Tag: love

More love and understanding — How the Boys in the Band made me see myself more clearly

More love and understanding — How the Boys in the Band made me see myself more clearly

Have you ever felt different? I definitely have. When I was a teenager, I listened to my friends. I figured out what they loved, only to be able to tell them I’d love the same. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be part of a group. I learned very quickly that whenever I was alone, I became a target. I felt so vulnerable that I preferred to hide. No one saw me, and for some reason, I felt protected around the other guys. However, I thought they were unable to love me for who I really was. I stayed in my little shell. I was 19 when I felt like my existence would not matter. It took me four more years to realize that the issue was not the others.

I was solely focused on being part of a group. I wanted to ensure that the other kids in school liked me. It seemed to be the easiest way acting like a person, who agrees with them on everything. I thought the more we have in common, or I pretend to have in common with them, the more likely they tend to accept me as their friend. Still to this very day, I notice that whenever I meet new people, I act that way. I hide in my shell, listen to others, and only say something when I am sure everyone agrees with me. I am not a person who loves random conversations. It is really hard for me talking to people, even more initiating a conversation, because I often feel I would waste their time. However, I have no problem when someone approaches and starts talking to me, because then I know I am not bothering them. Writing online makes communicating easier because these guys do not have to reply, or they can take their time. When I get messages, it sometimes takes a while for me to answer for exactly the same reason I cannot easily start a conversation in real life – I do not want to force them talking to me. I am complicated, and like I said, different.

Maybe one reason I feel this way is because I was bullied in school every time I was on my own and every time the other kids were united. When each of them was alone as well, they never said or did anything. Therefore, I thought I could only be strong when I was part of a group. It did not really feel safe to tell them what was on my mind, or to tell what I really liked. When I was at that point, when I thought I was only a burden and my life had no purpose, I realized that somehow I had disappeared. I was pretending to be someone else that I almost forgot who I really was. At the age of 23, I finally started to accept myself. It was a slow process, and like I said, even 7 years later I somehow still often tend to hide, but writing a post like this helps me and was not possible back then.

Me in front of the Booth Theatre, on the picture on the doors are Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer.

I learned that I was the one who was judging myself the most. How could I expect other people to accept me when I could not do that? When I watched Boys in the Band for the first time, I realized how much I could relate to these guys, especially to Michael. He had this fear that his friend Alan would not accept him anymore if he figured out who he really was. He tried to hide, his look seemed to be the most important thing. He took what he loved, but he did not allow himself to actually love. The question that he asked his friend Donald at the end, “Why do we hate ourselves so much?” kept me thinking. At first, I thought he meant, “hate each other” because they were cursing, and teasing each other. The more I was thinking about it, and about myself, I concluded, that he could have meant as well that everyone hates himself the most. A good question indeed. Why? Why do we hate ourselves so much (thinking we don’t deserve true love)? 

The phone game was another thing that kept me thinking. Normally, it is wonderful telling someone that he is truly loved. However, Michael initiated that because he wanted Alan to admit he was gay too. Did he do that because he was afraid to lose him when he was no longer part of “his” group? Did he do that because he had always been the one denying who he truly is? Did he do that because he was mad at himself? Did he want to be the one pointing his finger at someone because he always felt others did that to him? Had the phone game already begun before Michael started it? Alan called him because he had some issues with his wife, Fran. Maybe Michael was right and Alan’s gay as well, but Justin, the man Michael thought Alan was in love with, was not the man he actually loved, because Alan called someone else before he came to Michael’s apartment. When Alan saw Michael’s reaction, he went back to his shell. Everyone wants a safe place and be loved, so he‘s telling what others want to hear, or at least what some wish to hear.

Maybe I see it like that because of my experiences. I had never understood why some people make such a big deal whether someone is gay or not. When I was a kid and played with my dolls, some of the female dolls had relationships with male dolls or others with female dolls. I simply loved telling stories with them, and I gave each one a unique character and backstory. I was 12 when I first heard the word “gay”. Back then, I did not understand why this word was necessary, because I could not see a difference. It’s love. Period. It does not matter if it’s between two men or two women or a man and a woman. It’s all the same. It’s all love. It has always been normal to me, and I did not understand why anyone would see it differently. 

