Obviously, anytime being away for four and a half days, it can be tricky to get back into the groove of things. Getting sick doesn’t help either. But the hardest part is the withdrawal.
There is something amazing about being around 2300 members of the queer community. You look around and you just feel so welcome. You feel connected. Everyone who is there has this same passion for making a difference in the world. There is a certain liberated feeling, an openness because people are comfortable with all kinds of distinct identities. For the most part, nobody is there to judge. It is enriching. It is refreshing.
It’s not the real world.
I keep looking around and I have to tell myself that not everybody’s queer. In fact, where I am, most aren’t. It’s kind of disconcerting. I have to go back to being one of the only people in my community who is so passionate about LGBT advocacy. It’s a downer. I have cried.
I think we all have to take some time to reflect about how much joy there was to make those connections. I met people who I feel like I just knew. There was a feeling of safeness, and as a result an instant connection much deeper than you’d expect. Perhaps the best metaphor is a family reunion. Most of the people you don’t know, but you know you’re connected.
One of my new friends is Waymon, who writes for the Bilerico Project. Ze wrote today about this experience, entitling his post “A Taste of Utopia.” It is good to know I am not the only one going through this experience. I hope even though there is now immense distance between me and all the connections I made, I can still stay in contact and continue to develop those new friendships.
Until then, I have a blog to reach out to cyberspace and hope others can relate to my experiences. Whoever’s out there, you’re not alone.