LOGAN LYNN

  

Logan Lynn: Crabs in the Barrel – The Problem with the Gay Press

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 2/22/2012)

As individuals in a marginalized group, we are often all placed together into a single pot by society. In this case, I am referring to the queer pot (but this happens around race, gender, age, religion, class — you name it). All of us, as members of the LGBT community, with all our differences, have this one thing in common: we are the minority. There is something about all of us that is unlike much of the rest of the world, and much of the rest of the world’s reaction to that difference can be painful, isolating, and dangerous.

Frequently, members of the greater community become fixated on our sexuality or gender expression, and they try to lump us together, assign us roles within our designated letter of the acronym, and dehumanize us in the process. One would hope this outer pressure would be enough to bring us together as LGBT people, that we would unite and become stronger in numbers and build a community so organized and powerful that our being a minority no longer mattered. Sadly, this has not been my experience as a man-loving man, nor in my work with gay organizations, nor as an out artist in the entertainment industry.

Being a public figure in the queer community is tough. You have to have pretty thick skin to tolerate the external homophobia that comes at you as a result of increased visibility, but I think I was raised to expect this, so it’s never a big shock when it happens. I know the world wants to see me dead on some level, or at least see me stop being such a “goddamn fag,” so it doesn’t surprise me when that pressure arrives. I recognize it coming a mile away and have learned methods of processing the external hate in such a way that it no longer hurts me. I have not, however, found or been able to develop a way of moving through the crab mentality of my own community without injury.

For those of you who have not heard this saying before, “crab mentality” (also known as “crabs in the barrel,” or “crabs in the bucket”) refers to the metaphor of a pot of live crabs about to be killed. Individually, the crabs could escape from the pot without any trouble, but when they are all in the pot together, they grab at each other in a pointless domination game that prevents any of them from escaping, thus ensuring their collective demise. When related to human behavior in social movements, the term is most commonly used in association with a short-sighted, non-constructive approach instead of a unified, long-term, productive mentality. As an openly gay musician, I have experienced this problem mostly via the gay press. Certainly, I’ve received my fair share of nasty emails and messages from people online and in person over the 10-plus years I’ve been doing this, as well, but there’s a distinctive sting that comes from someone in the queer media pulling me and my people back into the pot, and I believe that action trickles down into our culture and leaks out into our community consciousness from there. Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: The Treasure of Your Being

(Originally published on The Huffington Post on 2/14/2012)

My mom has been taking a Tao Te Ching class recently, and she posted the following quotation from William Martin’s book A Path and a Practice on her Facebook page today, which struck me:

So we become silent. We stop looking for approval. We cease taking offense at the opinions of others. We no longer complicate our thinking or our lives. We do not seek the spotlight but instead become a simple part of all that is. We can be loved or shunned, make a profit or suffer a loss, be honored or disgraced, and never lose the treasure of our being.

OK. Yes. That sounds amazing. But… how?!

We become silent.

How is one ever truly silent? I’m not talking about staying quiet or not using my voice for an extended period of time, but actually finding a completely still place within where there is only me — no sound, nothing. Where has that place gone? Much of the time the noise I battle in my own life is an inner static. I just can’t ever seem to shut up about me, about you, about my boyfriend, about my job, about my dog, about music, about the government, about money, about the queer community, about what total strangers are doing at the store — and this is all happening inside my head all day long, 365 days a year. It’s exhausting, and moreover, it’s loud.

We stop looking for approval.

I have basically spent my entire life up to this point doing this and only this, attempting to accomplish it in a variety of ways over the years, with mixed results. I realized very early on that I was different and that my particular kind of different was not the type that most people around me took kindly to, so I started figuring out ways of getting people to value my existence externally, and I just never stopped doing that. I have looked for approval from my friends, family, God, record labels, men — you name it. I chased a professional dream down a path that has led me to here and now, in this very moment, still seeking your approval, hoping that what I write is good enough for you, that my thoughts are interesting enough, and worrying that you might not think I’m worth anything once you know how desperately I need you to think I am.

We cease taking offense at the opinions of others.

This part truly offends me. I will not legitimize it with words.

We no longer complicate our thinking or our lives.

I spend hours every day over-thinking things. From the small stuff to the big stuff, my inner thought process of choice has always been circular, and it leaves me dizzy and paralyzed much of the time. Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Some Great Love is Making Its Way to You

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post – 1/10/2012)

I spent my 20s in complete solitude. Even when I was in relationship or around friends, I was impossible to reach and might as well have been by myself. It was a decade spent mostly alone, and I think there were many times when I felt like this was just how life was going to play out. I watched as my little brother married his high-school sweetheart, and in the 10 years since, I’ve had the great pleasure of holding their babies as they joined us in the world. Loving these beautiful creatures has in many ways made my own as-of-yet-unrealized dream of building a family an easier pill to swallow — but I have always hoped that some great love would make its way to me, as well.

