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September 8, 2006

many more gay thoughts

There's a great piece in this week's MetroWeekly about the integrity of the gay social movement. I really question whether we can present a sole unified voice for our cause (which/what cause?), but the idea is nice. But we're just a wildly diverse group of disparate people with only one thing in common - our sexuality - which is where the comparisons with the black civil rights movement ends. While they had religion, race and culture in common, we don't have such binds that tie, because we are many races, colors and cultures. But when push comes to shove the sole commonality might be enough some day to establish unity, if the threat is high enough.

That and many of us fancy ourselves as hardcore critics of all things, as in the infamous Duplex Diner/Abercrombie Wars on Craigslist between the gay DC young and old. It seems like every queen thinks he's either Rex Reed or Heidi Klum, or some love child thereof. With so much judgement and so little humility, there's no energy left to work on battling outside forces.

In regards to last week's blog entry about the P-town crowd and HIV, I think one commenter was able to summarize my thoughts in one sentence when I couldn't:

"...many gay men are too blasé about HIV infection..."

That's what was bugging me about what I was seeing in Provincetown and in the online and 'leather community'. No one seems to give a shit about contracting HIV anymore. Another commenter did account for his infection as a result of a mistake, but that's an exception rather than the rule, and it's still highly preventable. But some would argue that HIV is now a manageable disease like diabetes. But if diabetes were a communicable disease, and you could prevent yourself from having to monitor your glucose and take insulin the rest of your life, would you? I don't feel any different about HIV. I was only called out on my opinions in one instance, being told I was being judgemental and that it was foolish to think I could "plan" on remaining HIV-. Yep, I do plan on it, however foolish that may seem to some people. You see, there is one act that I don't do, and don't plan on doing it again, thus my 'plan' on remaining HIV-.

Now that I am over my post-vacation blues and back into my typical DC-induced celibacy, I still must wonder why the aura of desperation returns due to locale. For you see, here's the breakdown of social interactions in DC vs. Provincetown:

Approach attractive stranger in Provincetown: we immediately start flirting and then have hot sex.
Approach DC resident in Provincetown: we have a long, pleasant and engaging conversation.
Approach person with Dreamy Ron in tow in either Provincetown or DC: person ignores Jimbo & stares at Dreamy Ron's pecs.
Approach known DC resident in DC: resident gives brief, civil response, then starts talking about real estate.
Approach unknown attractive DC resident in DC: resident looks startled, then flees from jimbo.

Now this can be easily attributable to the vacation syndrome, where people have a more open mind and are in a good mood and are open to socialization. It may be attributable to my own attitude and approach as well. Maybe being single in DC for a year has beaten the confidence out of me and it shows. Or maybe I've been living here for too long and people see me and think "Oh, it's her again." Regardless, the difference in reactions by locale is tangible.

On a somewhat unrelated note, here's my Vermont mancrush Jason, rockin' the whole Jim Palmer Jockey ad look better than it was done before. I don't have a tightie whitey fetish, but I'm gettin' close...

Posted by jimbo at September 8, 2006 10:43 AM

Comments

Critical of all things? Yes, I agree. But if I were porn I would certainly be softcore.

Anyway, it wasn't so bad, I just think I'm bitter because I didn't get invited any of the grand opening events.

Posted by: The Boy at September 8, 2006 12:38 PM

If anyone wants to approach me at the Rodeo tomorrow I will be available to discuss gutting my townhouse.

Posted by: Herb at September 8, 2006 4:40 PM

You've explained perfectly one of the reasons I left DC. I was thrilled to move to DC, I loved it for 6.5 or 7 of my 8 years there, and there are many things I miss about it - but in terms of social interactions, it was a death sentence. During my time there, despite my best efforts, I didn't date much, I met lots of people who didn't return phone calls after acting interested, I had shocking attitude hurled at me from people I met socially, and I started to think, is it me?

So I left, came to Houston, immediately made friends, met a great guy who I've been involved with for over a year, and life is just so much better.

There are days I miss public transit and a walkable city and the energy of DC, but every time I come back for a visit, I enjoy all those things I loved about it and am thrilled to be getting on a plane home afterwards.

I have no theory about why gay DC is so socially dysfunctional. I lived in Boston before DC and it was challenging because of the famed New England reserve, but still nothing like DC. So I don't think it's just an east coast thing or something like that.

It's a shame, though.

Posted by: John at September 8, 2006 4:46 PM

I'd ignore Ron and talk with you any day of the week. Pecs= high maintenance.

Posted by: Reese at September 8, 2006 6:58 PM

I never understood why DC is so.. umm cold regarding human interaction, my theory is that DC is a transient town people live there a few years due to a job or govt position then move on.

I know that Rob noticed a huge different in how people interact in Baltimore compared to DC. People actually say hi to you at Safeway and on the bus.

Also I agree on how people are now blase regarding HIV. I dont feel guilty for being negative nor do I feel guilty or holier than thou for wanting to remain negative.
Of course I would never judge a person if they got it or how they got it.
I only Pray that scientists find a treatment that willlead to a cure soon.

Posted by: Dax at September 8, 2006 7:00 PM

I think the commenters made clear the fact that mistakes happen, and that people aren't perfect. You're bound to have made errors too and imagine if you hadn't been so lucky.

The only way to re-evaluate one's experiences is against an objective sounding board, if you can't do it yourself.

Analyze your approach. Do you come on too strong? How do you begin conversations? If people are clustered with friends, there isn't much hope unless your pack knows someone in their pack or you catch them alone. Maybe you think being single is not of the same value as being coupled, and people pick up on that? People are far more perceptive than they often let on.

Posted by: copperred at September 8, 2006 10:40 PM

I have a tighty whitey fetish... though I also have a tighty brief in general festish... :-)

Posted by: TOS at September 9, 2006 1:36 PM

Transience causes lack of interaction about as much as maggots spontaneously appear in covered meat. Correlation is not causation.

Posted by: copperred at September 9, 2006 10:05 PM

Jimbo,

Dreamy Ron is hot, but I have seen you out and you my friend encapsulate outdoor male hotness! I was backpack camping in the Rockies last weekend and I came to the realization that Colorado is my goal, back to Boulder, or Denver. Living is D.C. is great, metro, shitty resturants, cabs, Blowoff, smart people, but something is missing in this city. Folks need to slow down, my 2cents.
Jason SLURP.

J.

Posted by: Jack at September 10, 2006 11:11 AM

Jack, no fair! I miss Colorado too! Though, having lived there a few years, I can say Boulder is totally overrated—go for Denver.

Posted by: Josh at September 10, 2006 6:13 PM

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