Now that the gay scene is opening up again in Vermont, I have begun thinking about leaving the house again for some gay socializing. The date the other week is a first step. Like many gay men in America, I have found myself growing somewhat more isolated and embracing my inner lone wolf side during this pandemic. Being a lone wolf can be great when you’re just working from home, jerking off, and watching Netflix for many months on end, and it often feels daunting to go out and about in the world and enjoy quality gay excursions by myself. But maybe it’s time to abandon those fears as gay events begin to get into full swing again. We are just four weeks away from Vermont Pride. For a variety of reasons, Vermont celebrates Pride the first week in September, not June like the rest of the world. I recently read that it is becoming not only more and more socially acceptable but also hip and cool to go at things solo. Who knew?
There are a lot of things I have gotten used to doing on my own: going to see a movie, eating out at a fancy restaurant, going to a drag show at a gay bar, etc. I am not an extroverted individual, and I am trying to be less of an extreme introvert. Therefore, these activities can be more anxiety inducing than they’d be with friends, but I am doing my best to get over that. In most of my trips to Montreal, I have gotten over my fear of going to bars alone, and usually I have a great time. I am working on doing the same at the gay events in Burlington. Many times, when I go alone, I think everyone will notice that I am alone and are judging me. However, I usually find that if someone does notice I am alone, they will more likely come up and chat with me. Although, there are times when no one even notices I am there by myself. At times, I guess I can just blend in and be unnoticeable. Maybe as I continue to lose weight, that will start to change.
Exploring the world solo is said to be a great way to find a new lover, arguably a lot better than endlessly swiping thru torsos on dating apps. It hasn’t been that long ago when gay men did go to bars to meet other men instead of just signing on to Grindr, Tinder, or any number of dating apps out there. One thing I must remember when I go out to bars on my own is to make sure that I don’t erect walls of solitude around me that appear impregnable, because then I may be unable to seize the opportunity for a love connection when it happens. Some advice I have read is that we should treat every day like an adventure, if we do, we’re bound to attract likeminded and independent men like ourselves. Plus, when we’re just always hanging out with our usual friends, for me they are usually women, you have a harder time reinventing yourself. Sometimes ourselves and our social orbit needs a bit of a makeover. A bit of independent excursions into the gay world can do that.
Ultimately, going out with friends rather than solo will always have some benefits, especially for an introvert as it makes us more comfortable in public. But for someone who’s always been too scared to try an excursion alone, then we owe it to ourselew to give it a shot. What better time than the present, just when the world is opening back up? Besides, if I end up getting a new job, I will be without my current social network and will need to get out there on my own. How exciting, and anxiety inducing, will it be to explore Chicago’s Northalsted (formerly known as Boystown), if I get the job there? I just have to realize that excitement awaits no matter where I am.