Today was OutRaleigh, which was described as:
|OutRaleigh is envisioned to celebrate Raleigh’s LGBT community, families, friends and supporters in a family-friendly atmosphere. The day-long festival will feature a main stage performance area for regional and local musical groups as well as local dignitaries and speakers. A KidsZone will provide free activities and educational entertainment for young children. |
City Plaza through Martin St will be closed for the event, allowing businesses and non-profit organizations to set up vendor spaces to interact with the visiting public. Businesses and restaurants in the surrounding downtown area will be encouraged to welcome and support the festival attendees.
I'm capturing my thoughts here about why I didn't attend, not to detract from the event in any way, but simply to have a record of how I was feeling about this kind of event at this time in my life. There was a time—when I first came out for instance—that I would have been all over this. However, right here and now, in this time and place, here are my three main reasons for not attending:
- It's a turnoff that there will potentially be a lot of kids there.
- There are going to be some gay people there who will no doubt be/go over the top with PDA, just because it's "our" festival.
- Undoubtedly, there will be some religious factions there somewhere either harassing us or trying to "save" us, or are those things even different?
I went to the gym at about 2:30, where I did 225 (15 sets of 15) ab crunches, followed by 30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine. As always, didn't love it while doing it, but felt great afterward.
Mid-afternoon, I received an email message from an old friend that both profoundly disturbed me and profoundly moved me. It's the kind of honest communication that people rarely have with one another, and it was about another time and place in my life.
This is actually the second time someone who was close to me at that time later told me about things that they were experiencing back then that were unsharable with anybody. At the same time, I was already dealing with knowing I was gay, but not being able to share that with anyone.
It reminds me of this quote I saw on someone's Facebook wall today or yesterday:
|"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." |
~Plato, Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC - 347 BC)~
This news put me in a wildly introspective mood, and I spent some time thinking about things like:
- You rarely ever do know what's really going on with people.
- How learning something about someone can totally re-frame your impression of their lives, who they were, and who they've become.
- How some things you never quite understood suddenly all make sense.
- It's amazing how something inconsequential you did could have such monumental meaning to someone.
- It's more amazing how you can have no inkling at the time that that's the case.
- And it's yet more amazing, not to mention exceedingly rare, to be given the gift of finding out about it 37 years later.
I sent regrets to Jen bowing out of celebratory graduation drinks between 4:00 and 5:30 at Natty Greene's with her, Sarah McKone, and their host of friends and family on this joyous NC State Graduation Day. I just wasn't in a good place to be out and about with a crowd, and drinking no less.
For the same reason, I passed on an invitation by Joe to join his work crowd for a farewell celebration at Boylan Bridge Brewpub on his transition from one department to another, and from one kind of job to something completely different.
I was in bed by about 8:30, and I read a lot of The Color Purple, until a little after 11:30, when I called it a night.