Monthly Archives: February 2015

59. James’ Charm School for What-The-F*ck Gays OR “James, Why Are You So Prickly?”


A while back, I was having lunch with my friend Jian Li. I was telling her about a date I had gone on where the guy grabbed my hand and kissed it, and I immediately responded with, “Stop it, stop being nice to me, you don’t even know me.” Jian Li laughed and asked me, “James, why are you so prickly?” I’ve been putting some thought into it. I pulled myself aside and asked myself, “James, why are you so prickly? Why wouldn’t you just be nice to the guy who was really nice to you??” Well, hookers, that’s a complicated question. First of all, it’s really annoying to be put on a pedestal. It drives me nuts when a guy just goes goo-goo-gah-gah over me. Like, seriously, bro, you don’t even know me. You just know that I’m cute and funny and tall; I cover your basic list of needs and you just jump in headfirst. That’s so dumb. To these guys, I’m a good fit, because they only have basic needs. But what about what I need? Why don’t you take a second to ask yourself, “Do I have the things that James needs from a partner?” Unfortunately, the answer is usually “no”. But I’m also prickly, because I’ve had so many terrible fucking dates. From the guy who stuck his fingers in my ass in the middle of the street, the guys who drop all their heavy shit on me on the first date and every crazy fucker in between, I’ve had it with these crazy hoes. I’ve even thought of opening up an education center called “James’ Charm School for What-the-F*ck Gays”. So yeah, I’m prickly. Cuz when you’re nice to me, I’m just waiting for you to start doing loud, inappropriate impressions of your Latino neighbors having sex (true story). I always get too excited when a first date goes well, and then something crazy always happens on the next date.

Let’s revisit some of these moments, shall we?
1) The numerous guys who tried to get me to cuddle before the first date. Bitch, I wasn’t born yesterday. You wanna press your weewee against my caboose in the dark and see what happens. Besides, who cuddles before a first date? “No, no, I’m not like that. I just wanna hold somebody.” Well, bro, sorry to break it to you, but that’s fucked up. Get a body pillow! Or call a friend! Wouldn’t you rather press your weiner against someone you know? I could be a serial killer for all you know! I could steal all your shit. Wait, do you have stuff worth stealing? You got some Olive Garden gift cards? Yeah, fuck it, I’ll come over and “cuddle”.
2) The guy who tried to connect with me over “Keeping Up WithThe Kardashians”. I will never know what you’re talking about. I will never watch that show. I’d rather cuddle with a stranger. And then you talked about going to a gay bar for a singalong night called “Musical Mondays”. I WOULD RATHER DO ANYTHING ELSE. I’LL CUDDLE NINE STRANGERS IF YOU STOP TALKING.
3) The guy who asked me what my dick looked like. I was tempted to respond, “You know how when you put a hot dog in the microwave too long and it explodes on one end? It looks like that.”
4) The guy who told me I was losing my hair. Yeah, it’s whores like you that make me pull it all out.
5) The guy who after we hooked up pointed at my body acne and said, “Are you okay?”
6) The guy suffering from word-vomit and couldn’t stop talking. Here were topics he covered: he told me what steroid testicles look like, he showed me his AmEx card, he told me how much his rent was, he told me every show he’s ever done. I asked him to be quiet for a moment, and then I looked upwards and yelled, “GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS TORTURE?!” Then I said, “Sorry, keep going. This is riveting!!”
7) The guy who kept rubbing his weiner against me while we were cuddling. I turned over so he would stop, but then he started rubbing his weiner against my spine. Then his roommate came home. Thank God; some respite! I started to talk to her, but then I felt him reach his toes across the couch until they were tickling my balls. Sir, must I tell you that it is inappropriate to fondle me while your roommate watches in horror? Also, toes?!
8) The guy who told me the elaborate story about how he took a straight guy’s gay virginity. I think he thought I was laughing at his “hilarious” story when I was actually intentionally trying to choke myself with my dinner so I could pass out and go to the hospital and meet a hot doctor who would peek under my hospital gown. Oh no, that last part is fucked up….
9) The guy who told me on the first date that he was still married. To a woman.
10) The guy who was short.
11) All the guys who I had “good” first dates with, and then we hooked up at the end of the date and they were suddenly “busy” for the rest of their lives. You know what, guys?! My mom says I’m a great kisser, and everyone loves when I scream with their dick in my mouth! They say it feels awesome, and it always makes me the most popular boy at EVERY work party!
12) The real kicker. The guy who told me I would never succeed in my career and that I should pursue a different path. You think that after he said that I would’ve gotten up, delivered a self-rigethous, “How dare you,” or a “What nerve!” And then I would’ve dramatically slapped him and left. Right? That’s exactly what I did except that I dated him for an entire year.
13) This wasn’t a date. My old friend was visiting the city, and he sent out a mass text letting everyone know that he’d be in town. I got super excited, because I really missed seeing this person and I wanted to catch up. I was feeling a little down, and I felt like hanging out and giggling would be the perfect remedy! This was our text interchange verbatim:
Him: This is James right? I’m in les [lower east side].
Me: You’re a les. Yes it’s me.
Him: Where are you? Let’s go out!
Me: I’m going somewhere to the upper west side later.
Him: Fun. Well I’m horny are you free after haha
Me: Are you kidding me
Him: Not really
…you motherfucker. You are the fucking worst. I was genuinely excited to see you. I had a bunch of fucked up dates, and I was sick of feeling like a piece of fucking meat. So I thought catching up with an old friend would be soul-soothing. BUT I WAS SO WRONG. Do I want to have sex with you? Absolutely not. I’m not just a hole to be stuffed, you whorebag bitchlicker. I needed a fucking friend, and you wanted to spit on my butthole. Also, we hooked up one time in college. ONCE. And it was so awful that I threw you some tissue and told you to have a ball. If I wanted to endure that immensely enjoyable experience once more, I would just go to my kitchen and slam my barely semi-hard dick in the refrigerator door eight times. I suggest you do the same.
Alright, Jian, you win. I’m prickly. But do you blame me? I’m looking for some retribution from all these wretched dates, and I just get crazier and crazier people! And then when I go to a male friend for comfort, they offer me their Twizzler-dick to dry my tears? It’s all bullshit. So yeah. I’m prickly. I’m a fucking cactus. SO STOP TRYING TO STICK YOUR DICKS IN ME.
“All the bullshit’s for the birds. You ain’t nothin’ but a vulture.”
~”Deuces” by Chris Brown


