My Favorite Zoom During PRIDE – Not What You Thinkby Tammy Shaklee, Relationship Expert and H4M FounderJuly 2, 2020
As a straight ally working hard to own and operate an LGBTQ matchmaking company, I have always engaged in annual PRIDE celebrations to support the community. This year looked a bit different with most efforts turning to virtual or online engagements. Since our clients are coast-to-coast in the US, and Nashville is an evolving market for us, I was thrilled to learn that the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce was livestreaming a joint live music watch party with Nashville’s chamber. I loved working late while enjoying the local artists collaborating in both cities. Oh, how we in Austin all miss our live music!
But THAT was not my favorite Zoom. No, it was the one going on simultaneously of which I had no knowledge. Folks often find it surprising when they call H4M’s toll-free 855 number that we answer live. Some find it even more surprising that after eight years, I’m still often the one to answer. And last Friday evening while folks were enjoying happy hours, I was working on clients’ files, and had the joy of answering the last call of the day, and of the week.
“This is Tammy with H4M.” (Click) “Oh dear,” I thought,“ a dropped call.” It makes me cringe when it occasionally happens. After all, I remember the vulnerability in finally getting up the courage to contact a matchmaker. I remember every detail of that phone call and our discussion approximately 15 years ago. Now, here we are with a courageous single on the other end of the line that got dropped. So I immediately dialed them back.
And just like that, I was live on the line with a group of LGBTQ friends having their own Zoom happy hour. “She’s real, it’s her!” Great joy, laughter, and chatter was now buzzing all around, and I have to admit I was a bit confused. The caller’s friend recently heard me as a guest on a podcast. That very kind gay man then suggested to the eligible single lesbian on the Zoom gathering that she should call me, because she deserves to meet someone wonderful.
Friends love friends who find love – those who encourage love, who believe in love, and who foster love.
Our new single dropped out of the Zoom and she and I had a lovely conversation. We scheduled our own 1-hour introductory Zoom for the next day, so I could learn what she’s seeking in a compatible partner. I literally wrote in the notes to H4M staff, “She’s wonderful. A most successful African American lesbian professional, truly relationship ready. Happy PRIDE.”
I am honored and excited to be her matchmaker. So send us your eligible single friends in the Chicago area folks, if you think they might be a potential compatible match for her – our treat. Yes, this year, I missed the PRIDE festivals – the booths, the happy faces, the advocacy organizations, the sports teams, the networking opportunities. But this year, we celebrate one small connection, human interaction, and connecting one-on-one when and how we can, in helping others.