07 December 2003

Opening night of Desilicious at the Pyramid Club, Manhattan, Saturday, 6–Sunday, 7 December

I braved the snowstorm to have a sort of contradictory time mixing euphoria and depression. The music was fabulous, and there were lots of cute guys there, but they all found it extremely easy to ignore me. I had gone to two prior Desilicious parties at which I fairly easily made friends and dance partners. Saturday, however, was more like the last time I attended a Habibi [حبيبي] party. I don’t understand how someone dressed so noticeably was so thoroughly ignored, but nobody wanted to dance with me for more than a few minutes nor introduce me to any of his friends to integrate me into the socializing. Sadly, I suspect I’m just not good-looking enough for people to even be polite to me or take notice of me when they have the sexy boys on their minds.

I saw someone introducing one of his friends to another, but nobody was willing to do that for me. After a few minutes, all my dance partners found excuses to walk away (or walked or danced away without even making excuses) and leave me alone and friendless on the dance floor.

Case in point: I met a cute man who had moved here from India only a month ago. I actually knew more people there than he, we made conversation easily, and we were both friendless, so I thought we should stick together and help one another out. We danced together near the wall. I suggested we move into the crowd, but he didn’t wish to do so. Soon he was facing away from me and towards a good-looking white guy near the wall. Later, I again asked him if he wanted to dance, but he said he didn’t like the song; soon afterward, a sexy South Asian guy asked him to dance, and he accepted. Because he was cute, he made numerous friends while I spent most of my time by the wall neither talking to nor dancing with anybody. While I was dancing with someone else, he did actually come up and join us, but very soon both of my partners were dancing one-on-one with others, and I found myself alone again (naturally) to retreat to the wall. Despite seeing me alone at the wall, he was later dancing one-on-one with a black man and couldn’t introduce me to him. (I mention the people’s ethnicities primarily to emphasize the diversity of his new friends, to show he didn’t ignore me because I wasn’t of an ethnic group he hadn’t intended to meet. You know, some South Asians will attend looking for other South Asians, while others specifically look for non–South Asians.) When not dancing, he sat or stood around chatting with those he’d met, or alone watching the dancers, but he never came to chat with me again unless I made the first move, nor did he introduce me to even one person he’d met. At the end of the night, he left without saying good-bye to me.

A Gujurati guy I had met at Habibi danced with me for a few minutes, then left me with the excuse he wanted to throw away his bottle of water. Soon after, I saw him sitting on the other side of the room with his water bottle. He had done a similar thing at Habibi, telling me he enjoyed dancing with me and that he wanted to return to his friends. It either didn’t occur to him it might be nice to introduce me to them, or he thought they’d be horrified by my company.

I don’t want to give the impression there weren’t any first-rate people there. For example, a queen named Mohammed [‪محمد] invited me onto the dance floor and danced with me and others. I had fun dancing with a guy named Steve (the above-mentioned black man to whom I had to introduce myself) imitating Bollywood moves. I “re-met” comedian Vidur Kapur whom I’d met at Laffalicious (15 November) and Debanuj Das Gupta of APICHA whom I’d met at the Queer Asian & Pacific Islander Film Series (23 November). And disc jockey Ashu Rai is always friendly to me. I plan to attend again tomorrow; we’ll see if I can get more into the swing of socializing. Wish me luck. (And sorry for the long rant.)

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