I had a topic for this month’s post, but it got lost in the tangle of emotions over this weekend. This is not a political blog, so I’m not going to address those issues directly.
But one thing I was left with, after the pain and fury, was a yearning for an event that I have participated in for several years. GayRomLit is a conference and retreat for those who read, write, and love M/M romance. It takes place the third week in October, moving around the country. This year, it will be in Denver, CO.
The unique thing about this conference for me is the family feeling. My first time, going as a reader, I was shy, scared, intimidated. I flipped my name badge over so no one would figure out who I was. I had to be lured out of the hallway into the welcome banquet with hugs from Edmond Manning.
But I soon realized – these were my people. This was my tribe. There is very little like the feeling of being in an elevator where everyone is discussing the same book, where the gay couple with arms around each other get nothing but smiles and nods, where you can say “butt plug” in public and not self-immolate. (Well, some folks can, and I get to listen.) Where Cards Against Humanity is the entertainment in the common room, gay erotic novels are read aloud in the bar, and Pictionary involves drawing a BDSM Dom. Where conversations about the craft and the joy and the characters can last for hours.
I am so looking forward to that now. I need time spent with people who know love is love, who speak up loudly for that truth, and who work for its recognition. As a tribe, we have our online dramas and fights. A new one erupted yesterday, with the usual escalation and hurt feelings and unfriending. But even those are ripples on the surface of the basic truth. This community is a place where I can go and expect to be heard, hope to be supported, and where the essential rights of my LGBTQ children are prioritized, without question. A place I can, for a while, let down my guard, and find things I love, and revel in them, and share them. October cannot come too soon.