Dear men: be more like her. Thanks.



58. James’s 2014 Gratitude List


So while I was home for Christmas, my mother asked my sisters and me if we would make a list of five things we were grateful for from 2014, and she wanted us to share these lists on Christmas Day. Well, we all sort of dropped the ball on that one, and when Christmas Day rolled around we were all a little too shy to be super vulnerable in front of each other. I know it meant a lot of my mother that we make these lists so here’s mine now:

1) Career Success: The year started with the biggest high and the biggest low of my life. I was cast in my first real professional show as a dancer in 42nd Street. It was fucking amazing. I got to wear all the original costumes from the Broadway production, and I was getting paid to tap and sing every damn day! I am so grateful for that. But near the end of the production, my grandma passed away unexpectedly. I flew home on my two days off for her wake, I sang at her funeral and then I flew back to Florida immediately afterwards. It was really hard for me to be a tap-dancing ray of sunshine after that, but I told myself that she was sitting there in the front row watching me. After that, I performed every show for her with the biggest smile I could muster. Also 2014 ended with another career success for me: I was finally cast in my first professional lead role as “Burt” (or if you’re my mother: “Dick Van Dyke”) in Mary Poppins. I am very grateful for all the gains I made in my career in 2014, and just so everyone knows: it took me three solid years of auditioning in New York to be cast as a lead. So if you’re moving to NYC to pursue acting, BE PATIENT, GOD DAMNIT.

2) Stacy: When my grandma passed away, I called Stacy to see if she was available to come to the wake and the funeral since she’s basically like an honorary Hansen. When she picked up the phone she said, “I’ve already asked off.” The wake was on a Monday, and she worked a 9-to-5 desk job at the Department of Transportation. After she finished her workday, she drove for an hour to make it to the end of the wake. She then took me to the church where I practiced the song I was going to sing the following day at the funeral while she sat quietly in the pew while I learned a song I didn’t know at all. Then she drove another hour to take me home. She came to the funeral the next day, and when she tried to sit in the “Friends” section instead of “Family” my older sister yelled, “STACY. GET OVER HERE.” After hearing my big sister raise her voice at her while in the House of God, I think she was so frightened that she unintentionally shit her skirt for the second time in her adult life. But she scurried over to sit with my sisters and me. She sat next to me the whole time, and she didn’t try to comfort me too much with touch. Afterwards, she drove me back to the airport. When my parents tried to give her money for the gas, she refused. And when it was just the two of us in her car, when I no longer had to put on the façade of being the big brother who keeps the show running smoothly with jokes and smiles, I started sobbing as she drove. And she didn’t pull over to give me a hug or try to hold my hand; she just calmly put her hand on my knee while she drove. She understood the core of loss. She understood that there was nothing to be fixed or bandaged, and she let me be un-okay for a few minutes of my life. I have never been more grateful to Stacy in my entire life.

