Just got back from Colossalcon. I have some new food for thought...
At Colossalcon, I decided to try being more assertive with random guys I happened to be around. Well, things started off rather shaky... I competed in a video game show panel with these two other guys who looked to be friends. We won the grand prize, and we were off to grab the prizes. For whatever reason, the panelist only had two prizes for three people. The 3rd guy said I could have the prize. Well, I felt sorry for him, so I asked him for a hug to cheer him up. And he backed away. He gave the other guy a fist bump, so I tried to fist bump him too, but he just backed away from me.
However, I was pleased to later attend a LGBT issues panel. The panel was mainly about LGBT issues, but the best part of the panel was the beginning. The panelist, Kyo, started off by having everyone introduce themselves by stating their name, sexual preference, and why they are at the panel. For example, one guy said he was gay, it was his first con, and he said he wanted to make friends. There were several other guys who were in the same boat, but I'm terrible at remembering names! So I just decided to make it my mission to AT LEAST try to talk to this one guy after the panel. Well, like most panels, we ran short on time, everyone ran out of the room into massive crowds, and I lost track of the guy. I kinda went "emo" for a while since I couldn't find him, but eventually I did later at another panel. This time I made sure to find him after the panel. I mustered up the courage to say hi, nervously, of course. Yes, the conversation started off awkward. I mentioned that I saw him at the LGBT and the previous panels. For the first 10 minutes or so, I was so worried that he might have things to do, and I would be interrupting him. But I just kept going, and the next thing we knew, an hour later, we were still chatting, we exchanged contact info, and I was
-ing in my head. We even discussed how we were both shy! Then, my hotel roommates came back, and I said "Hey wanna come back to the room, and we can all play Apples to Apples?" He agreed, we all had a fun time (ATA guarantee!), and I scored a new friend!
So, what have I learned from this experience?
1.) I think that because I am gay and I enjoy gay things (like yaoi, hugs, etc.), I am too scared to find any one person at random and start talking to them like I talked to the guy at Colossalcon. I have had a couple bad experiences with anti-gay guys, and it weighs heavily on my memory and confidence. I do not handle rejection well. (i.e. the refusal-of-fist-bump guy).
2.) Attending mid-sized cons like Colossalcon seems to work out better for making friends. If there is less to do, then more people will have more flexible schedules. It's good to have SOME events to go to, so talking with friends all day doesn't get stale, but too many events and there's no time to talk.
3.) Having the LGBT panel helps TREMENDOUSLY for shy people like me. Whether people are gay, bi, or just "rainbow supporters", I know that I can talk to pretty much any person who shows up to the panel and introduces themselves. There is no risk of homophobe rejection. My new friend was happy to see a LGBT panel at a con, and I was too! So I am going to make sure that there is a LGBT panel at ACen next year!
This post has been edited by skyrune83: 06 June 2011 - 10:28 AM