By Scott King

 

“That’s the best thing about millennials.”
“What’s that?”
“They keep getting younger, but I stay the same age.”
From Dazed and Confused, Part II: Millennials Approaching

I turn 37 next week. That number on paper looks painfully naive.

Because it is.

The older I get, the younger I feel. I was the oldest I will ever be when I was a teenager. I had such gravity. I had such angst. And those hormones.

When I got out of college, I felt like a very dumb baby. As a bonus, I was at that point responsible for feeding myself, for cleaning the house and for making a living somehow.

Then I hit my Saturn Return. I moved to Vermont for grad school and ruled the world. Any shyness or fetal shell I had holding me back was left in the debris of liftoff into the rocket ship of adulthood.

A lot of energy is focused on you during your Saturn Return.  That’s why so many rock stars die at 27. They can’t take the heat. They flame out. Dust to dust.

It’s better to rise than fade away. That’s what the Widow Cobain told us in the 90s. I was fortunate to thrive during my SR. It was like one of those booster pads in Mario Kart. I skidded through right into my 30’s, part of me thinking I was the shit, part of me scared shitless. Regardless of the ups and downs, it’s ten years later, and I’m still here, damnit.

A good portion of the detritus that populates my life at this existential moment, I COULD have imagined it ten years ago.  I was planning for it. It makes sense. It represents the accomplishment of goals.

Other things, like writing for this magazine, weren’t in my plan or even my dreams ten years ago. I was in law school, working for post-conviction relief for poor people in Vermont. I was mourning the defeat of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary and staring at the cracks in the glass ceiling.

So many cracks. Dennis Kucinich was the sole left-wing candidate who supported same-sex marriage ten years ago. Barack Obama didn’t. Hillary Clinton didn’t. Bernie Sanders had just been elected to the US Senate. I voted for him. In 2006. Ani Difranco was so proud.

What does all of this have to do with my birthday? Nothing, except for the fact that my birthday wish, close your eyes and blow, is for all of us to remain engaged in the political process and not become disheartened, pessimistic or unnecessarily antagonistic towards those who do not support our goals.

We didn’t repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell” by calling John McCain hegemonic. We did not get to marriage equality by trolling RuPaul on Twitter. We did not get to where we are, or at least where we were before Donald Trump ascended to the center of public life, by segregating and walling off ourselves into the smallest subculture possible so that we could be right and self-righteous about everything. And be the sole authority on every issue that is important to us.

Things look bleak. Things look petty. Things look like we’re moving backwards.

But think about it. Barack Obama survived the Tea Party Movement and the birther movement and all the bullshit that accompanied the 21st Century’s first progressive president, and first African American leader of the free world.

The next Democratic President, whether she is progressive enough or not, will do some mighty righteous things. Obama pushed things way forward, way past most of what Bush did.

In 10 years, I can imagine:

Various states and then every state and then the federal government requiring access to non-gendered bathrooms in all public facilities.

Me being married. To a man. And it still being legal.

A female President. Most likely Republican.

The daughter of a Clinton or an Obama running for office. And fucking winning.

An LGBT Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Or at least a Minority Whip.

Me publishing a novel about a hooker with a heart of Bitcoin.

The media coming up with a label for the generation of 20-somethings that I see at my gym and me being all like, “Shouldn’t you be in class?”

But the question remains. Will ever act my age? Nah.

 

By Gregg Shapiro

 

After a lengthy absence, the Chicago rock music scene is back on our radar again. With the reunited Smashing Pumpkins (minus D’arcy, of course) embarking on a huge concert tour and Liz Phair’s 25th-anniversary reissue of her groundbreaking debut album Exile in Guyville (under the moniker Girlysound to Guyville) on almost everyone’s playlist, the Second City sounds good.

 

In addition to the Girlysound to Guyville reissue, Liz Phair is also being feted on vinyl via the LP reissues of 1994’s Whip-Smart and 1998’s Whitechocolatespaceegg (both on Capitol/UMe). Arriving as it did so soon after Exile in GuyvilleWhip-Smart had a lot resting on its shoulders. It not only held up on its release, it still holds up today. Aside from featuring a few songs from the legendary Girlysound sessions (such as the lo-fi tunes “Chopsticks” and “Shane”), Whip-Smart also included numerous daring standouts such as the rocking single “Supernova”, “Cinco de Mayo”, the early alt-country of “Nashville” and the sexy punk sneer of “Jealousy”. It may have suffered by comparison to Exile in Guyville upon its release, but if you’re wise, you’ll give Whip-Smart another chance.

