Ed­i­tor’s Note

Hello Mr. Magazine - - EDITOR'S NOTE - Ryan Fitzgibbon

Some­one once said, “life has no re­hearsals, only per­for­mances.” They prob­a­bly meant that in life there are no ac­ci­dents – that ev­ery­thing has a pur­pose, and that we must live with in­ten­tion, al­ways giv­ing it our all be­cause we’ve only got this one shot. I to­tally agree, but I think there’s more to it.

Our ev­ery ac­tion, how­ever small, is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of our iden­ti­ties to those around us. We know some­one is in­au­then­tic when they ap­pear too re­hearsed. That’s why our best ad­vice to a friend anx­ious about an in­ter­view or a first date is al­ways, “just be your­self.” And when we are, it shows, but more im­por­tantly, it sends the mes­sage, “I’m com­fort­able with who I am.”

To­day, In­sta­gram and Grindr open new pos­si­bil­i­ties for how we pre­sent our iden­ti­ties. In­sta­gram even pro­vides handy met­rics and feed­back mech­a­nisms that al­low us to per­fect our per­for­mances. A strate­gic crop of your un­kempt bed­room or a shirt­less selfie in good morn­ing light can at­tract a larger fol­low­ing and change how you’re per­ceived (hap­pier, health­ier, pret­tier) – but at the end of the day who are you do­ing it for? In this is­sue, we ques­tion some of In­sta­gram’s fa­vorite gay cou­ples, ask­ing why they (over)share, and why we fol­low.

At a ba­sic level, we all crave val­i­da­tion. I hate to get all Oprah on you (ac­tu­ally I don’t at all), but she said it best: “Ev­ery sin­gle per­son you will ever meet shares that com­mon de­sire. They want to know: ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean any­thing to you?’” We all want to know that our ex­is­tence means some­thing to some­one. If we’re lucky, we can even in­flu­ence some­one else, and see a piece of our­selves re­flected back at us. Take Amer­i­can soc­cer player Robbie Rogers, for in­stance. When he came out in Fe­bru­ary 2013 and be­came the first ac­tive gay male ath­lete to play a pro­fes­sional sport in the US, his iden­tity evolved to take on a much more pow­er­ful (and chal­leng­ing) role. His per­for­mance off the field has been an in­spi­ra­tion to count­less oth­ers, mul­ti­ply­ing his act of vul­ner­a­bil­ity and brav­ery into some­thing at once sin­gu­lar and uni­ver­sal.

And of course, our third cover mis­ter Dan Doni­gan, who you may know as Milk from the sixth sea­son of RuPaul’s Drag Race, pro­vides a unique ex­am­ple of what it means to use per­for­mance as a means to de­fine and ques­tion iden­tity. Meet­ing this true-to-self queen and gen­er­ally awe-in­spir­ing hu­man, you’re over­whelmed by the au­then­tic­ity of his char­ac­ter. Like our cover mis­ters who came be­fore, Dan shows us the true mean­ing of re­al­ness by never com­pro­mis­ing or apol­o­giz­ing for who he is. It’s no sur­prise that his au­di­ence is as strong and loyal as it is.

These men – Dan, Robbie, and the gay men of In­sta­gram – all demon­strate the ways our lives are de­fined by per­for­mance. In the pages that fol­low, we eval­u­ate how we per­ceive oth­ers and our­selves, the choices we make about who we want to be, and how we want to be seen. Pre­sent­ing our most au­then­tic selves doesn’t re­quire prac­tice, just a bit of courage and the in­nate mo­ti­va­tion to be un­der­stood.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.