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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

Working at a grocery store during Thanksgiving week is like working in retail on Black Friday, except that it lasts from Sunday to Wednesday. No matter how many stockers and cashiers are there, it’s never enough to satisfy customer demands. As a “Quality Assurance Assistant” (QA for short), it’s my job to both be the janitor and stock milk, eggs, and water simultaneously. I’m mostly able to balance both roles, but some days, when no one’s working in dairy and the milk section is bare, I spend the entire time stocking and restocking milk, frequently interrupted by customers asking for items we don’t have and managers informing me of another spill to clean up. …


Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com. They took out the last sentence, but I’m adding it here.

The 2016 presidential election ended my certainty about everything. There was no way that Donald Trump would be elected president, not with the blatant lies, racism, and sexism displayed during his campaign. Hillary Clinton had baggage, but America had to be smart enough to do the right thing. Reality punched me in the stomach the night of November 8th when all the key states turned red. Eight years of progress made under the Obama administration were suddenly gone, even before Trump’s inauguration. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

CW: Creepy behavior and TERFs

Melissa Febos did a TED Talk years ago about the liberating power of confessing secrets. She tells her creative nonfiction students to look at themselves not as how they want to be seen, “but to look until all of that superficial layer falls away and we can actually see something.” Febos used her first book Whip Smart -a memoir about her years working as a professional dominatrix while struggling with heroin addiction-as an example. At first, she was afraid of how others would react, but the book brought Febos closer to her family, and helped her forgive herself. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

My phone loses power quickly if it’s not constantly recharged. It started a few months ago when it’d suddenly die right in the middle of scrolling through Twitter. Now my phone is mostly plugged into either a wall outlet or laptop. At work I switch it to low power mode until I can charge it during breaks, but the battery still goes from 100 percent to 65 percent in just half an hour, even without using it.

I’m on low power mode, too. The managers have given me longer hours at work for the past month, along with more responsibilities. Even with more hours, though, there isn’t enough time to finish everything, so there are usually at least three things left undone by the end of my shift. Meanwhile, a nagging voice inside my head says, “Everyone hates you. You can’t do anything right.” …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

I used to think bisexuality meant being straight but liking a little extra something on the side. The mainstream discourse about LGBTQ rights in the 1990s focused exclusively on the L and G, and all the other letters were just footnotes. Straight people saw bisexuals as sex freaks who’d fuck anyone. Gay people questioned bisexuals’ inclusion in the movement because of “straight-passing privilege.” Both groups questioned whether bisexuality even existed. I internalized all of this as a 16-year-old closeted bisexual and never told anybody because I wasn’t “queer enough.”

Discovering the online bisexual community at 29 finally got me to come out. Watching Verity Ritchie on YouTube led to meeting fellow bisexuals through Bi Tumblr, which then led to discovering an entire history of bisexual activists no one told me about. Bisexuals have been part of the gay liberation movement since the beginning; it was polyamorous bisexual feminist activist Brenda Howard that came up with the idea of having Pride be a week-long celebration. Yet the same biphobia from the 1990s still exists today. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

New York City felt like an imaginary world that only existed in my mind. It was an Oz that offered a colorful alternative to the dull black-and-white world of Smalltown, USA, where nothing ever happens. It was the promised land for young writers, painters, and actors who wanted their voice to be heard. Every major cultural event happened in NYC. Yet because of a combination of bad choices and uncontrollable circumstances, I never moved there to pursue my dreams, so the city was always more of a wish than an option.

I did go there once. After graduating high school in 2001, Mom and I celebrated by spending a weekend in Times Square, a lifelong dream for both of us. We took a train from DC, and after three hours we saw the Twin Towers outside our window, confirming that this place was real and not a fantasy land. We got off the train at our destination and took a cab to the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. When we arrived, the hotel doorman opened our door and said, “Welcome to Times Square.” …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

Mark walked into ninth grade Spanish class wearing baggy JNCO jeans, a Marilyn Manson t-shirt, a pierced eyebrow, and black eyeliner. His jet-black hair was slicked back and held in a ponytail. I wanted to know him more, but he sat too far away, and I was too shy to talk to him. It wasn’t until junior year that we were finally able to sit together in typing class. One day I was goofing off and typed some Manson lyrics on the computer. Mark saw it, and we started talking about music. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

Summer officially began with our annual trip to Ocean City, MD. My grandparents, Mom, and I would get up early to pack our bags and get in the station wagon by nine a.m. for the three-hour trip. I sat in the back seat looking out the window and watched the familiar landscapes of the DC suburbs turn into the glistening Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore’s empty fields, and finally, the Ocean City skyline. …


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Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

About 10 protesters were already in front of the Talbot County, MD courthouse when I arrived. We were gathered to protest the County Council’s decision last week to keep the Talbot Boys monument — honoring local soldiers who fought for the Confederacy — on the courthouse lawn despite years of requests to have it torn down. By one p.m., nearly 100 people surrounded the area. …


Originally published at https://www.splicetoday.com.

I came home that night to find a message in my MySpace inbox that read, “Is your dad’s name Darrin and your mom’s Beverly?” The person who sent it was a 21-year-old guy from Ohio named Matt, who I didn’t recognize. Usually the only messages I got from strangers on MySpace were advertisements for porno sites and free iPods.

“As a matter of fact, yes,” I replied. “Do you know me from somewhere?” Maybe his parents were friends with my parents, or maybe he was a long-forgotten childhood friend. I looked at his profile several times over and still couldn’t recognize him. …

About

Tris Mamone

LGBTQ News Columnist and Journalist. They/them. Bylines: Splice Today, Rewire, Swell, HuffPost, INTO, etc. trismamone@gmail.com

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