“Kitsch Reads The Fellowship of the Ring”

Hello!

I’m taking my first journey through Middle-Earth this summer! Tolkien’s narration makes me feel like a kid. His descriptions, especially of the fireworks, spark wondrous ideas for my own writing.

In the spirit of celebration, I’m drinking my first beer since last October! @jdubsbrewing Milk Chocolate Porter tastes sweet and salty. The body is a bit thin for my liking, but the chocolate aroma hits the spot. You can pick this beauty up at the @foxtailcoffeeco in the @thehourglassdistrict.

“History begins here” my friends. I want to finish this post with a note about drinking responsibly. Alcohol will not dissolve anxiety. It will not alleviate insecurities for long. I’m drinking to celebrate my mental health. If you are using alcohol to escape things then please seek help. I know what it’s like to want to disappear. Which is why I like to read fantasy novels sometimes. Love yourselves the way Hobbits prioritize food. Always first.

As always, thanks for the support! See you all soon!

Love, BoyKitsch

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Boy Friends

“Boy Friends”

@anthonyemancuso and I met in an art room over eight years ago. We lived together on and off for seven of those years. He’s straight and I’m gay. Sexuality has never been a defining characteristic of in friendship. Love has.

The picture on the left side is one taken right before an Of Montreal Concert. It was our first adventure in Orlando. And that’s when I knew love. Anthony and Orlando make the word feel whole.

We moved out of our apartment again today. To face the next adventure. The bottom right photo is what we look like now… just some dudes.

“Your moving outfit looks so..gay” he said to me. I’ll miss living with your charm. Luckily you’re right around the corner.

Who’s your best friend? Do you miss living with them? Would you ever live with them? It can definitely be a challenge some times.

See you all soon,

BoyKitsch

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“Orlandough Boy”

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Hi friends,

I took a short break from SM to work on my mental health. Insomnia and anxiety kept me depressed the past couple of months. Staying fit, finding a new apartment, a new roommate, and working two jobs weighed heavy on my mind. Depression grew out of the expectations that I controlled.

Somewhere along the line, my goals became a burden. I felt left behind by an imaginary version of myself. My parents and friends urged me to find help. I contacted Bliss Healthcare and found a great program for patients with anxiety.

This picture reflected my attitude at four days after treatment for depression. @wendywallenberg , a wonderful friend, grabbed me this doughnut from @Orlando_dough pop up! I enjoyed the sweet coconut frosting without stressing over my calorie intake. And for me, that was a big step towards happiness!

On this last note, I wanted to encourage anyone with depression to seek help! I resisted this change out of fear but here I am being happy. Being an influencer isn’t about being the greatest person at the best time. Be vulnerable. Be honest with emotion. Thank you to everyone who supports me. It means the most.

All the best,
BoyKitsch

“Boy Out”

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“Boy Out” by Benjamin Gallagher 

“I can’t move,” I said to friends. We sat outside amongst the other students waiting for the first bell to ring. High School started last month. I came out to my parents over the summer. They accepted me with open arms, unlike the student body. 

“Don’t sit near him. He’s gay,” one boy said to our classmates. His comments echoed in my head. I felt afraid to move. My body language apparently told people how weak a gay person could be without any friends. Loneliness folded time into a bookmark. I couldn’t get out of bed and eventually stopped going to school. 

“There’s a gay youth group in West Palm Beach. We want to take you there,” Dad said to me. The Compass Community Center hosted the group every weekday afternoon. There I discovered a small piece of self-confidence to bring back home. The group consisted of LGBTQ teens who struggled with similar if not more difficult problems. Homelessness, drug abuse, and HIV were just some of the daily challenges these teens faced. 

The center connected youths with both the friends and resources to keep themselves alive. I felt okay-enough to get out of bed. I transferred schools and started a Gay-Straight Alliance. Having a community mattered enough to make a difference in my life. I wanted others to feel the same. 

I recommend the Zebra Coalition for LGBTQ youths in Orlando, FL. They offer counseling and mental health services. Pride Month is coming to an end but that doesn’t mean we can stop supporting one another. 

Thank you, everyone, for following me and reading my posts. Click subscribe and leave a comment. 

Love, BoyKitsch

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“Boy Bliss Cares”

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“Boy Bliss Cares” By Benjamin Gallagher

Hello,

I’m so lucky to live in a city that acknowledges transgender citizens. This mural was made possible by Bliss Healthcare.

