In many ways I think I have a lot to talk about today, yet at the same time I feel that so much of what I will write about is banal, or at least I can make it banal by creating a list of points of which I am ruminating in an attempt to organize these thoughts. To keep in simple and relevant, I’ll write about the Serenity by the Sea LGBTQ Round-up in Provincetown last month. It was worth the effort.
I went with a few expectations, most of which did not come to pass. I did not get laid, for example. I did not meet up with old friends from my family’s P’town days, although I did make a good run at it. Not getting any hot man-to-man sex was probably a good thing. I doubt if I could have handled it emotionally. I would have become too attached, perhaps, or made too little of it. It would have been nice, though. I was prepared for any event (condoms, lube, etc…) but they stayed neatly in my shaving kit for the weekend. I did, however, meet up with a couple of nice guys from Boston and hung out with them for a while. There were some good laughs and some phenomenal meetings. I was dismayed a little by the sense of “ghetto” in the sober and queer community. By “ghetto” I am referring to the classical definition of apartness and separateness one sees in small communities that see themselves as being different from the larger social structure. One can see this in the Orthodox Hasidim community in Brooklyn. This concept also exists in the gay community. Many of the gay sober folk do not go to “straight” meetings as they feel homophobia or a need to speak to only those who walk that same path of sexual identity. While I recognize that this is a valid belief, I do not follow this assumption. I feel that AA is about sobriety, not who or how I like to screw. After all, a gay man inspired the writing of “Tradition Three” as a way to keep all alcoholics in the fold and deny no one the chance to find sobriety-that was 1948. Homosexuality was still considered to be a crime in most places and referred to as “sexual deviancy”. It seems that AA was ahead of the curve in civil rights.
In any case, it was an educational weekend, for sure. I hoped to deal with some of my own internalized homophobia, and I did. I realized that I am a little jealous of those gay men who act more flamboyantly than I. My solution is to see and accept my feminine internal parts and celebrate them. The workshop helped a great deal. Easy fix, but a lifetime job. I heard about a book called “The Velvet Rage” and am currently reading that. The link I have provided is to someone else’s blog, but there is a link to a bookseller from his writings. Good stuff, even if all of the case studies do not apply to me. Many do. The writer of the book is also in recovery, so that perspective helps. I am learning things about myself that I missed when I first came out in ’99. I was far too numb from substance abuse for any soul-searching or internal education. Now I can handle it, and this process is clearing up a lot of poor thinking and negative growth. It is very much a 4th Step attitude, with some 9th Step self-amends healing to finish it off.
So I go to my meetings. I’m out to those who I think it necessary to tell, but many people already know anyway, or knew, suspected, etc…Who cares? That’s what my straight sponsor feels, and I agree. This is about recovery. I can go to LGBT AA meetings for that special need, or sense, that I need to get from that community, but I am here to get and stay sober. All the rest is gravy, or maybe pearl jam. About the closet? Well….If you saw a tall, fashionably dressed guy with Armani glasses, a grey and purple Calvin Klein scarf and a blue beret walk into meeting you’d think he was gay. I know I would.