Broadway’s “Rent” and Nostalgia

The only thing good to come out of “Rent Live! was a rejuvenation of my interest in the musical.

I was in 8th grade – around 2007 – when the show had already celebrated many accolades and a 10 year anniversary the year before. It was the perfect match to my angsty, teenage years of feeling discontent with my generation and the world around me.

I was also undiagnosed with Bipolar II depression, anxiety and other conditions at the time and not medicated. So while I was suffering and wondering why I acted and reacted the way I did the lyrics of Jonathan Larson’s musical struck a chord – especially the more dramatic moments, and (again) overtly angsty moments, like “Halloween,” “Goodbye Love,” “Will I?” – etc.

As I grew up and went to college and started studying arts criticism, I began to see flaws and the problematic elements of the musical and distanced myself from any nostalgia of it and advocating works I felt handled the AIDs crisis better like “Angels in America” and “The Normal Heart.”

I have a long list of issues with the book and the characters, but that’s not what this post is about.

After I saw Rent Live – sheerly based on being invited to a viewing party, hadn’t planned on watching it otherwise – I couldn’t help but feel a tug of nostalgia as it was the first time in years I had seen any professional production of the musical. However, I wasn’t nostalgic for the performances I was seeing (possibly with the exception of Brennin Hunt as Roger). I wanted to see what made me love the musical so much as a teen – even though I saw it on Broadway long after the OBC had departed. Still, this led me to seek out content on YouTube includingย low-quality press reels and other recordings of the original cast.

Watching them has definitely re-inspired nostalgia and has actually altered some of my criticisms (Daphne Reuben Vega’s Mimi is actually great and it doesn’t come across if you only listen to her on the soundtrack).

I still maintain my views about Rent as a problematic musical (and yes, if Jonathan Larson had not died it might have been less problematic final product), but it still worth celebrating the parts of it that do work and the original performers – who radically exceed expectations for anyone who has only seen the movie (not even going to get into that piece of… yeah) and the so-so recording of the Broadway show.

…I Want the World To Know (Maybe Not Yet)

I’ve been questioning for a very long time. Mostly because I didn’t understand myself and ultimately thought there was something wrong with me because I do not enjoy sex.

I’ve felt romantic and aesthetic attraction to both me and women, which makes me bi-romantic.

Phew, got that out of the way.

But here’s the big one: after a very long, deep conversation with someone I trust in which I was able to finally say how I really feel I came to the realization that I am asexual.

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Friends that I’ve decided to share this with (and who I ask to keep this to yourself before I decide to make this post public) – you might be inclined to be confused or even scoff at this. However, I am not alone and our community is growing every year. Although there is a stigma about asexuals being part of the LGBTAQ+ community, I believe it is a sexuality – despite being literally the lack of sexuality.

Here is a specific definition I find to be accurate:

Asexuality: “An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or any better, we just face a different set of challenges than most sexual people. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community; each asexual person experiences things like relationships, attraction, and arousal somewhat differently.”

And just like any sexuality there is a spectrum, as I’ve learned through resources like AVEN. I’m not going to go into details about my personal preferences because that is very personal, but I am not ashamed to say I am asexual.

I do have a kinky side and that can still be part of my life, but without a sexual aspect of a relationship. But I truly believe that my attempts at relationships in the past (that have mostly ended with me running away) ended abruptly or did not get a chance to develop because I had so much anxiety of the sexual expectations.

Granted, I know it’s going to be difficult to find someone, but I’d rather now understand who I need to find than settle for a relationship where I am pressured to do things I’m not comfortable with. And this is different than being prude or even celibate. It’s just the way I was born.

I ๐Ÿ‘ DO ๐Ÿ‘ NOT ๐Ÿ‘ LIKE ๐Ÿ‘ IT

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And I will not be forced to do something I have no interest in doing because of societal pressures. So please do not try to convince me otherwise.

I know some of you may not understand may never will. Our community is constantly faced with reactions like: “Maybe you just haven’t met the right person.” But that is a myth. I am no more less a confident woman capable of love and romance because of my identity.

This is me and I’m glad to finally come out on my own terms. I will enjoy my cake ๐Ÿฐ

Note: I made this only available to select people on Facebook because of reasons, but this is my safe space so I am comfortable sharing it with whoever takes the time to read anything on here.ย 

Ponder This:

Hypothetically I would save more money working minimum wage and getting medicaid than I would working a 35k+ full-time job where I need to pay an almost $2,000 medical insurance deductible just to be able to go to urgent care for $60.

Additionally, half the jobs I’ve applied for in my lifetime haven’t required a college degree. I’m so glad I went to a great school and graduated with highest honors. It just gives me peace of mind to know it really mattered. And okay, yes, maybe I should have studied coding instead of humanities, but it’s not my fault I told my teachers I was bad at math and they put me in honors anyway.

…this country is so fucked up.

Also: #hireme

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