For some people, it is a non-issue that is given nary a thought. For others it is something that strikes fear in their eyes as a water-cooler conversation moves away from work and someone brings up what you did on the weekend: afraid you might mix up your pronouns when you’re trying to play it straight. No matter how you slice it, being gay in a corporate environment is an complicated experience to navigate.
OK, so, you’re dancing up a storm at Numbers; it’s late, probably after 2 AM; you look at your friends- well whoever is still left and unclaimed for the night- and think of the amazing night that you’ve had. With smiles on your faces, you exit the club and somehow, someway, you end up walking down Davie to claim your hard-earned prize: a couple of slices of pepperoni pizza or that large poutine. Yes, the pizza tastes great, and the poutine freakin’ rocks, but haven’t you ever asked yourself: is this all there is?
Now, I’ve done a fair amount of traveling, and if there is one thing that is constant from the villages of rural West Africa, to the bustling cities of Southeast Asia, and over to the touristy seaside towns of Mexico, it’s the amazing late night street food. I can recall some great memories at a kebab shack at 4 AM after a night out at Manana with the boys in Puerto Vallarta, and staying up late yakking and munching on fried plantains with friends under the moonlit sky in Mali. But, the best late night food by far would have to be street-side pad thai in Bangkok: I don’t think I’ve ever had a more amazing meal in my life. And, if I remember correctly, it was after an “interesting” live show in the gay district.
I was walking on Davie the other night and had one of those moments where you cringe inside because you see something or someone that reminds you of yourself at a time when you were a lot younger and knew a lot less about yourself and your place in life. There was a skinny guy and a bigger girl, they couldn’t be much older than 18 or 19, and they were both done out in glitter and make-up, their hair ‘did’, holding hands being loud and laughing about who knows what, “like OMG!” Not only am I cringing for these two youth parading around Davie St being so TRAGIC while everyone around them knows it but them, but because in another world that was me not 10 years ago (sans make-up, thank you very much) with one of my best friends at the time.
I’ll be the first to admit that I had a fag hag in high school. Growing up gay and realizing it from a young age, I always had a lot of girlfriends. I don’t know why, I just felt like I could get along better with them, be more myself with them. I didn’t think that I had much in common with the jocks, goth guys, science nerds or ESL crew at school so I hung out with a lot of girls.
Last week my friend Craig and I decided to try out yoga for the first time. In many facets I consider myself the quintessential Vancouverite. However, when it comes to yoga, I found out that I was indeed a few steps behind the curve as most of my friends (and even my mother) have tried it before I had.
I know I know, someone born and raised on the left coast; that pseudo-hippy, unapologetically trendy city that gave birth to more than one mega-yoga retailers has never actually tried yoga. “What I say when people question my lack of experience, I go for runs on the seawall. I go to Starbucks and take a few seconds to go over my order in my head to make sure I’m saying it according to Starbucks ‘code’ (I secretly love it when they ask me if I ever worked for Starbucks; as if my order was THAT complicated! I’ve never worked for Starbucks). Hell, I own not one but TWO Lululemon sweatsuits. But secretly I knew that I was missing out on something BIG TIME. In fact, that ship had sailed long ago. I was actually embarrassed that I hadn’t been to a class before. It was like ‘coming out’ or something, like it is some exclusive club that only people who have tried it get to be a part of, even if they only went once or twice. So, to finally be a part of the ‘oh yeah, I’ve done yoga before, but it’s just not my thing’ club, I decided to stealthily venture outside my comfort zone and head down the street to Yaletown Yoga dressed in one of my two Lulu outfits. Not only will I be able to finally say that I’ve tried yoga, I dragged Craig along for reinforcement.