Remember that I predicted some time ago that there might be an impending drama with GaySociety (and yes, I am going to start quoting the name because it helps me to make my point, for reasons that will become apparent).
Name censored 01/01/22
This was at the end of August. Read More: 28/08/2021
See tabbed correspondence with Ian, who is friends with both myself and AJ (GaySociety organiser) and was acting as mediator / diplomat.
There were 2 issues at stake.
[4:31 pm, 28/08/2021] Rory Duffy: Ade
[4:13 pm, 29/08/2021] Ian: So it looks like there’s no GaySocial on Friday as they are doing bowling on Wednesday and then pub crawl on the 10th - so are you planning to do a meet and mingle / twilighting then?
[2:00 pm, 30/08/2021] Rory Duffy: Yay! 🤗 Yesterday, I think that we managed to beat the record for merging the most groups in 1 event (4 groups lol 😂)
[6:04 pm, 31/08/2021] Ian: Good that people had a great time. I spoke to Ade following the chat the three of us had on Friday about how you are taking on the group and changing dates etc. Some people have said they are confused about the similar names. Ade said you were thinking of changing the name. I suggested we had follow up to go through things for the next plan to check there were no clashes or confusion etc. Would you be up for that?
[8:55 am, 01/09/2021] Rory Duffy: Hi Ian, yeah I would be up for that! It’s really useful to have the calendar from GaySocial. As discussed with Ade, I have kept 10/9 but rescheduled the other Twilights + Gay Aspies for the alternate weeks.
From: "London Gay Society (LGS)"
[29/07/2019, 12:54:03] Rory Duffy: Hey Jill! How are you? I accidentally "stepped up" to the LGS Meet-up Group. I was checking cost but it went straight through as I'm already "Organizer" of another group and I didn't realise that there was no additional cost to manage max 3 groups. D'oh! Did you decide not to carry on the group for some reason? Hope you're well! Cheers, Rory
From: Meetup's Community Team
From: "London Lads (Meetup)"
Wednesday evening. I was about to host Gay Aspies. David messaged me proposing the possibility of scheduling in another dinner with ShyBis @ The Quebec. I was open to the idea, but did not think it through properly. Because I was about to host and had other things on my mind. Half-way through hosting the coffee Meetup event, it suddenly occurred to me that we should run this past AJ / GaySociety. Since they used to organise events at the Quebec. I messaged this in passing to David while I remembered. But I did not have time to respond or follow up. David offered to check with AJ on my behalf. I took him up on that offer. It was more convenient. I was hosting and was otherwise engaged and unable to field messages.
That night, I managed to call back David. He said that he spoke with AJ. David recounted that AJ seemed confused about why I went via David and did not go through to AJ directly. I reminded him that I had been hosting a Meetup event and thought that it would be quicker.
I thought about messaging AJ to touch base and apologise, if necessary. However, since I knew that I would be attending "Gay Fawkes" on Friday, I thought that we could touch base in person.
[5:17 pm, 03/11/2021] David: hi Mate got an email from the City of Quebec about there Christmas dinner special and was wondering if you would like to organise something ever for shy guys or looseenders
AJ seemed defensive. He walked out of there to me and the group of people I was with. He asked "were you guys talking about me?" I felt like saying "no, but were you looking for me?" But I did not say that because I did not feel like there was much point in saying that. So, I stayed quiet. He forcefully pressed upon me that I should change the name of my group. I asked him to clarify which group. He said London Gay Society. But that was the name that the previous organiser gave that group, which I took over accidentally. I was about to say that the Cock Tavern is on my doorstep and I wanted to keep that Meetup going. He interrupted me and said that the group is history right now. I reminded him of the Facebook group. I said that it is difficult because I am not an admin of that group. He repeated that the group is history right now. I said OK. I said that I will try and change the name of that group, but I am processing it [what he has said] right now. I need time. He warned me that if I keep the name of that group, that is a problem. He impressed that I can change the name of that group because I am the organiser. I relented "OK, just give me a couple of weeks to change it". I admitted that I was thinking of calling it London Queer Society. But I said that, to be honest, I am not organising any events through it. I just use it as a mailing list. I mean, the whole point of this conversation is actually that AJ took the name from London Gay Society because he could not think of a better name himself. Why is he accusing me of taking the name? Despite thinking this, I did not not lose my patience. I assured him that I would try to do something. Really, why should I care about the name and why should people feel defined by it, like a label?