Booth Theatre, Boys in the Band
Booth Theatre, Boys in the Band

Being a curious person, I once looked for the origin of the word gay. It derives from French. It has the same meaning as it still has in English, in which the former meaning seems to vanish: cheerful, joyful, happy, carefree. It describes perfectly how I see gays, and how they should see themselves, not only in this impeccable play. What looks like a party isn’t always just fun. However, they find a way being who they are. They hide because they feel judged, and unfortunately, they still are by way too many people. We have come so far since 1968, but there is still a long way to go to equal acceptance and treatment. Gays should not hide, not in a closet, and not in an apartment. I am really grateful, that these nine actors show their true selves proudly, making the play’s story even more moving. The look of somebody is one part, it is what other people firstly notice. However, the look is only the outside, it is the shell. What is even more important is the inside, what a person feels. We are all different, we all express and feel love differently, but we all deserve it. There is no right way to love. Love is love, love is for everyone. Every person has to allow himself to feel and show love. There is nothing more precious to share. No one should fear of not being loved for who he or she is. Everyone deserves love. I still listen, but I don’t want to please everyone anymore or tell me what I have to like to be accepted. Why do we hate ourselves so much (allowing others telling us how we should love)? 

 Allow yourself to be who you already are. Be yourself. That is how you start being happy.

Seeing the boys was in some way like looking into a mirror, as I could relate to all characters. It made me think about my life. The show made me laugh, made me cry, and honestly it was the best show I have seen on Broadway this summer. I have read the book and watched the movie before, but as a theater fan I was even more excited to see this play, and it even surpassed my expectations. It was even more intense. I only wished I had asked the cast how much they can relate to their characters. It is not only the cast, but the entire crew making this show wonderful. I love the set design, the lighting, the costumes, the music, and even the smell at the theater. 

If you still haven’t seen The Boys in the Band, make sure you do. It is an outstanding cast telling an important story to which I guess everyone can relate somehow. For me, this show is more than „only for gays“. I saw the show twice, and if I lived closer to New York, I had seen it more often. Thanks to everyone involved. I spoke to almost all of them after the show.  I also came to the stage door once after I had seen another show on Broadway, only to tell people passing by they should come and see the boys. There were a couple of people asking me about the show, and I was glad to tell them about it. Now I cannot do that anymore, so here is this blogpost instead. Run to join the party — at the Booth Theatre until August 11th.

The differences between Germans and Americans 

The differences between Germans and Americans 

They are miles apart. The Atlantic Ocean is right between them. However, how much different are Germans and Americans actually? I do not want to focus much on politics or economics, but about the people. I was born and raised in Germany. I have relatives and friends in both countries. I love American TV shows and holidays, I am interested in the political situation in both countries, and I think Germans and Americans are more alike than it might appears. 
(I want to point out, that this is just my opinion, based on the experiences I made. It can vary to your own.)

The beauty of globalization!?

Many people still dream of one united world, while many world leaders want to turn their nation into the only one triumphing. We all live on one single planet, but there is not one mindset, that is entirely right. Every person is unique. I mean, underneath the skin, we are alike. There is no difference between the X-ray of a black and a white man, a Christian and a Moslem. It is solely the feelings, and beliefs, which vary. What makes us so unique is not the skin color, but the emotions attached to it. Back in Stone Age, people were looking for those, who appeared similar to them. They were suspicious about aliens. They wanted to protect themselves. Still these days we are more likely to find friends and a partner who is like a beloved person. The chances that this relationship will last long, is by far higher than to someone who is quite the opposite.

That is the reason “the others” are often considered as the bad people. They can be the black ones, refugees, or belong to any other minority. Both countries fear losing their home to the minorities. Parties like the AFD, that is far right in Germany, arise unreasonable fear by ignoring the facts and creating vicious emotions. There are only two percent of refugees compared to the amount of Germans living in Germany. Therefore, it is unreasonable that the refugees will soon take over. The reaction to such, by statistics proven, facts is in both countries the same, when it does not fit to specific politicians’ opinions: in Germany, it is called “Luegenpresse” (lying press) and in the US, it is “fake news”. 

