Editor's Note: This is a very moving, personal piece. It required months of careful preparation and was written with emotion, courage, tears, and courage. Please show some respect and share it on your Facebook wall.
Last weekend I was at a party with some friends, and I found myself talking to a girl. We hit it off really well. We had a lot of the same interests – but one particular one really stood out. And that one particular interest carried the conversation.
“I know it’s unconventional, but I like Winston the best…”
“My favorite thing she did was when she dressed as an old-timey cigarette girl for that one party at the bar. Remember that? That was pretty quirky…”
“You know in my apartment we actually have a douchebag jar? It’s so funny…”
But then it stopped. A large, brown-haired, brown-eyed young man came up to me and stared me dead in the eyes.
“Hey. You’re gonna have to leave,” he said to me.
I was, understandably, startled. “What? Why?” I replied, “What did I do wrong?”
“We don’t like people like you in here.”
I didn’t object. I didn’t make a scene. I didn’t call him a bigot, or punch him in the throat, even though those are all things I wanted to do. I just walked back to my apartment, head down, shoulders shrugged, defeated.
And I was pissed off, but I wasn’t ashamed. I could never be ashamed about what I was talking about with that girl. What I like to do in my spare time. Who I am. So here it is, world. This is me letting you all know, no bullshit, no fluff, no nothing.
I love New Girl.
I don’t want to give the impression that I only watch, or watched, shows like New Girl as a child, however. Most of the things I did and shows I watched were in line with what society expected of me. I liked Dragonball Z and watching Hockey games and commercials for Tonka Trucks. But there were “signs,” for lack of a better word. I watched Britney Spears’s performance of "Oops!…I Did It Again" at the Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards with wonder and awe. Two of my favorite childhood shows? Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and As Told by Ginger. I watched every episode of those shows, and loved every minute of them. But I watched them alone. I never told a soul.
Years passed. I got older, I got wiser. I touched some breasts. I played in a band. I peed in the snow. And I laughed really, really hard the first time I watched Team America: World Police. But there was some strange, uncovered part of me that yearned for a certain type of show, with a certain setting, with a certain camaraderie between four friends, three men and one woman who happened to be Zooey Deschanel, that made me warm and calm inside and took away all of my fears and troubles for twenty-two peaceful, serene minutes.
Then this summer, I logged onto Netflix one day, and saw the hit Fox TV series “New Girl” in my “Recommended for You” section. I had heard about it from my guy friends: “Oh, New Girl? That’s a chick show, dude.” “Yeah it’s just one of those dumb network sitcoms that gets cancelled after a year.” “Yo, your fly’s open.” But I put all of their comments out of my mind as I clicked on the show’s title, noticing the projected four stars Netflix thought I would award it, and waited for the video to load.
A month later, I had completely finished all two then-available seasons.
Watching that show awarded me some of the most liberating moments of my life. I clung to Deschanel’s character, Jess, and her three roommates: the pretty-boy neat freak Schmidt, the unkempt loser with a heart of gold Nick, and Winston, the black guy. I became engrossed in every single one of their kooky adventures. I rooted for Jess when she started dating the adorable music teacher Paul (played by Justin Long); I wasn’t sure how to feel when Schmidt started hooking up with Jess’s best friend, Cece; and I laughed – oh, how I laughed – anytime they all played “True American.”
When it finally was time to tell someone about this great show I had found, that someone was my Mom. And, in her typically awesome way, she was incredibly supportive; she encouraged me that she would love me no matter what TV shows I watched, and even asked if I wanted to start watching Bridezilla with her. I politely declined.
Telling my Dad was a bit of a different situation. He wasn’t angry, really; he was just confused.
“But wait, son,” he said to me, confusedly, “Does this mean we won’t watch football on Sundays anymore? Or Game of Thrones, but only the parts with the boobies?”
“Of course not, Dad,” I said, putting my head on his shoulder, “I love you.”
Then I put my arms around him in an embrace that seemed to last forever.
And then I kissed him on the mouth.
Before I wrote this piece, only my closest friends knew I watched – and greatly enjoyed – New Girl. They’ve done an amazing job of supporting me for who I am, and I owe so many thanks to them. I couldn’t even begin to put it all into words.
But it was time. Time for everyone else to know, whether they like it or not, or whether they actually wanted to know or not, that one of my favorite TV shows is one of the most effeminate and least macho shows ever made.
So yeah, guy who kicked me out of his house party, I will leave. And go home and watch Winston try to solve a puzzle. What are you going to do about it?
If you would like to share your own personal New Girl-related story with Prince Giblets, you can send him a tweet @Prince_Giblets or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, both of which are safe spaces. He will only respond if your story is really good though so feel free to lie.