My brother always liked playing with Barbies …


My brother just came out of the closet. Which is a huge relief. People have asked me if he was gay since we were kids. My answer was, “I don’t know,” which wasn’t exactly a resounding declaration of his heterosexuality. He got super pissed-off at me when I would tell kids at school that I could not confirm or deny anything either way. He wanted me to tell everyone he was straight. School is a tough place to come out, I understand. I just wanted to stay out of it.

I didn’t probe. I never believed his playing with Barbies or even cross-dressing was enough to support the possibility of his being gay. “My brother loves the Spice Girls” would always draw the question, “Is he gay?” But I’m not going to say that I knew the whole time. And honestly, my brother having sex will always be a gross thought to me, no matter who it is or isn’t with. Yuck.

Mostly, I just thought he had mild autism or something like that, because of his weird obsessions and lack of emotional display. He would become obsessed with things like light fixtures or musical instruments until he knew everything there was to know about them. He dives head first into his obsessions, most recently Chinese languages and culture. He learned both Mandarin and Cantonese as an adult, which is nearly impossible to do. He studied both languages in school for the past few years, joined Chinese culture groups in LA and then moved to China, where he now dates youngish Chinese villagers.

I’m a little grossed out by his taste in men. “Why don’t you date, like, a hot urban guy in Beijing who knows a few languages and dresses really cool? Somebody with a nice music collection? Somebody who doesn’t wear free flip-flops?” I asked him on a static-y phone call to China. He’s a good-looking foreigner who speaks Chinese. He could probably have anyone.

My brother’s full-blown China obsession, I believe, started with an interest in understanding our ethnic heritage. Our mother is half-Chinese and half-Columbian and fully losing her mind right now because she’s psychotically Catholic. She believes gays are full of diseases of the body and soul and that we’ll just have to pray away the gay. She wants my brother to stay strong against the perverts. She believes he just hasn’t found the right woman yet.

She really walks around with thoughts like these in her head. I recently reconnected with her, and she spewed out corrosive nonsense that made me want to distance myself again. I told my brother, however, that we have to keep tolerance in our hearts for our family’s ridiculous life choices like religion. I wouldn’t want to be a hypocrite.

And that’s what’s going on with my family.

Back in Vegas, work has been good. I ran into one of my old best girlfriends and started working with her again. Let’s call her T.

T brings me out of my shell at work like only a cocktail of chemicals can. My jokes make her laugh, and her laughing makes me laugh until we’re caught in a vicious cycle of positive energy. That kind of energy creates an atmosphere of fun that attracts easy money to us. T and I have been spending several days straight together. I go home from work with her and we eat junk food and watch TV and sleep and sleep and sleep on her memory foam mattress. We sleep till it hurts. I must never let my T slip away from me ever again!


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