“And I knew exactly what to do. But, in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.”
I started my internship at OUT FRONT magazine as a freshman in high school. The opportunity was provided to me through my school’s internship program. I say provided very lightly.
I sought out my internship when OUT FRONT wasn’t even looking for an intern, especially a child. Because of the “nature” of the magazine, my principal had to attend the informational meeting with me rather than my advisor. It was like the Men In Black were threatening me for drifting into a foreign planet. The planet being called Uranus.
As an insecure, pimpely, dry-haired 14-year-old, I was left confused as to why the surveillance. Was my gayness clogging the world like my pores?
Nevertheless, I was able to start the internship.
My first day, I had coffee with my mentor. I hadn’t had much coffee in my 14 years of life at the time. At 17, I now have a caffeine addiction. Oh, the struggles of white collar jobs!
Coming back to the office, I was stuck in the conference room. I was later told they were afraid of me because of some of the content they covered. They thought I’d snitch to my school. I’ve been alive 17 years, and I am without stitches.
I expressed I really don’t mind gay porn sent through mail. In fact, the titles gave me inspiration for band names. Three years later, cut forward to the office’s impersonation of me saying, “I don’t care” in a monotone voice.
I understand the worry, but Black Mirror’s “Arkangel” taught us all shielding children can lead to violent teens.
My first mentor was a woman. Up until that point, I had never met a lesbian before. I was in awe. I spent about a month sitting with her at her desk practically observing her, up until she quit.
On to another mentor. I spent most of my time with them already; it was an easy switch. They taught me most of what I know now: do your research before an interview, make the interview feel like a conversation, and always have a good hook to your story.
I grew a personal connection with them, and to this day, we still talk. My admiration for them stemmed from being bossed around and getting Taco Bell with them and my current mentor.
Before I get ahead of myself, let’s back-track to what I have accomplished here so far: I interviewed MILCK, whose music became an anthem for the #MeToo movement, went to Pride, interviewed some of my favorite bands, and attended the Power Gala, just to name a few things I’ve done.
I capitalize on my accomplishments here, but journalism was a Plan B for my future career, because I’m f*cked.
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I’ve felt the recognition from teachers throughout my school years. I later realized, if I wanted to make money, I couldn’t pursue creative writing unless I wrote the Bible or self-help books for teens killing their dreams in order to live. Journalism came to me through a Google search on writing jobs.
I knew what it was. I had an idea on what to do and how, but I went into OUT FRONT oblivious. Honestly, I don’t know why they even took me in. I didn’t know what I was doing. I forgot to mention, I won an Oscar for my short film titled Winging It, Still: Three Years Later.
Even now, as a senior, I remain unsure as to what I’ll do for a career. I understand happiness does not come with a price tag. Unless it’s The Office box set. In that case happiness, is worth $82 plus shipping.
Setting my The Office box set aside and being honest, it is frightening to be clueless of what your future holds. Will I land a job at OUT FRONT? Will I pursue forensic psychology? Will I live off of my parent’s money until I die?
As of late, I worked with OUT FRONT’s sales team to create the Youth Art Zine in our art issue.
I am not one to socialize. I am a self-classified misanthrope. My biggest worry for this project was talking to others. I can do interviews, because I’ll later have peace writing, but asking people for their money; that’s a whole different type of anxiety. I spoke for a total of five minutes throughout my time with the sales staff. I simply summarized very quickly the purpose of the Art Zine.
Literally, the Zine would not have happened without the sales staff. They deserve every prescription of Xanax ever.
Creating the Art Zine was not as difficult as I’d imagined. I always manage to think about the worst of a situation. In this case, it was talking to strangers and getting a lot of “no’s,” but that didn’t happen.
Working with and slightly managing the creators was the best part. An ounce of authority changes a person. Elect me for president next election.
I enjoyed learning about the featured artists and having a chance to speak with them. It brought me back to one of the reasons why I grew a fascination with journalism: people.
I know; I know; I called myself a misanthrope, but throughout my experiences here, I have come around.