Thank You!

Never in my life did I ever think that I would be an inspiration to someone, ANYONE.

Over that past 7 months I’ve written a lot of content here about my life and learning to love who I am and becoming more comfortable with my sexuality.  Basically, I’ve mostly written about how I never really embraced what I’ve felt in my soul for the longest time. At no point did I even think that my stories would encourage others to live their truth and be confident in being who they knew they were for so long.

You’re probably saying “duh” in your head right now, but I’ve never thought of myself to be someone who could encourage this.  I’m not necessarily a great writer or story teller, but over the time since we’ve started this blog, it’s become easier to tell my story.  So, throughout this time, every once in a while after some of my posts, I’ve been approached about what I’ve written; How it was very real; How it was refreshing; How I’ve inspired some people; How they have expressed how they felt after going through the same struggles that I’ve been through; And basically how I am someone who they feel they can talk to about these things.  And I know I’ve said this multiple times to these individuals but…

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

When I first decided to write about my experience with my sexuality, I gave it a lot of thought.  I spoke with my co-bloggers about posting my National Coming Out Day post, and was unsure if that was a burden I was ready to bare.  I wrote it about 3 days prior, because I thought I was ready.  Then I wasn’t.  Then I was.  Then I wasn’t again.  I was nervous, scared, and unsure of myself.  I’ve been living my life as such for years at this point so why now, you know?  But then I realized that this post, on Oct 11, 2017, was not just about me, but about others as well.  About being done not completely living my life.  About how I was finally able to SHOW that I wasn’t scared to be who I was, even though I didn’t feel like I needed to “come out”. And no, you don’t have to.  But I’ve decided to, to let the world know that there’s nothing wrong with being who you are, out loud.  Just know that I’ll always be here to be your friend.  Your support.  Your ally.

So, for those who have; Thank you for feeling so comfortable sharing your stories with me.  Thank you for trusting me.  Thank you for reading and being open to me sharing my stories with you! Even to those who don’t identify as LGBTQ who have shared with me their thoughts, thank you!  You never really realize how much of an impact you have on someone until they tell you and I’m honored, honestly.  I just want to be here as a voice (in text) for the ones who went through the struggle in similar, and maybe even different, ways. Just know, that I am here for you! I will always be here to listen to someone share their feelings, their emotions, and their thoughts about not only sexuality, but racial identity, and whatever else that you want to talk about, because we are in this together.

Again, thank you all for being so comfortable with me and sharing with me your thoughts and feelings and emotions and tears and hugs and everything!  Please know that you will always have an ally in me, both as a member of the LGBTQ community AND as a friend.

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My Gym Bae (in my head)

If you have any type of insecure, homophobic tendencies, this blog post is not for you.
You’ve been warned.


Ok, so y’all know I’m slightly crazy, but I can’t help but to think that there’s someone at my gym that is trying to reach out and connect with me (like THAT),  but just can’t take that step. Why? There are many reasons that I will touch, kind of, below. But being that I’m awkward and anxious as fuck and have slight social anxiety, I just ignore it all and go about my merry way.

All he has to do is say the word and I’ll be like “let’s go” (hand clapping and all).  But I won’t be the one to say it first.  Just trying to avoid any awkward moments that may occur, because you know…not trying to be that gay guy that hits on everyone because he thinks they are gay.  But I’ve been getting some interesting vibes from him.

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The first day I noticed him, we made some awkward eye contact in the locker room.  Then later that week, there was an awkward “I can’t really hear you but I’m done with this so you can have it” moment. Then another day the same week you asked me to spot you rather than the other people who were around (even though there was only like 3 other people around). Maybe it was because I was the closest person. But why me?  I just want to work out and go about my merry way without any social interaction with strangers.  Now I’m forced to stand over you with my junk over your face. Staring down at your toned chest and shoulder skin because god forbid you wear a regular ass shirt to the fucking gym.  Just let me do me, by my lonesome.  That’s how I like to work out.

I had my “Equality” shirt on that day.  Let’s just say it wasn’t not planned. (I told yall I’m crazy).  I tend to evaluate people to see how they react to certain things.  But it’s all passive.  So by wearing that shirt, I evaluate how people react to me and since he asked me to spot him, I feel like he supports equality (I know, crazy).  He doesn’t seem like a hater off the bat, but maybe he was just really focused on getting his reps in and it didn’t matter what I was wearing and he just really needed a spotter.

