I’ve had some interesting comments regarding yesterday’s post about community. None of the comments were derogatory, and I appreciate that anyone even read it and took the time to point out their disagreement. One person told me I was being too tribal because “they” are trying to kill us. I assume by “they”, he means cis-gendered heteronormative bigots (and multiple studies show that those among them who actively hate us do so because they themselves are not comfortable with their sexuality. They see in us what they hate about themselves). But if threat to life and limb is the bar for entrance, I think the commenter is also being tribal. “They” are killing Rohingas in Myanmar, Weigers in China, Mormons in Mexico, African Americans in Chicago (well, almost everywhere), and a lot of other groups in this world. Those groups are targeted because of who they are, but we don’t include them. Let’s face it, humans are tribal by nature. It’s wired in our lizard brains.
Another person took issue with my response and said the Queers are united in fighting gender AND sexual discrimination and it’s not about racism. First, I still argue that Queer is an amorphous term and could be applied to anyone who isn’t 100% cis-gender heterosexual (or just wants to call themselves Queer). Kinsey told us that most people really aren’t 100% anything. Secondly, women face sexual and gender discrimination every damn day. We don’t include them in our list. A lot of non-queer people support that fight, but we don’t include them. Third, a lot of “queer” people are also ethnic minorities and they face racism on top of everything else, so I can’t separate ethnicity out of the equation. Why isn’t it the LGBTQ and at risk ethnic groups and friends and family and other people who support us or face gender or sexual discrimination and anyone that white guys between 19 and 26 are trying to kill community then? (I’m being facetious, but I am trying to make a point here). Are we excluding some people because we don’t feel enough in common with them? I think we do. We all draw a line somewhere.
My question was, what is community and who gets to decide? People under our current banner are there because “someone” decided that sexual and/or gender identity that is (or was) something other than the what society currently considers to 100% normal is the criterion and “they” call it a community. I think the groups under the banner are allies. My community is gay men and women. They were there for me when I was struggling to come to terms with my homosexuality. I still don’t feel like cis-gendered trans women (for example) are my community. Just because I’m a dude and you were born a dude, but aren’t a dude anymore (if you ever were) doesn’t make us family. Your struggles were similar, but not the same. Yes, I understand you. Yes I sympathize with you. However, the struggles you felt about not being the gender you should be and the struggles I felt about not liking the gender I should are different. When you were in pain, you needed to talk to other Trans people who had also experienced it, not to a fag. But its not about being a Trans man or woman. Like I said earlier, if you’re Trans and gay, we have much in common. If your Trans and straight, where is the commonality?
To me, community is a group of people with shared experiences, shared values, and common interests. For me, that’s gay men and women. Groups that fight for a common purpose are allies, not necessarily community. Other than fighting against discrimination, what are non-binary, gender fluid queer people and I going to talk about at brunch? I don’t know. Our experiences are vastly different. Even the people on Twitter who don’t agree with me have vastly different reasons as to why. So, I’m still asking, what is community? Am I wrong to feel that mine is more narrow than what others think it should be or want to impose on me? Am I missing out on a greater community because I don’t feel we share a common experience? What really is community? I’m open minded. Any non-binary sexually fluid queer people want to take me to brunch?