when i started blogging and video blogging on youtube, and actually i auditioned and got a spot on a little startup youtube collaborative channel called dykeswholikedykes. um, anyway, when i started doing all this, something i had to try and overcome was this feeling of navel gazing. i guess that’s what my dad has always called it. um, and what are you really doing when you’re doing an academic project about yourself or about your feelings? i keep saying to my friends, “oh, i’m writing a capstone about my feelings. i’m doing a project about my feelings.” and i say it in sort of a self-deprecating way that makes it into a joke. but i really don’t think it’s a joke. i was just thinking how i could describe this to you and i remember reading a tumblr post a couple of months back, where the person writing the post was talking about how to practice self love. and they were saying, sometimes what you really need to do is open your computer and open photobooth or whatever application you have on your computer where you can see your reflection or a streaming, back video of yourself essentially? a picture of your face? and just stare at it. just fucking stare at yourself in the computer screen until you like what you see. and, you know, paint your nails while you’re doing it, i think is what this person said. that really spoke to me. because, we are taught, as queer people—or as any people really, regardless of what your identity is or how other people think of you—not to enjoy ourselves, not to enjoy our own presence, not to enjoy being there alone with our minds and staring at our own fucking faces, like, in a computer screen for an hour for two hours until we love looking at ourselves. and so, my response to criticism about this project is, yes. this project is navel gazing. i am gazing at my navel. i am gazing at my face in a computer screen. i am listening to my voice play back to me over a voice recorder and…that is radical self-love. so, i’m not ashamed. and i think more people should research themselves, i really do. that’s one of the things i’m taking away from this.
March 23, 2012