Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Gay Community....or is the the Queer Community, or the Lesbian community? What Is It?!

A good friend and fellow blogger of mine posed these questions at the end of his post, "Singing the Post-Pride Blues":

From this, I extend the questions I’ve been asking myself to you. How can we overcome divisions in the LGBTQ community? What does this mean for the movement’s growth? How can we be more honest to ourselves and each other in the future?

Before I start I need to state that I do not define or situate myself in the same way that Kyle does. Where as he identifies as Queer, I identify myself as Gay. My coming out story and life experiences are in no way the same or fit into the same categorization that Kyle classifies and writes about in his writings.

I found myself puzzled when thinking about Kyle recent blog post. How can we overcome divisions in the LGBTQ community? What divisions are there and how did they get there? What historical linkages can be made from the LGBTQ (which isn't even the "latest" acronym out there in academic and activist circles) to other social movements as feminism or the civil rights movement?

The problem with inclusion, diversity, and social movements are that they serve many purposes: some good and some bad. The more freedom you give to people regarding how to identify or how to classify oneself (if you even go that far), the more factions and different individuals you have and ultimately have to satisfy.

However, within this diversity comes the reason why there is so many "inclusion" problems within the LGBTQ community.

Diversity is, in my opinion, the ultimate paradox.

Not everyone can be satisfied by a central movement. Specific groups and people can never identify the same way as the majority and then therefore become mad because their voices are not being heard and not taken seriously.

If we examine the ways the HRC and Transgendered rights have played out over the last couple of years (or just history in general) we can get a good picture in our minds about how the voices of the many outweigh the voices of the few.

While PRIDE is a time to celebrate and be happy for our diversity, I wonder if it is that exact diversity that will be our (as well as other social movements) downfall in the end?

How can we be honest to ourselves and in the future? Well that question, as my friend Kyle posed, is to me unanswerable. No one can answer that question because in today's pop-culture, academic, individualized, diverse crazy culture that we live in, no one can be ULTIMATELY pleased.

However, does that mean all social movements are left to fail? If this is the case then what are we fighting for? While its great to be a part of an organization and a movements, are we really only in it for ourselves?

I, like many people, do not know the answers to these questions, but as a person who is speaking from a privileged viewpoint, I have to ask if we will ever be able to answer or begin to answer these tough questions that could ultimately help push our movement (as well as others) forward into the 21st century.

So while we take pleasure in our post-Pride bliss and happiness, ask yourself the question: What are YOU fighting for?