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On Pride and community

2021-09-03 23:02:27.600106+02 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Copying this note from yesterday across from Facebook because I want a place to store the resulting conversation (which I'll add in the comments):

Went to the Petaluma Pride picnic last night. Met some cool people. And realized something: There are a number of us who are casting around, trying to create community, managing to create small pockets of people, and...

There's a lot of value in being someone who shows up. Not just someone who puts things together, figures out the venue, coordinates the logistics, but just going to events and hanging out.

And as I look around at creating community, I'm realizing that sometimes I just need to be the person who shows up. Maybe even more often than one of the organizers. Because we have an awful lot of events that are pulling ten or twenty people, or even fifty or sixty, and maybe joining those events together would create more energy and momentum than running them separately...

[ related topics: Television Sports Community ]

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#Comment Re: On Pride and community made: 2021-09-03 23:03:39.084289+02 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Neo Elder Elaborate on "joining these events together to create more energy and momentum than running them separately".

Dan Lyke I hate to say this, because I've spent a good portion of the last 6 or 7 years learning the intricacies of the rituals of an obscure society (eg: square dancing), but what we hang the community off of isn't nearly as important as the community. Whether it's bowling or square dancing or listening to live music, the point is the socializing with the other people involved in the activity.

So it may be me learning to enjoy other things, rather than staying monomaniacal about square dancing, and hanging out in those other communities rather than always trying to pull them into mine.

Especially because the term "square dancing" has so much to overcome in terms of who it attracts and what its history is. In my area there's a lot of work being done to change that (Yay Redwood Rainbows!), but I need to spend more time investing in the communities I want to attract to it rather than investing in it.

Neo Elder Does the activity define the community? Or can a community transition to another activity and still maintain it's integrity and energy?

Dan Lyke Good question. Obviously one of my assumptions is that the notion of community is at least somewhat transferable between activities. I'd suggest that a lot of church and sports (both participatory and spectatorly) is like that, even if the participants aren't aware of the transferrable aspects ("Local sportzballz teamz 4 lyfe!!1!"). Community built around shared trauma (which I think, could encompass quite a bit of the intersectionality between various gay and queer sub-communities) would be less like that.

Before discovering square dancing I didn't like "going out dancing". Now, I'd like to take some swing and hip hop classes. I don't know if they'd appeal as much, I know contra and traditional squares are fun every once in a while, and line dancing does nothing for me, but maybe splitting my interests across those every-once-in-a-while things for the sake of building a larger community is enough.

I'm in the process of re-reading Timothy Kurek's "Cross in the Closet", spurred on by Charlene's re-reading it because she's trying to buiild some bridges to Evangelical family. I'm intrigued by some of the communities he describes navigating. I didn't have the sort of 20-something socializing he describes. I've always been hardcore obsessive about the activity first. I think I'm starting to see what maybe I've missed there.

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