Anyway, it was a stressful conversation. David, who is one of the hosts of GaySociety, sat silently through the whole exchange. After AJ left, I exhaled and said to David "wow, that was stressful". Why is AJ saying this? I made a comment about the speed dating. AJ said that this is a lesbian group called "LezBeGay" who are using me as a "pawn" because it is a group run by lesbians and they are making a profit off it. And apparently, annoyingly, "they" are "taking me on a ride" or something along those lines. Anyway, David was like "oh, forget it, that is what I am going to do. I am going to forget all about it and I will see you next week". I said, "well, I am not trying to run a business, here. I just want to meet other people. Why should there be these politics? Why should there be a conflict of interest when there is no need for it? I felt like I had done something wrong without meaning to. AJ made me feel like I was to blame for something that I had not done. I felt like I was treading on eggshells. So, I went down to the bathroom and thought to myself "why should I let my sexuality define who I am? I do not need to. I do not even like the "London Gay Society" name. What is the point of holding onto it? I have a group of over 2000 people. Why not rebrand it to Red & Black Music, for example? So, I thought that this is what I am going to do. No-one will know what is coming. It is my business. I have been running it for nearly 10 years. I have a gig that I have accepted today from my Latin band. I will make £450 off it, potentially. People want to book me. Why am I letting myself become defined by LGBT culture? I do not need it. At the moment, my plan is to rebrand it as Red & Black Music.
I looked in the mirror and noticed that I was wearing red and black. In my semi-drunken state, I thought about dropping a hint to AJ. Assuring him to note down what colours I was wearing. And that I would soon show my "true colours". But something inside of me told me not to do that. It seemed reckless. So, I did not. I am glad that I listened to my inner voice of reason.
But I should not act hasty. I should not let AJ bully or coerce me into doing something unless it is on my own terms. I do not need to. I am perfectly entitled to keep it the same name, if I want. The other thing that he said is that if I am not hosting, that goes against Meetup's rules. Tomorrow, I will check that out online because I was once told not to readily believe what people say. I do not readily believe him. I think that he made it up.
It sounded like a veiled threat. Like he was going to report me to Meetup. Also, ironic, given that the reason for not going to AJ directly was that I was otherwise occupied hosting. AJ was critical of me not being around to host and yet expects me to message him while I am hosting?
Also, if I organise an event, I do not need to be there. People are perfectly capable of socialising on their own without me needing to be there. AJ seemed to be arguing against Jenny. Jenny‘s motto is something that I agree with. She says that as an organiser, she does not need to host. They are separate jobs. Why should she host? If she is not the organiser, she does not need to host. She sets up the frameworks. She books in the spaces. She suggests a time and place: "look we have an LGBT group. Let us meet every Saturday at this and that bar. I will book the spaces. Apart from that, she does not need to be there. This is so frustrating. But I do not need to let myself be frustrated by it. What did it say in the Desiderata?
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
I do not need to say anything. I do not need to do anything. I can think about. I can mull on it. I have no deadlines. I can take as much time as I need. People may judge. It is fine. I do not need that London Gay Society name. But why should I let someone bully or coerce me... Why am I even thinking about this? And in so much detail?
I will sleep on it.
There is nothing that I need to do right now. Apart from enjoy my noodles, spring roll and tofu. I can think about this in as much detail as I want and take as much time as I want to think about it. Yes, I am keen to rename that group London Gay Society to Red & Black Music. But I have no particular urge to do so right now. If I do, it must be on my own terms, not on someone else’s. Yes (at the moment), I can still attend the GaySociety if I want to tap into that aspect of my life (gay life). But that is only one part of me. It is not all of me. I do not need to let myself be defined by it. It is just one part of my life. I do not feel like I need ownership of every LGBT person in London. There is more to life.
Earlier in the evening, someone said to me "AJ was looking for you". When AJ came over, he asked "are you guys talking about me?" Someone commented on his glow stick. He said, "oh yes, it was supposed to have a rainbow ribbon around it. I forgot to put that on!" Or something. It suggested to me that he was admitting to something that is falling short of organisation. I felt awkward. I tried to look impressed. I tried to arrange my body language to be hospitable. Everything that I said and did, I arranged myself. It felt contrived, like I was somehow "in the wrong" or offending him. I felt like I was trespassing. I did not want feel like that. Why was I getting this energy off him? I am a regular member of the group.
