From Heartache to Fiction
I was fourteen when I jumped into romance. I had countless numbers of crushes throughout the years and many left impressions – some good, some not so good. At some point as a high school student, I connected with Kylie Minogue. Now, you’re probably sick of this particular writer and his obsession with an Australian pop star that manages to find her way into every article. The truth is…Kylie saved my life. I had a string of bad relationships – cheating, abuse, unhappiness – and it made for one sad teenager. A depressed teenager with a strong affection for a singer, which, in turn, made for some emotional fiction. I turned my sadness into art, and I wanted everyone to read the tale of one queer man’s tale of being unlucky in love.
I was fourteen when my first relationship began. It was a turbulent one, filled with crying and screaming but also with the fierce desire to be loved. I was young and didn’t understand that I deserved better. Years later, I came to terms with what occurred with my first boyfriend and accepted it for what it was: an abusive and controlling relationship. Years passed, and now he never crosses my mind until I decide I want to bring up the past. For every boy I have ever loved or crushed on, including him, there is a Kylie song being played. From my first crush, an Australian boy, to a nerdy web developer, to an engineer in England, I have a song for each man in my life. At some point, I compiled a list of boys I’ve had feelings for and it topped over fifty guys. There are more I’m sure I’m missing, but each one had a story. Whether it was one of rejection, relationships, or friendships, I turned them into my stories.
When I first met one of my best friends, he commented that I was sad. How’s that for a first impression? He was right, though: I was this sad fourteen-year-old who had been unlucky in love. So where does Aphrodite herself fit into this? At some point during my four years of attending hell, I heard the glorious and campy “Koocachoo.” A decade after hearing it for the first time, I still cannot figure out what a koocachoo is, but I do know it’s a term of endearment. The days pass and Miss Minogue still crawls her way into my head, occupying my brain with catchy lyrics (La la la…) and a charismatic sex appeal that drew in so many people.
Songs of empowerment (“Your Disco Needs You,” “Spinning Around”) and sounds of positivity (“Into the Blue,” “No More Rain,” “Fine”) made me believe in myself, and believe that it would get better. I know these songs front to back, I can keep in tune with the instrumentals, and I wrap myself in every note. With every light song there was–there is–darkness. The sounds of Impossible Princess left me in a confused state, but it felt so right. At a time where I was confused by who I was, the hot mess of the album resonated with me. I could feel the anger in “Too Far,” the longing in “Say Hey,” and the future in “Dreams.” Every track displayed a different side of not only Kylie, but also of me. Then came the songs of unrequited love that I knew all too well (“I Should Be So Lucky,” “Better the Devil You Know,” “Hand On Your Heart”). It was easy to pinpoint how I felt by the song I played. It was easy to choose a song for every character that came into my life, whether they were based in reality or fantasy.
My early work was terrible. I will freely admit I would never want anyone to see the cliché love stories I produced. Now my writing has evolved to where it feels natural. The words come at a pace where I’m comfortable and don’t have to force myself. I originally began Lucky as Project: Lucky, a narrative based on the major loves of my life. The title came from Kylie’s breakout hit “I Should Be So Lucky,” which resonated nicely because I really should be so lucky as to enter an uncomplicated romance. I kept the tradition of naming stories after her songs, tying a theme to each one. Pieces came together until the last romance I had been a part of was written. I was almost finished, and yet his piece had me in tears. Midway through writing it, I broke down. I broke down because the hurt was fresh and my heart was fragile. I finished it through the tears, and came back to it when Kiss Me Once was released. As I finished revising “Nathan’s Story,” “Beautiful” played and I cried. I was reliving the memory of having someone decent come into my life and leave without so much as a note, and I fell to pieces. As the ballad played on, I left everything and went out for a walk. Something so simple, yet so elegant, caused me to fall apart because I lived it. I loved it.
Things changed the day I decided to scrap an entire project and turn it into a fictional story. Daniel ‘Dani’ Luna, was a fictitious representation of me. I kept the same vision – an unlucky-in-love queer guy who fell in love with someone from across the pond. As I spent months writing it, I knew I wasn’t the same. My heart hurt sometimes but I knew it would heal if I confronted it. Of course, adding Kylie to the story was going to be therapeutic.
Kylie And Me
During the Aphrodite World Tour, I had the chance to see my favorite singer. There I was on May 10th, 2011, sitting in a balcony with a best friend (with another on the floor) listening to hit after hit. After the show, we waited at the backstage exit for Kylie. She went to the opposite side and began signing merchandise and, for a second, I feared I’d never see her up close. Then she came over. I was hyperventilating the whole time as she went from every person and signed things. Then she came to me and my friends. My male friend was the first, and he made her laugh when he asked her whether she’d be back within a decade, and then I was next. Kylie signed my copy of Aphrodite and I couldn’t say anything except thank you.
I think part of me was thanking her because her music altered my life. I could be living a bitter life, full of loneliness and sadness, but I’m not. I’m not the high school student I was a decade ago. I don’t wallow in self-pity, nor do I hate myself. I have this love to give, thanks in part to Miss Minogue saving me from myself. I may not have the love life movies portray and I may not be accomplished in much, but at the end of the day, I am happy. I am happy to have listened to songs and to have turned the heartache into something readers relate to. I am happy that Lucky was inspired from relationships and from a beautiful person I look up to.
So in case you ever read this, Kylie Minogue, thank you for being an inspiration to me during a gay youth’s depression. Thank you for giving the world a dose of hope, and for giving me a much-needed boost in life.