Interview Date: 4/3/15
At the beginning of the interview, Mike was calm and I was actually calm too. Humor entered the conversation quickly, to lighten the heaviness of the discussion. We started out just talking as friends or classmates.
First he talked about how he grew up in the small town of Amanda, Ohio. Where everyone knew each other and everyone is a strong/ strike Christian (hard right home). He spoke quickly of his past, how he used to be heavier and the only aspect that made him “cool” (my terms) was his drawing abilities. He said both of these backgrounds made him switch “personalities” when around different people, and this adapted even further after he loss weight.
“I still do this now” he told me and has even turned down different personalities of himself (stoner mike). I asked him if this was simply adapting to the situations he is in and he replied with, “that’s boring”. I also asked if the change in personalities could simply be him growing up and getting older. He thought about my question and then responded that if he said that he would be admitting to not being a child and would have to come to turns with being an adult. I respected that.
He continued on telling me of his time in a clinic for eating disorders, he explained that he never talked about it in Athens (the home of our college town) because it wasn’t part of him here. He didn’t want to be asked about it. I asked him if it exposed him here. He never said it did, but stated that he wanted to share that and that part of him was connected to another place, not this one.
“Manhood” was something else that Mike talked about. He told me how his father had a book about making men into knights and that’s how he felt he was raised. In this idea, men seek a set list of attributes and women seek to break out of their given attributes. He told me he searched for these but they were not part of what makes him Mike. His example was that he “would not take a zumba class".
Mike unlike the women, I did not have to prod he opened up quickly. Still reserved and held back but did so modestly and guides closely to my questions.
If a personal response was not written from the interviewee, I personally wrote response to the interview.