Topics of discussion aren’t set in stone when meeting the Ad Lib group on Wednesdays at the Cosi in Dupont Circle. On the night I joined the gay group, I was given a brief history of its origins and how, before I was born, more than 25 years ago, Ad Lib would meet at a Dupont Circle restaurant no longer in business to share coming-out stories. The early meetings attracted so many GLBT people, in fact, the gatherers would wrap around the block. In the ’80s, when I was just learning how to take my first steps, Ad Lib was meeting weekly to talk about HIV/AIDS, friends who were dying from the virus, and coming out as gay men in that environment.
Today, the group remains relevant, though smaller (with only five in attendance on the night I joined in). We started the night conversing about Bishop Harry Jackson’s campaign to stop the D.C. government from recognizing same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, and ended up discussing how one member fought off the advances of a man who was rubbing against him on a subway in Japan.
Actually, I might have been responsible for steering the conversation in that direction, as I shared a rather shocking story about a gay friend living in Iran who told me that it’s become common practice for gays to aggressively hit on sexually frustrated straight men on buses — and wind up doing a whole lot more. The Ad Lib group made me feel comfortable enough to listen, engage in conversation and start some topics of my own. If you want to join the group on an upcoming Wednesday, call Jamie at 703-892-8567 so you know who to look for.