Who Am I ?
1: Who am I?
This is the most difficult question to answer because I want to be concise without being cocky or self-deprecating. So here goes; I’m a happy guy living the best life I know how too live. The past is complicated because I fully came out at age 39 after being in a (straight) marriage for 16 years. I have two sons who are now 21 and 19. I’m currently in a very committed relationship with my fiancé, Tony. The wedding date is set but we have to make sure all the logistics are in place. So there you have it, gay, engaged, father of two, Brendan. It’s working for me.
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
Work is what I do to make a living. This means that I am a Project Manager focusing in on IT Projects. Currently I’m working at a large insurance firm that has a famous building named after it next to Grand Central Station (but I work in Long Island City and most people hate that I can walk to work). If I had my choice, I would like to continue doing project management, but I’m tired of the IT world. I’ve been in it since I was in High School. I would rather do something more people oriented, maybe along the lines of entertainment or communications. If I had millions, I would love to be involved in radio programming. Radio has fascinated me since I was a kid and the media has changed so much since then. I would love to find great music from today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and bring it to the (ever-dwindling) radio masses. In the meantime, I occasionally blog. I guess it’s my current way of communicating to the masses.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
Long Island, but just barely. I grew up in Elmont which is just on the other side of the Queens border. So yes, I consider myself a New Yorker. I’ve had some folks who grew up within the city limits say that I’m not. My response is to ask them if they could see the Empire State Building from the second floor of their Junior High School. Invariably, the answer has been “No.” I could see the building, and that usually silences most doubters. I’m the youngest by nine years of four children (a happy mistake I’ve been told) and most of my family has left the Island and moved upstate. I do not plan on ever following in their footsteps. I am at a place where I like the work that I do, but I think I need to find something that keeps me within project management that allows me to focus more on people. I don’t know where that will take me, but it will keep me in New York. I love it here and whatever it is I’m searching for, I know that it can be found within fifteen miles of my apartment. Fortunately, Tony is usually no more than a few feet away from me for 60% of the day. So that keeps me here as well.
4: Who is your biggest hero?
I have two heroes: my mom and George Harrison. Strangely enough, they have a fair amount in common. My mom, who I lost just this past May, was a woman who believed in the goodness of people and tried to provide whatever she could to anyone at anytime. She did so without needing any great fanfare, adoration, or compensation. She taught me how to be generous, smart, caring, and loving. It is the legacy that I will strive to live up to for the rest of my life. With George, I just always looked up to him from an early age. He was the “quiet” Beatle, yet the Beatles would not be who they were without him. I try to be like George and my mother, doing what I can to help out while not needing the accolades for it. But secretly acknowledging just to myself that the things that I’m involved in wouldn’t be the same if I weren’t there.
5: What book is your bible?
An easy question. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is my bible. It’s a self-help book of Toltec wisdom that I read when I was coming out. The struggles of that process and the realities I had to deal with (including the dissolution of a marriage) put me in an unhappy place. I got out of that bad place, in a large part, because of this book. The agreements that this book conveys are on the ones that I try my best to live my life by. If I’m having a bad day or having drama in my life, I can invariably look at these four agreements and immediately realize which one I didn’t follow. Once I recognize it, I can work to be happier and rectify the situation.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I love good food, good music, good friends, and playing games. Tony’s great and I’m amazed at what wonderful things he can create. My music preference is 80′s New Wave, but I’ll listen to anything once and give a person a good reason why I like it or don’t like it. Great games are just conduits to great social interaction. You can learn more about a person as they play a game than probably at any other time. I hate when people aren’t courteous and that damn Kars 4 Kids commercial I hear on the radio. Let this be a point to all radio programmers out there. I turn off your station once that kids starts singing off key. If I were the king of my own country, I’d allow for free speech except for that commercial. I love New York, but really dislike some of its citizens who are so self-absorbed that they won’t hold the door, look where they’re going, smile, or stop looking at their smart phone constantly.
7: What is your raison d’être?
I have two sons. They are major points in my life. They are currently going their separate ways as they reach adulthood. I’m always hopeful that I have, along with their most excellent mother, provided them with the right amount of experience combined with enough curiosity about the world that they succeed beyond their wildest expectations. I also need to be a good caretaker. My dad is now alone for the first time in his life and although he lives four hours away, it’s important for me to visit as much as I can. He gave me so much, and it’s time for me to give back. Same goes for Tony, but in a different way. I need to be the best I can be for him. He shows me every day that you can enjoy life despite its little setbacks.
8: What is your favorite color?
It’s blue. I’ve been told it is my favorite color because I’m a Pisces. Recently I’ve been trying to see the pleasure and enjoyment in all the other colors too. But when it comes down to it, the color blue is in every one of my favorite sports teams’ logos, my preferred color for decorating, and I love blueberries too.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
Aquaman. Could this be another Pisces thing? Probably not, more than likely it’s because Aquaman does what he does and doesn’t get the adoration like Superman, Batman, or Spiderman. He’s probably the George Harrison of superheroes.
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
Gotham Volleyball. It’s my favorite thing to do in all of New York. I have gained so many strong friendships because of this league that I know I would be a lesser man if I had never joined. But that’s more of a NYC activity than a hot spot. My favorite actual hot spot would be Molly Blooms in Sunnyside. Tony, a group of friends, and I go there every Monday for trivia night. I never thought I would be the type who would walk into a bar and have all the staff greet me by first name. I feel like I’m in the Irish Cheers when I go there (and they make my favorite Chicken Curry on this side of the Atlantic).
11: What turns you on?
A really good homemade ice cream that I made. I just started making ice cream this summer and don’t know if I could ever go back to store bought, well maybe Friendly’s Butter Crunch (and the obligatory answer of my fiancé should be included).
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
If you could open up a store, what kind would it be? For me, I would love to open up a laundromat with a coffee shop. I don’t drink coffee regularly, but I could envision a place where you get your laundry started, sit down with a cup of java (or tea), and play a quick board game with a friend or stranger, and then finish up and get back to your life. It would help people meet all while getting a hated chore done. I’d be behind the counter making sure all goes well, like my mom and George Harrison.
Brendan Becker is a happy, fun-loving guy currently living in Sunnyside, Queens. Working as an IT Project Manager for a large insurance firm in Long Island City, many are mockingly annoyed at his ability to walk to work in about 20 minutes. Other than that, Brendan lives with his fiancé Tony, with whom he shares responsibilities of dog ownership of their little queen, Sasha. Brendan Becker is also the occasional blogger.
Questions by PMc Magazine
Edited by Ceara Maria Burns
Photography by Tony Torres
Design by Jillian Mercado
Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”
Brendan, in one of his “blue” team jerseys, Seattle, Photography by Tony Torres