But see I’m petty, because if I needed a spotter but the closest person to me was wearing a “Trump” shirt, I’d go to the next person

to the left.

Now, I feel like I’m just projecting what I want him to be onto him.  But I can’t help but feel like I’m being stared at in the locker room by him.  Especially when I’m looking out my peripheral and see him facing towards me while I’m getting dressed, rather than facing towards the lockers on the wall. Maybe he’s just weird like that. Who knows?

I know, I know. This all sounds crazy, and yes I’m slightly crazy and yes I know that someone I know who works out at the same gym at the same time as me will most likely see this (no it’s not y’all, so don’t ask me about this haha),  but whatever (actually, I’m going to need y’all to be chill if you do read this, LOL).

But IDK, maybe I’m being irrational and it’s all in my head.  I try to shut the world out when I’m working out so I don’t really know what’s going on.  I just like to do my set, dance a little in the middle, and then do my next set.  But he seemed to be everywhere I was the last two days we were working out at the same time.

I ran…lol

run awa

I went to another part of the gym each time because my anxiety got the best of me, and I kept staring, and then I just didn’t want to be “that guy”.  Gay or not, I hate being “that guy”.  Who knows, he probably isn’t even paying me any attention, but I’ve been working out for so many years and have not had a hunch about another person in the gym like this at all.

If he’s just trying to find a workout partner, I. AM. NOT. THE. ONE. lol

It's a no from me

*shrug*

I guess we’ll just wait and see what happens…

“Love, Simon” is me, as well as others…

Contains possible spoilers about ‘Love, Simon’…

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I saw ‘Love, Simon‘ a few weeks ago at an advance screening here in Charlotte. I loved the movie.  Particularly, because just like Black Panther, it was something that I identified with and was able to see it in a major fashion, in a normal theater, around everyday people.  Not on Netflix, alone, buried in the depths of hell where you have to know a special cheat code in order to unlock it (OK, that was dramatic, but we all know there aren’t many mainstream movies about the LGBTQ life).

The movie, as great as it was because of the representation, did fall a little short on the “spectacular” meter overall, but that’s fine.  I didn’t need amazement, or some over-the-top fanticization (made up word) about being a closeted gay kid in high school who didn’t know how to be himself towards others. It was a truthful, heart-felt movie that resonated within the audience. Especially myself.

I can’t imagine how many times I’ve felt the same was a Simon, the movie’s title character, during high school and college.  Kind of wanting to be out there, but not really knowing how (only I covered it up for most of that time).  Simon, fortunately, was more comfortable with himself at this point of time in the movie than I was back in the day, but he just didn’t really know how to live his truth out. He more so just really didn’t understand why he actually NEEDED to come out.  Like, why is it a thing? Even in the movie there was this montage about his friends coming out to his parents as straight. I’ve felt this exact way multiple times, and until this past October when I wrote my post Happy National Coming Out Day, I never really felt the need to do so.

But looking back, I wish I had…

“Who you are to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?”

“Who you are to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?”  This is literally the single most best quote that sums up how I felt growing up.  High School was intense and you just wanted to be liked and not ridiculed.  It didn’t help that I was probably already a little weird to the “non-cool” kids and I just kind of sort of fit in.  I was so terrified to even explore who I was in that realm because, 1. I denied the hell out of it, and 2. I did that because I was scared of how I would be looked at. But you all already know that from my other posts, I won’t go into detail here.

Simon, kind of the lone wolf in his own mind, was able to explore a little part of himself once another kid from his school decided to anonymously post a message about being a closeted gay kid on the schools message board.  Simon decided to message him and open up to him anonymously as well about being just like him. Simon was finally able to be himself, and explore a feeling that’s he’s had for a long long time.  Over the course of the next few days they messaged each other back and forth and eventually became very fond of one another.  It was sweet, beautiful, even.

