Gay and single in Pittsburgh?

Forbes ranked Pittsburgh low on the list of places good for a singles scene.  I read this little article, including the sidebar profiles and thought “whine, whine, whine.”  On a bright note, they even included a token homo in their list. 

What really gets me about all this whining is the sense of entitlement — the expectation that if you sit back and wait (like a good girl) — the wonderful world of exciting dates and social connections will magically flow to your feet. 

I know it is difficult to meet someone decent, kind and trustworthy.  But there's only so many bars you can crawl out of before it must occur to you that you've turned over all those rocks and it is time to move on.  Life is not like “The Bachelor” where the beauteous babes are paid to fawn all over you. 

When I got fed up with being single and meeting a series of unhealthy people, I made a New Years Resolution to try one new lesbian activity each month.  I figured it would get me out of the house, expose me to new people and expand my circle of friends.  The only rule is that I had to try something new each month.  At my first event (lesbian potluck), I met someone.  It didn't work out, but it was a promising start.  I tried lesbian brunches, PFLAG meetings, volunteer orientation sessions, IT teams, more potlucks, picnics, church services and it was all great. Except for the Cajun dancing in Homestead which sent me home in tears, clutching the comfort pint of Ben and Jerrys, but we can't win them all …

In June, I went to a women's discussion group at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center and that's where I met Ledcat.  The rest is ourstory.  Along the way, I accumulated quite an assortment of great friends.

My point is that a lively social life is something you MAKE, not something you are given.  If the places where you spend your time aren't meeting your social needs, then you can either blame the place or move onto something new. 

Worst Pittsburgh dating hang-up: Men don't approach women anymore. “I can't seem to find a man who understands the concept of picking me up at the door, taking me to dinner, a concert, or a museum. I would love to have a date who doesn't call me and say, 'Meet me at Bar Louie around 10.' “

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Well, if you spend your time with the men who do that, how are the other men gonna stand a chance?  Just don't go.  Do something else and hold out for someone who meets your expectations.  OR offer to pick him up and take him to a museum.  Sheesh.

I like this guy.

Worst Pittsburgh dating hang-up: “When someone says they're not finding the right kind of people that's because we're all spoiled. People are used to immediate gratification and if we don't get it, we go home and watch the Steelers. … If we found the right person right away, it would be too easy and we'd think something was wrong with them.”

This was my favorite comment.

Why isn't Pittsburgh a good place for singles? “It's young everywhere you go,” she says. “And if it's [an] older [crowd], it's way too old. When all you keep hearing is, 'You've got great teeth. You have really beautiful teeth,' it's just too old.”

Teeth.  Reminds me of when my fomer neighbor wanted me to go with her to some Holiday Inn bar because the old men would buy us dinner and all the drinks we wanted.  Ick, ick, ick.

My biggest hang up is people thinking there's some theme bar god up in the sky that's going to drop a club right into Pittsburgh that meets your exact expectations.  The lesbian they interviewed was rather articulate, but she longs for a nice LGBT bar/club that isn't a hole in the wall.  Sounds reasonable … but there was such a place called True on the Northside. It was predominantly male, but women have to show and spend their money to be customers.  The owner isn't going to toss out the gays to make ways for the lesbians. 

I hear this “lesbian bar” stuff all the time. Lesbian bars do not appear to be financially sustainable in Pittsburgh or else there would be one.  I wouldn't go b/c I don't like bars, but I'd be fine if one opened.  It would certainly stop a lot of whining about the good old days when we had “Bloomers” and such nostalgia.  While I appreciate the sense of loss, for those of us under 40 it starts to get a little tiring hearing this over and over and over.

There are plenty of places to go to have nice conversation with other people — it is the bar theme that seems to get people hung up.  You can't have it all.  Do some volunteer work, make a few friends, have lunch and expand your horizons.  Go to church and sign up for a committee. 

I think Pittsburgh is a good place to be single because there are so many affordable activities to pursue, activities which create the opportunity to expand your social network. 

You could even go Cajun dancing.  I'll have the Ben & Jerry's in the freezer for ya.

ps:  while I appreciate someone taking a cab rather than driving drunk, I have to say it made me laugh out loud when people said public transportation should be expanded to give them the opportunity to hook up with their latest drunken conquest … now that's the kind of thinking that's gonna revolutionalize the City …


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