Summer Lovin’

Tis the season for Pride Festivals, lesbian camping festivals, outdoor concerts & more because the bigayheartg gay SUMMER months are HERE!

Grab your bag, sunglasses, flip flops, sun screen & tickets for a non-stop thrill ride into parades, marches, music, grass, mud, sunshine, rain storms, friends and…quite possibly….LOVE!

Are you ready for it? More importantly, are you expecting it? Just because you are, it doesn’t mean it will happen, and these expectations could end up disappointing you, so you have to get yourself in the right, realistic mind set.

When I was younger I would jokingly refer to our local Pride Festival as my “Parade of Exes” because inevitably, I would run into every one of them at least once during that weekend.

I would put way too much thought into who I was going with, what I was wearing, how I was looking, and what I was doing- so much so that I would end up almost dreading the event itself rather than having a good time.

I was too consumed with who was going to be there and what they might think that I could barely relax. It was a mix of anticipation about seeing someone I once had a relationship with, to seeing someone I had a crush on, to the excitement of the possibility that I could score a random good time hook-up, to the dread of a confrontation with a crappy one-night-stand from the month before.

At the time, I didn’t really realize that this approach totally sucked the fun out of the weekend. I didn’t know there was any other way to look at it. Or perhaps I didn’t even realise what anxiety it caused me because I was so used to it year after year. I don’t remember the exact moment things changed for me, but  it did eventually, as I became more secure with myself and I was finally able to enjoy these massive gay gatherings without hives or the sweats.

In hindsight, I can look back and know exactly what was going on, but at the time I had no clue.

I had no clue that I even had expectations in my head going into Pride weekend. I guess because they just felt like possibilities. Even though I would tell myself not to think about them, not to think of all the scenarios that were possible. I could meet my soulmate at the beer tent waiting in the impossibly long line to order, we could flirt until we were served, then bump into one another later and start it up again, exchanging numbers for a real date that started our “happily ever after”.

I could have a “Queer As Folk”-Brian Kinney moment, where without words, I would give some good lookin’ girl a nod and she would follow me into the ladies bathroom for a fast, hot, lusty, finger bang session. I mean, seriously? Come on! What are the chances my life would become an unrealistic pay cable TV show moment?!

Oh- better yet, that I would see an ex-girlfriend at the festival with her current girlfriend, and my ex would come up to me and profess her undying love and tell me she wasn’t over me making her new girlfriend cringe, and sending my ego into a new level of huge. What?!

Just because the odds are better at a gay festival, it doesn’t mean you are going to find Mrs. Right Lesbian For Me. Maybe a moment will happen. But don’t read into every thing just because you want it to so badly. Maybe there was spark while your shared coverage from a downpour under the same tree, maybe there was twinkle in her eye when you bought that turquoise necklace from her at the gay jewelry stall. Maybe you did brush shoulders signing up for the free cruise at the Community Center tent. But maybe…you had better  wise-up, slow down and take a few deep breaths before plunging into forever with the “girl who pulled me in the dance tent and twerked into my pelvis for 3 entire songs”. Granted, it’s not easy and it’s not instinctive to stop.

It’s not easy or instinctive to not jump in when things get hot!

You’ve really got to force yourself to NOT want to jump into something with someone you’ve just met …at a Pride festival …because, let’s be honest…. half the work is done, right? She’s a lesbian, you’re a lesbian … you’ve spent 3 hours together doing everything you both like to do…. Boom! But, just remember it’s pretty easy to see a mirage in the middle of a desert, dude.

In all seriousness, it wasn’t until I had NO expectations at all that I was finally able to enjoy myself at these festival things. A combination of having a lot more self confidence (over time, it happens), being okay with being alone for periods of time, not needing to be in a relationship, not caring what other people may think of me and certainly being secure in my choices, feeling good about my stage of life, the things I had accomplished and who I was all played into my having a better approach.

Pro Lesbian Tip: I wasn’t there to impress anyone.

Not caring if I ran into an old girlfriend, not caring if I saw a girl I once had a crush on, not caring if my cargo shorts were new or old, not looking for a hook up, not caring if there wasn’t. Not letting those things determine my fun was key.

Learning to live in the moment, and appreciate what’s going on around me- seeing friend’s happy faces, people-watching, enjoying the music, the crazy antics, eating ridiculously over-priced, greasy festival food and having a few $6 beers- that’s how to enjoy a festival.

Not focusing on pre-determined hopeful scenarios was hard to stop but I did it.

I realized that I had to go into these events with an open mind to just enjoy the day, that anything could happen, or nothing could happen but I was in control of my own good time, not anyone else. It’s the difference between setting yourself for disappointment or just making a few good memories full of laughs and nothing else.

There could be summer lovin’ ahead, sure….but then again, there are 3 more seasons to go… so relax, my friend. Anything could happen. Anytime. Not just because it’s Pride season.

About Denise Warner-Gregory

Denise Warner-Gregory hosts the successful, funny podcast “The
Lesbian Lounge” on iTunes & Podbean. At the age of 45, she's lived in
NY, FL and now resides happily in London with her wife, Jemma. Denise
contributes regularly to many popular LGBT blogs, websites & resources
and hosts live events in both the US and the UK.