What do I want?
The question has become clearer, easier to answer as I get older, in many respects.
There was a recent speed dating event at the Toronto library for gay/queer people 19-35. The idea was you bring a book and talk about it for three minutes, then you move on to the next person.
I did think of going, I really did. It was on the night of the week that I volunteer for the archives but I could have gotten out of that.
What I think stopped me was the age. 19-35, I'm 33, was everyone there going to be too young? I suppose that's what I told myself anyway, though I should have gone regardless in retrospect. It's a two hour committment, who cares if everyone was too young.
Anyway, I didn't go, something about not wanting to belong to a club that would have me as a member. I know a lot of gays feel this way, that we don't fit in. I hear a lot "I don't listen to gay radio" or "I don't watch gay TV" or "I wouldn't go on a gay vacation" from gay people. The expectation being, "I'm not THAT type of gay".
A great article in Attitude this month, an excerpt from the book The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain Of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World by Alan Downs on just this kind of thinking.
I need to read it.
I was asked if I would consider hosting a similar speed-dating book event for the archives. I like books. And one thing that is good, that I have overcome (give props to yourself where you can!) is I would be able to host something like this. I am not worried about talking in front of people or looking silly or talking and those are things I have gained with age and experience so props there.
But thinking of this has sent me in to a spiral.
Why did I not attend that event? Quentin Crisp's "Great dark man" is not coming, what am I going to do about that? I'm around a load of men at the archives, but I rule them out, some too old, too young, too nicely dressed, too old, too physically fit, like Goldilocks with her porridge, so where the hell is the one that's just right? Am I waiting for the great dark man that won't come?
And I think the reason that no one's coming is that at some point I started ruling everyone out. Too handsome, not handsome enough, too... whatever.
Which leads to too.... alone.