Ray Long

Ray Long (they/them/theirs) is just your average, every day lesbian with a ton of ideas floating around in her head. She has done many interesting things in her life including, but not limited to, performed off-Broadway in #LifeLines: Queer Stories of Survival with The TMI Project and Trevor Project, spoken at Trevor Live in LA and NY, designed and ran lights for (Wo)men Rule Broadway, has her own YouTube channel and is the lesbian presence on Gayme On, a podcast about gaming and geek culture from a queer perspective. She is married and has 4 fur babies.

I’m growing old and I wanna go home

Trigger Warning: Depression, loss, loss of family

I went to a party last night. It was a Halloween party. Specifically, Halsey’s Almost Famous Halloween party. I went with someone who I consider a close friend. And I had a blast. I made new friends, I got to hang out with old friends. I allowed myself one drink (someone had to drive home). I played video games. I ate free grilled cheese. I danced like no one was watching. I smiled. I laughed. I took pictures. I stayed up way past my bedtime. I had fun.

My wife was Cyndi Lauper. I was Billie Joe Armstrong.

Today, I was exhausted. My body let me sleep a solid 6 hours before it woke me up. Every little thing I did today took more energy than I had. Getting up to pee. Brushing my teeth. Making my bed. All I wanted to do today was lay on my couch and watch Grey’s Anatomy. But Petsmart was having their puppy trick or treat event today and Stella’s best friend was going to be there. So I put clothes I could go out in public in on and went to Petsmart. Once we finished there, I dropped off my wife and my dog and went and got my haircut and put gas in my car. I then came home and threw some chips and cheese on a plate and called it lunch. For the next few hours we binged Grey’s but then Brit got an email about a candle sale going on at Bath and Body Works, so clothes went back on and we went to the mall. After that, we wanted to try a new place for dinner and drove 20 minutes out of our way to do so but the place didn’t exist. So we got Chipotle instead. We talked on the phone with a friend having problems with her relationship for 45 minutes. 3 hours later we made it back home.

My dog Stella is on the right. Her best friend Mia, a 2 pound yorkie is in the giant dogs arms.

We just watched Grey’s for the last 3 hours. I’m exhausted. I just want to sleep. We just got back from taking our pup for a walk and we’re in bed and my brain, my stupid brain, decided it wanted to think about all the things I’m angry at and upset about and sad about all at once and I haven’t stopped crying in half an hour.

I talked to Brit about it. I talked about how people keep talking about how they like it when I let my hair grow out but I hate when my hair is long because I feel like it makes me look fat and I don’t feel like I’m in control because it’s too long to do anything about. I talked about how I hate my body because ever since I got injured, I haven’t been as active as I was and I feel like I’m just getting fatter and fatter each and every day. I talked about how I feel like I’m in a creative funk and how I’ve wanted to film videos for my YouTube channel or go out and take pictures but every time I try even a little, I feel like nothings good enough so I stopped trying. I talked about how I don’t like talking about it but I have very little interest in anything right now because I kinda just feel like a failure.

I told her that last night, when we were driving home and we were talking about stuff and she said that she feels lucky that she got a good one, it made me feel good for the first time in a long time.

I didn’t talk about how I miss my grandparents more than ever right now. Not this time at least. I bring it up at least once a week. I feel like she knows. She doesn’t need me to remind her again. I didn’t talk about how I think about all the people I consider close friends, the people I love and care about deeply, the people who I feel know me better than i know myself sometimes and how a lot of them don’t even talk to me anymore. I didn’t talk about how many people I’ve texted and reached out to multiple times and still haven’t heard back. I didn’t talk about how I feel like a shitty friend because I don’t wanna leave my house after 8 because I’m a home body. I didn’t talk about how I feel like people don’t want to be my friend anymore because of it. I didn’t talk about how many times I’ve silently said goodbye to people and felt a broken heart over because I’m no longer important to them like I once was. I didn’t talk about how alone I feel.

My grandparents, thankfully, made it to my wedding. My grandmother, Ganny, had dementia. This was the last day I ever saw her as
the woman I grew up with. I lost my grandfather, Papa, in June of this year. I think that started everything for me.

I did say I wish I could afford to talk to someone. But I don’t even know if I’m gonna afford rent this month. I did apologize over and over and over for my stupid brain making me cry. She kept asking me why I was sorry. I kept telling her because my brain is stupid.

I’ve been battling with this depression since June. It’s been one of the longest bouts of real fucked up depression in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever struggled with my body and my brain and my value ever like this before. I don’t think I’ve ever avoided looking at myself in the mirror because I thought I was disgusting. I don’t think I’ve ever changed an outfit three, four, five times in one morning because everything I put on fits wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever been so angry at friends because they aren’t texting me, because they aren’t reaching out to me. I don’t think I’ve ever been so busy and yet felt so sad and lonely at the same time.

Last night I went to a halloween party. For one night, I dressed up as someone else and I put on a mask and I allowed myself to have fun. This morning, my brain couldn’t handle it anymore and I’ve now been crying for the last hour. I’m tired. I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m frustrated. I’m lonely. I don’t feel creative. I don’t feel excited. I don’t feel happy. I don’t feel valued. I don’t feel important. I don’t feel motivated. I struggle each and every day just to get out of bed.

I took this picture a few weeks ago. I feel like I’ve perfected that smile.

We were playing Pokemon Go. I felt happy for a moment. It didn’t last long.

Let’s Talk Colors

Let’s talk about colors.

We’re in the best month of the year. June. Pride month. The month where rainbows are thrown up everywhere on everything from clothes to bags to shoes to all the gear you could possibly want. My go to pride shirt was purchased a few years ago at Target. It’s a tank top with a unicorn waving a rainbow flag around. It’s my favorite. I also own sunglasses that are full on rainbow, hats with a rainbow brim, you get the point.

I hate the word Lesbian

I learned this year that April 26th is Lesbian Visibility Day. And apparently I wasn’t the only one to learn that this year. According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT_awareness_periods) it came into existence in 2008. I personally was too busy on the front lines of trying to get everyone to vote No on Prop 8 in Orange County, California in 2008, so I guess I missed the memo. The problem is, when I found out that it was Lesbian Visibility Day, I shrugged my shoulders and continued scrolling through my Facebook feed. I didn’t share any articles I saw or mention it on any of my social media accounts. I may have mentioned it to my wife, but we didn’t talk about it much at all.

My Relationship With My Wife and Her Mental Health

We live in a world where mental health is talked about on a regular basis. There are so many people and articles online talking about how to take care of your own mental health. They talk about how talking to someone isn’t a bad thing. There are even articles about how to be there for your friends and family and loved ones who struggle with mental health. Some are more intense than others. There are apps and websites you can go to talk to someone anonymously or not. There are so many resources out there to help everyone deal with their inner demons. But today, I wanna talk about my own experiences with mental health. And those experiences involve my wife as well.

I spoke at Trevor Live LA

This past December I spoke at Trevor Live LA. This video gives you a glimpse inside my head during that incredible weekend.

See the full video here: https://youtu.be/gVOXRnRzQwc

So many thanks to The Trevor Project for inviting me out to speak at their event. trevorproject.org

A million thanks to Nicole for stepping in and being my plus one.

You can check out here channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5E0…

If you or someone you know is feeling helpless or lonely or like you can’t go on anymore, don’t be afraid to reach out. There are people available 24/7. They are there for you. 1-866-488-7386.

How New York Changed My Life

I went to New York at the beginning of November last year and it changed my life for the better.

Please enjoy all the links I have for you.
TMI Project: https://www.tmiproject.org/
Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Othered: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1943977550?…