There’s No Place Like Homo

Coming here from The Evergrey? Welcome! This is my account of the singles event promoted from last week’s newsletter.

“I don’t think I’ve reached that level of desperation,” my friend responded after I asked him to accompany me. “Well, I guess I have. So I’m going,” I sassed back.

The Not Creepy Gathering for People Who are Single and Want to Fall in Love event seemed like the perfect place for me— borderline desperate but new transplant to Seattle with a very limited dating history.

I walked into the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, the chandeliers demure and romantic and poised for an enchantment. Making an entrance fashionably and fashionably late, I slapped on a nametag with the male symbol (a hint to the other love-seekers as to the type of person I’m attracted) and took a sigh of relief— we’re all in this together!

After a darling singer (Arthur James, woof!) crooned me into a lustful trance, Jenna Bean Veatch came to the stage. Jenna’s enigmatic presence instantly made me feel at ease, and we began with her first exercise: everyone is cute! This was the first chance everyone had at scoping out a potential mate; and, surprisingly, I did find everyone cute in their own way— I saw a few faces that piqued my interest.

When we got into breakout sessions, randomly forming groups of two to four, something happened— I started to realize that I was the only gay guy in the room. Now, having grown up in a small town in the Midwest, this was not a new feeling for me— but rather an old one, an isolating one, and not one I ever thought I’d experience in Seattle.

I bumped into a new friend I had made the minute I got there, Lily, and I confided in her, “I don’t think there’s another gay person here.” I had seen several queer women, adorning both the female and male symbols on their nametags. And go fam! But that isn’t my romantic demographic. Lily said, “What! There has to be! Do a lap, and if you don’t find someone, I’ll buy you a drink.” Not one to turn down a bevvie, I did as instructed. Alas, I truly was the only homosexual man in the room. Seattle, you’ve disappointed me! The 10% rule was not in my favor.

Even though I didn’t find love in that room, I found the content very inspiring. The last exercise pushed many out of their comfort zone, getting up on stage and finishing the statement, “I want…[in a partner].” As the women addressed the audience and made compelling statements about what they want in a partner, I felt their empowerment, and that was the real prize of this event. My statement? “I want to find the only homosexual in the room and commiserate over the fact that we’re the only homosexuals in the room.” (A friendly straight man gave me the name of his “gay friend.” My fellow queers will commence in an eyeroll with me. Thank you, sir, but no thank you.)

I retreated back to Capitol Hill to be amongst my people, The Gays™, snuggled up in my bungalow, and took out an Armistead Maupin novel. I didn’t come away empty handed, as I have the satisfaction of putting myself out there and looking my loneliness head on— so, my Seattleites, if you happen to know of a tall, dark, and handsome gay man with a dog who might be attracted to a short, stocky, 20 something, flamboyantly homosexual airline pilot, hit a girl up!

Coming Out: The Final Frontier

Find your inner peace.

A friend of mine came out on Facebook today, and on his status there was a link to “Surprise So-and-So with a gift!”

I wondered where this button could have been six years (almost seven!) ago for me. Because, let’s be very serious, I could have used a $10 gift card to Starbucks when I came out.

Rarely do I have to out myself— I’m the fabulous gay man who doesn’t need a second thought. But in the few odd instances where a pronoun about an ex-boyfriend or mentioning an attractive man, there is a slight pause and an, “Oh, ok.” And the conversation moves forward.

October 11th was National Coming Out Day, a day to honor and remember the (second) National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights; 25 years ago, almost half a million queer people descended upon Washington D.C. in an effort to raise awareness of our demographic.

One common misconception about coming out is that it’s a one time declaration— but it’s not. We come out every day to new friends we meet, come out as something we previously hadn’t learned about ourselves, or come out as an entire people. And whether you’re flamingly obvious about for which team you play, or we couldn’t tell if you were on a softball team, it doesn’t matter.

Coming out is an excruciatingly personal event to be shared and celebrated. The first time you utter the words to a close friend, a family member, or even yourself is a huge step— regardless of their (or your) reaction. It means that you have the courage to stand up for yourself and say who you are among everyone else. It distinguishes you as a forthright and honest individual.

I can hear the ignorant straight person saying, “Well why do you have to have your own day to come out, and why is it such a big deal?” Please tell me the last time you had to identify yourself as a straight person— our society fosters a straight until proven otherwise formality. And I’m not going to waste my breath on contemplating if that is a good or a bad thing. It simply is the truth and a reality that LGBT persons face every day.

Who knows— maybe one day a Coming Out party will be just as commonplace as a birthday party.  I can see the Subarus with NPR bumper stickers lining the streets to 12 year old Jimmy’s house, where his mom has baked a rainbow cake and invited the entire neighborhood to mark his newfound fabulosity. Until then, a day in October shall suffice.