Since Simon’s admirer was anonymous, Simon had to live out his love stories within his imagination.  I can’t even count how many times I’ve thought that some guy who wasn’t remotely interested in me was, and it felt weird.  It was like these “unnatural” thoughts were going through my head and I just never really felt comfortable doing that.  This movie normalized that for me.  Straight people do it all the time, why can I?  “I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am. I deserve a great love story and I want someone to share it with.”

“I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am. I deserve a great love story and I want someone to share it with.”

And this is when I knew enough was enough.  Simon captured this sentiment so well and it truly resonated with me.  I was tired of hating myself for wanting to love who I wanted to love.  Was I any less deserving?

Obviously, the answer is No…

So at that time, I was tired of suffocating.  As Simon’s mom had said, “These last years, it’s almost like I can feel you holding your breath,” (I held my breath for sooooooo long) “You are still you”. As I’ve stated before so many times,  I’ve realized that I’m still the same person, gay or straight, and if anybody else didn’t realize it, then that was their fault.  When I told my mom, there was a clear sense of sadness(?) (for lack of a better word) but she also shared these same sentiments. And I knew at that time everything would be OK (I may have shed a tear or two at this point…I might be shedding one right now, lol).

“These last years, it’s almost like I can feel you holding your breath. You are still you, Simon”

One of the lower points in the movie, Simon is outed by this guy who was blackmailing him (I won’t go into details) and this caused a lot of loneliness for Simon, due to some fucked up shit he caused in the first place and this is something a lot of young gay men and women have to deal with.  Speaking from a personal standpoint, I’ve been outed plenty of times and I’ve also outed some people myself (which I’m super not proud of at all).  But another quote that stood out from the movie was “I’m supposed to be the one that decides when and how and who knows, and how I get to say it, that’s supposed to be my thing!”. And he’s right.  No one should take that away from anyone who wants to make that decision.  However, Simon stood his ground and regained control of his “coming out” story even though it was already made and at that point, he realized that he was no longer afraid.

“I’m supposed to be the one that decides when and how and who knows, and how I get to say it, that’s supposed to be my thing!”

So Simon gets to live his truth, and in the end is able to encourage his anonymous love interest to live his as well.  There were some rocky/inspiring/emotional parts in getting to this point, but I really didn’t want to give a review of the movie itself, but I just wanted to describe why I feel that this movie was important to me.  I hope it inspires a new generation to be who they are, and inspire others to accept people for who they are.  Regardless of race, religion, color, creed, and sexual orientation.

I highly suggest you go and see this movie.  You will enjoy it.  You will cry. You will smile. You will get angry.  You will lose all hope in humanity. You will gain it back. Your heart will be full.

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The Bisexual Dilemma

So it has come to my attention that when I write about sexuality and relationships, I tend to get a lot of hits on this here blog. So, here’s another one for the masses that I hope will shed some light into my view of the world.

There’s this thing about bisexuality…

And when I say bisexuality. I mean, sexually attracted to both men and women. Specifically, in a sexual sense. Because that’s what bisexuality is. Being sexually attracted to both men and women. Emotions are not at play here.

I identify as bisexual (despite popular belief, and it’s mostly my own fault). Reason being is because I have no issue being sexual with a woman, but I could never be in a romantic relationship with a woman. Emotionally, I have no attachment to them. This doesn’t mean I’m strictly Gay (I hear the “Yes, it does” in people’s heads already). Being intimate with someone is more than just being sexually attracted to them. I don’t have that connection with women like that, but I do with men. So if I had to put a label on it, I’m romantically Gay, but sexually Bi. The point I’m getting to is that, when I tell people I identify as Bi, most people would automatically think in their heads “Oh, you’re just gay”. People tend to just have that initial assumption. People have also shared this sentiment with me about other men who have identified as Bi. If a woman identifies as Bi though, there’s not really any opinion or second thought on it. Maybe there is, but I haven’t really experienced or heard it.

Being Bi isn’t this cover up about a person’s true sexuality in most cases. It’s just a label that identifies what a person is attracted to sexually. As we all know, sexuality is a spectrum. We’ve heard it a million times before. There’s this line, where Straight is on one end, Gay is on the other end, and Bi is essentially all the space in the middle. Now don’t get me wrong, Bi, by definition would be smack dab in the middle, but it’s all about perception. For most people looking in from the outside though, being Bi doesn’t seem to be a reality. It’s either you’re gay or you’re not, but sexuality isn’t just black and white though, you know? There are multiple pieces to the puzzle when being WITH someone. Sexuality, Romance, Emotions. These things are all independent of each other, but tend to be tied together when viewing someones sexuality.

