Rather than a list of email addresses with an email account on my laptop (as I did about fifteen years ago as DaveShmave@aol.com), there will be an informal internet network to support the gatherings in Facebook Groups and in Google Groups, perhaps. This has not been set up, yet.
Healthy Gay Alternative Gatherings, H-GAGs, is the silly name I propose. Are there objections, suggestions, volunteers, organizers? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org, please. Given no strong objections, we'll go ahead with that title.
Just like the old email newsletter I sent out covering Monmouth County glbt bar alternatives in addition to the Red Bank coffees, such as queer-themed movies and plays, we can do that again, together, pick events and other non-alcoholic events to do our meetups together. Asbury Park and vicinity have have a whole slew of places we can go. I'll need help doing this event news, so be prepared to send some write-ups for your favorite sober, drug-free (of course, hopefully, at least) events and places, please. We'll post them in the internet groups.
We'll focus on Asbury Park and vicinity, as this is the area I know best now that I've sold my crime-ridden home of 24 years in my life in Lakewood, which I had run away from to move to Red Bank during the time of our gatherings. Now I am so happily settled in Ocean Grove I could flip out for good! The difference in my life between here for two years and back then in Lakewood is the difference between heaven and hell!
Surprise! I am well-known locally once again, this time as Safety Pat the Proud Autistic Schizophrenic Street Clown and Asbury Park boardwalk entertainer. I'm out to share my joy with the gay community like I never did before, even though Red Bank was another great replacement for that darned, old, extremely homophobic Lakewood, New Jersey! We can't hate the haters though, so I bare no animosity to the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community who run the town. A good man bought my home soon after I discovered the oil tank leak. He is protecting my family and me over that big problem as yet still today.
Anyhow, other glbt groups in other Jersey areas are welcome to follow this model, of course, and start their own groups without my direct input.
Be it known today that the best part of the Red Bank gatherings was the greeting of new members and their introductions to the guys and gals who had been returning on a weekly basis. That's the old method my mentor "Nate the Great" Cotler of Lakewood taught me. He had told me how a good, hearty welcome was what he received when he travelled in the sixties and the seventies to USA southern state gay bars. Good ole' Southern Hospitality is what he called it. So in memory of my old pal, Nate, we'll be keeping this feature, the greetings, which I credit as the main reason for the success of the Lambda Gatherings in Red Bank. At the time it had become the biggest, ongoing, sober party outside the bars New Jersey queer community had ever known.
Now we are about do it again, and the size of the crowd is not the issue any more as much as finding safe spaces for health-oriented folks to meet one another, though not in Red Bank for now, but this time in Asbury Park. So get ready! No dates or times or places are set as of yet. Stay tuned to this blog for updates!
P. S. There is no good use in harshly judging anyone for any reason, as is the philosophy of this blog on the ethics of behavior science, though I must say we can all fall into that trap when angry or provoked. Even ethicists do unethical things. I eat meat, for instance. I have a disability and so do addicts, we can say. We need to understand that non-addicted folks are no better or worse than addicted folks, whether or not an addiction is coffee, sugar (my addictions), shopping, gambling, alcohol, illegal drugs, sex, or anything else. We are living the American Dream as founded in the notion that we're all made equal. However, we need not engage with severe addicts in the midst of their sadly harmful situations, nor must we let them bring us down while they're acting under the mind-altering sway of their substance. Help can arrive in due time. When they are ready to join us, we can welcome them in with open arms and that will be awesome when the days arrive!
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