Twentysomething (a/k/a Delayed Queer Puberty Syndrome)

Inspired by a project at work, I’ve been re-reading some of my old journals for the past couple of nights. It’s the first time I’ve really dragged them out in ten or twelve years, and so far I’ve gone through 1980 and 1985. Strangely enough, I like 1980 a little better. Of course, I was a sixteen-year-old idiot in 1980, and I said and did incredibly stupid things (that was the single year of my “drug phase”), but at least it reads as relatively genuine in retrospect.

The 1985 stuff, though, is excruciating. It reads like the ramblings of a boy-crazed teenage girl, but with an alcohol kicker to make it ten times as annoying. What a miserable, self-absorbed little wanker of a barfly I must have seemed to anyone who got near me. It’s really quite painful stuff to read; I go for months and months without writing a single sentence about anything of lasting significance (not that this site is much better lately). And now, I can’t even dredge up the faintest memory of many of those boys and places and events that seemed so incredibly fucking important at the time–although I imagine I remember more of them than many of my peers do, maybe because of the journals.

That said, I don’t think my experience was all that unusual among homos. Since many of us don’t get to experience a proper puberty at the appropriate time, much of my generation, at least, had a tendency to make up for lost time as soon as we hit that whole bar-infested social scene: the “fashion” thing, the “can you find out if he likes me?” thing, etc. Maybe it’s a necessary stage for some of us. But it’s annoying as hell to watch (or to read about and remember).

I sometimes think that a lot of my later life, from my misanthropy to my still occasionally raging homophobia was in many ways a big reaction to this period in my life. Either way, I’m more glad than ever that I’m no longer twenty-one.

6 thoughts on “Twentysomething (a/k/a Delayed Queer Puberty Syndrome)

  1. I know what you mean. I find myself reading the first few years of my own journal and can’t see what you saw in me back then…

  2. I obviously saw enough to keep up my interest. Actually, I still like a lot of your earlier stuff, and my 1985 journals pale in comparison. You can’t imagine how vapid this stuff was; I was writing about nothing. That said, none of it was designed for publication, but I think I actually devolved between 1983 and 1985.

  3. I was out of the country during half of ’84 and half of ’85, so I don’t have anything to forgive you for. ;)

    All joking aside, I regret not having been there for you then, hon.


  4. I think everyone should be forced to re-read those age 16 to 21 journals every few years or maybe pass them on to the next generation to avoid the same mistakes. Mine share the same pattern at those ages.

  5. I thankfully never got into the “fashion kick”, but I remember the first excitement of just being “on the scene” which then quickly devolved into said vapid “teenybopper”-ness. One of my oldest pals and I refer to each other as Betty & Veronica, just so we can remember how bad we were.

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