Between 2001 and 2002, I worked on my own and could go an entire day without seeing other people except neighbors and retail workers. I decided to do better so for 2003, I resolved to try one new “lesbian” thing each month. It could be an activity, a social event, a meeting, whatever. It had to be lesbian inclusive and new-to-me.
Looking back 12 years down the road, I can barely remember the activities. I do remember being proud of myself for trying and for seeing it through. (Spoiler: I met Ledcat in June of 2003 at one activity which was like an early jackpot. Don’t tell her I said that.)
It wasn’t always easy – I felt awkward and lonely and way out of my element. I only knew 2 other queer women, both of whom were also quiet and shy so they didn’t always want to come along. Finances were a factor. One event, I left in tears. Other times, I met people who would become friends.
Some of the activities on my list:
Orientation at the GLCC to become a volunteer. This was amazing – I learned so much about our history and I met Jim Fischerkeller.
Macedonia Dancing in Homestead – this was the one that left me in tears. It was interesting to listen to the music and watch the ethnic dancers. It was not so pleasant to be asked to move by myself to a corner to make room for someone’s friends (other lesbians.) Definitely something you should do with a group.
Wilderness Women potlucks – I only counted one as an official NYR activity, but I attended several. These were nice and I miss them. I occasionally met someone to talk with, but it could be difficult to walk into that room filled with seemingly long-term friends.
Bonfire at Nancy & Brenda’s home – my friend Sara came with me, but ended up getting a massage and disappeared for awhile. I toured their home and enjoyed the bonfire and just being around other queer women. I remember that a female fronted band reunited to play at this gathering but I had never heard of them. It felt very nostalgic and sweet to witness some herstory. Being outside was more conducive to wandering. I was invited to play volleyball and that was really great. It is terrific how the simple act of being included can resonate. Laura and I went back to this event in the following years.
Started the IT committee at the GLCC – this was great even though I was not a techie person. I met two of my greatest friends, Sarah and Sarah, as well as a slew of other really awesome people who I’m still in touch with this day.
LGBT Professional Happy Hour – I met a woman here, but her roommate seemed to take a shine to me so that was awkward. I called her, but always got the roommate.
Lambda Ball – this one, I did with Ledcat. It was terrific. We had a really nice time and felt rather glamorous. And we met a couple from New York State as well as some acquaintances. It was worth every penny.
Reel Q Film Festival opening party – new to me. We saw 2 or 3 films and I also won a door prize. Ha.
The best was the Women’s Discussion Group at the GLCC. It lasted two months, but that’s where I met Ledcat in June 2003 and we had our first date a few weeks later in July 2003. I’m sorry the group didn’t last, but I am happy to report that SueCat is still going strong. 🙂
I can’t remember the other things I did, but know that I met my goal. This was pre-blog so I am unsure where I kept my records, probably an old email account. This might be a good reason to call up a few old friends and see if they remember this adventure. Hmmm.
This isn’t a bad resolution to revisit. It is good to stretch outside of one’s comfort zone and try new things. There are so many things available in 2015 that were not available in 2003. I’m not saying you’ll meet your Ledcat or even that you should aspire to do so, but learning more about the community is a good thing. If I had one wish for my blog, it would be to help people find connections that are healthy and affirming.
Now, of course, I’m debating if I should make this resolution anew for 2015 – try one new-to-me LGBTQ event or activity in 2015. Hmmm.