That's right...I'm outta this one-horse town of Albany and going to THE city--New York City!
Well, its only for one day-Sunday the 26th-but its the first time I've been out of Albany in over 20 years, believe it or not! I'm going down to New York for the Gay Pride Parade and Festival this week. Last time I was in New York was w-a-a-a-y back in 1983 and that was for a convention of the National Libertarian Party to choose their 1984 Presidential candidate (David Bergland). Oh, by the way, we didn't win that election, in case you were wondering..ha ha!
I recently attended a number of local Gay Pride events here including the parade and festival on Sunday June 12th. Heard that about 5,000 people attended the festival although it didn't seem like that many to me, but it was quite a large crowd. I also went to a concert by a group called Girlyman, a folk/pop trio...they were really good and kinda funny too. Even bought their 2 CD's at the concert...figured I would try to expand my musical tastes a little and listen to something other than what I usually do.
Also went to a talk by Jeffrey McGowan who wrote a book titled "Major Conflict" about his life and experiences in the Army as a gay man. He served 10 years in the military and rose to rank of Major, served in the first Gulf War, but eventually found that he couldn't reconcile being gay with his life in the army, keeping his true self hidden. So he resigned from the army in 1998. He is also one-half of the first same-sex couple to be married on the East Coast. He and his partner, Billiam van Roestenberg, were married in New Paltz, NY in February 2004. I bought his book , which he signed, and have just started reading it.
I guess the last couple weeks I've been in "gay mode" with all these activities but I am trying to make an effort to at least get out more which is something, I suppose. Did I meet anyone at any of these events...well no, in fact, I didn't even talk to anyone. Really lame, huh? As I've said here before, I'm socially inept and totally at a loss as to how to talk to people unless I already know them. That's the result of spending your entire life keeping to yourself and not having to interact with anyone.
I did "come out" to someone who had NO idea I was gay. I was chatting online with a guy who attends school at the campus where I work, in fact he worked in the same place as I do for a brief time last semester. He's from India, here studying computers/programming and worked with me before he got a better job doing student teaching at the school. Anyway, somehow the subject of porn came up and he asked if I had any. I said, "yes I have a little", and he asked if he could borrow it sometime. Now he has a girlfriend, whom I've met (she goes to school here too) so I told him I didn't think he would be interested in the porn I had. When he asked why, I told him it was gay porn...he was a bit confused by that and asked why I had that. He hasn't ever had any contact with gay people and didn't know anyone gay. Anyway, I told him I was gay and he was surprised, to say the least. But we talked a while and have talked since then and I've tried to enlighten him about the whole gay thing. He had some misconceptions, but I think he's starting to understand more. He asked me why I "chose" to be gay so I had to explain to him that it wasn't a choice, but just how you're born. He's a pretty cool guy so perhaps in telling him , its another small step in educating others about what it means to be gay.
Well, I hadn't planned on posting this much, but once I got going more stuff just kept coming to mind. Hope I haven't bored anyone too much, if anyone is reading this. If I could learn to talk to people in person as easily as I can on this blog, perhaps I would be more sucessful in meeting someone. Maybe I should just hand out cards with my website address on them next time I'm at a social event, then people could learn about my scary life without me having to say much. Hmmmm...just a thought :)