For Crystal, her queer friendships from Vegas are ever lasting because they aren’t steeped in homonormative politics. These friendships have been a lifeline since moving to NYC in fall 2013, where the gay/lesbian normativity embedded in the East Coast and the difficulties of being queer in academia make everyday a struggle.
I will discuss how my Vegas friendships are survival, caring, and resistance for me. As a bi woman currently in a relationship with a cis man, not having a strong circle of queer friends in NYC is isolating and, frankly, boring. For me, the friendships (and disagreements and discussions) that occur within the process of activism are some of the most powerful experiences of my life.
I miss joking about Queer World Las Vegas on my apartment rooftop, and I long for queer pool parties under the Vegas sky. We critiqued HRC but attended their galas (especially when honoring our friends!) and went to HRC Her events, because it was there. This is a very different experience for me than the overwhelming number of specific queer events in the boroughs of NYC. In a red state like Nevada, your friendships can be wide-ranging and your activism is intersectional because everyone goes to that *one* event happening at the university or downtown.