Bliss is a great resource for the LGBTQ community in Central Florida. They provide financial and medical options for transgender people. It’s also a great place to start PrEP.

It’s important to acknowledge every person in the LGBTQ Community during pride month! Tag a friend and leave them some love in a comment below.

Love, BoyKitsch

P.S. Don’t forget to check my blog for a book review on “Dreadnought” later this month! Dreadnought is a transgender superhero lesbian teen.

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📸 BoyKitsch

“Dreadnought” By April Daniels – Preview

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Kitsch Reads “Dreadnought” by April Daniels – Preview by Benjamin Gallagher

Hello,

Happy Pride Month! I chose to read “Dreadnought” by April Daniels because it’s about a transgender person. Pride is about celebrating the entire LGBTQ community. Look forward to a full book review coming out later this month! As for now enjoy this brief preview of the book:

“I see a world that is terrified of me. Terrified of someone who would reject manhood. Terrified of a girl who knows who she is and what she’s capable of. They are small, and they are weak, and they will not hurt me ever again. My name is Danielle Tozer. I am a girl. No one is strong enough to take that from me anymore.”

Danielle says to herself.  Danielle Tozer is a transgender teen, and a lesbian, and a superhero, who wants to save the world…maybe. First, she needs to decide whether or not to come out to her parents. Shame and disappointment suppress the truth. Will Dreadnought’s superpowers empower her or just make things more difficult?

The book’s main theme is insecurity. Danielle must find the strength to confront everyone about her identity. The world either accepts the truth or wants to change it. Supervillain Utopia is amongst the ones that want to change it.

April Daniels, the author, presents these challenges to the reader in poetic scenes. Danielle discovers emotional boundaries through the physicality of her superhero powers. These scenes build the climax where Danielle must decide whether or not to save the world.


Thanks again for following me! Look forward to the full review coming out later this month! This book suggestion came from Problemsofabooknerd. I’m always looking for more books to read. Drop a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe! 

Love Always,

BoyKitsch

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“Boy Act Love Give”

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“Boy Act Love Give” By Benjamin Gallagher

This year I vow to become an active member of the LGBTQ community, both local and global. Love and Compassion makes a family. Everyone deserves the chance to find one.

Luckily, every organization needs a volunteer! Helping others build their outreach will bring Orlando closer together. Here are three great non-profits that I recommend others to look into:

Timucua Arts Foundation is an art organization that hosts events in a living room! From music to theatre to the visual arts, Timucua values culture!

The Center Orlando advocates for everyone in the LGBTQ community. They honor past generations of Queer people through a historical archive. You’ll always feel a part of something bigger here!

Heart of Florida United Way highlights the importance of volunteering. We all need someone to open the door to better opportunities. The organization recognizes that people need guidance and education to fight poverty. Let’s help each other grow!

Thank you, everyone, for following my channel! Please leave a comment and check back regularly for more posts.

All the best,
BoyKitsch

P.S. Thank you One Orlando Alliance for being the community together on the lawn! Love is Love.
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“What If It’s Us” by Becky Albetalli and Adam Silvera – Book Review

“Idealism & Self-Esteem – A Review on Character Elements in ‘What If It’s Us’ by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silver” by Benjamin Gallagher

Welcome to my first book review! This essay discusses character elements such as idealism and self-esteem and will contain spoilers. This review does not contain a star or point rating. Instead, I thought to review the story’s relatable aspects. If you like this, or if you don’t like this, please leave a thoughtful comment below! Please enjoy! 

The Story

In “What If It’s Us” by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, two teenage boys fall in love. Arthur Seuss, an excitable young man, interns at his mother’s law firm in New York City. His trip to the post office becomes a journey to find local heartthrob, Benito Alejo (AKA Ben). The protagonists take turns telling the story. Albetalli writes from Arthur’s point of view while Silvera writes from Ben’s. This switch between characters helps the reader decide whether or not they can trust each other by the end of the novel.  

The book is split into four sections: “What If”, “It’s Us”, “And Only Us”, and the Epilogue. Arthur’s optimism for love charges the first section with youthful energy. Ben’s insecurities about self-worth create tension in the second part. Then in the third, the characters must confront their idealism and low self-esteem if they want to stay together.

“What If”

“I’m pretty sure this is fate. Like we were meant to meet, meant to lose each other, and meant to find each other all over again,” Arthur says to himself (p.140).

I remember feeling this way about my first love. Everything from the clouds to the number thirteen seems like a signal. This other person and I need to meet. Only then will the daydreams cease inside my head.

