Facebook, with its at-best superficial ways of linking me to my world, has taken me away from greater reflection possible in this blog so…I’m back – on my journey here.
The past few weeks I have been involved with the Youth/Elders Project, a joint effort of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the 519 Community Centre and the Senior Pride Network. We are a group of queer-identified people – youth, up to 25 years old, and elder folk 55 years and up.
We have been meeting separately in our age cohorts, either at Buddies or the 519, and will continue to do so except for occasions like this past Saturday when we met en masse for the first time.
The highlight of Saturday, for me, was a speed-dating style exercise in which youth sat with the rest of us, one-on-one, to discuss things such as early queer role models, or lack thereof, early cultural markers (or landmines), and things such as favourite films and TV shows.
F. asked me about films about AIDS. I could only come up with two – Philadelphia, which I saw with my friend Chaz the week that Jim died, and Longtime Companion, which Jim and I reviewed over and over in our minds the night that Terry died.
I forgot all about Angels in America – which I loved!
We spoke of friendship – intimate friendship; Jim and me separated by death and F. separated by geography from his best buddy. No modern means of communication can match being in person. Tears were shed, hugs exchanged – it was a genuine moment of connection which I treasure still now, thinking about it.
Oh and we each have/had a gay brother.
It was an amazing three hours.
We return to our separate work-shopping this week, eager to meet again as the project evolves.