Jason Lyons

October 1998

Lipstick Promises...

The closer it gets to the end of the year, the faster these months seem to go by. It seems like I was just sitting here yesterday writing last month's article.

This past month has been rather interesting. The group that we started to improve our situation at work has made some very progressive steps and now are going to have the opportunity to switch gears take a more diplomatic role at work instead of one night a week outside of work. We are making ourselves management's best friends. A friend and myself started a study group and it would appear that the door has been opened for another one to be started so I am going to take off like a screaming banshee with it. Education can be a very exciting thing. Socially, I seem to be blossoming on a more fervent scale and am enjoying a new nightlife. Life is traveling in a satisfying direction and I hope that is doing the same for you.

What I am going to be talking about this month is identity. As the year 2000 nears, it would seem that society is becoming in tune with the importance of healthy interpersonal relationships. We are recognizing a need to be comfortable with our Sexuality as well as Mentality, Spirituality and Physical Being. If these weren't a need I wouldn't be sitting here writing this and a very large portion of internet wouldn't exist, not to mention the magazines, music, television, and movies that would be left without a place in our society. The change that is happening within society isn't something that is a global wave of energy that just falls from the sky and BAM exists without a struggle. The struggle for it to exist is real and personal, something that each one of us who fights for change, experiences. The personal struggle is what I wish to touch on. (Just a second though, I have to throw my clothes in the dryer.)

Alright it would seem that part of self-discovery is finding that each individual person has tastes that differ in relation to those of the next person. For example, Tony has painted nails, an earring in each ear and he wears a barrette in his hair. Now Joe doesn't think twice about this despite the fact that Tony rags on Joe nearly every day about his neon orange hair. In the area where I live, Joe is pretty safe to walk the streets even if he should suddenly decide to paint his nails and put an earring in each ear. People driving by might stare and he might hear a crude statement from some drunk and oppressed private college student, but that happens all the time to everyone anyway. Now Tony on the other hand better take that barrette out of his hair before stepping out into the light of day, because his butt is going to be whooped on by some good ol' country boy and his red-neck cousins. Now for those of you that just gasped to hear that this poor youth that is only expressing himself is going to get the snot kicked out of him, be aware...around here diversity isn't an issue, tolerance is...

Now to switch gears from bashing for a moment, there are those that would say Tony is going overboard on his self-expression and that Joe is more balanced. I urge you to be careful. Once I would have made the same statement however it was I who was unbalanced by fear of expressing myself. Do I have orange hair you ask? Not any more. Do I paint my nails? Occasionally. DO I have an earring in each ear? Actually two in one and three in the other. Do I dare to be different? No, I dare to be me. I dare to do what I feel comfortable doing. I'm not copying any style or trying to fit in, if I were doing that I'd be wearing wranglers and plaid (I become ill just thinking about it.)

I say that until this century, people relied on what they were taught by those that came before them, as doctrine. Now as the year 2000 approaches and this century comes to a close, we are seeing loss of unnecessary restraints. We are seeing the need and desire to be an individual. So I ask you now that the next time you see someone that you think is a little too outrageous or has taken their sense of style a little bit far, ask yourself why you feel that way. Could it be that you are envying their ability to express themselves in the manner they see fit? Are you upset that they would dare do something that you only dream about?

Until next month, you can reach me at jtlyons@hotmail.com. If you should have the chance, there is an interesting article titled, Busting The Gay Byast, in the October issue of Teen People. Check it out!

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