ISO queer friends – w4w – 25

Why do I feel like I have no community? An astute reader picked this out of a post, and I thought it deserved a more detailed explanation. While I threw it in like a sidenote in that post, the truth is I feel very isolated. I actually know quite a lot of people, but most of my friends are straight and those that aren’t live far away. I love my friends, but girl-watching with straight guys just isn’t the same.

Let’s start with the one thing nobody ever told me about being a young adult: not only will you be broke from paying off student loans, you will be lonely. All of your college friends will move away, and you won’t know how to replace them. You don’t have the convenience of making “we met in a class last semester” acquaintances and trying them out for size. Meeting people without having a pre-arranged reason to talk is a totally new life skill. I’ll chitchat with people in the grocery line, but how do you ask them to hang out later?

Conventional advice for beating the quarter-life crisis is to make a pre-arranged reason: decide what you like to do, and join some kind of club. Like music? Go to a show, do music things. Like to play sports? Do athletic things. Like to be gay? Do….gay things? Um. What, exactly, are those? You see the problem.

The ironic thing is that there are actually quite a lot of queer people here and I see them around everywhere. But most of them are in their 40s and 50s, and the rest are college hipster kids. As much as I’d like to make friends outside my demographic, there are practical difficulties. Somehow I took my useless degree and found a professional job which requires me to keep daytime hours; yet, at 25, I’ve had enough of the older set by the time I leave work each day. Add to that: I don’t live in a big city. We have some coffee shops and some kitschy stores and a few good restaurants, but it is not what you could call an “urban area.” There’s a potato farm around the corner and only the sports bars are open after 9 pm. There just aren’t that many places to go.

It feels like one of those jokes where the punchline is something so obvious…in college I went to parties to meet hot girls (unsuccessfully) and to class to meet interesting people (more success there) but now? I’m in bed by 10:30 and I don’t know how I ever did it. How, between the hours of 5pm and 9:30 pm, can I find some people who are like me? In a potato field? And still find time to clean my house and help K. make dinner and manage to get to work on time the next day?

5 Responses to ISO queer friends – w4w – 25

  1. Dylan says:

    Ah, I really dread the day that I am cut off from easily making connections with new people. I think most adult find new friends through their places of employment. Not being in a big city is hard. I would normally suggest things like, reading groups, guest lectures are colleges, activism meetings, women’s groups around feminist issues, film festivals… but I’m not sure that your area really has these kinds of things to offer. Hmmm. I hope you find something though. I never really understood why adults kind of didn’t have friends… but this really brought a new light to it.

  2. linaria says:

    I won’t lie, it was a shock. I’m a very social person and adjust easily, but this, this is something new.

    Meeting people at work is awkward when your coworkers are mostly older, and besides, you have to work with them. As for guest lectures, activism meetings, etc, I’m actually employed at a large research university and I’m sure we have some of that stuff here. I tend not to come to events on campus since I spend so much time here already (though I did see Tony Kushner speak and that was cool), and I think I’ve been afraid to make friends with undergraduates because, in the end, they always leave…

    Perhaps you’ll have a better experience. I imagine some people do.

  3. backlist says:

    Oh my goodness, I have a whole post to write about this myself. It’s so so hard. I wish I had an answer, cause I’d be using it. And we’re good people! We’d make good friends! And not just with each other! Can’t we import some people?

  4. ah, yeah, i remember this exact feeling – i think i may have written much the same post at some point. god knows i don’t have any advice, but it seems to get better…it took me three years here, though

  5. linaria says:

    backlist: you know, I was kind of hoping you’d have some advice, being older and married…but yes! we would be good friends! can’t they send us some from san francisco?

    lady brett: but see, I’ve already been out of college for three years. so what, I have to wait til I’m 30? *sigh *

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