 

Four years passed before the release of Phair’s Whitechocolatespaceegg. Like its predecessor, this album also contained a revisited Girlysound selection, “Polyester Bride.” The remainder of the disc sounds like a marriage of the hipster aesthetic with arena rock. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and songs such as “Johnny Feelgood”, “Big Tall Man”, “Shitloads of Money”, “Go On Ahead”, “Ride”, “What Makes You Happy” and the gorgeous “Uncle Alvarez”, sound as good now, if not better than they did 20 years ago. More than anything, what this album does is pave the way for Phair’s self-titled 2003 pop-oriented album which gave her an official hit single in “Extraordinary.”

 

The early `90s success of Chicago rock acts such as Phair, the Pumpkins, Veruca Salt, Urge Overkill, Material Issue and others, led to a major-label feeding frenzy. One beneficiary was Jonny Polonsky whose major-label power-pop debut was released in 1996. It would be eight years before there was an official full-length album follow-up to the first record. In the interim, Polonsky kept himself busy as a session musician. His rock-oriented 2018 LP Fresh Flesh (jonnypolonsky.com), Polonsky’s first in three years, features impressive guest musicians including Kevin Haskins (Love and Rockets) and Mark Lanegan (Queens of the Stone Age).

 

 

 

 

 

Featuring album cover images by beloved Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick, Crooked Love (Rock Ridge Music) is the first album by Ike Reilly (aka Ike Reilly Assassination) in three years. Since the beginning, Reilly has had a fondness for songs about colorful characters living on the fringes. This album is no exception, as you can hear on songs such as “She Haunts My Hideouts,” “Living in the Wrong Time,” “Boltcutter Again,” “Took It Lying Down” and “Clean Blood Blues.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uber-hipster act Joan of Arc has been challenging and rewarding listeners with its particular brand of post-art-rock for more than 20 years. Is it possible that 1984 (Joyful Noise) is a bridge too far? Even for longtime devotees? It’s hard to say, especially when you hear the incredible “Punk Kid,” with lead vocals by Melina Ausikaitis. It’s a musical life vest in the midst of this bizarre concoction in which what sounds like improvised story-slam pieces are set to avant-garde music. The instrumental “Psy-fi/Fantasy” is also worth mentioning, especially for the use of kazoos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re craving something more accessible (and who isn’t?), check out Parallel Person (Babe City), the sweet second album by Varsity. Coming across like a Jenny Lewis tribute band, with lead vocals by Stephanie Smith, Varsity makes delightful and timeless indie-pop music that sticks to your ribs. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to the album on repeat, lingering over songs such as “A Friend Named Paul”, “Gordi, You’re A Saint”, “Settle Down”, the subtle surf of “Watching You”, “Krissy” and the bouncy “Alone In My Principles”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to having a have a female lead vocalist (Berit Ulseth), like the aforementioned Varsity, The Claudettes have a gay bassist, by the name of Zach Verdoorn. The Claudettes’ third album Dance Scandal at the Gymnasium! (Yellow Dog) has its own distinctive sound, a blues-tinged retro pop that would make for a good soundtrack to a school dance in the titular gymnasium. Highlights include “Naked on the Internet,” “Don’t Stay With Me,” “Bill Played Saxophone,” “Taco Night Material” and “Total Misfit.”

 

 

“Pierre Cardin: Pursuit of the Future” – Presented by SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

 

 

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film features the designs of the legendary fashion futurist Pierre Cardin in “Pierre Cardin: Pursuit of the Future,” a major retrospective exhibition showing right now.

Best known for his 1960s space-age style, 95-year-old Pierre Cardin has pushed the boundaries of fashion by exploring new materials and silhouettes. The exhibition presents iconic looks for both women and men from the 1950s to present, borrowed mainly from the Pierre Cardin Museum in Paris, which includes several dresses from the SCAD Permanent Collection. Cardin has said, “The clothes I prefer are the garments I invent for a lifestyle that does not yet exist — the world of tomorrow.” The exhibition celebrates Cardin’s spirit and vision, both unwaveringly inspired by the future.

 

SCAD FASH is also showing Dressing For Dystopia right, which is costumes by Ane Crabtree from the TV series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which has Adapted from the classic novel by author and activist Margaret Atwood and is starring Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Samira Wiley, Yvonne Strahovski, and Alexis Bledel. As a stark contrast to Cardin’s utopian futuristic style, Crabtree’s costume creations reveal a much darker vision of the future and tells the story of living in the Republic of Gilead, a modern totalitarian society sited in the former United States. Now on view until August 12, 2018.

