This weekend has seen me spend my time a lot differently than I usually do. There was no gay bar, no Ab Fab or Real Housewives marathon, no crazy drunkenness or late night pizza after the bar, nor any conversations about who slept with whom. What kind of a weekend is that you ask? Well, it’s one where I just happened to have a lot of activities organized with friends from outside my gay circle, and hence, outside the gay village.

Last night I found myself in a sleepy suburban seafood restaurant with some work friends and then headed back to one of theirs for some good old American Idol karaoke. We had a blast! It was a nice change to socialize in a different setting with different people discussing different topics. I love mixing with the many different friends that I have made over the various stages of my life, and meeting some of the new people that are now important in their lives.

In about 15 minutes, a couple of my best girlfriends from university are meeting up with me for brunch. I love keeping in touch with them and their lives, they’re both dating great guys right now, and one is engaged (finally!) and we’ll probably talk about herwedding plans, what we’re doing for work these days, how our arts degrees are either helping or hindering us at the moment, how our family’s are doing; I can’t wait to see them. We still keep in touch, but we may only see or speak with each other every few months, but we always have a great time.

Tonight, I’m headed to the Vancouver Canucks hockey game!!! I’m so excited! My friend from high school texted me last night and asked me if I wanted to go with her as she had an extra ticket. Her and I and another one of our good friends from high school (coincidentally enough, he is now her roommate) all loved watching the Canucks for years and sparring over players, powerplays and penalty shots. Once again, even though we may have grown apart over the past 13 years and now only see each other every few months, they still mean a lot to me to this day. I helped them move in to their new place on September 1st and hope to see them a lot more now that they’re both a lot closer!

I think it’s important as gay men to not live, work and play exclusively as “gay men”. What I mean by that, is for all the fun and comraderie of living the gay life, it’s nice to remove yourself physically (cross a bridge) and mentally from the pressures and constraints of our subculture and have connections to people outside of the context of being gay. Your friends are there to keep you grounded. Having those different friendships makes for a well-rounded person and you don’t know what you might be missing out on!