For all too many people in the gay and lesbian communities, meeting new people takes one of two forms: cruising bars or trolling Craigslist forums. But for those who want a little more substance to their casual encounters, the annual GLBT Expo at the Javits Center offers hundreds of ideas for new ways to connect with others of shared orientation. Now in its 13th year, the exposition suggests an impressively wide range of activities, services, and business and travel opportunities for the gay and gay-friendly set. Reflective of a diverse community, it maintains a value neutrality
that is both admirable and frustrating—Coors Brewing and Alcoholics Anonymous
are in proximity, while body-image support groups share the space with the likes of Laser Cosmetica—but at its best, the expo links visitors with possibilities for more well-rounded and fulfilling lives. Softball and rugby clubs, booths for body painting and temp tattoos (bring the kids!), volunteer and activism organizations, and even a Catholic Apostolic church compete for attention, as do live appearances from dance-pop tartlet Gina G. (“Ooh Aah . . . Just a Little Bit”) and Mr. Gay International 2006 Jesse Bashem.