My dear lgbt+ kids,
It was always a dream of mine to own a lgbt+ coffee shop.
I will likely never get to make it come true but I love the idea and not only because I really like coffee drinks - I envision a calm, peaceful place where you can just sit, chat, maybe make new friends or even just sit alone and enjoy your cappuccino knowing you’re accepted and safe here.
A few days ago, I happened to be with a (all straight) group of people and we ended up discussing what we would do if we had to go back in time and choose a different job than the one we currently work at.
When it was my turn, I explained that dream - and got confused stares in return. They all know I’m lgbt+, they are okay with it, so I didn’t think twice about it and yet, I felt instant regret creep up in my brain when I saw their absolutely puzzled faces.
It turned out that the idea of a lgbt+ coffee shop made no sense to them:
“Nobody goes to a coffee shop to hook up with someone! If they want that, they can go to gay bars, those already exists. What do you mean, it’s not about hook-ups? If it’s just about coffee, you can go to Starbucks.”
Now that I sit here and write about it, I can think of a hundred smart ways to answer that: Some typical aspects of bars/clubs are unsafe or just unappealing to some of us. Some people in our community don’t drink alcohol, don’t deal well with loud music, are too young to go to bars or want to go somewhere they can safely take their baby along, simply are not the bar kind of person… But I didn’t say any of that. I felt weird and stupid, said “Yeah, I guess.” and just shut up about it.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Something makes perfect sense to you, then you say it out loud and suddenly realize that it’s not relatable at all for others. It makes you feel really different, strange, like you don’t belong.
If you ever feel like that, I want to tell you what I had to remind myself: It’s all about environment. Had I been in a all gay group, the discussion would’ve gone differently - not necessarily because all of them would agree with me. Certainly there are also plenty of lgbt+ people who are not fans of my idea. But they would have a different perspective on it. They would have different thoughts on what lgbt+ spaces are for and why they are important.
If you are “weird” or not has in most cases nothing to do with you. A cat in a group of dogs looks weird by comparison. The same cat in a group of other cats looks perfectly normal.
With all my love,
Your Tumblr Mom