The Californian Garmo Lives Life

My Life as a gay Armenian-American living in California.

The Family September 9, 2008

Filed under: family — thecaligarmo @ 12:00 pm
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So naturally Armenian families are generally large. I used to think that my family was fairly small. It consisted of my mom’s side where I had 1 uncle, 2 aunts, and 4 cousins. On my dad’s side I had 3 uncles and 1 aunt, and 7 cousins also. I naturally also had my 3 grandparents and 3 younger brothers. All of this changed when I got introduced to my dad’s side of the family up here in Nor Cal.

I was introduced to my dad’s cousin up here in Nor Cal and I immediately became fresh meat for the Armenian community up here. I’ve already been to one dinner party in which I met over 10 people and learned the names of over 10 more and how each person was related to each other and what each person did. My family more than doubled in size in one day just by opening up my eyes. And this is only my dad’s side! I asked my mom about the rest of her side of the family and apparently they are all scattered throughout the world. Most are either in Jordan or Iraq and my mom doesn’t know about their statuses or something has happened that she doesn’t know about. I feel like I am missing a part of me with them so far apart. My dad’s side seemed pretty cool though. I see better now where he gets certain characteristics and where I get some of mine. Naturally during this family gathering I stayed in the closet in order to first test out how liberal they were. They seemed to be socially liberal and economically conservative, but I still haven’t figured it out. Even though they seemed cool, I still stayed in the closet. Oh the woes of being a gay Armenian. Maybe one of these days I will tell them, but for now my lips are sealed.

-The Cali Garmo


The Bay Area September 1, 2008

Filed under: california — thecaligarmo @ 10:00 pm
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So on Saturday, my boyfriend and I took a trip down to San Jose and to San Francisco in order to see the sights. Well, we went to San Jose to see the tech museum cause we are just geeky like that, and then we went to San Francisco to have some food. It’s sort of funny how the cultures of the two cities can be so different even though they are only about an hour apart.

San Jose had the feel of a laid back culture. It felt like you can do what you want, when you want it, and no one would really care. San Francisco on the other hand was extremely busy and active. It seemed like people were rushing you to get things done in order for progress to continue. Naturally, San Francisco is a much bigger city than San Jose, but I would not have expected that big of a divide to exist.

Another divide is in the gay culture. In SF everything was gay. My boyfriend and I did not feel awkward holding hands and walking down the street. In fact, in a town where 15% of the population is gay [reference found here], it’s almost expected. San Jose felt different though. It felt like, even though they were ok with LGBT people, they didn’t want to see it in public. I’m sure that was generally not the case and it’s probably due to misconceptions, but that is sort of what it felt like.

So now it becomes a question of where should a gay Armenian live in all of this atmosphere. There are more Armenians living in the San Jose area, but more gays living in the San Francisco area. My solution to the matter? Move to somewhere directly in the middle. I am Armenian and gay, and with that I must choose my cultural boundaries carefully. So I am living in a location not too close to the gays for the Armenians not to think I’m gay and I am living in an area not to Armenian so that I can occasionally make myself more gay.

So the Cali Garmo is on the move! Look for him in your local Silicon Valley neighborhood somewhere between SF and San Jose!

-the Cali Garmo