Pride Spotlight: Max Greenberg
Happy Pride ((305)) fam! We're celebrating our love and respect for the LGBTQ community by interviewing important, fabulous, kick-ass members of our ((305)) squad. Take Max. Max Greenberg is a former NYC DJ and an all-time inspiring human. They got real with us about coming out to family and living life out loud.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is a moment, claimed by the queer community, out of necessity. Pride reflects the need to collectively recognize queer people's right to be visible and thriving in public space. Pride reminds me that to be me, unabashedly and in public, is a radical act.
How does ((305)) celebrate that definition of Pride?
((305)) has always been a space for me to be blissfully in my body without reservations or judgements. Whether as a DJ or as a client, ((305)) has always let me shed the layers of bullshit we all carry around in our heads all day, and step into a more essential and lighter version of myself. As a queer person, and particularly as a trans person, my quotidian reality demands that I perform a certain gender, a certain sexuality, a certain identity politic in general, that erases the nuances of how I see myself. I think we all encounter this. That's what makes places like ((305)) so damn urgent. We need places to take refuge, disconnect, recharge, heal. And it all starts with feeling at home in your body, queer or otherwise. ((305)) gets me back home.
Is ((305)) empowering as a queer person? If so, how?
I'm queer AF and ((305)) has helped me feel at home in my body, more than any other form of fitness...and I've done lots of different types of fitness. I could analyze the why/how until the end of days, but I prefer thinking that ((305)) has a unicorn rainbow magic that is better left for people to FEEL and EXPERIENCE rather than read about.
If you'd care to share, what's your coming out story?
I came out twice. Once as a lesbian, and more recently as trans. They were both hard in their own ways. I came out to my family as a lesbian when I was 22, and like a nervous 22 year old, I pretty much demanded my family's acceptance. I waited until I had a girlfriend and then told my parents that I was really happy and if they care about my happiness as much as they say they do, they will accept me. While I would not celebrate my approach, I have empathy for who I was at 22 and realize I wasn't in a place to present the information any differently than I did. I brought so much defensiveness and fear into the conversation, this feeling that I had to prove or justify who I was.
I'm 28 now, and just came out as trans to my family. It was a harder conversation to have for a lot of reasons, but it was also so much more meaningful. I was very selfish with my journey, and refused to be pressured into telling people my story before I felt ready. Taking my time really allowed me to enter into a pretty special conversation with my family, without ego, without defensiveness. Just me, telling some folks my truth.
I feel like when you're coming out as trans, your family and friends can hold a lot of fear about "not being able to recognize you anymore." Like, all of a sudden this person they knew really well is a stranger. Something that helped ameliorate that disconnection for me, was sharing with my family the moments when I was 5 years old or 8 years old, that upon revisiting, are cliche trans moments. Like literally pulling down my pants and declaring I had a penis. In public! Randomly and impulsively lying to my best friend and telling her that I was Mark McGwire's son. Like huh??? I didn't even like baseball! And my team was the SF Giants, not St. Louis.
Revisiting those moments are so crucial when coming out to your family, because they were ALSO there for those moments. Its this magical reminder, for all of you, that you're not a different person. That in fact, your growing process has really depended on your ability to revisit the person you were, freely, before puberty and social pressures impaired your ability to see yourself clearly.
Thank you so much for sharing that! Okay, we need some advice. What's your go-to, take-it-to-the-next level move when you're crushing on someone?
Making a mix tape. For sure. And when I'm REALLY crushing hard, I'll spend way too long writing out the track list in Hallmark level handwriting. When I start making a person a mix, I know I'm having all the feels. Hopefully that made me a good DJ for 305--my music was always infused with desire, wink wink.
Love it. Alright time to wrap this up. What's the best part about being queer?
Options. Queerness is about not limiting yourself to a box. It's about the freedom to inhabit different ways of being and moving through the world.