 

 

The What, When, and Where

 

What: Pierre Cardin: Pursuit of the Future

When: Now on view until September 30, 2018

Where: SCAD FASH, 1600 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

 

General admission is $10 but is free for all museum members (memberships from $30).

 

Tamer Barsbay

 

Tamer was born in New Jersey, went to college in Chicago, lived in San Francisco for a year, and is now putting down roots in Atlanta. He has been with his fiancé Spencer for six years, and they’re coming up on one year with boyfriend Daniel. Tamer is a software developer at a small startup, but he is also a part-time brand manager for his puppy, Bruno (@brunothebrownboston). You can catch Tamer sipping on a Lime-A-Rita‎ in Piedmont Park or capping off his night with a shot of Rumple Minze at Blake’s – because he is above neither of those things.

clone tag: -4056012659191043117

It’s the little things that make the sun shine in our life…

 

Tall, dark, and handsome

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade ice cream

 

 

 

 

A slushy cocktail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A multi-tasking cooler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A convertible

 

 

 

 

 

Beach Vacation

 

 

 

 

Summer Fragrance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunscreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swimsuit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new puppy!

 

Photos: PR, Mercedes-Benz, Diptyque, Origins

By Jamie Kirk

 

Progress, not Perfection should be our goal.  Why is it that we tend to strive for perfection and get disappointed when that goal is not met.  Most of us are closer to the failure portion of the barometer anyways (if we listened to that little devil on our shoulder called low-self esteem).  Following these five steps in a SMART model should help us get on track towards our  #summertime roadmap, whatever that may be. 

 

Specific

When we plan out our goals, we are setting up selves up for disappointment if we don’t have a number in mind, a destination or purpose in mind.  Yes, I get it “shoot for the moon, and at least you will be among the stars.” That’s a load of crap.  For our purposes, we need to set goals that are specific. Generally goals or getting “close,” is not gonna cut it to get us where we need to be. Your goals should be clear and concise, black and white. Don’t leave any room for misinterpretation. Example – Run at least 5 miles a week from June to October.

 

Measurable

That which is measured gets improved. Whichever goals we set, we have to be able to measure it against something. Be it the past, be it a friend, or just a stat we read about in a magazine. The measurement looks like something that you can quantify. Something that you will provide a status of how close and/or how far you are to your goal. Example – I want to reduce calorie count by 500 a day for 30 days.

 

Attainable

This is obviously the hardest one.  If you are 6’2, it is unlikely you will weigh 162 pounds and have single digit body fat.  That is not attainable. The goal-setting process should indeed stretch you, but not to the point that you are stressed out about not even getting close to your goal. Make sure the goal is something that you feel is achievable through your blood, sweat, and tears, and NOT only achieved if you were bleeding, sweating and crying the process. Example – I would like to learn a foreign language before the holiday season to prepare for my trip abroad.

 

Realistic

Be kind to yourself. Don’t overextend yourself. Being realistic means is this in the realm of reality for you, based on your situation. If money is a challenge right now, maybe traveling to three countries this summer is out. Having a goal to be married and have a June wedding, in mid-June and you’re single? Ummmm, likely not realistic. Keep in mind having a goal that is attainable and realistic are similar, but the difference is that you will suffer a bigger blow to your ego or pride, etc. if the goal never even had a chance. Example – I would like to take my dog for longer walks in the evening, I can’t because of my time crunch in the morning.

 

Timely

Choose goals for yourself that work with the timing of your life. Continue to choose goals for yourself that represent your lifestyle, your family, and your working environment.  Sometimes the intent of the goal is timely, but the execution of the timing may not work out. Make sure the timing of things you want to achieve works for you. Not your neighbors, not your mate, not your kids, but for YOU.  Example – I am going to start a neighborhood watch for my community because of the high crime in the warmer months in my area.

 

I think this SMART strategic model is an excellent way to do a deep dive and inventory of your life and see if you are on the right track. SMART personal goals really do work as long as you stay committed to the process.  Oh, and the process contains the attributes above. It’s good stuff, when you are able to set a goal, remain diligent to your goal and eventually hit your goal. As this summer begins to hit full force, don’t wait another day to lay out your planned attack on your goal setting.

 

 

– Celebrating Pride Across the U.S.

