In the United Global First lounge in SFO, I saw an older guy with an Atlantis bag. And I did something I normally wouldn’t do. I sat down next to him and introduced myself. One of the many things I like about the Big Gay Cruises (BGCs) is that everyone is smiling and very welcoming. Saying hello to someone with a smile is just a greeting. Not necessarily a come on. It’s just a warm welcome and a reminder of how lucky we are to be surrounded by people just like us, a big gay bubble. And even thought I had a thirteen hour flight ahead of me, I was already smiling. And I thought, why should I wait to be on the ship to be friendly, to be in the bubble? Why not start now. So I did.
In addition to being on my flight, he was staying at the same hotel as I was (the host hotel for the cruise) in Auckland so I was like, let’s share a cab from the airport into the city. On the cab ride, we started chatting and apparently he’s a “veteran” gay cruiser as well (I like to use the word veteran instead of slut 😀). And traveling alone. Like me. He lives up in the Pacific Northwest and was an engineer before he retired. It was an interesting conversation and I thought about the things he said and the things he didn’t say.
He’s traveling alone and has done lots of BGCs. But it was clear that he wasn’t a big party type. I mentioned the apps and he said he wasn’t on them, so he wasn’t on the prowl (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I started to fill in his back story in my head. How he worked for 30 years, probably in the closet for most if not all of those. And how he probably doesn’t easily fit into any specific stereotype on a BGC (and trust me, there are a lot of those). But he likes to go on the cruises, he can dip his toe into a variety of scenes and makes the cruise what he wants it to be. And isn’t that the beauty of the BGC? If you want to be up all night dancing till dawn. Knock yourself out. If you want to see the shows, or do the fine dining, you can do that as well. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone and you can do what you want. Live your life. Proudly. To quote Auntie Mame, “Life’s a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death.”