DC-A-Go-Go: Weekend Roundup
Or: To which I try to apply all the thing I've learned.
Or: I found my key, can you show me to the slingroom?Lets say you are locked in a room. Trapped. Its really dark, and there is this odor of stale poppers and the walls are really sticky. You know on the other side is a clean towel and a fresh bottle of poppers, but you lost your key somewhere and now you can't go anywhere. What do you do? Nothing. You'd sit around and try to make the best of it when all of a sudden someone throws a key under the door. What do you do? you blog about the key... Yes, I found my key. It came in the shape of a LGBT Blogger and Citizen Journalist Summit, arranged by Mike Rogers, and supported most graciously by Jonathon Lewis, the HRC, the Victory Fund, and many more sponsors (Bolthouse Farms Juice anyone?). I wasn't too sure what I was going to get out of this; I'm not much of a politico. However, this weekend opened my eyes to a community that I was just outside of. A community of the most unshady queers I have ever met in my life. First, I arrive to the meet and greet, after a full day with the loverbear, to the HRC. This was the most uncomfortable moment of the trip, because I spent about 30 minutes circling the space, not sure what to make of it all. I didn't know anyone, and the buzzwords flying around have never been in my tagcloud. Mormons? Prop 8? LGBTQ? when did we add Q? What's Q? Queens? A lot of my insecurities went away as the social cruising progressed. I met a few people who seemed genuinely intrigued about this silly little casual tech blogger from Buffalo; I still felt out of my league but I figured I could fierce it out (Thanks Eric!). The "Milk" showing was Friday night. Nestled in the same row as Tammy Baldwin, I started to realize what a big weekend I was to be part of. Then came the panel discussion with Cleve Jones, Dustin Lance Black, and Bruce Cohen... it hit me. I'm a gay blogger. I have a voice, but I'm very silent. I should be using my snark a little more constructively. Saturday morning, I bumped into this woofy individual named Eric. His hyperosity attracted me and we exchanged some friendly words. As we plug into our blogger corners, I notice Eric hugs an individual I recognize to be Joe Jervis, AKA Joe.My.God. JMG has been a big inspiration to me; I queened out, and pleaded Eric to introduce me. Then, Father Tony sits next to me, and I got a little nervous again. [the fierce and furry Eric of knucklecrack] After the first few sessions (prop 8 aftermath and a panel), we head to the Mayflower Hotel to have lunch with The Victory Fund. I did not go to room 871, but I heard Barney Frank talk as I watched Joe eat three berry tarts. Father Tony and I went into sordid psychological discussions, and we got yelled at by Jimbo for being too loud. I started to loosen up a bit more after lunch, and Eric gave me some kind words of encouragement. L2R: Jimbo.Info Father Tony, Joe.My.God After some workshops, and during a coffee outing that ended up on the Washington Blade, I found out about all these blogs I don't read because I'm too introverted on the web. I decided to unsubscribe to all my non-fodder blogs and bookmark them instead. This way I'll be forced to physically visit sites, comment, and possibly get some folk on my side to say hello, too. I hear this web thing is very quid pro quo. The friendly and talented Bil Erico Browning of Bilerico introduced me to his partner Jerame to talk some gaygeek shop. It was refreshing to see that I wasn't the only queer there who really loved his gadgets.
That night, despite thwarting plans from a crackhead (video soon), I end up at Town Dance Boutique with Scranto and some bloggers from the summit. I learned that Eric is an amazing dancer, and that I can't keep my shirt off in a new place. I also learn that DC drink prices suck balls.If Saturday was activism day, then Sunday was all about writing directions, making money, and branding. I admit I didn't pay as much attention Saturday (I doubt I'll ever be 100% into activism and investigative journalism), but Sunday was my meat and potatoes. First was Tim McFeeley, who encouraged us to put a new perspective on LGBT media coverage. The biggest point I took to heart was to start looking at things from a landscape perspective (the misled congregation), instead of portrait (the hypocritical priest). Joel Silberman and Cathy Renna taught us about branding ourselves and PR. Eric and I got to double team the amazing Andy Wibbels for some blog-metric-crunching. I've already implemented a couple bits of Andy's advice. For instance, you can now subscribe to email updates if you'd rather that over a feed. After Andy, our summit came to a close. While some were saying this wasn't as intensely scheduled as other events, I had definitely ran out of energy and was ready for a nap. I exchanged cards with a lot of people, and heard some great comments on this silly little blog. If nothing else I have a new blogroll that I'll finish adding to. Check out the OMG1TZTEHGAY! section. This was an amazing opportunity. I feel like I'll get more, now that I've officially popped my LGBT blogger social cherry. Mike Rogers is such an amazing person, I'm truly grateful for the chance to attend the summit. I'll have to buy him a drink or two when he rolls into Buffalo this week.