And this is where the dilemma with bisexuality comes it…especially for men…

Even after explaining what I’m attracted to sexually, I’m sure there are still people out there that either don’t believe me, or just don’t understand it. This is part of the reason that when people ask me about my sexuality, I just say I’m Gay, even though I’m sexually attracted to both Men and Women. No I’m not back tracking, and honestly, since I am romantically and emotionally attracted to men only, this is another reason I just tell people I’m Gay. But the frustrating part is that it’s easy for women to ride this line of bisexuality, but for men it’s almost not a thing. I’ve been with men who were Bisexual. Being with another man doesn’t make them strictly Gay, and being with a woman doesn’t make them strictly Straight, it just makes them Bi. Plain and simple.

I was watching an episode of Grown-ish a few weeks back. There’s this girl character who identifies as bisexual that becomes interested in a guy who also identifies as bisexual. At first she didn’t know this, but found out at a later time, and since that moment she started having these thoughts of him being intimate with men, and it really bothered her. It bothered her to the point where she decided to break up with him because he’s had sex with men. It came down to the point where she just couldn’t be with a man who’s been with other men, even if she was attracted to him and he to her.

Why is this such a problem? If you’re both attracted to each other, shouldn’t that be all that matters? Most women will say that it’s the fact that their man is gay, or more correctly, has had sex with men before. There’s this fear that their man might leave them for another man. Are you really that insecure? There are straight men out here cheating on women with other women. Is that any better? Would you be less hurt if that happened? And lets not get into the fact that a Bi man may “bottom” (be on the receiving end) from time to time and also be sexually attracted to women. All hell breaks loose.

But when a woman is thought of as Bi, none of this is really talked about. Bisexuality within women is generally much more accepted in society. I really want to know why this double-standard exists, but I’ve not found a good enough answer to even post here in this blog.

And it’s not only straight or bi women have these misconceptions about Bi men; It’s also a big issue in the gay community as well. Bi men specifically, are looked at as “still in the closet” or “he’s just saying that so he won’t have to use the word gay”. It invalidates everything that the person feels about themselves and essentially places them in a category that they don’t want to be in. And yes, there are a lot of people who may use the “Bi” term to make it a little easier for their family and friends, but who re we to judge them on that. What about the ones who are actually Bi? It should be as simple as 123 to understand but it seems to not be.

I think it all goes back to confusing sexual with emotional and relationship connections. It’s like the end all, be all of being gay is once you’re a man dating another man, you’re automatically Gay, and that’s so far from the truth. Someone who is sexually Gay, does not have the slightest sexual attraction to a Woman. They may compliment their beauty, they may even make “sexual” references to them, but they would never entertain the idea of being with a woman in a sexual sense. It’s that simple. Just as a Straight male has no interest in any other man sexually, at all.

So why is it so hard to believe that a man can be sexually attracted to both sexes?

Homophobia…A Story/Rant

I recently read a post about Frank Ocean’s father suing him for defamation about a derogatory slur used back when Ocean was younger.  It was about Homophobia in the black community; and it got me to thinking. Thinking about my own life and growing up dealing with my own homophobia up until I “came out”.

In my experience, there’s always been this issue with black people, specifically black men, standing up for their LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Sure, they don’t mind that you’re LGBTQ, and they even hang out with you and meet your significant others, but in the back of their mind, they still have a problem with it. They might not admit it, because they might not even know they have a problem with it. But if you ask any of your friends that claim to be LGBTQ supporters how they view sex between two people of the same sex, what would their reaction be? (This can also be another topic because being Lesbian compared to being Gay is a crazy double-standard, but we’ll visit this next week, maybe).

