Where Do The Quiet Gays Go?
Introverts in the Queer Community: Is There Room For Us?
Say hello to Queeret - a global community for queer introverts. In this guest blog post Queeret’s NYC-based founder Josh Hersh tells us his story.
I turned 33 last September.
Just a decade ago, you would have found me at least three nights a week dancing the night away in a queer-friendly bar district in Chicago, called Boystown.
Lots of drinks. Lots of dancing.
A decade later, I now live in Brooklyn and often find myself home, cozying up with my sweet and sassy black cat, named Liza.
Well, for starters, decade-ago-hangovers were an entirely different beast.
While I believe I was still the same introvert that I am today, how I now approach life is calm and quieter.
I’ve learned to embrace my old-soul nature, opting for cozy nights in, instead of being out late and boozed up in Manhattan or Brooklyn.
Is There Room For Queer Introverts?
I always appreciate when people speak about queer communities (the plural), instead of us being one, monolithic “Community”. Saying communities acknowledges the vast range of people who identify as queer.
What makes for “Community”, anyway?
I love Charles Vogl’s definition.
“Communities are created when at least two people begin to feel concern for each other’s welfare. It’s not that we may agree on everything, see eye-to-eye on every issue, but at the end of the day, we are deeply committed to showing concern for each other’s wellbeing.”
Yes, I believe there is plenty of room for queer introverts. We’re already here and queer, as they say. It’s just that much of the social life for queer people seems to center around extroverted activities and atmosphere. Loud music. Late nights. Intense sensory stimulation and often alcohol.
There doesn’t need to be judgments around the social rituals of queer extroverts — it’s just important to acknowledge that it’s not for all of us.
Alternatives to Amped-Up Spaces
There’s a history to queer nightlife that is important for us to remember and arguably still participate in from time to time. Bars were some of the first places queer people could congregate in a way that was at least somewhat safe and protected from the violence and judgment of larger society.
What’s so amazing about the queer community is that we know how to create. We’ve adapted because we have to. We’re able to create vibrancy out of pretty dark and dangerous times.
This creativity is what largely me to create spaces for queer people who are looking for more options to socialize.
I often find myself wondering if there are other queer people out there who felt the same way I do:
joyous about spending time alone
perfectly fine with silence
might have an aversion to intensely stimulating environments
prefer to wake up the next day refreshed, instead of hungover
not the loudest voice, but still has something to say
We as queer people deserve more diversity when it comes to how we socialize in the world. It shouldn’t be so binary - stay secluded at home or go out to a noise, booze-filled bar.
May we all continue to find ways to create space for all of the nuances and personalities across all of our queer communities.
Find out more about Queeret on their website and give them a follow on Instagram here.
A version of this post was originally published on the Queeret blog in Sept 2018.
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