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Till Kaeslin

A conversation with Sean Bennett.

For a long time, I treated my queer identity like that old laundry-day shirt at the back of everyone’s closet. Ya, you know the one.

Sure you own that shirt, but you’re not attached to it.

You can’t remember where you first picked it up, all you know is it’s still two sizes too big and you’re too lazy to get rid of it.

So you keep it at the back of your closet for that inevitable day when everything else is piled high in your laundry hamper.

That’s how I treated my queer identity.

I wasn’t particularly comfortable in it so I didn’t particularly engage with it. I was only queer in so much that I was…

Having that ability is an earned luxury — stop diluting it with 9 to 5 conventions

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Yesterday, as I took some time in the middle of my workday to work out, I felt the familiar feeling of anxiety burning a hole in my chest.

A few, half-distracted core exercises later, I figured out exactly what it was that was bothering me. As soon as I did, I couldn’t wait to write about it — literally. I stood right up in the middle of an exercise to jot down a note on my laptop just so I wouldn’t forget.

The note read: “Don’t ever apologize for creating your own schedule — we work just as hard.”

Ever since I graduated college, got a job, and walked my ass right into the belly of the…

I’m ready for the next revolution, not a reboot of the one that was shocking to my parents’ generation

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“And just like that …” the Sex and the City franchise lost a little bit of its magic.

No, I don’t want a Sex and the City reboot — and that’s coming from one of the biggest SATC fans alive. Probably.

I don’t bestow that title lightly. I’ve watched every episode of SATC three, maybe four times over. I follow an Instagram account solely devoted to the fashion and politics of SATC, Every Outfit on Sex & the City. On the last date I went on, we ended up in his bed watching … you guessed it, SATC (Season 1, vintage).

So what has this 20-something gay boy so obsessed with a show about four middle-aged white women dating and sexing around the…

One awkward doctor’s visit and the latest attack by the Trump administration on LGBTQ+ health care

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Yesterday, I went to the doctor’s to get a full STI test done.

I’m not proud of it, but I could feel my face go red when I willed myself to ask my doctor about specific testing for anal STIs.

I’m totally comfortable talking to my friends about the sex I’m having, and I even write about it on the internet sometimes, so why did this feel so … off-limits?

As my brain ruminated over that very question on the walk home from the scene of the crime (AKA my doctor’s office), I wondered if other LGBTQ+ people ever felt this way.

When it comes to sexual health, are queer people getting the medical attention we deserve?

All I could think was that if my High School Sex Ed classes were indicative at all of how we treat LGBTQ+ sexual health, then…

It was only until I faced my lease-end that I realized just how much wasn’t certain.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

My lease is up in about a month and a half, and until just a few days ago, I had no idea what I was going to do when that last day came.

What changed? Well, I figured out who I’m going to live with.

What didn’t change? Everything else — in a real estate market as fast-paced as New York City’s, you really can’t start looking for your next place until you’re at most a month out. Trust me, I’ve tried.

My expiring lease reminded me of all my uncertainty.

It wasn’t until my soon-to-be roommate landed her dream-job and confirmed that she could move across the country…

Some things to consider before pulling the travel-trigger.

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Not to sound like a total PV gay, but it’s true: Up until yesterday morning, I was getting ready to pack my bags for Baja California.

My two friends and I had hatched the travel plans over the summer — I guess in desperate hope that things would have been better by now on the Covid-19 front. Obviously, things didn’t quite pan out like we (and the rest of the world) hoped.

I was supposed to fly into San Diego from New York City tomorrow morning, all while the West Coast is in turmoil.

I wrote about anal sex on the internet. This is what I learned about facing your publishing fears.

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Nearly a month ago now, I started my first-ever Substack newsletter, That’s Gay.

Three issues in, and I posted a newsletter titled “Let’s talk about sex, baby! : Breaking down anal sex taboos by answering my own questions.”

Recipients of this newsletter included any and all strangers on the internet, any of my Instagram followers that cared to click on the link I shared (ranging from close friends to the kid that sat next to me in Middle School third period English), and — to save the best for last — my mother.

Needless to say, my finger wavered over that publish button for more than a few minutes.

In fact, I went through several stages…

Too many of my “relationships” began and ended with a GIF.

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“But then we should stop texting now,” I messaged my new Tinder match — the very same one I had just learned one message prior was going to be out of town for the week. “Otherwise we’ll get bored, have that awkward text burnout, and never meet up. Hit me up when you’re back.”

Ask a guy not to text you? Who would do such a thing?

Well, I would say that I would, considering I just did, but truth be told it was way out of character for me.

Although I’m not the biggest fan of texting over a dating app (I’m of the “you don’t really know them until you’ve met…

To all my fellow solo-runners: I promise to never invite you on a run.

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

When I was in Pre-K, I was never the kid to get sent home with a “doesn’t play well with others” note on my Spongebob sticker-covered report card.

My parents would never let me forget that I was the class distractor from day one.

If I had a penny for every time I was separated from a friend in class, told to focus in the middle of a lecture, or yelled at for laughing in the back … well, let’s just say I’d make a lot of rare coins collectors quite envious.

So what does not being the “doesn’t play well with others” kid and my inability to keep my mouth shut in math class have…

There is so much good we can do in one year, we just need an average one to do so.

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Stop saying 2021 is going to be an amazing year. You don’t know that, and I don’t want you projecting all over my subconscious — you’re getting its hopes up.

No, 2021 may not be an “amazing year”, and why should it be? Time, the universe, and the spherical floating rock we live on owe you, me, and your grandmother's five hairless cats absolutely nothing.

But on the off chance that it does — if there is a sentient being out there somewhere, getting high on shooting stars and knitting sweaters out of cloud fluff —

please let 2021 be ok.

Just ok, just average…

Till Kaeslin

20-something writing from my Facebook marketplace-adopted desk in Harlem * Sender of ‘That’s Gay’, the newsletter *

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