Oh, MOCC, how I love you. The six annual Minnesota Out Campus Conference is being held in St. Cloud Minnesota. I came up for my second time in attendance. Last year at this time I had shut down the blog because I felt it was a waste of my energy. That and I was self conscious that I was a terrible writer. As far as self consciousness is concerned, I haven't changed much. So I curse and bless my good friends who have been with me over the year and am also thankful to the ones who keep coming into my life.
The first evening we went out to eat and we opened up one of the most memorable conversations of my life. We went around the table and shared our dating lives past and present. With that, parts of our coming out stories intertwined with our young and naive dating stories. A sense of affirmation was passed around the table as we politely filled our starving college faces with pizza, salad, bread, and for myself, a caesar chicken wrap with fries.
As I told my newly found friends about my crushes and my past relationships, a sense of relief took the weight of being an oppressed gay male off my shoulders. This feeling of community was shared and my share of heavy weight lifting, measured in subjective emotion, was worked out. Where someone would say to me "he is leading you on and you should ask him out", I would have to come back and say "that is so cute and I am so happy for you." And it was just something as simple as a conversation that made all of that baggage dissipate.
As Max from Well I gotta say, Being gay is would say, "At the University of North Dakota, we just hide our gay for the week and spill when we meet for our GSA meetings. That's when we let all the gay out."
The challenged posed to the activists and advocates is to get from that world where we hide all our colors and get to a world where we rejoice every color of the rainbow.
Once we get to a world where everyone can talk about something as harmless, special, and loving as our relationships without worrying about having a job, having a place to live, having accepting friends and family, and having safety and security across all layers of society, the "queer" community wouldn't have to live in a world clouded statistically by issues such as depression, anxiety, sexual promiscuity, drug addiction, STIs, homelessness, etc. (That's probably the best long sentence I have ever constructed.)
The experience at MOCC is just a momentary taste of that equality which obliterates the results of societal constructs that oppress. It is my goal to gather as much of this positivity I possibly can and bring it back home to my friends, family, and peers to share, spread, and change the world we live in.
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