Obviously, I do not want to get barred. I have met people who have been barred. I know for a fact that AJ could, in theory, bar me (if I give him enough reason to). I am not afraid of that. Equally, I must make sure that this does not happen. I am confident in myself, today, right now, because I have done nothing wrong. All I need to do is try not to be a keyboard warrior or a gossiper.
Hence, why I have this journal to offload into.
The person who was barred was called Mark G. Last weekend, I met him. I have met him before at other Meetup events (including GaySociety). Last weekend, Mark G told me that AJ has a "chip on his shoulder". Tonight, I listened to AJ with sympathy. But I took everything that he said with a "pinch of salt". I needed to hear his story and understand that it was one story that might have been subjective. That is fine. Everyone has their own story / narrative. I simply listened sympathetically and tried to show agreement in my words and body language. There is no reason for me to get barred other than if I suddenly get caught off guard, swearing, cursing or anything like that and he is behind me listening (or someone else overhears and relays it back to him). Even if I am drunk, I am pretty regulated about what I do and say. Tonight's conversation reminded me to be aware of my limits, be aware of what is happening around me and responding in a way that I do as if I were sober or writing on a blog. I have the foresight to think about the consequences of my actions. At the moment, there is no reason for me to be barred. But maybe, I need to be a little bit careful [around AJ] and assure him that I am not about to hijack his Meetup group or his identity. I simply need to rename the other group. I do not think that he understands my true intentions. I was trying to muscle in as admin on the Facebook group specifically so that I could rebrand it for AJ. That was my ultimate objective. I do not even like the name London Gay Society. This move might alienate me from people. Maybe I should just change it to Red & Black Music and job done? Nothing else necessary. Maybe that might be the way forward?
Maybe if I did not want to act on instinct straightaway, I could message Gustavo on Facebook and tell him that AJ is not happy with our group being called London Gay Society and he wants us to change the name? That way, me and Gustavo are in the same boat. I can see what he thinks. I think that I have options at this stage. Yes, I will change the name of the group but what is the point of selflessly subjugating to someone else’s bullying for the sake of XYZ? Can I not milk this a bit further? Play out my options? I still have options. AJ should also know that the Queer Park Rebels force me into putting it back to London Gay Society. I have a ready-made mailing list that I can use for Red & Black Music. Maybe, I should wait a bit, discuss it with the Facebook admin. I am giving Gustavo a heads up that AJ / GaySociety are not happy about them pinching the name. Which they did not. The other way round! Maybe that might be the best way forward? But I am not going to do anything tonight. I will sleep on it and think about it in the morning because it is not a life changing priority.
On the other hand, that could just be me being an awkward control freak. I do not need that name, I am not benefiting from it. I am not even organising anything on that group. Why should AJ react threatened or defensive? Nothing has changed. Apart from the only thing that has changed: the London Lads group name. And now suddenly me and Gustavo are expected to change the names of our groups? Oh wow. I thought that I had seen everything. I have not taken issue with London Lads changing its name to GaySociety. In theory, I should be asking GaySociety to change their name! If we apply the same logic. But I am not, because I could not care less. I am not running Meetup groups like branded businesses. I am not trading people around like loot. Maybe I am, in the act of saying that. If we apply the rule of Reverse Psychology. I am thinking aloud. If he approaches it that way and if he wants me to play that game, I will rebrand it to Red & Black Music. And everyone is happy. But that would be doing something for the wrong reasons. And it would go against my principles.
Gustavo has played the innocent. I have asked Gustavo what his thoughts are on this. I was going to add “what are your plans for the group going forward? Do you think that I should change the name of the Meetup group”?
But I decided to mirror him. Not lay all of my cards on the table, at once. Take the call [to change the name] at face value.
The next question could also be “do you think that I should change the name on Meetup?”
