A Young Gay Man And His Birthday

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    Jul 05, 2010 9:11 PM GMT
    Well, relatively young to me & hubby, 30 today. So we go out for lunch, and our first choice is packed. But WHY? It's Monday, everything should be dead around here. Then we go to another gay place, and it's packed, too, but a few spaces are open at the bar.

    Well, OK, we like the bartender there, and we can rough it having a light lunch at the bar. And it finally occurs to us, that today is a holiday for most people in the US, since the 4th fell on a Sunday. DUH!

    And this young fella is next to us, and my partner quickly chats him up, always the friendly one. Whereas I'm grumpy & fumpy; you can contact our social secretary to make an appointment, but don't address me directly, if you please. icon_razz.gif

    Well, it's this guy's birthday, just returned to live in Florida, and he's kinda depressed spending his birthday alone. So of course we buy him a drink, and share food, and I finally started to warm up a bit (for me that's approaching just over freezing). My partner & I swap stories with him, try to cheer him up, keep him amused. And we wrote him all kinds of references to people & groups we think might benefit him in his relocation.

    I think we left him a happy camper, at least happier than we found him. And he kept raving about his good fortune in running into us, like it was some kind of Divine Providence on his birthday.

    My point? Not bragging, trust me, I don't need it, nor compliments or appreciation -- forward your notes to our social secretary. Rather, as with many of my anecdotes here, the purpose is example. Our community is small, fragile, weak in many ways & marginalized. We need to link arms and help each other. My partner & I are always doing this, always reaching out, and we believe so should all of you, in a thousand different ways.

    The cynics among you may say this guy was just conning us. Maybe, but my experience tells me not. But so what if he was? I'll suffer 1 con artist out of 10 if we can help 9 others who deserve it. And besides, we had a good time ourselves, whatever he was, maybe really a young gay man having a lonely birthday. icon_question.gif
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    Jul 05, 2010 11:11 PM GMT
    I agree with you. For those of us who are fortunate, and have built up extensive networks, it's a great feeling to help those who need a hand up. What's more, I appreciate a hand up when I'm in new and unknown territory. I personally probably wouldn't have written reference letters, since I don't do that unless I know the person quite well, but I certainly would have made some "heads-up" phone calls to help smooth the way. Glad you made his birthday memorable, and my guess is that it probably made your week, too. icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 05, 2010 11:16 PM GMT
    I've spent a number of birthdays alone. Working in various countries, immigrating here, after a breakup, etc., etc. You did a good thing.
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    Jul 05, 2010 11:23 PM GMT
    zarin said...I personally probably wouldn't have written reference letters, since I don't do that unless I know the person quite well, but I certainly would have made some "heads-up" phone calls to help smooth the way.

    Smoothing the way is all we did. Perhaps I misstated what we did; we were all just sitting at a bar.

    We merely gave him some business cards, names & numbers, and maybe later we'll be able to do some more as we check our contacts for his areas of interest & expertise that he told us.

    But the point is we invited him to network with us, for whatever that will prove to be worth. And I encourage other gays to do the same in similar circumstances. I want our gay community to grow & thrive, not whither & die. How about the rest of us here?
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    Jul 05, 2010 11:54 PM GMT
    You did a good thing reaching out to that guy on his birthday in a new town. One of the things I really like about you is your openness to meeting new people and your commitment to creating and maintaining a community. I still appreciate your invitation to meet you and your partner when I visited South Florida earlier this year even though our schedules didn't work out - maybe sometime in the future.
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    Jul 06, 2010 12:04 AM GMT
    sashaman saidI still appreciate your invitation to meet you and your partner when I visited South Florida earlier this year even though our schedules didn't work out - maybe sometime in the future.

    Our pleasure. Just remind me often ahead of time, my defective memory is like a sieve. Our community is your community.
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    Jul 06, 2010 1:54 AM GMT
    heart.gif Wilton...
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 06, 2010 1:55 AM GMT
    Nice of you to make the effort Bob.

    icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 06, 2010 6:38 AM GMT
    We are at our best when we are connecting as a community - life is all about connections, about options, about opening doors. Who knows, the guy you befriended at the bar may turn out to be a new best friend, may return the favour someday when you need it.

    Pay it forward icon_biggrin.gif