“Hi, I’m Robyn Vie Carpenter, The Lesbian Socialite.” I actually found myself saying those exact words on more than one occasion during fashion week. It was so much fun! I loved watching people’s reactions when I said, les-bi-an. What was a bit disturbing was meeting other people using the word socialite in a clearly different context than I mean.
When I use the term socialite, I am speaking more about the role of socialite. The Cambridge Dictionary (http://goo.gl/0XV1NH) defines a socialite as : someone, usually of high social class, who is famous because they go to a lot of parties and social events, think Brooke Astor. The Urban Dictionary defines it more the way that people have been using today: A person who is rich and unemployed. Must be in active contact with the media and other rich and unemployed people (http://goo.gl/iAJD1I), think Paris Hilton.
I am not stating that I am of high social class. However, people that know about me usually do because I am predominantly known for going to a lot of events. A good portion of those events are in the LGBT community. And a good portion of those events are for charity. Like many of the women that have been known as socialites in the past, my goal in attendance is to bring attention to the person or organization hosting. If I can go to something and people pay attention, then that means the event itself got attention. And maybe someone will discover something or someone new. I know a lot of people doing a lot of amazing things. It brings me real joy to help people find them.
Also, in the vein of Brooke Astor, I am Board Chair of a non-profit. I started the Fire Hawk Alliance with one of my best friends, Matthew Quinn (@ubermatty). It is a LGBT non-profit dedicated to raising money and awareness for other non-profits, by hosting new and different events. We want to create bridges of understanding and bring awareness to the commonalities the LGBT community shares with other communities at large. I sit on various other auxiliary boards of several other non-profits along with sitting on the Denver Women’s Commission of the mayor’s office.
In my mind, the point of a socialite has nothing to do with money and everything to do with service. Most people have no desire to attend a lot of parties and have cocktail conversation with people they don’t know. They want to go to a friend’s party and drink and talk about their life. Most people have no desire, or experience, to host an event to raise money for charities that have no direct effect on their life. I love that stuff. I love to attend events as well as host them. I love to meet new people. I am always up for finding a way to bring awareness to the amazing things that people are doing.
In society, everyone has a role to play. Social activism looks different for different people. Some people go de-worm the orphans. Other people raise the money and awareness within the community that the orphans need to be de-wormed. Each plays an important part.
Socially active through social activity. That’s what it means to be The Lesbian Socialite.