Hello readers of Jase's blog! This is Jon, friend of Jase and the man behind The Fash Mag Slag. Let me introduce myself to those of you who may not know me. I live in New York and love to walk around and take advantage of all the city has to offer in the cultural and culinary fields. I'm very sarcastic, and am irreverent without being loud. I'm oppionated yet quiet. I have 6 tattoos, like cats, artsy films, travelling, and am a smoker (don't be hating smokers, y'all). I'm 26 years old and while a bit jaded at times, I enjoy having a laugh and a good time. My favorite Sanrio character is Chococat, or as I like to refer to him, 'Hello Kitty for smart people'. I have a chicken pox scar on my back from childhood, and sorry ladies, I'm gay. I know, I know, try not to cry and jump off the roof of a building. There's simply no Jonny for yo' punani.
Now that that's out of the way, I hope I do a satisfactory job in guest blogging for Jase. It might be a tough act to follow, considering that the first 2 guest bloggers were the popular Freddy and Wayne, but you know what they say: save the best for last ^_~
I've known Jase since late fall/early winter of last year. He sent me an email right before Thanksgiving of 2004 in which he introduced himself and came across as well spoken and friendly. To be honest, a little TOO friendly, but you can't realy fault someone for that, can you? We began exchanging emails and phone calls shortly followed- as we got to know each other a little better, I was surprised to hear that he wasn't out of the closet yet! He said that he started his blog as a means of support and to find a gay community to make friends with and give him courage when he finally decided to come out, not an easy thing for anyone to do, even if you are sure the reactions will be positive.
The first time I actually met Jase in person was early December of 2004. There was this blogger get together at a midtown bar called Therapy, and I was excited and nervous about going. I felt that most of the other bloggers there knew each other, and that I would be getting in the way of established friendships. Yeah, I don't always have the highest self esteem. But anyway, I arrived the bar before Jase, walked in, and began searching for the bloggers who were there. I looked all over the place- the front, the back (where they all were but I didn't recognize anyone due to the dark lighting and large crowds), and all over the upstairs section. Again I searched the whole sea of mostly well dressed, urban gay men, but was unable to see any of the group pf bloggers there. Frustrated, I went outside and called Jase's cell phone. I recall he was coming from a get together on the Upper West Side/Morningside Heights area, and I stood waiting for him outside in the crisp air, having a smoke to calm my nerves. Just a few minutes later, I could see Jase crossing the street- I recognized him from the pictures he uploaded on his blog, and we went inside the bar- this time we found everyone in the back. I ended up having a great time that night- Jase was easy to talk to, and the other bloggers were so cool and friendly. It was interesting meeting the people behind the words I had grown to love. Oh, and Jase admitted to me that it was his first time in a gay bar- he seemed so relaxed!
Later in December, I had the priviledge of going out for Korean food with Jase, followed by a trip to a nearby Korean cafe where I must have had 4 large mugs of grossly overpriced coffee. The conversation was again interesting and not awkward in anyway. Christmas was approaching, and Jase was planning on coming out to his family on that day. Later, I walked Jase to Grand Central Station so he could take the subway home- we hugged like friends do on saying goodbye, and I promised to call him once Christmas rolled around to see how the reactions were. Once that day came, we spoke and things seemed good for the most part. No crying, screaming family members, no getting disowned. It was from this point forward that Jase could start living life the way he wanted to, without worrying what other people would think, without hiding a part of himself.
There was another fun night in January where Jase and I hung out with this blogger for a night of Japanese food, bar hopping, and a late night cafe trip in the cold, January rain/sleet. On entering Phoenix that January night, Jase seemed to want Rich and I to show him how to act, or what to do in a gay bar. Our responses were slightly sarcastic, saying things like 'Um, get a drink'. While was new to the 'scene' (I hate that phrase, by the way), we wanted to convey that there is no 'way' one has to be, and that he should just be himself. The fact that he wanted Rich and I to act as his 'gay teachers' was almost laughable as Rich and I have a tendency to be quite jaded and cynical at times. But, this was a while ago now. Jase seems happy and comfortable in his own skin. Being gay doesn't define you- it's just one aspect of oneself, and from observing Jase recently, he seems to have learned this. So go Jase, and get down wit' yo' bad self ^_^