I am testing the waters. I do not know this guy. I do not want to bombard him with history or politics or drama. I do not want to make him feel interrogated by my incessant questions
AJ seemed to take it personally that I went through David to ask him if he had a problem with me organising something on 23/12/2021. I explained to him that I was about to host a Gay Aspies at that very moment and that it was simply more convenient to ask David. AJ said in a somewhat forceful way that I should always, always contact him directly, rather than play "ping pong". Hurriedly, I apologised (perhaps I need not have?). I said of course, I will do that in future. But his oppressive manner only made me want to do it [reach out to him] less. I felt bad for David. He was sat next to me, caught up in this whole thing. It was awkward.
After AJ left, I exhaled and could not help saying, "wow, that was stressful". David said “if I were you, I would just do what I do”. I said “what is that?” David said “I am going to go home and forget about the whole thing. Regardless, I will see you next Friday, in any case”. By next Friday, he means Twilighting.
Reflecting on this, I have done nothing wrong. David simply asked me if I were up for doing a Meetup event. I asked him if AJ might have an issue with me booking the City of Quebec. David offered to ask AJ on my behalf! I did not pressurise him. I simply took him up on his kind offer as I was otherwise occupied hosting a Meetup event. By extension, AJ seems to be having a go at David (especially as David was sat there and witnessed the whole conversation).
City of Quebec
What was AJ’s issue? His issue was that Tom P went to use the urinal. Some dude was staring at his nether regions. Tom P turned away, as if to give a hint that he was not interested. When Tom P went to wash his hands, the dude took his hand and put it down his crotch. Tom P reported the incident to AJ. AJ reported it to the management. The management refused to do anything about it. AJ told the management that the Meetup group would not be back ever again. AJ might have said something to me about the Meetup group being banned. Maybe he might have been exaggerating? I agree with AJ that the dude should not have been invading Tom P's private space. I stopped short of saying that Tom P is old enough to look after himself. I thought that this might incite AJ’s anger. I kept tight-lipped about that one. But the first thought that came to my mind is that this was...
Oh, I remember, the thing about being banned. Yes. AJ asked the management to ban the punter who had groped Tom. They refused. Which formed their rationale for withdrawing the Meetup group from the venue.
Anyway, my first thought was that this is a venue decision. Not a Meetup organiser decision. Who does AJ think he is to have the right to dictate who the venue should and should not let into their premises? Although I agree with AJ that this dude might be a danger to the general public, I do not think that AJ has enough of an ownership over who comes in and out of a premises when he does not hold the lease. It is crazy [and ludicrous]. I understand that he was annoyed. But it sounds to me like he is bitterly throwing his toys out of the pram by voting with his feet and withdrawing his Meetup group members! Which strikes me as somewhat immature.
I would love to find out the reason why they withdrew from the Welly [Duke of Wellington]. I am sure David and / or Ian explained it to me the other week. Oh yes. Now I remember. Apparently a bar manager from the [City of] Quebec warned the Welly. And now that the Welly is "under new management" since lockdown (apparently), they have no obligation to GaySociety. That is my understanding of it, anyway. It is a shame, as I always loved that venue. And associated GaySociety with it in my mind. Now that they have moved to the KU and the Kings Arms, are there going to be more fallouts there?
At the beginning of this conversation, AJ asked me if Ian explained what happened with the Quebec. I said "yes", but quickly corrected myself in David’s presence, I think that David explained it to me but I cannot remember. Without hesitation, AJ dished. Although he was smiling, his tone seemed riled and venomous, like he was proactively spreading gossip around London.
I mentioned to AJ that I had spoken with Fabio, who promised to chat with his managers about having my Meetup group down and that he would get back to me. It has been 48 hours. Nothing. AJ branded Fabio as "useless".
Yes, now I remember. On Wednesday night, David did ask me on the phone about the Quebec and how comfortable I would feel about booking it. He reminded me of a conversation that we had some weeks before. I half remembered but could not remember the full story. These conversations invariably take place over pints in noisy venues. Sometimes, I find that my understanding and memory is hazy. But on the phone, I remembered the gist of it. And how I felt about it. Which was that Tom P is old enough to look after himself without another punter being banned. Why do Meetup groups and organisers feel the need to regulate and control venues? Yes, we do a great deed by providing them custom. But we do not pay the leasehold. Yes, it is in the interests of the venues to keep us and our custom. But if they decide not to? Sad as it might be, that is the venues' choice. It might be annoying for us and not sensible / clearly arbitrary. It might not make much business sense. But venues have other concerns. And they can find their punters elsewhere. Without AJ spreading bad chat about them around London. That says more about his mentality / approach than the venues. Let the jury decide.
