Hooking up,
finding love, part 3

Hooking up,
            finding love, part 3

Michael Santiago
Age: 25 Residence: Madison, Wis.
Occupation: Graduate student in chemistry
Identifies as: Gay Relationship status: Single

As a Hispanic gay
man, I wish there was a place near me where gay people
could go out and dance to Latin music while not fearing for
their lives. I like going to the local gay club, but
it’s a completely different culture compared to
the one that I grew up in. So I end up feeling empty
every time I go out—either to the very straight Latin
club or the local gay club. It’s bad enough
that I have to deal with being a minority; now I have
to deal with being a minority within a minority. As for
relationships, I feel uncomfortable every time I go to the
gay club, so I’m unable to connect with people.
Unless I want to be alone for the rest of my life,
I’ll have to adapt to the culture that surrounds me.
Dancing for the sake of dancing, and getting to know
people, not as a prelude to a one-night stand.

Elissa Barrett
Age: 35 Residence: Los Angeles
Occupation: Housing attorney Identifies as:
Lesbian Relationship status: Married two years

My wife, Zsa Zsa,
and I attend a GLBT synagogue in Los Angeles. One year
we were both volunteering during High Holy Days—Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur. She was a greeter at the
door. I was singing in the choir. Our rebbetzin
(rabbi’s wife) knew that both of us were single. She
asked me what I was looking for in a girlfriend. I
told her no one under 30, no one who wasn’t
done sowing her wild oats, and definitely someone who
could carry on a good conversation. The rebbetzin then
walked over to my wife-to-be—the author of
Secret Service: Untold Stories of Lesbians in
the Military
—and said, “See that girl.
She’s funny. She’s a lawyer. She wants
to get married. You should ask her out.” Less than
two years later we were married by our rabbi in a
beautiful ceremony hosted by my parents. Our rebbetzin
and rabbi shared the dance floor as we opened the
festivities with a breathtaking hora. What a shadchin

Devon Blosch
Age: 20 Residence: College Station,
Texas Occupation: Student Identifies
as: Gay Relationship status: Partnered 2 1/2

My partner,
Darrell, and I met online. I hate telling people that
because they think we won’t last. People think
it’s taboo, that some liar might rape you. But
we took it slow, cautious, and we’ve been together
for 21⁄2 years now and are still going strong.
In fact, we recently moved in together and opened a
joint bank account as a way of committing to each
other. We met on www.xy.com, a gay magazine Web site for
teens, where we e-mailed each other for some time
before we lost touch for about a month. I don’t
remember why, but we struck up a conversation up again and
started chatting on instant-messenger programs. I started to
get romantically interested, and I guess he did too
because he asked if I wanted to meet in person. I was
a senior in high school, and Darrell was a sophomore
in college. We met at the only mall in College
Station—Post Oak Mall. We arranged a specific
time and spot, the Sonic in the food court. I was so
nervous. Darrell was in line getting his signature drink,
a Route 44 Vanilla Dr. Pepper. I knew it was him, and we
couldn’t stop smiling at each other. We
introduced ourselves formally and walked around the
mall. Two weeks later we became legitimate boyfriends.

Hooking up, finding
love, part 2

Hooking up, finding
love, part 1

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