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

 

Photo:  AtlantaPride.org,

Even though June and Pride Month is coming to close with more than 100 celebrations and parades across the country, there are still plenty of options to get on the pride circuit and celebrate the colors of the rainbow the rest of the summer – so here’s a lineup of some of the best pride parties!

 

June

As official Pride Month, June hosts the majority of pride celebrations across the nation. In fact, more than 100 pride festivals take place during June, and if you’re quick you can still make a few of them!

 

Chicago Pride Parade – June 30

Even though the actual Pride Fest in Boystown with an incredible lineup of parties and DJs is over (June 16-17), you can still catch the Pride Parade on June 24. See where it goes and where all the after parties will take by visiting chicagopridecalendar.org.

 

New York City Pride – June 23-24

Spanning over two weeks the NYC Pride culminates on the weekend of June 23-24 with the Pride Fest and Pride Island, which will offer headlining acts like Tove Lo, Lizzo, and Kylie Minogue, which is reason enough for most to take an impromptu trip to the Big Apple. Ticket info at nycpride.org.

 

 

 

San Francisco Pride – June 23-24

As one of the original cities that organized demonstrations following the Stonewall Riots, which later grew into a Pride celebration, San Fran’s pride is a spectacle of diversity and generations of queer strength. The Castro is the focal point of it all, and the amazing parade goes down Market Street. More at sfpride.org.

 

July

July is definitely more chill following the intense June and offers some excellent opportunities to continue the celebration of pride.

 

Provincetown – Bear Week (July 7-15) & Family Week (July 28-Aug 4)

P-Town’s offerings are perfect for those seeking a less ‘circuity’ environment. Bear Week is nine days of pool parties, beach outings, dance parties, and leather events, while Family Week is mainly for LGBTQ families with opportunities to relax and participate in family-oriented activities. Check out ptownbears.org and ptownfamilyweek.com for more.

 

San Diego Pride – July 7-15

A festival, a rally, a massive parade, and a dedicated She Fest makes the San Diego Pride a good West Coast option to visit. See more at sdpride.org.

 

San Francisco – Up Your Alley – July 28-29

This Folsom Street Event is best described as the even kinkier sibling to Folsom. The weekend presents a lineup of parties, events, and a Sunday fair that will be on the wilder side of the BDSM spectrum. See more at folsomstreetfair.org/upyouralley/.

 

August

August warms up again with some good pride celebrations now that summer is at its peak!

 

Austin Pride – August 11

The Fiesta Gardens will be taken over for an extensive Pride festival and ensuing parade. Please note that the date for the Austin Pride has changed, so it is now on August 11! See more at austinpride.org.

 

Chicago Market Days – August 11-12

The massive street party and festival takes up Boystown on Halsted Street from Belmont to Addison and is attended by visitors on hundreds of thousands. See more at northalsted.com/marketdays.

 

Key West Pride – August 15-19

If you have ever been to the tip of the Florida Keys, you know that this is a fun place to be if you’re gay – and the Key West Pride makes it even more fun! This year’s theme is fittingly Tropical Heat, so get ready to get hot and soak up some fun in the sunshine. More at tropicalheatkw.com.

 

New Orleans Southern Decadence –  August 30 – September 3

Labor Day weekend in New Orleans is something else. The famous Bourbon Street is transformed into a gay street party where you will probably catch some slightly debaucherous things going on… More at southerndecadence.net.

 

September

Even though summer is coming to an end, there are still plenty of hot pride celebrations to attend.

 

Burning Man – August 25 – September 3

In the middle of the desert in Black Rock, NV, Burning Man is celebrated annually with a themed festival and party that pure and radical self-expression, inclusion, and immediacy. This year’s theme is ‘I, Robot’ which will no doubt give inspiration to inventive costumes and happenings in the name of self-expression. burningman.org

 

Folsom Street Fair – September 30

Although it has lost a little of its original, raw flair, this leather festival is still a great option if you want to explore or expand your leather kink side. Lots of events, parties, and happenings evolve around the kinky street fair to so check out folsomstreetevents.org/folsom-street-fair/ for more.

 

Charleston Pride – September 22

You can actually catch the annual Pride on the Harbor Cruise this weekend in Charleston, but if you can’t make that, the September Pride in the Southern gem is recommendable. See more at charlestonpride.org.

 

October

With the Pride (and summer) season coming to a close, you can find some excellent pride festivals that celebrate sexually diverse communities.