I’ve seen where people who say they “don’t care” that people are LGBTQ, tend to have a problem with supporting the overall LGBTQ community. You know, going to PRIDE, hitting up a gay club, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race…you know, those types of things. I don’t know the ultimate reason why this is the case, but I’ve been personally told that there is this stigma that if you associate with a person who is LGBTQ, other people will automatically assume that they, themselves are LGBTQ as well. So I guess it’s just people trying to avoid being identified as gay or something because of their own insecurities.

And we don’t want that now, do we? Especially in the black community.

I’ve read plenty of articles about being gay in the black community. I experienced it first hand, it was the main reason why I didn’t really start to live my life truly until about 25, MAYBE 26. It was an issue…being black, growing up in a black church. Seeing some of the other boys being teased when I was younger and being made fun of because they “acted gay”. I didn’t want that to be me. I didn’t want it to be me because to be gay was to not be masculine. To not be cool.  To like girly things. To basically lose your “man card”. To be thought of lesser than.  I knew how parents reacted when they found out their child was gay. They were ashamed and I didn’t want to shame my family.

(And to the beautiful people who grew up going through this, I can’t imagine your struggle, but I know that you are one of the strongest groups of people I will ever know.)

This is what’s “taught” in the black community. No, not literally, but it IS learned. Be it through the media, through family, friends or whatever, it is learned. And sure, some people will say “well now things are different and we’ve come a long way”, and that may be true, but there’s still a problem with homophobia, especially around the straight, black community.  And the first thing I think about when my mind is directed to this is that there’s this “issue” about the demasculinization of the (black) male. And I truly don’t even understand this train of thought (maybe I’ll pick up a book one of these days). This homophobia found in the black community fueled my own homophobia throughout my childhood even through most of my college years.

I went through college as a straight male. Had girlfriends, had sex with them, it was fun, sure. But when it came down to it, even during one of those relationships I was fighting something that was always there. And I knew it was always there. Juggling between both sides of the spectrum.  But the little black boy from the small town where everyone knew him as a good christian boy couldn’t let that be seen. I’ve said some hateful things in the past about the LGBTQ community, knowing I was a part of it myself, only so that I could save my face and not be accused of being gay, when in actuality I was the whole time. I’ve hated myself to the point where I tried to “pray the gay away” multiple times. I went to church, listening to sermon after sermon thinking that something was wrong with me. I listened to family members, talk so much shit about LGBTQ people that it fueled this self hate.

I’ve suppressed it so much that I became somewhat of a “Pro” at being straight to the general audience. People I knew or hung around on a normal basis always knew or had somewhat of an idea, but generally speaking nobody really caught on. Again, because of the black community, I didn’t want to be ridiculed or shamed or whatever. And to this day, there is this “thing” within the gay community about being gay but not “looking” gay (another post for another time).

Even after coming out, I’ve had straight people tell me that they like hanging out with “gays like me”, because I’m “different”. Which translates to, “I don’t mind hanging out with you because you don’t look gay, therefore nobody will think I’m gay”. And I’m so tired of hearing this. Just because you’re “OK” with it isn’t enough.

Again…

I want you to show it. Truly, show it and be ok, out in public, loud and proud that we’re cool people. I want you to support me by going to events like PRIDE and to Drag Shows. I want to talk about my life with you in detail just like you talk about yours. I want you to go to a gay club and party it up! And no you don’t HAVE to go, but at least entertain the possibility. THAT’s when I know you’re actually OK with it. To tell someone you don’t mind that they are Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, or Queer, and then not support them afterwards is an empty statement. It means nothing and I will always assume that you will always have a problem with our community; And until you get your insecurities straightened out, I don’t want your half assed support.

This whole shit has built up so much resentment and regret in me. I resent the fact that the black culture had made me feel broken. I regret calling whomever I called a faggot that word growing up. I resent that the church made me feel dirty and unloved. I regret not standing up for what was right when I saw an LGBTQ person be ridiculed and judged for who they are. I resent the fact that I waited so long to be a part of a community who tries to do nothing but live life as they are.

And you can blame it on your beliefs, blame it on your personal preferences, blame it on whatever, who cares. We’re fighting right now for our spot in the the world and we’ll keep on fighting long after you’re forgotten about.