Again, I stopped short of telling David that Tom P can look after himself on the phone. I did not know what was said by me that might be relayed back to AJ. And I knew that AJ would not agree. Instead, I said that I have absolutely no worry or concern about that.
A lot of these twists and turns involve me saying "I stopped short of XYZ..." It seems like I was truly holding my tongue last night!
I thought back to that conversation with Gy in Central Station, the other week. I suggested to Gy that I should check with the other group on their dates before booking in my dates. Gy advised me not to bother. He said “run your group how you want to run it, and everyone else will follow suit”. At the time, I did not take his advice and I rescheduled all of my Twilights to fit around GaySociety. Lovely! In the end, GaySociety changed their dates anyway (possibly due to fallouts with other venues?). So, Gy was right all along.
[10:10 am, 01/11/2021] AJ: Hi Rory. The next two dates for Friendly Friday Drinks at KU Bar are as follows:
Why am I feeling under pressure / obligation to report to AJ before booking in any ShyBis Meetup events? Like he is my manager? I pay my own subscription fees for Meetup. I am not making a profit out of it. I am doing it for the pleasure / joy of it. Not to run a business. Or wield some sort of ownership over the gay population in London. This traces back to the heated / strained / tense conversation that I had with Tom P on 03/08/2020. And how our values diverge. There are 2 different groups with different values. GaySociety runs as a business. My Meetup group is a pleasure hobby. Nothing more than that. I want to keep it that way. The Meetup platform, concept and culture works very well for what I am creating. We can have casual drinks and brunches. There is nothing formal, overly branded or “organised” about it. When I am at one of my Meetup events, I try to blend in with the other participants. Chat to them as equals. Not assert authority over them as an “organiser”.
AJ also said something about Jenny that annoyed me. He said that Jenny is “using me”. Like a pawn. He alleged that her Meetup group is run by lesbians and they decided to open up to the gay community as well. Apparently, they were a lesbian group originally and decided to “branch out” to gay men?
Besides, is that not what GaySociety have made noises about doing? Opening their male-dominated events up to lesbians and even having dedicated lesbian events?
AJ seems to think that LezBeGay is making a profit. Well, as established, I do not believe that Jenny is making a profit from her Meetup group, for a second. As for LezBeGay, that IS a business. She should be making a profit of it! Just like I make a profit with Red & Black Music! The Meetup group and business are separate entities. These are exactly the sort of hurtful allegations about Jenny that the queer lot were spreading around. AJ might very well say that perhaps, I should listen to those queer park rebels. But I know Jenny. And I do not believe whatever anyone else says about her for a second. Just because her presence is elusive. It does not give people the right to spread untruths about her.
Earlier on in the evening, I bumped into Jaron. Remember Jaron? Who spoke out against Tony in favour of the queer park rebels? Jaron came over to me in the bar. I froze / seized up. I was not expecting to see him, let alone him to talk to me. Anyway, I could not fake and pretend to be all smiles. All that I had going through my mind was Jenny’s words when we were out clubbing at She Bar. “Fuck Jaron!” Instead, I said something to Jaron like “we last spoke on difficult terms”. He said that is all history now. Is it? To me, it is still pretty raw. I could not help but enter into a bit of debate with him. He said that there were "egos on both sides". It sounded like he was trying to be diplomatic. I stressed to him that Jenny is not making a profit and the other 4 admins were on a power trip spreading hurtful allegations about her. I was quite riled towards Jaron. For good reason. Jaron made a polite excuse and went to talk with someone else. Leaving me alone by the bar. I felt awkward because he clearly no longer wanted to speak with me.
It has suddenly occurred to me that AJ's issue with me might be similar to Jenny's issue with the queer park rebels. A territorial objective driven by egos. Even more frightening: by innocently declaring that I am simply running a Meetup group for pleasure, I might be acting exactly like those queer park rebels. Spiralling out onto AJ's "territory". On the other hand, it may come as no surprise to others that I appear to be plagiarising another entity's name (even though this is not technically the case). It seems to me like history is repeating itself. Double standards?
