“I always thought of kids as being simple in a way. I knew that having a child would be challenging, but I underestimated how complicated their emotions can be.
“My mom and I have always been close. But we had to learn how to communicate again after my dad died.
“I call them clobber verses. There are six of them. They’re the verses that get used to hammer gay people.
“I like watching her get excited about things. She has a very distinct look when amazement comes over her face.
“I thought when I came to New York it was going to be this huge change of scenery and that I could be whoever I want to be.
“Last year I started figure modeling for art classes. I’m plus-sized, so I was a little worried about being nude.
“I want to be a stand up comic. The hardest thing is to find material that’s not just funny—but also true.
“I felt like sometimes she didn’t want me born. I was like Cinderella—even though I was a dude. She blamed me for everything.
“I’m what they call ‘ethnically ambiguous,’ so I get a lot of work as a background actor. I’m playing a ‘parkgoer’ today.
“When the last kid left for college, it came to a point where it was just pretense. And I couldn’t hide it anymore.
“My mom has been really sick for 50 to 60 percent of my life. She had a nervous breakdown when my father left, and she ended up in a psychiatric ward.
“I teach English at a community college in Queens. I love the job, but I hate grading papers. I’d prefer to just have one continuous discussion about Shakespeare.
“My father wants me to come home to Botswana. He tells me that he’s getting older and he needs me to come home.
“I was first exposed to ballet at the age of seven when a traveling company came to my church in North Carolina.
“My parents are old school. We’re from Bolivia. The daughter isn’t supposed to leave the house until she’s married.
“I’m scared to go back to work. I just called out my boss in front of a large group of people. I just wouldn’t let it go.
“I’m not sure if people have become less interesting, or if I’m just less interested in people.”
“I come from Ghana. I’m always smiling. People ask me: ‘Isaac, why are you always smiling?’ I tell them: ‘What else can I do?
“We’ve been together for twenty years. I’ve never dated anyone else. But there’s no intimacy. There’s no ring on the finger.
“We didn’t expect to be raising our granddaughter. We used to talk about moving to the country when we retired.