Being part of the gay community is a bit like flying; not in the Peter Pan kind of way, rather in the airplane way - but it's more like flying with WestJet than Air Canada. At least you have a sense that you belong on the plane and you all know you're going to the same place; nonetheless, we're only on this plane together because we're different from the other passengers and it feels safer for all of us to be together than it does to be scattered to the winds - individually bullied into coach when we're all quite certain we've paid and paid to go first class.
The thing is though, just like any other flight, you've voluntarily chosen to lock yourself into a metal tube with 300 strangers and the metal tube is going to be blasted into the air by igniting jet fuel and the whole dog and pony show is controlled by somebody you have never seen who is cloistered behind a bullet-proof, locked door. W T F
So we're separate
but we're together
but if we are all separate together in this one place - aren't we a bit like fish in a barrel? So, off we all go post-weekend, post-Pride, post-coitus to return to the job, the apartment building, the subway - and we're surrounded by others, most likely straight others, and we go back to what it felt like to be separate, like high school, and we're oh so careful and oh so good and we let things go because we don't want to be punched - again, and we don't want to risk our jobs - again and we don't want anyone to feel bad - ever, and we can take it - we're freaking invincible.
The fact is, I still have the fear, I still look over my shoulder, I still hear the voice and I cringe before the first blow strikes.
-Gillian Cornwall, c June 2012