Alien on the Range

ImageThe Kansas prairie is a boundless amber carpet.  It unfolds to seemingly endless seas of grain and opens itself up to innumerable possibilities. Yet beauty is often sheathed in isolation. Anyone who has spent time in Kansas knows the dichotomy of this land—at times the sprawling nature of our state brings a sense of freedom, while at other times it’s downright alienating.

And if you’re a homo on the range, sometimes you feel like you’re living in outer space!

Just like everyone else, gay people play multiple roles in life. We’re someone’s child, we’re somebody’s colleague, we’re many people’s friend, and many of us are another person’s romantic partner.  Yet, it’s loneliness that truly is the toughest role we ever play. At some point in a gay person’s life, they will inevitable feel alienated from their peers by virtue of the fact that they are different. Connection picks the lock of alienation, and I’m happy to report that there’s an unshackling taking place in The ICT!

Kansas LGBT Community is a new group that has formed to facilitate social interactions between members of our very own local queer population. The crux of the group’s formation is to encourage healthy interaction between LGBT people and their allies in safe environments. The group holds monthly meetings on the 2nd to last Saturday of each month and often mixes up the calendar with random meet ups and happenings.  In August, I attend a LGBT BBQ, and was delighted to see a large mix of people at the event. Many of them were old friends, but more were new faced I’d never seen. These meet ups seem like a great way to meet people you might not otherwise know live in this city. That’s exactly what the group’s organizer, Danielle Phil Sanders, envisioned when she started the Facebook group that lead to the off-line socializing.

One of the biggest draw backs to same-sex socializing in Wichita has always been the fact that most social interactions happen in bars or dance clubs. When the only outlet you have for meeting other people like you is centered on drinking and smoking in a contained area blaring loud music, the quality of your indiscriminate encounters quickly devalues. I’ve know many people who have become jaded by the gay social scene here because of this.

Being an astronaut might be fun, but let’s face it—no really one wants to live in outer space! Get connected to you KS LGBT Community and end the alienation.