08
33
05
52
FF
10
16
FF
16

“My favorite color is blue,” I told them in third grade, but for years before it had been purple. The kind of purple found in the lining of a Disney villainess’ robe, a deep violet too tainted by masculine blueness to be found anywhere in the pink garments of the princess she sought to destroy. Perhaps I was drawn to this shade of purple precisely because it represented the sort of queered or failed femininity I would later feel more free to embody; maybe, at age three, I was already negotiating how safely feminine my favorite color could be.

The dial-up internet of my middle school years provided many opportunities to express myself in ways I didn’t yet feel comfortable to offline. One aspect of that expression was color choice. I’d plaster my AIM buddy profile and other blank digital spaces in all black, save for the bRiGhT cYaN fOnT typed into them—an unapologetically neon shade as on the nose as the Goth Boy mood icons I’d selected for my LiveJournal. I purged and deleted that LiveJournal upon entering college, for fear that someone on Sarah Lawrence’s anonymous LiveJournal slambook might stumble upon it. I excised all trace of life from my MySpace for similar reasons. There is power in curating oneself. There is also sublimation.

John Walker came out on LiveJournal in 2003. He now lives in Brooklyn.