We had a friend who used to live in Indianapolis visit this weekend and we were talking about some of the major changes between DC and Indy. One of the biggest is the alcohol culture. There's a fascination with happy hours (featuring half price drinks!) and brunch (featuring bottomless mimosas and bloody marys galore!). Nothing, it seems, happens without a drink or six here.
It's amazing how quickly you can become accustomed to it. Since I come from a family of alcoholics, I've never drank much. I'm not a teetotaler, but I drink so little and have such a small frame that it's always been awfully easy for me to get wasted after a couple drinks. Since moving to DC, my tolerance has gone up and I've had a drink at least once a week since we're more sociable here. I've learned how to carry around a glass of wine all night sipping at it occasionally to seemingly fit in.
I know that the LGBT community has a long, storied, and tragic connection with alcohol since our sole meeting places for years were bars. Liquor companies sponsor scads of events - from benefits to pride parades. Alcoholism runs rampant in our community. Hell, the Task Force put out a downloadable cocktail guide in case you're hosting an Oscar party tonight.
What did we do with our out of town guest during his night in town? You guessed it. We went to dinner and had a drink. Then we went bar hopping. By the time we called it a night, three out of five group members were drunk.
So today's open thread question(s) is this: How prevalent is the alcohol culture where you live? Do you feel it's more obvious and forced when you participate in LGBT events? Are the only queer social outlets where you live gay bars?