Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Freak Show Place Like Home
Okay, don't blame me for the bad title. There wasn't much of a way to combine "Freak Show" and "There's No Place Like Home", but you get the picture.
At the Gay-Straight Alliance meeting on Thursday, another meeting that took place on Tuesday nights was mentioned. They didn't talk much about it, but I asked on Facebook and found out that it was kind of a support group for LGBTQ teens (middle school - college). It was sounding more interesting by the minute. Not only would there be other gay guys that I could become friends with, but young ones as well! I told them I would "try" to come, meaning I would wait impatiently for it.
So Tuesday came, and after a long day of classes, I had dinner with a friend I had met in my philosophy class. While waiting to meet her in front of the drink machine in the cafeteria, I saw out of the corner of my eye a familiar face... it was Lyle. He was at the salad bar. My friend met me there and we proceeded to find a seat. After we did, I told her I would be right back. I saw Lyle take a seat at the bar alone...perfect. Now was my chance to be a good friend and invite him to sit with us. I started walking towards him but without noticing me he stood up, grabbed his plate, and began to move to a different table. I backed off a bit, and followed him across the cafeteria. He started to sit at another bar, but turned again and went to a table on the far side, still alone. I stopped by another drink machine and poured another glass of limonade just to make it seem like I had a purpose to be there and "just happened" to see him. I approached him from the side, instead of from behind which might startle him. However he didn't look up at me until I began speaking.
"Hey man, do you want to come sit with us?"
"Oh hey. What?"
"My friend and I are sitting over here, you can join us if you want"
"Oh, no thanks I am in a hurry anyways, I have something after this"
"Oh... okay. Well we are over here if you change your mind. See you around!"
"Thanks man, I appreciate it. Bye!"
Okay, even though we didn't get to sit together I felt very proud of myself for approaching him. And I'm pretty sure he was lying about being in a hurry because he was embarrassed about eating alone (trust me, I've been in the same situation and said the same thing).
Anyways, after dinner I headed to the meeting. It was being held at a church, but I wasn't sure where in the church so I hung around behind the bank next door (I know, what a loser) until I saw people walking in. Well, about 5 minutes passed and the only people I had seen enter were an old lady with a purse the size of a great dane, and a midget old man. I followed the midget (is little person more politically correct?) into the church, where I was greeted by a black lady in gospel singer regalia. I was definitely in the wrong place...
"Excuse me, do you know where the umm....meeting for....uh....."
Hey, you try talking to a church member about a meeting for gays. It isn't easy.
She realized what I was asking about and happily pointed out the direction to the building it was in. I thanked her. That could have gone a lot worse.
When I entered the room there were 3 guys there and a lady sitting in a circle. At first they all looked at me strangely, so I asked if this was where the meeting was. I again didn't specify which meeting it was, just in case it was instead a meeting of the "Anti-Gay Alliance". Hey, I gotta play it safe. I come from a town where any public speak about being gay results in a riot. Okay maybe not that bad, but still.
They told me yes and that I was in the right place. As a few minutes passed more people began to enter the room. Sadly, I think I was the only new member there so they all kind of seemed shy around me. Plus I was sweating like a pig even though I later discovered that the room was only like 60 degrees. But what fascinated me the most was the variety of people there. There was one flamboyantly gay guy, 3 or so lesbians with hairy legs and boyish haircuts, a girl wearing all black who sat outside of the circle, 3 guys that were normal looking (one of which was very cute, an 11th grader in high school), and this one girl who had a beard. I'm not joking. Not only that but she had thick hair on her legs and arms. At first I assumed it was a guy dressed as a girl, but when she talked I realized it was definitely a girl. There were more people there, but these are the ones that stuck out o me the most.
I won't discuss too much about what went on in the meeting, since the point of it is kind of like to be a sharing zone where nothing leaves the room. But our topic of the week was anxiety and we did a lot of exercises to control our thoughts. I went into this meeting for the soul purpose of meeting cute guys, but I really think I will get a lot from it. I didn't share too much, but I did mention that I have been worrying a lot about my last impressions with people back hom before I left for college and what they will think of me when I come back. I think I will open up more and more as time goes on. I'm really happy I found out about this because it could be a great group of friends that I can really connect with and help out. Especially the cute 11th grader. If anything interesting happens with him at the next meeting I will give him a name.
Well, I'm sitting in the library because I wanted to avoid my roommates and the smell of cocaine in my room, but I didn't realize until i got here that my battery was almost dead. As of now I have 17 minutes left. That should be enough time to find a picture for this entry and to post it.
I'll keep you updated. I hope you find this as interesting as I do.
Posted by Tristan Skyler at 9:34 PM