Western Traditionalism / Gay & Black

I was recently called a “Black Caucasian” by a guy online, when I told him that I identified more with “Western culture” than with “Black culture.” I laughed, because I’ve been called various things like this since I was 4 years old, such as “Oreo” and “White-Wannabe.” I suppose much of it stems from the fact that my internal vision of myself was that of a white guy when I was a kid. It was a way for me to cope with some severe bullying I experienced from several groups of black kids as I was going through high school. They bullied me because they didn’t think I was “black enough”, so I mentally distanced myself from my own physical appearance, as weird as that sounds. So for the first 18 years of my life, I really did feel like I was a white person, at least mentally.

Because I didn’t have much of a connection with my majority-black heritage, I lacked much of the culture that other black people had, such as a need to act tough and listen to rap. I was instead bookish, always wanting to learn about history and science. At an early age, I saw myself as a junior classicist, reading the works of Aristotle and Socrates, Homer and Sophocles. With an understanding of the building blocks of western civilization, I gained a greater appreciation of it, and sought to learn how all the pieces of society fit together. By the time I was in high school, I had a pretty good idea, and I felt justified in my abandonment of “black culture.” In my mind, I was rooted in a far greater tradition, not one founded on slavery and the oppression it brought about. I did not want to confront that aspect of my heritage, and instead saw the slavery of my ancestors as an “opportunity” for me, and the other blacks who were eventually freed from their chains and allowed a seat at the table of American civic life. To this day, that is my primary viewpoint, that Western Civilization afforded me a wealth of knowledge and understanding, despite the unfairness of slavery in its past, and racial inequality that still exists today. I could understand that no matter what society a person lives in, there will always be hierarchies that form, that will always create inequalities of power.

I came to terms with my homosexuality in high school, which complicated my ideologies for a time. I’d been a believer in traditional values, like chivalry, marriage and family, as well as a belief in God. But when I began to be open about my sexuality, I was told by most of the people around me that these values were incompatible with being homosexual. I was told that homosexuals couldn’t marry and have real families. I was told that homosexuals were all sluts, and that dating and romance were not possible between two highly-sexual men. I was told that homosexuals could not be Christian, because God decreed the homosexual act to be sinful. The society at large hammered me with these facts, especially since I belonged to a conservative community. I saw myself as a conservative, yet wanted to live a homosexual life with a loving husband someday. I chose to abandon my values, and sunk into a period in my late teens and early twenties where I was both promiscuous and an atheist.

It took me several years, but eventually, I was able to gain an understanding that my values were indeed compatible with my sexual orientation. I reshaped my worldview, and gained a greater confidence in my own sense of what was actually right, and what other people said was right. I found that there were other homosexual men who wanted to court and marry. The government then made gay marriage legal, making it a reality in my mind, not something I would only have to do ceremonially. And I found Christian churches that accepted homosexuals not only as worshipers, but ordained priests as well. My relationship with Christ and Christianity has evolved much since I was a teenager, but I have been able to regain a love of Jesus Christ through understanding that he was a kind, understanding man living in a time where homosexuality seemed equivalent to “exploitative pederasty”, and he would surely not condemn a man to hell for loving another man who is capable of loving him as well.

So today, the label that best suits me is that of a Western Traditionalist, with a homosexual spin. I believe in the classical ideals of order, virtue, moderation, and individualism, grounded in a divine morality that exists beyond humanity. I believe that family is the pillar of society, whether that family have a mother and father, 2 fathers, or 2 mothers. I believe that a belief in God combined with a strong religious tradition gives an individual the strength and framework to overcome any challenge, and practice a morality that isn’t changed or discarded on a whim.

And lastly, I believe that race is secondary to culture as far as behavior is concerned, and that we as human beings must see each other as individuals independent of our immutable physical traits. Any member of any race can attain a culture that lifts them out of the violence, ignorance, and irresponsibility of a different culture. I am an example of that reality.

A Magic Origin Story

So, I’ve been playing Magic the Gathering for about 10 years total. I got started in the original  Mirrodin block,  back in 2003. I was in middle school at the time, and was brought into the game by a teacher who ran an after-school club for playing cards, D&D, and board games. I was quickly taught the ropes, started playing both Type 2 (Standard) and Type 1 (Vintage), and fell in love with the game.

A Mirrodin wallpaper I used yeaaarrrrs ago.

