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More Than: Marcus of Propaganda

March 16, 2010

I’ve been going over and over in my head about what to write for this “More Than” series for several weeks now. I volunteered to write a guest post for the series on a bit of a whim, only to realize later that I had NO IDEA what I would write about. Also, apparently, I’m the lone male in the group so far. (Oh, heeeeey.)

Anyhow, I had an idea of what I might write about but I wasn’t sure I was ready to put it out there on the Internet since it is rather personal. But while I was in the shower the other day (where I do most of my best thinking), it hit me…what do I have to lose. That being said…

marcus
There are two things about me that, though they may not define me, are big parts of who I am. First, I’m a diabetic. I was diagnosed ten years ago at the age of 13. It’s a big, long, dramatic story, but I’ll just say I almost died. For the majority of these past ten years, I’ve been somewhat careless in taking care of myself. Luckily for me, with a mixture of good luck and old-fashioned youth, I haven’t had any major problems. But at the ripe old age of 22, I realized that I needed to start actively taking care of myself. I graduated college, started cooking for myself (using mainly whole foods), upping my intake of vegetables and fruits and regularly exercising. (It’s lame, but the Wii Fit yoga is absolutely amazing. Like, for reals, y’all.) I feel better than ever, I can see a change in my energy and outlook and I know this is a positive (and permanent) change.

The second thing—the one that’s a bit more personal—is a bit more…controversial, I suppose. I’m gay. (If you’ve clicked over to my blog—which, sadly, is in a state of neglect right now—you’ve probably already guessed this. I mean…proposition 8 posts, Britney Spears and fashion, oh my. Right?)

Those two simple words say so much about me, but really so little as well. It took a long time (nearly twenty years) for me to actually say them out loud. And, to be honest, I still get a little nervous saying them sometimes now. Just the other day, at work, somebody asked me if I was and it was pretty hard to get out a simple “yes.” But you know what? It’s gotten easier and easier every day. I started the process of coming out nearly three years ago and it was terrifying. But my friends were incredible about it. I went to a private school, where religion was the name of the game, so I was a tiny bit apprehensive about it. I wasn’t sure how people would react, but I received absolutely no negative reactions. In fact, I’m fairly certain that by the time I graduated last May it was fairly common knowledge (again, I saw Spice Girls in Vegas…it’s not hard to assume) and I got no flak over it.

Now, to be fair, I’m not the model for all that is gay. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to fully come out to some of my family. I grew up in a religious family. Before college, I could count on my hands the amount of Sundays I missed church. My father was a pastor; my grandfather was a pastor. I had the Jesus running through my veins. And, sadly, with that the fear of being different. But I’m making baby steps. My family and I have a somewhat mutual understanding that there’s not going to be any girl coming with me to Christmas. In fact, this past Thanksgiving was the first holiday that NO ONE asked me if I was seeing anyone. (That’s a big step, believe me.)

For the record, I am seeing someone. This May, I will have been dating the same guy for three years. I am grateful for him every single day I’m alive. For the first two years of our relationship, I was in school nearly eight hours away. Now, we are lucky to live in the same house (that we just bought and moved into last October) and we own the cutest dog in the entire world—Crosby. [note from Heather: I am a little obsessed with how cute Crosby is, and so I took the liberty to share 3 of my favorite photos of him]

crosbycrosby3 crosby2

Last summer, I got a job at small television station here in Texas. Shortly after I got the job, I was offered a job with the same show I interned with back in DC in the fall of 2008. I loved working for that show. Back in 2008, I would have killed to work with them. But at the time of the offer last summer, we had just closed on this house. I could have made the move, but it would have plunged Jake and I back into a long-distance relationship, this time with an even farther distance and a whole new set of challenges. It was the right job at the absolute wrong time. So I stayed here.

At first, that decision was a hard one. I thought I had made the wrong one. But now, looking back, I realize it was the right one. My happiness is not dependent on my job (though I do like my current job). My happiness is defined by those I love.

So, all this rambling gets me here, to say this. Being healthy is more than eating right. Being healthy is more than exercising, though both of those things are HUGE factors in my health. Being healthy is being a well-rounded individual. Being healthy is liking—truly loving—who you are. It took me twenty-some-odd years to finally start loving myself and realizing that I’m pretty bad ass. I know this isn’t anything revelatory and that the “love yourself” mantra is age-old. But it’s true! We are all unique and special and endearing. It all sounds so cheesy and prime for cynicism, but I can’t help but say it.

It’s a little odd (and incredibly gay), but one of my favorite self-help books is by RuPaul. In it, RuPaul explains his life philosophy: “Don’t take life too seriously. Do whatever you want, just so long as you don’t hurt anyone else in the process. Very little is off-limits, but draw the line at being unkind. Live your life with no restrictions. Love yourself.” (By the way, if you’re not watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” you need to go and watch it online now. Seriously.) On the show, RuPaul puts it more succinctly: “Remember to love yourself, because if you can’t yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an AMEN in here?”

Amen.

I am Marcus and I’m a diabetic and gay. But I am so much more than that.

 marcus2
You should be reading Marcus. You should be following him, too.

Heather has a confession.  Marcus is on her top three favorite bloggers of all times list. OF ALL TIMES, PEOPLE. My favorite posts by MLP: (besides like ALL OF THEM);  Zeitoun  and Simple and Chest and Boo and Absurdity and Bad Baptists and Originals and Rights and Public Option and Robin and Pageant and Dumb and Martha and Here – Instead of There and Adjustment and Mailman and Stapp and Wrong and BBQ and Um and Love and History and Hell and Grandfather and Change. and, of course, the few times he has quoted slash mentioned yours truly. 😉 [I’m a blogger. of course I’m vein ]

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2010 6:32 am

    great post, marcus! you are correct. you’re pretty badass.

  2. March 17, 2010 10:03 am

    Thank you, sweettater! I would just like to redirect everyone to go back and look at those pictures of Crosby, my dog. Cutest. Puppy. Alive.

  3. March 17, 2010 11:15 am

    I wanna hug you. You’re a brave soul and this was a great, beautiful post. 🙂

  4. March 17, 2010 6:55 pm

    Let’s start a little discussion:

    What about yourself do you enjoy? What characteristics and traits do you like which help you to love yourself??

  5. Kayla J permalink
    March 22, 2010 7:38 pm

    Marcus, I don’t know if you remember me, but I went to LHS and was in band and all that jazz. I never knew you too well, and I don’t recall wanting to until after you had already graduated – and then I only wanted to because I love Melissa and Heather and Amber… and I was like, man, if he’s friends with them, he must be AWESOME.

    Anyway, I REALLY REALLY enjoyed this post. Like a ridiculous amount. and I’ll probably start following your blog as Heather suggests. 🙂

  6. March 23, 2010 11:17 am

    Kayla, of course I remember you! Amber has actually talked about you in the past year or so, talking about how you’ve stayed in contact. And thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

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