2003 was my resolution year. Frustrated with feeling disconnected from the LGBT community, I resolved to try at least one new lesbian friendly activity each month. In hindsight, I feel very proud of my resolve and continue to reap the benefits of the contacts I made during that year. And, of course, that resolution led me to Laura for which I am eternally grateful.
The biggest lesson for me was that there is indeed a vibrant LGBT community in Pittsburgh, but consistent with the 'burgh way of doing things — it takes a lot of resourcefulness to find it and requires one to travel outside of the familiar on many levels.
If you are looking to connect with the LGBT community, you are going to have to put some effort into it. My best advice is to start with the Gay & Lesbian Community Center, GLENDA or PFLAG for low key ways to meet other LGBT people in a comfortable environment.
Believe me, I tried a lot of things. I went to bars, went online, and went to a lot of places and stood by mself in the corner feeling like an idiot. When I tried PFLAG, people came up and introduced themselves to me. The GLCC was thrilled to get an interested volunteer. And GLENDA gives you a task (volunteer project) so you can keep busy with other community minded people.
If you are athletic, there are several recreational leagues. If you like youth, there are several volunteer opportunities with LGBT groups. If you like food, there are untold potlucks to try. So be resourceful. Surf the web. Subscribe to the newsletters. Join the Yahoo group lists. Visit the GLCC web calendar. Volunteer for PrideFest committee.
The ball is in your court …
Here's a quick rundown of what I did that year
January – Wilderness Women potluck, PFLAG meeting
February – Cajun dancing, singles' Valentine party
April – GLCC IT Team, lesbian brunch, female football fundraiser
May – LGBT women's sushi dinner
June – Pridefest volunteer, women's discussion group, women's summer cookout
July – women's social group, Gertrude Stein Political Club
August – arts festival
September – OUTrageous bingo volunteer, GLCC Board
October – Celebrate the Night women's variety show, Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival
November – Lambda Ball
December – i dropped the ball this month due to work overload, holiday preparations and a nasty bout of pneumonia. I did celebrate New Years Eve at an LGBT party but that doesn't really count.