When I think about my contributions to bettering the LGBTQ community, one of the most important things I bring to the table is my unreserved admiration for attractive Hollywood celebrities.

Among friends, I am known to fawn over, to adore, to fall in love with and to talk over and over again about men whom I find gorgeous. Even friends I do not know extremely well get a glimpse of this adoration; I probably “like” about a hundred male model Facebook fan pages.

If you see a picture of a hunk pop up on your News Feed, you can most likely thank me for that. You don’t have to tell me about the gravity and importance of this task. Without me, who would give these guys the attention (and drooling) that they most definitely deserve? That’s right — I get as just as celebrity boy-crazed as the rest of you.

Before I get into the way that my admiration for beautiful, famous beaus plays out in my life, I want to emphasize my firm belief that everyone is beautiful in their own way. However, who I am attracted to, especially in terms of physical attributes, is a preference unique to me.

When I go googly-eyed over a celebrity crush, it usually comes in steps. And if you’ve ever been obsessed with a boy band at one point or another during your adolescent years, then you should be quite familiar with this experience.

As an example of this process, I will use One Direction. If you even know me just a little bit, you will know that I have a deep love for One Direction. I mean, look at them; they are so effortlessly cute in all of their music videos.

Step one in the admiration process? Realization. With One Direction, I remember the day like it was yesterday. It was a Friday afternoon of my junior year of high school, and I took the New York subway uptown to meet up with my sister at Radio City Music Hall. Since her sassy, seventh-grade self could not bear the thought of going to see a concert with our parents, I was recruited to go with her.

Because One Direction was not that popular in the United States yet, the band was just an opening act for Big Time Rush. My little sister was, in her spare time, a Tumblr extraordinaire, and through the site she had discovered the beauty, the talent and the cuteness of One Direction far before every other preteen girl in America.

When One Direction hit the stage and started singing a beautiful rendition of “Na Na Na,” I was instantly hooked. How could Harry Styles’ hair be that impeccably wavy? Was it even possible for Zayn, or any human for that matter, to hit notes that high? And who in God’s name was that beautiful blond boy with that equally beautiful Irish brogue?

Step two in the admiration process? Prolonged affection. After that night, I could not stop talking about One Direction. I cleared out the CVS by my house of “Popstar!” and “J-14” magazines, plastering the walls of my bedroom with posters of the band. I listened to their first album, “Up All Night,” on repeat, I wrote lyrics to their songs in all of my notebooks, and I meticulously updated the background of my Blackberry with a new picture of them once a week.

By far, one of the best days of my life was Christmas day senior year, when I received individual cardboard cutouts of each member of the band as a present from my parents.

Now the final step in the process comes with a gradual shift in my attention. Often, this step happens when another handsome Hollywood bachelor catches my eye. The old celebrity crush can be completely erased from my mind, or just take up less of my attention and energy. Yet sometimes, though this is rare, this old crush can remain just as significant in my present mind, coexisting with my newfound love for the latest superstar.

Nowadays, though I really do still love One Direction, its band members are not the only people I express my undying devotion for anymore. Zac Efron and Nick Jonas, who are, in a word, stunning, are among the top contenders for my heart these days. Nick Jonas even replaced One Direction as my phone background, which in my world is revolutionary.

My infatuation with all of these men is pretty common. Most of us have fawned over a celebrity crush at least once — some of us more obsessively than others — and, in a way, that interest adds to who we are and how we define ourselves. My role in the LGBTQ community comes by embracing what I love and who I love wholeheartedly, and I hope that others will find the courage to do the same, be it a faraway Hollywood hunk or someone much closer to home.

Patrick Bylis is a sophomore in the College. Life Unlabelled appears
every other Friday.

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