However, what is a “real” German or American? The AFD considers everyone not German who does not look like one – to them. How is a typical German supposed to look like? That is a big issue, also in the US. Some people might have grandparents from different countries, but cannot relate much to it, because they were not born and raised there. I have a friend who is half Moroccan, but she has never been to that country. Her Mom lives in Germany, my friend was born and raised here. Germany is her home country. She is German. Unfortunately, many people tell her she is lying when she talks about her nationality. 

Putting stereotypes into boxes

Facts are one thing, but they are meaningless when they do not appeal to the emotions, which can lead to illogical decisions. Why seeking for a potential enemy even in the own country? Why do we want to tear others down, instead of accepting a challenge and become better? When I was a college student, I had to do an interview with a former doctor who is nowadays doing comedy in Germany. His secretary refused using the words “he is a TV star now, he cannot do interviews with students.” He was just one of many people I figured out who think they are better than “freaking, stupid students”. In the US, it is different. I feel more support. Politicians and entrepreneurs are pleased giving interviews to students for infamous podcasts, magazines or blogs – not all of them, but there is a higher chance they answer questions than Germans. These people maybe remember how they once started, and are not thinking, “Now I am the famous guy and you better beg or pay lots of money to afford me.” I think the more money is on the table, the less happy people are for others. At least that is what I experienced in Germany. These rich people become some sort of a Montgomery Burns on The Simpsons. They think they cannot fail, nothing they do is questionable and who ever dares to, has to be the declared enemy.

When I was younger, I felt I was the only person with issues. Life seemed so easy for other people. They were smart and beautiful, and I was simply too stupid for it all. Now I have realized that many successful women, like actresses Melissa Benoist and Emma Stone, were dealing with anxieties and insecurities. It feels good to read about that, and to notice I am not the only one. It has always been hard for me to express feelings. As a teenager, I tried my best to refuse them. Emotions made me feel even more vulnerable. I did not want to give the other kids another thing to laugh at me, or talk behind my back, which I constantly felt they were doing. Listening to my friends and helping them is something I like, but I always feel like I cannot bother them with my crap, because they have enough to deal with. Even when they tell me, they are interested; I feel it hard to accept. I know they have problems, too, but I feel to be just excessively different and they would not understand, maybe even consider me crazy. Who am I to complain anyway? There are “real” problems out there, than me feeling like an alien.

The same in different ways

Have you ever felt differently? Have you ever felt unaccepted for who you are? This could be because of your nationality, religion, ethnicity, or maybe your emotions. We all have them. They make us human. They make us the same, but also separate us. They make us vulnerable, but they also empower us. I think when everyone shares, instead of hiding or even refusing having feelings, insecurities and anxieties would not be such a big deal. Everyone has them. It is good to admit being imperfect, instead of laughing at others and pretending or not showing any issues. The minority is the majority. Instead of pointing fingers and catastrophizing, I wish for people to be more open about themselves, and about other people. Accepting others and focusing on the good, that is still in the majority and it is on us to keep it that way; that is the actual beauty of globalization. 

Do not fear or hate those who are like you. Forget the box thinking, and allow everyone the freedom to embrace herself entirely. Put the obstacles from your thoughts aside, the differences that humankind created like nationality, religion, and ethnicity. Only then, we can maybe become what we already are: equally human beings.

The power of love

The power of love

First of all I wish all my readers a very happy new year 2016. I hope it will bring you lots of joyful moments with the people you love and care about. This is my first post in 2016, and like many people at the beginning of a new year, I was thinking to write about resolutions. Not the typical ones, like to eat more healthy or to do more sports, which I should definitely do too, but something that is more important because it is not only about me. It has not only an impact on my life. It is about that one indescribable something that consists of nothing but means everything. Something that can’t be touched with one’s hands, but it certainly can be felt in many ways. And everyone should know how it feels like. 
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The most precious gift

The most precious gift

First of all I wanna wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas. May your holidays be wonderful and peaceful. There might be some people who only like Christmas because they get expensive presents, others say Jesus wasn’t born in December, so why should Christmas be celebrated  that month? It might be true that, to many people, it’s only about the money. But to me, well, there is this special spirit that calms me down, lets me forget all the pain and sorrow of the entire year. No matter how tough times sometimes were, I simply enjoy the time, the moment, the present, during the holidays. Two weeks ago I had this dream of meeting someone for the first time, and having a conversation with. I want to tell you this story, as to me, it reflects the true meaning of Christmas.
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