 

Atlanta Pride – October 12-14

As the most significant pride in the Southeast, Atlanta offers an extensive official pride schedule, all centered around Piedmont Park, and with an amazing opening party at the Georgia Aquarium. It does, however, also offer a considerable ‘unofficial’ program for the emerging queer underground scene. See more at atlantapride.org.

 

Las Vegas Pride – October 19-21

Pride in Las Vegas includes outdoor activities, a festival, a drag queen pageant, and a bunch of parties in the city of sin. The absolute highlight is the parade, a glittering and glamorous spectacle, which takes place at night on the 19th. More at lasvegaspride.org.

 

Orlando Pride – October 13

In lieu of the Pulse massacre two years ago, the pride in Orlando has become even more of a beautiful and intense celebration of inclusion, awareness, and love. See more at comeoutwithpride.com.

 

 

*Feeling like some international Pride flair? Check out the current issue of Fenuxe with a lineup of European Pride festivals.

 

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

 

On Saturday, HRC Atlanta is hosting a special edition of Drag Queen Story Time with Edie Cheezburger and partnering organizations For the Kid In All Of Us, Out Front Theatre, and PFLAG. Peach had the pleasure of talking to Malik Brown, member of HRC’s National Board of Governors, and Edie Cheezburger about HRC’s programs and why reading a children’s book is so impactful.

 

Malik Brown, Member of HRC’s National Board of Governors

 

Tell us a little about the Drag Queen Story Time: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo?

The event is open to all ages, but the target audience is LGBTQ (and ally) parents and families. Guests will get to hear about the vital work that HRC does, as well as the event’s partnering organizations For the Kid In All Of US, Out Front Theatre, and PFLAG. After Edie’s book reading, they’ll be able to hang around for actives, arts & crafts and other fun surprises.

HRC has greatly expanded on our focus on partnering with like-minded civic organizations – on a national and local level. In choosing the partnering organizations for this event, we really wanted to work with youth-serving organizations.

 

Talk to us about some of HRC’s youth-serving programs?

Absolutely! HRC has several programs and initiatives geared towards LGBTQ youth. The Welcoming Schools program works with schools nationwide to create inclusive environments for LGBTQ students and diverse families. There are several Georgia schools that participate in the Welcoming schools’ program. The organization recently launched a groundbreaking LGBTQ Youth Survey; the results were a call to action for all adults who want to ensure that young people can thrive. HRC’s annual Time to Thrive conference addresses safety, inclusion, and well-being for LGBTQ and questioning youth, and brings together youth-serving professionals to discuss best practices for working with and caring for LGBTQ youth and their families in schools, community centers, healthcare settings and beyond.

 

What about family-serving programs?

HRC’s All Children – All Families project promotes LGBTQ inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies and formally recognizes those agencies that are leading the field with innovative approaches to inclusion. HRC recently partnered with the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) to release a groundbreaking, new report underscoring the urgent need for inclusive employer-paid family and medical leave for LGBTQ working people of color. In 2016, HRC launched the Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a coalition of the nation’s leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people.

 

You are working with the illustrious Edie Cheezburger on this event – why did you choose her?

We’re very lucky in Atlanta to have a diverse and thriving drag scene. There are a number of drag artists we could have chosen, but our first choice was Edie. She’s one of Atlanta’s most seasoned and recognizable drag queens, and she’s also very familiar with the Drag Queen Story Time format – having her own series.

 

Why did you choose the book “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo”?

In today’s polarized political state, “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” made a lot of sense because it shines focus on the themes of acceptance, love, and equality. The LGBTQ community is incredibly diverse, and this book celebrates those differences.

 

How do you think this kind of event will have an impact?

My hope is that this event, and all events like it, will highlight how diverse families can truly be – and the beauty in that diversity. HRC relies on thousands of volunteers from all walks of life, so I hope this event motivates folks to get involved. They can visit hrcatlanta.com

 

Edie Cheezburger, Drag Performer Hosting at Lips, Midtown Tavern, and Blake’s

 

Talk to us about your Drag Queen Story Time events?

Drag Queen Story Time started in Atlanta last June, in collaboration with Posman Books at Ponce City Market. The event is an all-ages, hour-long reading that happens every month, alternating between Brent Star and myself. We both choose books that speak about inclusion and acceptance.

 

What are your thoughts on this special event and collaboration with HRC, For the Kid In All Of Us and Out Front Theatre?

The organizations planning this event are doing incredible work in the LGBTQ community. Whether it be advocacy, supporting our youth, or focusing on the arts, they’re all doing great work. I’m excited to work with them.

