There is art and then THERE IS ART.

Notorious for proclaiming every damn thing in my life can be art, I am going to continue to cast my art-golf-umbrella on everyone who reads this: art is everywhere, everything is aesthetic in some manner, and sometimes everything sucks (or is so good) that aesthetics are all I can talk about without wanting to performance art myself into a plane and never come back.

Now 2 days ago I stopped writing my thesis and left the honors program ( and I’ve never felt better. However, it’s been interesting to see how people react to my news. From “TAYLOR?!? REALLY??!?!” to “I support and think that this decision will make you happy.” I appreciate both sentiments–it’s fun seeing what people do when I throw their world axis off just a smidge, and when I can surprise them. (boom.)

In the wake of all of this, I’ve received so much support and love. I’ve never felt more comfortable with a decision or more proud of myself, and it’s all because my community stepped up and validated, affirmed, and actively supported me. A community that I thought I had a solid grasp of who was in it, but, then again, I myself was surprised.

Come a month ago, while still writing my thesis, the most support I got was from my books, my tears, and “dreams . . . drugs . . . waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls” (a little Ginsberg goes a long way, no?). I’m not trying to call anyone out but the support I got while in the thesis process was no where near the level of support I have now. This got me thinking.

Support is an art form.

About a year or so ago I got in the habit of saying “I approve” at everything I wanted to affirm. Quickly, I realized that very few people need a white cisgender man to give approval–it’s weird, it’s unaffirming, and it’s just a little much, in my opinion. So I reflected on what I meant by “I approve,” and I came to the conclusion that I meant, “I support.” I support verbally, physically, emotionally, mentally; if I say, “I support _____,” you have my permission to use me and my resources to the fullest extent because I care, I support, and I want to validate and affirm you and your endeavors.

What I’m not so eloquently getting at is: support needs to be known.

Support isn’t some canvas on which I am painted. I need support to be painted on me. Covered in it, filled with it, not born from it. Support can’t be implied or unspoken because all it looks like is somebody somewhere following you or looking at you or sending some good vibes, which, don’t get me wrong, is wonderful, but isn’t really how I use or mean “support.”

Support is an action, a verb–to support. It necessitates motion from bodies and minds and hearts. It is not a watercolor. It is spoken word, it is slam poetry, it moves oceans and causes storms. I need support that will rock me to my foundation.

What stopping the thesis process has taught me is how to really support someone. I’ve learned this from those who’ve pretended and from those who’ve succeeded in supporting me. And today, perhaps, I can call myself an artist supported by fellow artists (friends, family, peers, acquaintances, coworkers, facebook strangers, grindr peeps, and people eluding my words)–with a general mission to support and affirm and validate.

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