Well, first I went to a GRASP - Philadelphia meeting, which actually meets on the Main Line. GRASP is short for something-Asperger-something. I'll look it up. I've been going on and off for over a year now, and have made some friends there among the women who attend. It's nice to have people I feel such commonalities with. At least I'm not the only one who automatically responds with the truth when someone asks me a direct question. This is seldom a good thing, in my experience.
I'd like more of the chance to talk to some of the members individually, and find out what their special interests are. One young man today said he'd go on monologues about interesting things in history, and I'd probably appreciate hearing things like that. I get frustrated by how some of the people cut into a dialogue in order to purely tell their own stories, which is ironic and somewhat hypocritical. I get angry because some haven't learned those social skills that I was so brutally taught. Sure, the brutality was towards a good goal, and I appreciate that I have what social skills I do. I think there were kinder ways I could have learned.
When I took the train into the city, S. from the group was also on the train, and we sat and talked during the trip. She used much more of an "inside voice" on the train, which surprised me. There were some occasions where I got a reply in, and several occasions where I forgot my train of thought because she'd already jumped to three more topics before I got the chance to speak. I'm originally from New York, so it's not like I can't talk fast. I just wait until there's a pause in conversation. I guess I'm just more tolerant about monologues from men, if it's a topic I'm interested in.
S. asked me where I was going in the city, and I said, "Giovanni's Room." I figured she could just switch to another seat on the train if she didn't like my explanation of what Giovanni's Room was.
She surprised me again by knowing what it was, and saying she knew of a bookstore in Washington, D.C., "Lam-something Rising?"
"Lambda Rising. Yes, there's one in Rehoboth, too."
"The Washington one is right on Dupont Circle. You can get there from the Metro," she said. So I think I underestimated S. in a couple of ways. There was no flap from her whatsoever about me going to a GLBT bookstore. She didn't ask me why I was going, which I wouldn't have minded answering, but she was pretty cool about it. I'd love to go to one of the Lambda Rising stores. I've got to see if some of the kids from the GLBT group at [local university] would like to take a field trip with me. S. the webmaster really wants to explore the gayborhood. I promised him that there were wholesome opportunities for local gay teenagers to meet each other.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was going to Giovanni's Room to pick up print copies of Inland Empire and The Englor Affair. I'm listing what I remember of the other m/m books there more or less for my own reference, though I'm sure a reader or two of mine will appreciate it. Hard Fall and The Good Thief were on the mystery/thriller shelves. So were Fatal Shadows, A Dangerous Thing, The Hell You Say, and Josh Lanyon's Collected Novellas. The Englor Affair was displayed on the new books display. Coincidence that several of the books I've ordered from there lately are also just up on the shelves for sale, or did I interest the powers-that-be in the book ordering department with the requests I made? Details of the Hunt was there in the science-fiction/fantasy section, as it has been on and off since I've been making my trips there. A Bit of Rough was there in the romance section. So were two copies of My Fair Captain; two copies of The Happy Onion; another of Ally Blue's, Easy; Sarah Black's Fearless; Phoenix Rising by Kimberly Gardner and a number of other MLR and m/m Samhain books. I made a mental note to get The Good Thief, Fearless, and Phoenix Rising next time I have money. I love the cover on Phoenix Rising. It won a couple of best cover awards from reviewers this past year. I've seen the whole painting, which is slightly naughty, but gorgeous.
I seriously doubt that straight women in the Philadelphia area are going to Giovanni's Room to get their m/m fix. I'm self-conscious about going into the Men's Fiction room, but no one's given me a hard time about it. As I've said numerous times, I'm glad there's getting to be some real crossover.
I have a good time looking through the non-fiction. Their selection of books by and about transmen and genderqueer folks is getting fairly extensive. I had nearly all of the books before I gave several to [university library where I worked as an acquisitions assistant]. I still have a half a dozen or more, but I had just about everything I could find that was out as popular non-fiction -- autobiographies, essays, political theory, you name it. I'm happy that the trans section is getting to be much more than token. It's important that the visibility is there.