April 1, 2014
In preparation for this reflection, I began by thinking about what cultural event I would most like to attend, what would work for the assignment and what would also benefit me in my personal life by actually forcing me out of my comfort zone to experience things I never have before. Because Christianity is such a huge part of my life I immediately thought I would want to do something based on another religion since I’ve never really gone out of my religious comfort zone, but for this assignment I chose to go to a gay bar. The reason I chose to do this was because I have been raised as a Christian, I grew up in a very conservative town and while I support gay rights being around gay people is still something that is foreign and a little bit uncomfortable for me. My roommate also chose to use going to the gay bar for an assignment for her human sexuality class, so while knowing that I would have my roommate going with me made me a little bit more comfortable I still knew that this would be something that pushed me way out of my comfort zone. We both live in Elkhart, Indiana so while we were home for spring break a gay friend of my roommates offered to take us to a club called “Metro” which is an 18 plus gay bar located in Kalamazoo, Michigan which is about 45 minutes away.
Before going to the gay bar I was so nervous. As mentioned before, while I support gay rights I have not necessarily ever been exposed to them and I wasn’t sure at all what to expect. The bar that we went too isn’t strictly a gay bar so there would most likely be other straight people there but I had no idea how exactly to prepare myself for the situation. Because we were going with my roommate’s friend, who is gay, I knew I would feel a little more comfortable since we weren’t just walking in completely unprepared. I was worried what people would think of me when I went, if they would assume that I was gay. I didn’t know if it was normal for gay’s to take straight friends with them, I was worried about how people would judge me. As I began to get ready for the night I wasn’t really too worried about what to wear, I just wore something that I would normally wear to go out but mentally I was less prepared than ever. I had no idea how I was supposed to act, what if it was awkward once I got there. Before we went my roommate and I met up with her gay friend and several of his friends. His friend group contained a mix of both gay and straight men and women who would be going to the bar with us so I immediately felt more comfortable, knowing that I wouldn’t be the only straight one other than my roommate. I expected the ride there to be awkward, considering I didn’t know anyone other than my roommate and she didn’t know anyone other than the one guy and me, but instead they were all so friendly and told us not to be nervous. Because we were going on a Saturday night they explained to us that there would probably be more gay’s there than the other nights of the week/weekend but that didn’t mean they would assume we were gay, and people were usually pretty good about asking before they hit on you. After the 45 minute drive there we finally arrived and walked in. As we walked in a realized that it wasn’t any different than any other bar would be (not that I’ve been in that many since I’m only 19) full of people, dancing, music and drinking. The inside of the building was pretty big and there was plenty of room. Almost everybody there was dancing. The people we came with were all over 21 so they all went and got drinks while my roommate and I just hung out. It was a little overwhelming at first. There were definitely a lot of gay people around, dancing together, standing at the bar flirting, and just hanging out with groups of people. Eventually we started to loosen up a little bit, while I didn’t really talk and get to know a lot of gay people I was complimented by a lot of...
References: Adams, M. (2007). Introduction. In Adams M., Blumenfeld W.J., Castañeda C.R., Hackman H.W., Peters M.L., & Zúñiga X., Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. New York: Routledge.
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