Is there a GLBTIQCPA Community?

I was recently interviewed for an LGBT newsletter and I was asked what my definition of community is.  My response:

A group of people where everyone gives a shit about every other person in the group.

Otherwise, to my way of thinking, a community IS just a group - a collection of people that have something in common - some one or two things in common.  But this made me wonder what the actual definition of community is.  So here it is (from dictionary.com):

1.a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality,share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.
2.a locality inhabited by such a group.
3.a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists
So, actually, according to the dictionary.com def'n of the word, "community" DOES mean "a group of people with likenesses."  And that's it.  You don't have to have kinship or investment at all, you just have to have something in common with the others in the group.  So, by that definition, I'm a member of the
Jewish
Polish
Russian
Japanese
Asian-American
GLBTQQICPA
Progressive
Ani DiFranco-loving
BDSM
Parents of African-Americans
Parent
American Citizen
Farmer's Market-using
Artist
Fringe Artist
Teaching
East Coast
Washington DC
NYC
NJ
CT
COMMUNITIES!  Wow, I had no idea, I could be a part of so many communities.  But, I'm not really in all these communities, am I?
If I go back to my definition of a (capital "c") Community, it's one in which there is investment in the other people in the Community by every other person in the Community, then, no, really, I'm not.  Not that I don't care about other BDSM people or other Polish people, but I'm not invested in them, the way I am, say, in the GLBT... Community or the Queer Community.
I was once listening to a show on NPR - this is decades ago - and the subject was Black Rights - How far have we come?  and the moderator kept referring to the "Black Community" and the guest interrupted him at one point and said something like, "Let me just correct something here.  There is no "Black" Community.  There are so many different ways of being Black and there are so many different feelings about Blackness by Black people, it is hardly a Community."  I think this is where I got the sense that a Community means more than just commonalities.  It means affinities.  It means connections.  It means investments.  
Are GLBTQQICPA folks in a Community?  We certainly talk an awful lot about THE Community.  The Queer Community - which I have yet to hear a reasonable definition for.  Are gay and lesbian folks invested in those who are bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexed, cisgender, pansexual, asexual and allies?  Is the reverse true?  Do we have our own little oligarchy going on in our own little "c" community?
I want us to be a BIG C Community.  I think we have what it takes.  What do you think?
My first podcast of QueerSpeak in September will be all about Community.  Don't forget to tune in. 
  • Leave a comment:

  •