How do I feel as a gay person in the community, and do I feel welcomed?
Let me start off by saying, being gay is what I am, not who I am. It doesn’t define me. Just as being straight doesn’t define you, what defines you is how you treat others, like your family, friends, customers, and even strangers. I have always been open about my sexuality when needed. I normally tell a potential employer in an interview so there is no misunderstanding or later discrimination. I do feel that Berks County is pretty open to the gay community. I feel that society as a whole is more opened to the LGBTQ+ community. Education and experience go a long way.
Are there enough places for me to be in Berks?
I am going to have to say absolutely yes. However, if the question is are there enough gay bars? My answer would be that we don’t need gay bars. A genuinely nice man tried to open (re-open a former well-known gay bar) in Reading, but it didn’t get enough support from the gay community to keep it profitable and open. Most LGBTQ+ have family, relationships, jobs, and they either stay home, stay in their close circle of friends, and do dinner parties or just go out to regular bars because they don’t have to fear being beaten up or killed like it was 20 to 30 years ago.
Do I think that there are enough resources to help the LGBTQ community?
I believe so. I believe there is enough help for the entire community. You just have to know where to look. If you are looking for community, there is Reading Pride Celebration and Festival. If you are looking for education and support, there is the LGBTQ Center of Greater Reading.
Are there enough events in the area?
I do believe that with the Pride in the Park Festival, being able to participate in the local parades, local shows, and events, drag brunch, drag bingo, and a slew of other events put on by the LGBTQ Center of Greater Reading there are plenty of LGBTQ+ specific events, but as I stated before, the LGBTQ+ community is comfortable going to all events.
I think as a whole the LGBTQ+ community of Berks County should feel comfortable with the area. Berks county is so diverse, to begin with, I think since this pandemic hit the world, more people are understanding that there is one race, The Human Race! It doesn’t matter, your size, shape, sex, color, sexual orientation. We are all here on Earth on borrowed time. Make every moment count. What legacy will you leave behind?