I don't have a problem rolling to a club, a movie, lunch, book signing, or any other event by myself. Always been kind of an independent person, and always feel secure that I will run into someone I know while out and about. And if I don't, then I don't. Is that weird?
Apparently, that's a big deal for some folks-- to venture out alone into the unknown. And last night as I visited a neighborhood haunt, Club Chico, I met two new people who knew me from writing a novel... and they were surprised when I answered their question "Who did you come with?" with "Myself." These guys -- two recent transplants from Oregon (black guys from Oregon at that!) -- were a little taken aback. I guess they thought I'd roll with a posse or entourage or something.
But as I listened more closely to what was really going on, I knew what was up. It's a similar story I hear and observe a lot. People don't generally feel welcomed or do a lot of welcoming to new faces or people who are not with a "clicque," or the observers sitting at the bar or standing against the wall. And sometimes there can be some shinier gems among that "solo" group, than the gold-plated types garnering all the attention at an event. But anyway...
The black Oregon transplants to L.A. had this idea that everyone knew everyone already (which we know isn't the case) and that it's hard to meet and make friends in L.A. gay/black scene. I hear it from guys all over. And there's probably more to the story in each case. But anyway...
So is it an individual/perception thing? Is it a gay/black community thing? Is it an era-of-electronics thing (i.e. people feel more comfy behind a screen and keyboard, than face-to-face conversation)?
Aaah. So much to think about among other serious issues. But creating community is something that I think is a responsibility we all bear.
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