I played for nearly 4 years straight, got out of the game during 10th Edition, came back for Alara block (Esper so cool!), left again during New Phyrexia (Why the heck did the damn Phyrexians ruin my favorite plane!!), came back for Return to Ravnica (Of course), left during Theros block, and didn’t come back until Kaladesh.

Returning for Kaladesh was a bit serendipitous, as it ended up being a broken artifact set just like Mirrodin was. ♥

I’ve never been very competitive, although I’ve acted like I was when I was in grade school, hah. I’ve attended a few GPs, but seldom make it to Day 2 in any Main Events.  I’m more of a skilled casual player. Over the years, I’ve gotten out of the competitive formats and mainly stick to my two favorite formats; Limited and EDH.

I’ve gotten a lot out of this amazing game. I’ve made lifelong friends, improved my ability to think strategically, and benefited from investment opportunities, haha. Magic the Gathering has definitely improved my life, which is why it’s my favorite hobby~!

Motorcycle Diaries

I was on the road a month and a half ago, for a period of 4 months, riding my motorcycle across the US. A lot happened during that time, good things and bad things to be sure. I sit here in my home, where I left from, and I am reminded that I wasn’t really changed by it. The camping out in remote areas, the constant conversations with people so very different from me, and the month living in bittersweet Mormon Idaho…these things did little to remove the coldness and lingering despair I tend to feel about life in general. It was…an interesting diversion, to say the least. Certainly enough to write a novel about, to be sure.

The First Half of My Trip – Orlando to Seattle

I went to GP Vegas during that trip, which turned out to be pretty last minute. I rushed from San Diego to get there, once I realized that it was happening just 2 days later. Quite a ride, from San Diego to Las Vegas. It was worth it, though. Haven’t spent a lot of time in Las Vegas, so it was a lot to take in, especially since I’d been staying in desert National Parks throughout Arizona and New Mexico during the previous 2 weeks. The GP was pretty routine, just more MtG “celebs” than other GPs.

I had a great time playing commander with new folks, primarily from California. They have a weird sense of humor and ease of being that I’m not used to. It was refreshing though, as I’m more used to uptight magic players who reek of insecurity and pettiness. My two decks, Jarad and Memnarch, went undefeated there. Folks started not feeling good about playing against them, so I made a draft-chaff Rona deck to humble myself before them. The gesture was appreciated, even if I didn’t end up having much fun playing it, hah. I did have fun playing with the friends I made, so that is what mattered. That was the first time I’d used a female commander, so that’s a bit of a milestone for me. I didn’t feel the normal urge to make a male commander that I could envision myself “being with”, so hurray for not gaying up my commander experience yet again. 😀

GP vegas 2018, early on the first day.

I went to a few card shops over the course of my trip. The most unique of them was ABU Games in Boise, ID, which was located in a building that had previously been a Gold’s Gym. Their super-casual commander rules were pretty ridiculous, but I get the feeling that the place is fun outside of that.

I really enjoyed visiting Renton, WA and staying with an old, good friend that lives there. To my surprise, Wizards of the Coast HQ was only 5 minutes from their house, so I get to check visiting that place off my bucket list. The Seattle area has such miserable weather, so that explains some of the decisions they’ve made over the years…haha! I was even able to play with an interesting R&D guy at a nearby card shop, who I’d coincidentally ran into at GP Vegas a few weeks earlier. I had a full “WoTC experience” in Renton.

WoTC Headquarters

Taking breaks to play MtG were some of the highlights of my trip. Although, bringing along 2 decks that had about $8000 of value in them on a cross-country motorcycle trip probably wasn’t the brightest idea. 😀


The Journey Begins

Where to begin…

I’m starting this site because I want my own corner of the internet again. I’ve had such personal sites before, but I’ve always deleted them in the heat of some emotion I experienced. So much time and energy put into expressing and sharing myself, only to be deleted when I’ve felt extra lonely. Never again. This site will be an eternal testament to what I love, who I am, and what’s going on with me. I’m older, wiser, and better at not letting my emotions run wild.

So yeah, Magic the Gathering, Anime, Video games, Music, Philosophy, Travel, and more. There are so many things I want to share with the world, and this is a great way to do it.

Let’s do this, boys.

It’s pointless to cry. One is born and dies alone. — Cesare Pavese