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Quarterlife Queer

A never ending story

With all of the recent changes in my life (leaving a job, graduating, moving to Los Angeles) there have been a lot of conversations around me about defining, building, and sustaining personal community(ies).  But, the more conversations I engage in and the more I am pushed and tugged in my life to form and accept communities that were not organically chosen by ME.. I find myself with less and less of an understanding about what community SHOULD be and more and more frustration about the community I am suppose to be a part of.

Prior to moving to LA the action of community building has always been motivated by   shared values/mission or geographical location for me. Whether it was school or work the people I chose to be part of what I considered my community shared those things with me or I shared space and communal responsibility with them. Now that I live in LA.. someone elses “Chosen Family”/community has become like a family you are born into.. you get what you get.

My life has become a lot of forced community with people I have little to nothing in common with (not to say that these interactions don’t serve to help me push myself and learn new things..some do), a lot of censoring visceral reactions to actions of people that I don’t feel I will be accepted in correcting..don’t see the point..or have been made to feel uncomfortable doing so ( like who knew so many latino’s thought it is ok to use “nigga”?? and do people not realize that when you say “ghetto” I know you mean black), a lot of being forced into boxes and labels (no..my voice does not match my butch exterior..thanks for letting me know). Really, for the first time in my entire life I have been in a room full of friends and been the only black person o_O.

I have been fortunate to be able to come into a new city with a group of friends that would gladly lend a hand if needed…and will gladly grab a drink or watch a movie or eat some brunch. And I LOVE most of them.. But a group of friends does not a community make.

So what does make a community? The hell if I know right now. Is it issue based or geographical? Ummm..

I do know that whatever it is it can’t be based off of someone elses community and it has to include some people that understand you on a higher level than us all being queer or POC.. I need to feel like my community is working together for something in a healthy way and achieving things other than just hanging out.

But how do you create that? Can that be created and sustained via social media? or across members all thousands of miles away? Can communities survive without “real life” interaction? What does healthy mean?

and so..here I am back where I started..ranting..less understanding and more frustration. I guess this is what happens when have so much time to sit and think about every aspect of life..over and over. *sigh*

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