 

What is it about a drag queen reading a story to children (and childish souls) that is so powerful?

I think that the reason Drag Queens love reading to children is that we are given the opportunity to entertain an entirely different audience. It’s nice to get out of the bars and perform for a new kind of audience. They are generally much more well-behaved!

 

Talk to us about the choice of book for this event?

The book that was chosen for this Story Time has a powerful message about acceptance of not only self but others as well. It has a great message about standing up to tyranny and doing what’s right. The most transgressive thing about this book is that it was written as a parody of a children’s book about Mike Pence. I cry every time I’ve read this book, and I’m hoping that I can get through it this time.

 

How do you think this kind of event will have an impact?

Every time I that I read at Story Time, I am able to see an impact on children’s lives. I bring joy to their lives for an hour and give them an alternate view of what an adult can be. My purpose is to entertain and spread love and joy as best I can.

 

 

Event Details

 

Drag Queen Story Time: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

HRC is hosting the event with For the Kid In All Of Us, Out Front Theatre and PFLAG

 

Saturday, June 23, 10am-12pm

Out Front Theatre Company

999 Brady Ave NW

Atlanta, GA 30318

 

Go to hrcatlanta.com/events/ for tickets.

 

By Branden Lee

 

 

Summer is the perfect time to be free. Free to fool around with a hot guy at a pool party. Free to find a fling at the beach. Free to party hard. Free to date around and have one-night stands. Free to travel and have hookups in new cities. Summer is the perfect time to be single, so of course, I ended up finding a guy I want to date.

 

I started seeing a new guy. We’ve been seeing each other for nearly a month. Our first two encounters were basically hookups, but we talk every day. I spent Memorial Day with him and his friends. He invited me to a barbeque at his place, which was really cute. No guy had ever invited me to a holiday cookout of his before. We finally had a real date where we went to dinner and a movie. He also came to an event I was co-hosting. He’s been very supportive, communicative, and I’m extremely attracted to him. I really like him, and he’s the first guy I’ve met since my ex that I want to be my boyfriend. I finally feel over my ex since I’ve finally found someone new that I want to be boo’d up with.

 

The only downside is that he’s a workaholic. He works practically every day. He even flaked on one of our dates so he could work more. Going from a broke, jobless guy to a guy that is a workaholic should feel like an upgrade, but at least broke jobless guys have time for relationships. Workaholics don’t. Which is our main issue. He wants to be exclusive and gets jealous at the thought of me still being on dating apps and hooking up with other guys. He’s made it clear he can’t dedicate himself fully to a relationship right now. Work and school are his priorities.

 

I refuse to be exclusive with a guy that’s not my boyfriend. Exclusivity is a boyfriend privilege. If you’re not my boyfriend, you don’t get that privilege. I want him to be my boyfriend, but I understand if he isn’t ready for a relationship. Some people are too busy for a relationship, and if you’re too focused on work/school/money, it’s hard to make love a priority. I can respect that. I just can’t respect wanting to lock me down without a title.

 

One way of looking at it is that it feels like a sign that I’m meant to be single this summer if the guy I want to be with can’t commit to a relationship. It means I should be free to date around. I’m finally fully over my ex. I’m ready to explore and be a thot all over Atlanta, and other cities I may travel to this summer. I definitely want to travel, and no vacation isn’t complete without a hookup with a guy in a new city. I should be happy that the relationship isn’t meant to be right now.

 

Unfortunately, I’m disappointed. I really like this guy. Summer could be fun just with one guy that I like and want to be with. We can go on cute dates throughout the city. We can go to various festivals, go to the beach, travel together. I’ve never gotten to do any of that with a boyfriend before. There’s still so much I never got to experience in a relationship, since I’ve only had one boyfriend and that was a dysfunctional mess. I’m ready for my second chance, to have a healthy functional, loving relationship. I’m ready for boyfriend #2.

 

Love finds you when you least expect it, and often it doesn’t work out because one party isn’t ready for it. I’m still optimistic that me and this new guy will eventually get to the right place and become an official couple. Until then I’m not compromising by being exclusive with a guy that doesn’t have time for me.

 

Summer is here, and I want to have fun. This is my first full summer in Atlanta, and it will also be the one-year-anniversary of me moving to the ATL. I plan to live it up regardless of my relationship status.

Branden Lee is a writer and actor living in Atlanta. Follow Branden on Instagram and Twitter @Brandensss. Watch Branden on his YouTube channel SexxxPerTease.