I recently found this 90s essay on my hard drive while browsing for inspiration and ideas for new blog posts. I’m not sure where the piece came from and it dates quite badly, but what the heck… here it is anyway.
By a certain age, you should:
Know the three meanings of the word “chicken”.
Know something about Anita Bryant, Pierre Trudeau, Harvey Milk, and Svend Robinson.
Have danced all night and shared a sunrise with someone you never want to see again.
Have had a one night stand you really regret, and haven’t confessed it to your therapist.
Have tried on some women’s clothing and hummed a drag number.
Have tried a designer drug and had a really bad trip.
Have been to fifteen pride days in four different cities.
Know what Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, and Mae West have in common.
Be gracious enough to offer a trick breakfast in the morning.
Know the significance of Stonewall, Bill 167, bathhouse raids and Bill 7.
Know when to hold him, when to walk away, and when to run.
Have stopped giving attitude and being self-absorbed.
Own a piece of original art (not including something given to you by a boyfriend).
Know who Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde and Armistead Maupin are.
Be able to name twelve famous gay people, and fantasize about sleeping with two of them.
Have been to the Gay Games, or the March on Washington, or ten circuit parties.
Have stopped dressing like some sort of clone.
Have tried makeup to cover a skin blemish.
Be able to go out on the town with a skin blemish.
Be able to fix an unplugged drain or be able to afford someone who can.
Have worn pearls or a “pearl necklace”.
Know the difference between a “Prince Albert”, a cock ring and a guichet.
Know the difference between a Warhol, a Haring and a Lichtenstein.
Have spent a night in one of the following places: police station, park, bus station, casino or hotel lobby.
Know a trick which always gets a laugh from a nephew or friend’s kid.
Have become proficient in something other than in your field, excluding card games.
Have participated in a political demonstration and have been roughed up by the police, or lost a shoe.
Have had sex 2,345 times.
And 23 different partners.
Know a short verse or prayer to say in a moment of sadness.
Be able to visit your parents without cutting up the place by pointing out all the tacky things.
Be able to spend a day alone with a parent or sibling and actually enjoy it.
Have stopped pursuing unrequited love.
Have tasted some exotic meat and not commented “it tastes like chicken”.
Have made up a toast that rhymes and used it at various parties.
Have experienced a supernatural phenomenon, not including deja vu or losing a sock in the dryer.
Be able to turn on a man without touching him.
Be able to cook one dish you are proud of.
Have stopped saying you spent the night in a bathhouse because you needed a place to sleep.
Have said things to both a partner and a boss that you’ll regret for the rest of your life.
Know what the words “shrimping,” “spooning” and “rimming” mean.
Have gone home with someone who has a fetish that you sort of enjoyed but are ashamed of.
Be able to catch a mouse and get rid of it.
Have stayed with a friend at a critical moment in life or death.
Have been a good Samaritan without expecting anything in return.
Have been in the newspaper or on the TV or radio.
Have gotten rid of all clothing you owned before you were twenty.
Collect something that you enjoy (other than boyfriends).
Have given up getting drunk and stumbling around, but have four nights in which you can’t remember what happened.
Know what the words “bump,” “buffed” and “bear” mean.
Be able to admit you enjoy being a bottom without giggling.
Have stopped saying you’re versatile when you’re not.
Be comfortable about arriving at events or parties alone.
Have lied about your age to pick up.
Have stopped lying about your age to pick up.
Know everything there is to know about safer sex and have told it to a younger friend.
Have stopped voguing on the dance floor.
Know what the words “trade,” “troll” and “trick” mean.
Have shaved off all your body hair for fun.
Have had crabs.
Have a straight friend whom you spend time with on a regular basis, whose company you actually enjoy.
Have said at least once: “I understand, but I’m just not ready for a relationship”.
Have said at least once: “I can’t understand, why are you not ready for a relationship?”
Have deep regrets that that you don’t play an instrument.
Have no furniture made of pressboard, crates or bricks.
Have been to Provincetown, Saugatuck, or Fire Island.
Have gone to a movie not intending to pick someone up.
Have picked someone up at a movie.
Have traveled in Europe (not with a tour group).
Have had your heart broken.
Have moved from the city where you were born.
And most importantly,
Come out, come out wherever you are.