I’m A 29-Year-Old Gay Man Who Plays With Barbies

Flickr / Kevin Dooley

When I was a little boy, all I wanted in the world were Barbie dolls. My sisters had Barbies and they would let me play with them. But that quickly came to an end. Instead, my dad bought me a Ken doll as if that would replace my effeminate traits. I wonder where that Ken doll is today.

When I first quit drinking, a friend told me that I would revert back to the age I was when I first started drinking. What they meant was my emotional and personal development stopped at the time I started drinking heavily. I suppose that makes me a 14-year-old girl stuck in a 29-year-old man’s body. Being an artist, this person also told me that the way he reconciled this with himself was to lay out pictures of him at each age and do an art project for each age.

He started out with finger-painting and then graduated onto a miniature paintbrush using watercolors. Then there were crayons and markers and colored pencils. At this point he had gotten to age 7 or 8, and it was time for him to play with Barbies. He described in great detail about how he dismembered their bodies and contorted them to create a sculpture.

So right now, I’m emotionally a 14-year-old girl who only wants to play with her Barbies and make video blogs (said friend did not have the luxury of an iPhone or other electronics when he was a boy…girl, I’m showing your age. Say something. [Smiley Face Emoji])

I might have gotten obsessive along the way. It started in May of 2016. I had only purchased two Barbies. I named them Barb and Rach and shot a short web series about Barb being an impressionable young girl who develops a cocaine addiction and her drug dealer, Rach, who is having an identity crisis of her own.

It was simple enough. I could have just left it at that. But I got the itch; I needed more. I started going to drug stores in the middle of the night meandering down the toy aisle to see if they carried a Barbie that I didn’t already have. I bought plenty of cheap ballerinas and swimsuit Barbies. It still wasn’t enough though after I had frequented all of the Walgreens, Duane Reades, and Rite-Aids throughout the West Village/Union Square areas. I had to find something bigger to fulfill my Barbie needs.

The next step would be for me to go to the Manhattan mall (did you know that Manhattan has a mall?!), where they have a Toys R Us. I stocked up on extra outfits and bought a few more glamorous Barbies there. Then, I had to get a Rewards R Us card so that I could frequent the Babies R Us in Union Square to purchase a good portion of the fashionista series. I’m getting close to $10 in Rewards R US dollars. Game Developer Barbie, here I come!

The last time I counted, I had 28 Barbies. But I know that I’ve at least bought three others since then, so I’m sticking around to 30 as my total. Thirty Barbies is a lot people. I have them all stashed in my gym bag. And I’m constantly worried that I’m going to lose all of their shoes. Some of them already have smudges on their face that won’t come off. When I have them in videos, I always make them the dark, dingy NSFW character.

Two weeks ago, I got a surge of mania which is rare for me since my psychiatric meds keep me very even-keeled. But once it started, I knew I had to put my energy into something. That’s when I developed a 21-episode web series called Pink Pumps. Each episode is only a minute or less long, so you can binge-watch the entire series sitting down in one go.

Pink Pumps is about a lesbian witch who seeks out revenge on her older cousin’s murderer. With the help of some friends, Amber (our protagonist) wins the heart of a girl, gets in tune with her new powers, and shows a man a thing or two. Barb and Rach make cameo appearances in this series, but you by no means need to watch that in order to follow along.

It was really exciting for me to be able to use my television and radio skills filming the web series—and off my iPhone, no less. But I must make it known that the series has serious subject matter and is NSFW (Not Safe for Work). Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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