Encouragement Through Existence

    Back in January, I joined the board of a new LGBTQ nonprofit called The Circle. Until my first meeting with The Circle board, I had never been in an exclusively queer space. I only knew one other person there—Evan McCoy. Evan has a blog called Gay Little Heart (read it here), and was in the same grade as one of my older sisters.

    As I made my way to the meeting, I didn’t give it a ton of thought and was thinking more about any ideas I could bring to the table—and potentially snagging free parking, if I’m being honest. As I got seated in the conference room of the office space we were using, I immediately felt more relaxed than usual. For the first time, I didn’t have to have to have internal alert systems up for the potential of the conversation to shift towards relationships, dating experiences, or a host of other topics. Although I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a time period that is shifting towards acceptance, I don’t take it for granted that any new company I’m with is fine with LGBTQ people. As we talked about our first event and other topics, while most of my brain was focused on the conversations, another part was marveling at this new energy I hadn’t felt before.

    That meeting was a definite boost for me.  In my mind, it reinforced the need for exclusively queer spaces and got my wheels turning about how I can create those for others. I also obviously regretted not seeking that out sooner, especially since I went to one of the biggest universities in the nation (Ohio State), a place where it’s rare to show up to an event without some kind of line. That’s been a recurring theme of the past few months—looking back and seeing a plethora of missed opportunities. If you’re someone who has yet to engage with the LGBTQ community, I understand that it’s so hard to put yourself out there but know that I’m wholeheartedly cheering you on when you start.

     

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