“Today, I got time…”

There’s this saying from a YouTube video (that I’m kind of ashamed to even share here) that I’ve just really been embracing recently.  It’s kind of been my mantra.  “Usually I don’t have time but today, I got time”.  And the funny thing about this is that I thought I didn’t have time before, and that I just gave no f*cks, but come to find out, I do give a f*ck and I INDEED, got a lot of time.

Most people tend to say “I don’t have time for ______ today”.  But recently it has come to my attention that if you don’t have time for someone and their BS at that moment, you better find time soon because whomever you didn’t have time for then, WILL be back with that BS later.

So yeah today, I got time, and will considerably have A LOT of time moving forward.  I’m over ignoring ignorance and childish behavior, and I will no longer participate in it because honestly, some things just need to be nipped in the bud there and then.

So when you want to say some racist shit to me, I got time.  If I’ve told you “No” on multiple occasions and you’re still in my face, I got time.  If you defend Donald Trump and sincerely think he’s a good president, I got time. If you say some LGBTQ-phobic shit, I got time.  If you feel like you are going to disrespect me or anyone else I care about, I got time. If you’re on some anti-feminism, misogynist BS, I got time. If you come for me and I ain’t even send for you, I got time.  If you text me some off the wall mess, I got time.  If you lied to me and I find out, I got time.  

And sure, sometimes people just need to be ignored, but there are some people who just don’t understand. So for the ones that don’t get the silent treatment, I will, for sure, have time for them today. 

And for the friends who you got time for, but seem to still not get it, it may be time to cut them out completely… 

Because ain’t nobody got time for that…

The Tinder Experiment (final update)

THE EXPERIMENT IS OVER!

I’M OVER IT!

SO OVER IT!

IT’S DUMB!

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Ok Ok, it wasn’t dumb BUT, to be honest, I’ve never really legitimately dated.  It’s always been this whole “hook-up” thing, and then I’m like “hey I like you” and then they are like “Hey, I like you too” and then down the road…say like 3 months I find out that this probably isn’t what I wanted to sign up for and then I’m back at square one.  So this has really been kind of hard for me.

It’s been about  a month since I started “The Tinder Experiement” and I think that this is a long enough time to report back on my initial findings.  Things during the experiment were both good and bad. Before starting this I would swipe like a mad-man waiting for a match to happen.  Over time, I no longer stressed out about matching with people, nor did I freak out when people didn’t really text back immediately. It gave me a reason to be patient.  I wasn’t feeding off that instant gratification of matching with a million people and always having someone to talk to or respond to.  I focused on talking to 3 people at a time and as time went along my urge to swipe significantly decreased and honestly, I just stopped caring about matching with other people since I was spending valuable time getting to know someone else.  Maybe this was just an overall good way to ween myself off of the dating app completely.

Well… I thought…

The best thing about this experiment was realizing that vetting these guys by actually reading through their “About Me” profiles and being a little more critical about who I swiped right on due to the “only matching with three people at a time” rule has proven to be a tad effective. I’ve not matched with any fuckbois at all, and I’m able to have genuine conversation with people who want to learn more about me.  I just don’t feel like I’m wasting my time when logging onto the application.  It’s a great feeling.

With the Pros though, there are Cons.  Those mostly being that you get a lot of boring guys, and you can’t really avoid that.  Also, people may be busy, or just don’t use the app as much and that’s understandable, but you would think that if someone wanted to talk to you and found you interesting they’d talk to you more often.  With this said though, having the boring guys around has made it easier for me to not be addicted to Tinder and keep in mind you can always unmatch and keep it moving.

There’s no real say on if this is a bust or not, but if I compare it to how I used to treat Tinder, there would probably be a lot of wasted time and conversations in my message queue.  I’ve realized that I don’t have time for that so right now, I would say a slight success.  I’ve met a few genuine guys who just didn’t work out due to personality mismatches, mostly. I’m kind of particular.

So as of right now I think I’m hanging up the online app dating hat.  Even after going through hundreds of profiles and matching with about 20 guys, I’ve still not found that one that’s for me.  I can admit though, that this experience overall, has been the best experience I’ve had on Tinder for sure.  Just takes time.  What’s next?  I’m not sure.  Maybe I’ll just be content “loving me” and “getting to know myself” as the married and boo’d up people say. *Rolls Eyes*.