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View Diary: What Does Being Gay In America Mean? (72 comments)

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  •  As usual I left out a bit of what I'd intended (2+ / 0-)

    to include.

    On the one hand, to respond to your surprise at the how I found things when I moved to SF I will say that it was somewhat relative. As I'm sure you can appreciate, I did have some advantages compared to the typical mid-30's gay man moving here from elsewhere; there were places I knew of to go to. Even in those places I found people to be a bit more standoffish than I'd been used to in DC. In truth I suspect that it was an artifact of when I moved here. It was the darkest part of the AIDS epidemic, when people were dying frequently and there was little hope on the immediate horizon. People were very much on edge in SF in 1986. So the long and short of it was that I was able to develop a sense of community here but it actually took me longer than it had when I moved to DC.

    The other thing I meant to include is something my late ex from DC remarked on, always bitterly and that others have commented on here as well, to wit that there is in a sense no single "gay community" and the expectation of encountering such a thing and not doing so can be very disappointing. He had his own demons of course and those made it harder for him to find a place for himself even when he was, from an external perspective, supported and appreciated. The fact is that there are multiple communities and while some of them are obvious and visible, some are more difficult to find and to appreciate (while still others are toxic and are best avoided).

    There is no escaping the fact that one must create one's own community around oneself.

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