Community

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2007 5:17 PM GMT
    Do you have one?

    Are you alone or surrounded by people?

    Are the people in your life committed to you or there for the ride while it lasts?

    Are you in an extended family or a clique?

    Do you feel understood, or that you cause mild confusion and amusement, or are not simply got at all?

    Do you have a group of friends who are connected to you and each other or are you the center of a hub?

    And after answering for yourself, what do you think community is? What do you do to foster it if you think it is worth it at all?


    For the sake of this questions, let community be more than simply a loose conglomeration of neighbors, co-workers, or colleagues of any sort.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2007 9:35 PM GMT
    I have the greatest friends and family in the world.

    I can count on them at any time of day and likewise.

    Good friends should be nurtured as you can pick your friends but you can not pick your family.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2007 9:51 PM GMT
    Hey MadApollo,

    Good to see you online again. :-)

    I am very fortunate to have a very healthy relationship with my partner. We have great friends that we spend time with and both of our immediate families are very supportive of us.

    I appreciate it and never take it for granted. I know not everyone is so lucky.

    My partner and I also like to reserve sometime just for the two of us. It's usually every Sunday, but we also take road trips, travel take walks or just have some quiet time at home.

    We both have very busy lives, so having some alone time is important to us.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2007 9:54 PM GMT
    Are you alone or surrounded by people?
    at the moment...among others, not surrounded though...that'd weird me out.

    Are the people in your life committed to you or there for the ride while it lasts?
    Both.

    Are you in an extended family or a clique?
    Yes/No

    Do you feel understood, or that you cause mild confusion and amusement, or are not simply got at all?
    Mostly very well understood, but then, I think that if one doesn't feel they are, perhaps they ought to revisit how well they communicate.

    Do you have a group of friends who are connected to you and each other or are you the center of a hub?
    we're all connected to one another.

    And after answering for yourself, what do you think community is? What do you do to foster it if you think it is worth it at all?
    I think it is support in action. To foster it, I try to be nice, understanding, compassionate and fair - and yes, exceedingly worth it.

    NICK
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Jul 31, 2007 10:26 PM GMT
    Hmmm, interesting questions...

    > Do you have one?

    Yes (but that could change). I'm involved with a number of groups (sports related and non-sports related). Volunteer. Have a group of friends.

    > Are you alone or surrounded by people?

    Both. (And possibly both at the same time.)

    > Are the people in your life committed to you
    > or there for the ride while it lasts?

    I wouldn't use the word 'committed' but i would say that for the near future that the people that i know will be around. You can only control yourself. Change is inevitable.

    > Are you in an extended family or a clique?

    More of a extended family.

    > Do you feel understood

    Most of the time. Not always.

    > Do you have a group of friends who are
    > connected to you and each other or are you
    > the center of a hub?

    I can be the hub since I'm in a lot of different groups but not always. It depends.

    > what do you think community is?

    A set of people with shared interests.

    > What do you do to foster it if you think it
    > is worth it at all?

    Yes i do think that it's worth it. Being gay, you're isolated in many ways from the beginning. Again, I have joined, supported and help run a variety of groups that I hope will make a difference.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 01, 2007 12:10 AM GMT
    I find that the circle continues to shrink, but the people I have around me are wonderful. I have a best friend from high school, college, grad school, and my younger professional days, and my partner and I have two couples that we spend time with regularly. I have a great team at the office and good acquaintances in the neighborhood, and family close by that I don't see enough.
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    Aug 02, 2007 5:06 PM GMT
    I started this thread as I wanted to throw the question out there and see how much this concept mattered to others.

    I am touring the US right now for work and school, and I visited a friend in a smallish town and went to his gay pride event.

    It was an odd experience as this friend (who is rather dear to me and vice verse) was fairly popular and many people would come up and speak to him. But not once did he introduce me to any of them. So I stood there smiling like an idiot while my friend and the other person nattered on.

    I looked around and saw the same thing happening for the most part. People would mingle but introductions were nill.

    From my cultural perspective I just don't get this. Afterwards I mentioned it to my friend, and he had no idea he was doing it.

    This caused me to think about how we build community. It does not happen easily as before, we all move around too much and have much busier lives. Relationships are more built from convenience rather than cultivated. And the idea of a network that is networked together seems to be somewhat foreign.

    I know it is my upbringing, but I think that doing life in community is the best way. WE support each other and encourage (ideally) the best form each other. Before people were born into their community and had no choice about it, but now we can cultivate a community that really does challenge and inspire and support us in profound ways.

    My family ditched me early on and I have always been nomadic, so this is something important to me. But I realized I always took it as a given that it was good and everyone wanted it. But then it has dawned on me that maybe this is not the case.

    So I'm curious is community as I have loosely described it important to you and what do you do if anything to cultivate it?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 02, 2007 7:26 PM GMT

    IMHO, your friend not introducing you to his friend wasn't a cultural thing, I think he just had a lapse in social etiquette. It was good of you to point it out.

    I think building community is a bit different for gay people. Many of us experience a disconnect with our biological families to some extent. As a result, we tend to create "calabash familes" through people in our community. I don't think it's as common in the straight world.

    When I first moved to Seattle, I found it very difficult to make friends. I'm very outgoing, social and approachable, but people tended to be very "cliquey".

    In a different time, I think most gay people built community, friendships and relationships via the bar scene. Now that there are more gay clubs, organizations and the internet, gay people have more options and choices, with regards to building community.

    Community is very important to me. When I host parties, I make sure to invite people of different ages, cultures and social circles. It makes the party more interesting.