Later on in the evening, Jaron came over to me and the younger guys who I was talking to. He acted friendly towards me. I said “I am sorry if I acted hostile earlier”. He said that it is fine and complimented me on my hat. From that point onwards, I decided to play nice with him. No point falling out with anyone or getting into pointless arguments about something that happened 3 months ago.
Read More: 04/08/2021
When Jaron originally left me by the bar, I instinctively reached into my bag, intending to message Jenny. But I thought the better of it. Partly because my WhatsApp is broken (more on that story later). Partly because I thought that Jenny does not need or wish to hear about drama on the LGBTQ Meetup circuit. Especially if she is not around to witness it. It might sound like me pestering her. Or expecting her to sort out people’s mess again. Plenty of which she has done already this year.
Enough about Jenny & Jaron.
I bumped into Mark N who I have not seen for over a year. I gave him a warm greeting. I recounted to him how much I remembered and valued our conversation about the vessels of water analogy on 07/12/2019 in the Duke of Wellington. He was super impressed that I remembered the date! I know that there is a possibility that he reads my journal. Why? Because I disclosed to him the link at the time. Although he has more than likely forgotten about it by now. When I saw him downstairs at one of the Soho gay bars a few weeks after we first met, he did say to me that he would get back to me about it. He did not do so between then (early 2020?)* and me seeing him last night. Perhaps he had nothing more to add to it because he felt that I said everything that needed to be said?
10th January 2020 - January Gay Pub Crawl, Basement Bar @ Soho Residence
Anyway, he recounted to me another story that I do not remember! He acknowledged probably because I was drunk. Apparently, in Clapham, some guy was hitting on me. Mark N kindly added a “why not” and described me as an "attractive looking guy". Which was sweet. Apparently, I showed no interest in this guy hitting on me and told him to back off. But the guy kept flirting with me and invading my private space. According to Mark N, I told the guy to "fuck off" to his face! I was shocked. I cannot even remember coming out with such an atrocity. I expressed that I felt ashamed of myself. Mark N shook his head. He told me that the guy did back off and did not bother me for the rest of the evening. He said “at that point, I thought, I like this guy!” (about me). He expressed admiration towards me. Even so, I still feel ashamed that I told a random guy in Clapham to "fuck off", drunk or sober.
Although I do not remember, this might have happened in the Two Brewers, because this seems to be a place where I have a tendency to "pick up" guys. Mark N nodded and confirmed yes, he recalled that it was indeed the Two Brewers. I told him that something similar has the tendency to happen in the Two Brewers.
Last time, I was there a few weeks ago with the GaySociety. A guy called Ben was hitting on me. I was too drunk to protest and although I indicated to him that I was not interested, I did let him kiss me at one point. I did not knowingly lead him on. I am happy to see him at a Meetup event. Because I am not the type of guy who would disappear or ignore someone if we kissed. I would want to have a giggle about it and let it grow into a friendship. Or something. A rapport. I was not attracted to this guy, Ben. But I would not want him or me to feel awkward about it. There is nothing to feel awkward about! All that I did do was let him embrace and caress me (even though I was not interested in him). I thought OK, I am not interested in him, but let this guy have his way with me. He is expressing love and it is sweet. No one else in this nightclub is doing that to me. Embrace it. Appreciate it. Respect it.
Read More: 08/10/2021
Jose was there last night. We caught eyes and greeted one another across the bar (in the 2nd venue). No awkwardness there. Completely gone now. I do not know if he remembers how much I tried to "pull" him on Friday 23rd July. Which, incidentally, was the night that the dude in the bathroom allegedly groped Tom.
Was I a microcosm of that dude? By extension, would AJ have wanted to bar me from that venue simply because I hit on an attractive guy? Is that not what gay socials are for?
I remember when AJ was telling me this last night that I quoted the date back to him. AJ did not remember the exact date but thought that I might be correct. I have a knack for remembering dates. Why? Because I blog according to them. And that date in particular was a couple of days before the Gay Park Betrayal unfolded with Jenny’s group (Read More: 25/07/2021). Suffice to say that I kept tight-lipped and did not even bother broaching that topic with AJ. It sounded like his group had enough on its plate (concurrently!) to deal with alone, never mind Jenny’s group.
