Sunday, July 27, 2008

In the Name of Pride

The second annual Pride Dance in my local community occurred last night. Last year I went alone and remained proud for twenty minutes before making a beeline to the car and heading home. This year I brought a friend from Vancouver and we stayed for an hour. I was the one insisting we leave. He found the event to be what he thought it would be and seemed positive. I, on the other hand, felt it was what I expected, yet felt disappointment.

When it is my own community and a rare opportunity to meet as a group of gays and lesbians, a sense of hope builds. Logically, I know that the gay people in my area are already coupled up. They smartly got there lives in order before moving to a quiet rural or small town setting. Romantically, however, I wonder if a handsome stud with whom I have perfect chemistry will appear and sweep me off the dance floor. I know it won’t happen, but I hope it will.

The dance is done. I am still single. When will the next opportunity arise? Do I need to move back to the city? Can I afford to move back? Can I afford not to?

I realize the dance was more than a chance to meet Mr. Right. It was also a time to chat with other gays and lesbians and build connections, possibly friendships. The venue with loud music—Did they really think Wake Up, Little Susie was a great song for a gay dance?—made conversations difficult to sustain. I felt I keep thrusting my left ear in people’s faces as I strained to make sense of why their lips were moving. I am not a natural when it comes to random chitchat so there were times I did not even bother to figure out what was being said. I could feel myself giving up.

Over dinner before the dance, I asked my city friend why so many gay social events are at bars or dances. Is that all we are—martini (and water bottle) loving club kids? In Vancouver, there are also many gay sports groups. In the past, I joined a gay volleyball night and a gay tennis league. Here, there aren’t the numbers for that kind of thing. What else is there? How can truer connections be established? I realize I am sounding passive in that I am not organizing anything. That is a valid criticism. I am painfully shy and self conscious until I get to know people. That’s a hard thing to shake.

Ideas? Am I whining too much? Do I need Cher to show up, slap my face and say, “Snap out of it!”

Oh, if only she would. And if only I could.

No comments: