Thursday, January 18, 2007

Getting Out, Meeting People

If the television can be trusted, meeting people met first online ends, without fail, in your 15 minuets of fame being a 2 minuets cautionary tale on the 10 o’clock news. Just ask my family; they’ll tell you the same. And I can’t say I’m not very leery of it as well and I do think for some good reasons.

When I came out as a teen, I had not one of the internets (;-)), but we did have creepy strangers, who’d hang around where we hung, with whom you’d not want to find yourself alone. We had closeted gay men, married men posing as out gay men just to live a fantasy. We had people posing as an understanding ear for the vulnerable, either out to “save” us from or “help” us live with our orientation, but who were only out to take advantage. And none of them could conceal their nature as easily as they can now, online. I’d absolutely say to watch out for such; I and the TV are sure they’re out there still.

Through my life I’ve never really found myself thinking I’d actually meet any of the people I’d met online, save for one other time, for the above reasons. Oddly, looking back, most the people I’d like to have met have been those I’ve debated most :-). But now, here, with much of this blogography associated with my same geography, it’s come up. I think also it’s come up because there are some really good folks here. I’ve come to respect, and internet-ly know some to the point that it feels natural to want to drive a bit and chat in person, as I would with any other person I’ve come to appreciate in my every day activities. I simply did not anticipate feeling such would be okay when I entered these blogs with my first comment, but, in short, it can and has (in a public place at first, of course, always with R, and not until after we’ve interacted for a while, and… :-)).

Fortunately, I can say it’s been well worth it. I’m as glad to have met offline as on, and more. It really is nice to put a face to the avatars, and to the personality coming through in text. It’s nice to let down a bit of my guard, talk comfortably person-to-person, and get past some of the unwieldy but purposeful cloak and dagger of this area of the gay world. But it’s been particularly appreciated to find a better way to involve R. If you’ve not noticed by now, R barely gets his email and has little interest in anything computer-y (too many made-up words per post?); I deal with the electrical, and he deals with the rest ;-). To be able to give him a better idea, in a way that he can better interact, about the whos and whats of these blogs has been appreciated. And at least now some of you out there could vouch for our real-world existence ;-).


Chris said...

And sometimes the kids get to come along too! ;)

Loyalist (with defects) said...

One day I wouldn't mind being added to that list.

I have appreciated your friendship very much.

thank you.

Scot said...

Chris, the kids only get to come if we want their adorable interruptions in our high-minded conversations ;-).

And Loyalist, I certainly hope we could some day too. And thank you.

Let's see... How are Monday evenings for you? ;-) You bring the popcorn.

-L- said...

As I've heard through the grapevine about various bloggers' real life encounters, I've felt a little jealous. I've wanted to ask you about yours more than once. I'm like a kid outside the ballgame looking on jealously.

I think it's partly because I still haven't taken the step of coming "out" to friends and loved ones to feel that natural reassurance that our relationship will continue and I'll be accepted. I believe that's what would happen, but I haven't really felt the compelling need to do it... other than some indistinct itch that needs to be scratched. The itch is relieved in part by interacting online with so many great guys who are kind despite knowing how obnoxious and stupid and gay I am.

On the other hand, I've been glad to be physically removed at times. I've heard frequently (and recently) of cyber-gone-personal encounters that have ended unhappily. I would probably risk it with select among my cyber-friends, but it's sometimes wonderful not to have to think too hard about selecting since it's moot anyway considering the geography.

Scot said...

"I'm like a kid outside the ballgame looking on jealously."

You, for one, should never worry about being outside the ballgame here. You’re geographically at quite a distance but, even still, you’ve certainly made some three pointers from there :-).

"… kind despite knowing how obnoxious and stupid and gay I am."

pah-leeese. I know I ain’t been kind to you despite anything, if anyone could ever say that I’ve been kind... though, of the three, I do suspect that you may be gay ;-).

Anyway, I’m certainly in a different place with different considerations, and I can see how not meeting makes a lot of sense for folks in your shoes (probably does for me too ;-)). But I hardly ever meet anyone who doesn’t know me along with my family makeup in the real world, and so meeting another such person is mainly a worry to know if they are who they seem to be (and that what we agree doesn’t go online, doesn’t go online… gotta love the cloak and dagger :-)).