew Weiner was still developing a little pilot about 1950s ad men. Those peep toes and skirt were inspired by my favorite Carolina Herrera collection ever, RTW 2003. I stalked and refreshed Style.com till that collection was finally posted an entire day after it hit the catwalk — it nearly killed me to wait that long. I’ll also profess my love for The Rachel Zoe Project here. But please, Bravo, focus more on the Balenciaga and less on the babies.

Whether it’s in or it’s out, prêt-àporte or Haute couture, Refinery 29 is my little pop of white in a sea of inky black fashion coverage.

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