In October 2010, after spending the better part of two years in single-man lockdown mode recovering from a long-winded, ugly breakup, I went to celebrate my 31st birthday with my dear friend at a local Portland patisserie. We sat and chatted about life for a while, and then I noticed this man walk through the door and sit at a table just to the right of the dessert counter. He was wearing a tight, white, v-neck t-shirt, and I found myself unable to stop staring at him. It may have been his big arms, his dark chest hair, his thick-framed Dita glasses, his pretty face — I’m not sure — but something clicked in that moment.

At one point my friend stepped out to take a call, and I took that as my cue to undress him with my mind and get down to fantasy business. (I’m not a sex maniac, but I had sworn off men and had been celibate for over a year, and my fantasy life had become both really involved and easily accessible during that time). So I imagined us getting freaky on the dessert counter until my friend’s return jolted me back to my sad, clothed, birthday reality. From across the room, I kept hearing my pretend boyfriend laughing this enormous, joyful, shameless laugh with his friend, and I tried not to stare. As we were leaving, I pointed out my exotic find to my friend and said, “I gotta get me one like that,” which, in retrospect, is a bit crass and actually isn’t all that romantic-sounding, but I figure the story’s no good if I don’t just tell it like it happened, and that’s how it happened. It may not have been poetry, but it came from a very real place.

Over the next two months I thought about this mystery man a lot, which was not a common thing for me to do when it came to random people from coffee shops whom I had never spoken to. Often, the thoughts were naked ones, but sometimes they were not. At times I was awake when he was there; other times he would appear in my dreams. What had happened to me there amongst the candy and cakes? I couldn’t figure out if I had been possessed or if I was just really horny from swearing off sex. Maybe I just needed to get manhandled on a dessert counter somewhere. Either way, I hoped I would run into him again and promised myself that I would speak to him if I did.

One afternoon in early December I looked up from my desk at Portland’s Q Center, and there he was, standing in the door of my office Read the rest of this entry »

Logan Lynn: Unhappiness is a Strange Muse

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post – 1/2/2012)

The first 12 years of my career were spent writing songs about loss and longing, so in some way I suppose I owe the fact that you are even reading this on The Huffington Post to my own unhappiness. Historically, I have felt most at home in heartbreak, both in art and in life. It’s largely what I knew growing up, so everything else felt foreign and wrong as an adult. For years, people being kind to me felt painful. I was terrified of anyone actually knowing me. It’s pretty fucked-up — and I still struggle with this. It’s a jagged part of my makeup that I will most likely be working on for the rest of my days.

I first learned about how sad the world can be when I was 7 years old, courtesy of a much older family “friend” who just couldn’t keep his hands off me. I won’t get into the specifics around the abuse suffered, but it was ongoing and horrible and went undetected for many years. The scars from this experience in my formative days have done just that: they formed me. They changed who I was and how I looked at the world, and they altered my sense of self at its core. All of this was complicated by the fact that I also happened to be a gay man born into a fundamentalist Christian home. It was a perfect storm for me to go completely apeshit, which I did.

I began experimenting with drugs and music around the same time, both before my 11th birthday. By 14 I was a full-blown, cigarette-smoking, drug-addicted alcoholic with headphones and a notebook who fancied himself a singer-songwriter. Those same old scars now rooted me on as I built an impenetrable wall of sadness and sound around myself. They gave me words and melodies to purge the feelings that could not be killed chemically, and I began seriously writing and recording music when I was 17. Those first songs would become my debut record, GLEE, which was released in 2000. At the time of its initial release, nobody knew what I was trying to do. I recall a lot of head scratching and people being really uncomfortable with the lyrical content, mostly, so I decided to take a break and focused solely on partying my brains out for the next five years.

In 2006, prompted by more unfortunate heartbreak of the drugged-out variety, I Read the rest of this entry »

LOGAN LYNN IS NOW BLOGGING FOR THE HUFFINGTON POST!

Hope everybody is having a great new year so far. We are just 2 days in and I am already announcing exciting stuff! I was recently asked to come on board as a blogger for The Huffington Post and they published my 1st piece today in the Gay Voices section HERE. It’s called “Unhappiness Is A Strange Muse“. Please comment, share and click the “Like” button…and you can subscribe to my future posts on my official HuffPost author page HERE.

Cray Cray, huh?



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