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[icon] Why the need for a community? - ANY in Pink
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Subject:Why the need for a community?
Time:10:57 am
Current Mood:curiouscurious
Why do I need the gay community? My life is complete. I have a family. I have friends. I have work. And I have my love. That she's a woman I see as incidental.  To me it almost seems like a non-issue.

So why do I need the gay community? To be the honest, I don't experience a need for one. Perhaps this is because, here in the Netherlands, I feel fully accepted for who I am and this includes my sexual preference.

When I first told my sisters that I was in love, two of them said, "Woman or man?". It's not a coincidence that they named "woman" first; they expected it to be a woman. Which I found very strange. I expect they knew before I did about  my interest in woman. In retrospect it's not that strange, as I have a preference for: female bands, female athletes, actresses. I had convinced myself that this was merely a form of feminism. To me, this was just who I was and not necessarily an indication of my sexuality. If you knew how many dating agencies I had exhausted trying to find a male partner I was remotely attracted to, you would laugh.

But when I did fall in love, and it was with a woman, it seemed completely natural to both me and my friends and family - my community.

Why the need to distinguish ourselves? I haven't really answered this question for myself.
I would be interested in hearing your answers to this question.
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any_gaia
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Time:2009-04-10 06:21 am (UTC)
I was raised to see other people as equals, 'whites' are no better than 'blacks', men are no better than women, one religion is not better than another. Whatever distinctions you can think of, there are always majorities and minorities, but that has nothing to do with 'good' or 'bad'. Or so I thought.
As far as sexual preferences are concerned, I am part of the heterosexual majority. My current involvement with ANY in Pink to my surprise has brought me in situations that I felt were awkward. When I talk about the project with others, I do sense that they immediately size me up, they look at me wondering "Is she gay??". And I have to keep myself from saying that I am a hetero.
Now is this just my imagination? Or do people really suddenly look at you with different eyes?
... and if that is true, I can see that it is nice to be 'amongst ourselves' in the gay community now and then.
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carrieinpink
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Time:2009-04-14 07:27 pm (UTC)
I can relate to this, not only in the context of my "status as gay woman", but also in the context of being an expatriot. Before moving to the Netherlands, I never identified as American. It would have been one of the last ways I would have described myself. However, living here the fact that I was American and thus foreign and a minority is how others immediately defined me. It caused me to be more aware of what this meant, of the prejudices surrounding it, of the benefits, of the disadvantages, of the fun and unique things that connects me to the culture in which I grew up.

As most expatriots, I have a group of expatriot friends with whom I will on occasion revel in my American-ness with. We get together for holidays such as Thanksgiving and live it up. We wax nostalgic about tv shows from our childhood. We go out for drinks when our country finally elects a president we are proud of.

Being an American is only one aspect of my identity, just as my sexuality is. However, just as any part of my identity, it is important for me to be able to express it with people who understand my experiences without me having to explain, justify or apologize.
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