3) Caity: 2014 was a big struggle for me. I remember having just a really terrible day after a particularly grueling night of waiting tables. I trudged into my apartment, went to our room, took all my clothes off, turned on my box fan, laid down on my stomach on the hardwood floor in my underwear and just started bawling. Caity came in to see if I was alright and I remember saying, “I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be anywhere. I’m not suicidal, and I don’t want to die; but I just want to not exist for like ten minutes.” Everything finally just got to me. The unkind people, the auditioning life, my self-doubt, my wreck of a dating life, my loneliness. I cracked. And I laid there on the ground crying while Caity laid there next to me rubbing my back until I calmed down. To be frank, I’ve cried alone in my room countless times. But this was the first time it happened in front of Caity, and I’m grateful that I didn’t have to feel so alone this time.

4) Summer Vacation: For the summer of 2014, I finally gave myself a summer off. I did what I wanted to do. There weren’t really auditions happening, so I just stopped looking. I stopped working on my craft for a second. I’m sure I went to a dance class and a voice lesson here and there, but for the most part I gave myself a summer vacation. I laid out almost every day. I woke up early, took the train down to West 4th Street, walked to Starbucks, ordered the largest iced coffee they had and laid on the grass of the Christopher Street Pier until it was time to go to work. Then stumbled to work, crispy like a piece of bacon, worked a lazy summer shift, went home, passed out and did it all again the next day. I also realized I had never been to California, and I had been told by a therapist that I would enjoy it out there. So I asked friends when they were available, and everyone responded back with their finicky, specific schedules. And instead of doing what I always do which would be to plan my entire life around everyone else’s, I thought to myself, ‘Fuck it! I’m going by myself!’ And it was fucking amazing. Kaylee accompanied me for a few days, but then I hung out by myself. And I had such a good time. I am so grateful for the courage to travel alone, and I’m so grateful to have had the means to take a little vacation. Yes, it took me a little bit of time to catch up on my finances, but it was worth it for a real fucking summer, god damnit.

5) Strong Sense of Family: Most of all, I’m grateful to have such a strong sense of family within me. After the sudden loss of my grandma, I’ve made myself try harder with my sisters. It’s not that we aren’t close, but I wanted to feel them even closer. And I can feel the mutual effort. I can feel us all trying to be more vulnerable with each other. We tell each other that we care about one another instead of assuming that we all know. We reach out to each other even though it’s scary to put ourselves out there. And my New York family feels stronger than ever. Stacy sleeps in my bed every night even though she has her own room. When I’m getting ready for a date, she sits on my bed telling me how beautiful I am so I don’t get nervous. And then when I’m on my inevitably boring dates, I can’t help but think to myself, ‘Man, I’d rather be at home playing with Stacy.’ Whenever I fly back to NYC, Caity offers to meet me at the airport. Even when I ask her not to, sometimes she shows up anyway just so she can ride the bus home with me. Also, she waits up for me every damn night. Even if I get home super late from work and she has to wake up super early for work, she’ll be waiting up for me. Whenever I go visit Stephanie and Chaz, they offer me food and coffee the second I walk in the door. And we all fight at dinner when one person tries to pay the whole bill. I have long-distance friends that I don’t talk to for weeks or months, but when they call it’s as if nothing has changed. They make me laugh within seconds, and we don’t hold it against each other for being MIA for a bit. We recognize that everyone is dealing with their own shit. With all these people combined, I feel like I’ve unknowingly assembled my own team of Avengers. I have a whacky group of people who are all vehemently Team James, telling me that I deserve better every time someone mistreats me. They tell me it’s okay to be picky when selecting the people who deserve to share my joy. Team James cheers for me when I’m winning and lays with me when I’m not.They constantly remind me to be my own friend. God, I only hope that I reflect the light that they shine into my life. I love you guys, but it’s absolutely your fault that I can’t find a boyfriend that meets my extremely high standards. Thank you.

I remember laying on the beach with Alison at the beginning of 2014. I told her, “This is gonna be my year.” And she said, “Yeah? Well, good!” My spirit was definitely tested, but 2014 brought be a great influx of love. Though I wouldn’t say it was the best year of my life, I’m grateful for the things that the Universe gave me: hope, love and peace.

I hope you enjoyed, mom. 🙂 I’m grateful that you asked me to do this.