Answering Your Questions, NGL Edition
You asked anonymously, I'm answering publicly!
If you’re on Instagram, you have probably seen at least one of your friends use this anonymous question-and-answer app recently—it’s everywhere. You simply post a link generated from the app into your Instagram Story, and if someone clicks it and asks you a question, it will appear in your NGL inbox. I decided to give it a shot, except instead of replying in my Stories, I thought I would respond here since some of my answers have their own bigger stories attached to them. I also give advice that is probably in your best interest not to take. Prudence? I don’t know her!
Who was the first author you ever interviewed?
My first-ever author interview was with the one and only Samantha Irby for PAPER in 2018. I mean, c’mon, I couldn’t have asked for a better match. We met each other at the launch for the re-release of Meaty shortly thereafter, and ended up becoming fast friends. Meet your heroes!
What is the one thing you’ve accomplished that you are most proud of?
At the end of the day, I’m going to say publishing a book, but right now I’m still riding the high from having my first piece, a book review, published in The New York Times. Pretty good for someone who can’t read!!!!!!!!
What has been the hardest part of your mental health journey?
The comedian in me wants to leave it at that, but the mental health advocate in me (can a person who has been using their cognitive behavioral therapy notebook as a coaster for the past week and a half call themselves that????) wants to unpack what I mean and explain that I’ve had to learn to live with mental illness, which means creating space in my life to cope, heal, and address the things that make my day-to-day challenging. So when I say staying alive is the hardest part of my mental health journey, I mean that living, for me, comes with acknowledging and accepting mental illness and its role in my life. It's not easy, and some days are harder than others, but one step away from the bad is one step closer to the good—so I just keep moving forward, and I do that by living.
Why is yellow your favorite color?
I honestly don’t know—why is anyone’s favorite color their favorite color? I think it’s just something you know intrinsically, pretty much like your other likes and dislikes. My parents have told me that I was obsessed with yellow as a baby; I would point to anything yellow and say “Yo,” because I couldn’t say the whole thing yet. I don’t know how much I believe this, though, because I’m fairly certain my first words as a baby were, “No worries!!!!!”
When was your first kiss?
I was sixteen and in Mexico City, visiting my girlfriend whom I had met online on an X-Men film forum.
LMAO imagine if I just stopped there.
I’ve been obsessed with X-Men ever since I was a kid, getting up early to watch the animated series every Saturday morning and then later plopping myself down on the floor of Barnes & Noble and reading the comics for hours. I was in high school at the time and was excited about the third and final installment of the X-Men movie trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand, and since I didn’t really have anyone who shared my excitement in real life, I sought like-minded companionship online. I created a username (PeRfEcTsToRmX—I hate myself), and quickly befriended a few people from all over the globe, including my soon-to-be-girlfriend in Mexico. We ended up video chatting on MSN Messenger almost every day, and before long I was boarding a plane with my older brother, who was deployed by my parents as my chaperone, to visit her and her family in Mexico City.
Long story short: I fell in love with her, her family, and her city. We remain close to this day—our families send Christmas cards to each other every year! And the best part of it all? We’re both gay now!!!!!
Do you have trust issues?
I would say I have the opposite! I am too trusting, if anything; I am wont to give people the benefit of the doubt, even longer after I’ve maxed out on doubts. I don’t know how I haven’t been on Catfish yet, which is hilarious because 99.9% of the time when I watch that show, I’m like, “GIRL, COME ON.” But I just know my happy ass would be like, “HE’S REAL, AND HE LOVES ME,” even after a fifty-one-year-old woman named Deb comes out of her home and tells me that “Jake” isn’t real, and that she had been using her nephew’s photos to scam me out of my money. I’d be like, “We can work through this, Jake!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Hardcover or paperback? I always struggle over which one to buy!
It depends! I know some folks prefer paperback for practical reasons—they’re lighter, easier to travel with, etc.—but for me, it depends on the cover and—I know this will sound weird—how it feels in my hands???? Books are precious to me, even beyond the words that dwell between the covers!
Who would win in a fight: Jem and the Holograms or Barbie and the Rockers?
My dream scenario is that they team up to abolish the electoral college!!!!!!!
How do you stay inspired?
I don’t have any groundbreaking tips here, but I will say that I get inspired when I’m not actively looking for inspiration. Whenever I feel like my well is starting to run dry, I step away; I don’t like to force anything. Something as simple as taking a long shower or walk usually does the trick. If it doesn’t, fake your death and start a new life selling bric-a-brac by the sea!!!!!!
Please give me pick-up lines that always work.
I am VERY flattered that you think I have any game whatsoever, considering that I once tried to seduce a guy at a bar by leaning over seductively and whispering, “Wanna head back to mine and split this leftover sloppy joe I forgot about at the bottom of my tote??” He did not—his loss! The only advice I have is that if your pick-up lines don’t work, maybe it’s time to resort to unorthodox ways of picking people up, like witchcraft. Good luck!
Cover art by: James Jeffers
Editorial assistant: Jesse Adele
You can follow my other unhinged missives by following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. My debut memoir, Born to Be Public, is out now.