Community is an interesting thing. It’s the sense of feeling secure in your surroundings. It’s a sense of feeling united with the people around you. It’s a culture and history your build with your habitat. All of this comes together to form a united community. I have been thinking about my community, and where I stand within it.
It’s an interesting concept. Some people have an innate idea of community. Someone once talked about a co-worker as not being ‘family’. She tried to put it into words. She explained how he was an misogynist. He was an ass. He treated people poorly. He had an elitist tone that cut at the people around him. He was not the same as the rest of us who worked there. Granted, there’s also the fact he was a cis-gendered straight white male. He had no concept of his privilege, and did not understand the world of difference that made the rest of us ‘family’.
I mentioned yesterday about my group of friends strewn across the country. They each hold different pieces of what I want in my community. Kathryn and Richard hold a nerdy-literary side of me. Each of them know a lot about both things. Andy flows into that as well as a hugely passionate person. Charmaine is the other side of me to a large extent. She has passion, nerdiness, literary, and a drive. Joel is literary, gay, and nerdy. Marc is all those things as well. Together, they make up my community. But, they’re still only pieces of that.
Part of the reason that I moved to the New York area was for a sense of community. I specifically wanted to be part of the gay community that I’d read so much about. However, the community I had read about and experienced through books did not exist.
The club scene had ended. The punk scene was over. The community of artists together in this bohemian setting did not exist anymore. The consumerism and homogenization killed the culture that I wanted to be part of. It was not a bad necessarily. Don’t ask don’t tell eventually was repeated. Transgender rights were being fought for. Non-binary and pansexual had made their way into my vocabulary. Gay marriage soared across state lines. We won a lot, but what about the community?
It feels to me like our community has taken a turn into a definitively hetero-normative state. Granted, people choose their community. People make their own community. So, I am going to need to find mine.
I don’t know who my new community will be. I’d like my new community to be filled with nerdy-literary-gay people who have a passion or life an adventure. That sums me up pretty well. It also sums up the people in my friend circle already. I just need to find a place now that fits us all together. Brookings is no longer that place for me. New York is just beginning to be my place here, and it’s definitely not the place of my friends. They have their lives. So, I will just have to find my community as I go along. It’s not easy, nor is community an easy thing to find. It will all work out. As always, I’m headed in the right direction. It’s just figuring things out one step at a time.