Arthur also imagines romantic scenarios with Ben. This obsession creates idealistic values about love that will challenge the character in part two. No one is perfect. The recognition of this truth depends on his decision to forgive Ben. Whether or not the boys stay together, Arthur’s growth becomes apparent by the end of the novel.

“It’s Us”

“My heart is racing because I feel like such a loser now. Like I’m always going to be fighting some uphill battle to make a place for myself in this world. Like why bother if I’m not some rich valedictorian,” Ben says to himself (p. 206).

Thoughts like this haunt me every day. They overshadow elements of self-worth. I belittle my talents, such as writing a book review, in favor of other people’s financial status. Why? Because success often measures itself with stacks of money.

“Oh, I sincerely hope you’re not about to say you’ve been writing the Great American Novel instead of applying for jobs. I really hope you’re not about to say that,’ Mrs. Suess says to Ben, who dismisses the comment. The prospect of becoming a “successful” artist seems inconceivable to Ben at the beginning of the novel. By the end, he finds value in a readership that starts with Arthur. This inspires me and other writers alike, hopefully, to look for a supportive community.

“And Only Us”

“But maybe this isn’t how life works. Maybe it’s all about people coming into your life for a little while and you take what they give you and use it on your next friendship or relationship. And if you’re lucky, maybe some people pop back in after you thought they were gone for good,” Ben says to himself (p 328).

This quote justifies the novel’s genre. The protagonists forgive each other but also decide to separate by the end of the novel.

Arthur admits that he should have trust Ben about Hudson. Ben confesses that his low self-esteem affects relationships. These truths bring the characters together for a bittersweet goodbye. Ben sets Arthur on a scavenger hunt back to the post office where they first met. Their appreciation for one another leaves the reader with the confidence that these two will find each other again in the future.

Epilogue

Arthur ends up going to college in Middletown, Connecticut. He speaks to Ben briefly about a new crush, Mikey:

“He thought Hamilton was fine, but not great. And he doesn’t like arcades! That’s weird, right?”

“Arthur, you don’t like arcades.”

“I know, but he seems like he would, and he doesn’t, and I don’t like that.” (p 426)

This shows the kind of impression Ben left on Arthur who is searching for someone genuine. Meanwhile, Ben starts posting his book on an app called Wattpadd. Arthur’s optimism about the novel inspires Ben to acknowledge his place in the world, as a writer. The characters acknowledge their own truths in a new light because of each other’s presence. This inspires Ben to wonder about their future together:

“I don’t know what we have planned for us. What if there’s a do-over down the line for us? What if we end up in the same city again and pick up where we left off? What if we go as far as we once hoped we would, and boom, happy ending for us? But what if this is it for us? What if we never get to kiss again? What if we’re there for each other’s big moments, but we aren’t at the heart of those big moments anymore? What if the universe always wanted us to meet and stay in each other’s lives forever as best friends? What if we rewrite everything we expect from happy endings?

Or…

What if we haven’t seen the best us yet?” (P. 433)

I love Ben because his internal dialogue evokes memories both old and new. I’m a twenty-nine-year-old man piecing together an identity similar to a writer’s. Books, essays, and Instagram posts rearrange themselves into a portfolio. Someday I’ll find the courage to share those experiences with people. Someday maybe those people will become friends who will celebrate my success as Benjamin Gallagher, AKA BoyKitsch.


Thank you for reading my review! Please leave a thoughtful comment below. I love feedback and am looking forward to reviewing more books. Hope to hear from you soon.

All the best, 

Benjamin Gallagher 

 

Kitsch Pride

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I slipped out of the Brownstone and down 7th Street. Rainbow balloons floated along 7th Avenue. My cheeks hurt from smiling. The LGBTQ community cheered louder than my high school during a pep rally. Except, I joined in the sound with a kind of sincerity known as Pride.

“I’m gay,” I said and ran back home.

Fifteen years later, I moved to Orlando to become an artist. But Brooklyn never left my soul. Although I’m not from New York, the city and state remained an influence, just like the New Yorker.

I signed up for their 12- week subscription back in February. Their stories inspired this writer to start reading magazines again. I loved sneaking in a two-minute-read between serving tables. A free tote bag also came with the subscription which tote-lly rocked!

If you have any magazine recommendations leave a comment below! Thank you, everyone, for supporting my page. Leave some love. Happy Pride!

All the best,
BoyKitsch

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