Anyway, back to Jose. He was there. We did not speak much. Apart from me saying to him in passing that I was going to collect my free shot. And giving him a mock surprise / happy look. Later on in the evening, as I was mingling with the younger guys, Jose did cross my tracks a couple of times and smile at me. He might realise that I am beyond caring about trying to pull him now. Maybe because I was chatting up another handsome guy (but going about it with a little more subtlety and discretion. For me, I have learned to value my own time and space. And not to hook up with some random guy because I might think that he is physically attractive. I repeat this time and time again. Yes, Jose is beautiful on the outside. But I do not know him. We might have nothing in common. And what is the point in that?
I had a joyful stab to him about the queer park rebels / Queer Park Betrayal. Where are they now? 😂
There was even a period later on in the evening where I had been chatting with one of the guys (a platonic friend called Christian, who I know from Jenny’s group). Since he was from Cambridge, I might have been telling him about the whole Sid / one night stand debacle on 11/09/2021 (Read More: 12/09/2021).
Side note: I bumped into James (my friend who I texted the running commentary too that night) exiting Rupert Street as I was entering. Tipsily, I caroused "Where Have You Been All My Life" (Rihanna) to / at him. At which he seemed mildly amused.
And my issue with guys disappearing. And how that fear has hindered me from dating, recently. And how I seem to have the tendency of attracting disappearing guys, simply through thinking them into existence. etc, etc. Bang on cue, Christian slipped away into the night. Of course. I was left alone. I saw AJ stood with a group of guys. I figured that he was conducting his usual routine. Going around the clusters. “Is everyone having a good night?” And taking photos for the website / Meetup album. Good on him. That is what I do with ShyBis when we go out for dinner. It is not rocket science. Anyway, I do not know if he noticed that I was sat there alone on the bench outside, wishing to be part of that cluster, too. But lacking the confidence to go and join them. I thought that if Rob saw me now. He might feel an affinity with me. And it is too right that I now run the ShyBis group.
As per Meetup: "We are what we do". In other words, we define our groups through our natures. Our groups become extensions of our values and attributes.
Sometimes, my shyness and lack of confidence catches up with me. Even if I am out on a great Meetup event with lots of guys who are lavishing me with praise, compliments, flattery and admiration. I still have moments where I feel lonely. Like when I was at the bar after speaking with Jaron. Feeling alienated by my own actions. Or sat outside on that bench. But I thought, "you know, I am in no rush to go and speak to a group of random guys who might not have anything in common with me. I will just sit here and enjoy my night. I have the option to go and get another drink if I want". I was enjoying being outside. On a dry night. Sat on a bench. I was properly wrapped up. Wearing my nice dynamite hat. I thought to myself, "I have everything here that I want. I do not need to prove myself to anyone. I do not care if I am sat here alone looking like a loner (or “billy no mates” as they say on the Meetup event page)".
IF YOU ARE NEW... you are very welcome! It is advisable for newbies to arrive whilst we are at our first venue, so that you already feel part of the event as swells in numbers. Please make sure to approach an organiser, who will be wearing a glow-stick, so we can help with introductions. There are usually plenty of new people, so you will not be the only one and won't feel like billy-no-mates!
[10:01 am, 05/11/2021] Dylan: Who's going to the meetup tomorrow?
There is more to life than outward appearances, judgements and assumptions. Back to Pancho’s words. Let them discover me. I do not base (or I try not to, at least) base my life wholly on Meetup and identifying as gay / queer. I have other strings to my bow. Today, I decided to prioritise a Diáspora gig over the dinner that I am supposed to be hosting on December 16th. I can easily find someone else to host the dinner. There is no rush on that. But find someone else to direct Diáspora? Or let the client find another Latin band? When there is money on the table? No. I will take that Diáspora gig. I have made the right decision. I feel pleased about that. I am getting some of my old life back.
In other news, I have finally put myself forward as a MH Champion. The time feels right to help out others. I was possibly doing myself discredit before by playing down my potential in this field. Exciting! I wanted to wait until I felt ready. Now that the team has lost 2 more MH Champions, it feels like the right time to "step up" and give something back to the organisation that has given me so much.
From: HR Account
On 2 Jul 2021, at 15:21, HR Account wrote:
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
332 Brixton Road
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I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.