Gay Men: Do We Fight Too Much? How Can We Make Our Community Stronger?
As some well know I’m a flipflop wearing (of course with no socks) free loving hippy and often do I pensively ponder the infrastrcuture of the LGBTQ community, particularly among gay men and how we relate to each other and how we communicate.
The same multifaceted questions are always actively firing up my synapses: Do we depend on cultural references and music icons more for support and wisdom than we seek from each other? Are our collective goals and progress stagnant and too convoluted? Do we fight with each other too much? Are we disconnected? How do we learn from each other without deprecating one another?
I recently came across an article written by LGBTQ activist, writer, and media public speaker Jordan Bach that discussed his recent experience on the Morning Jolt show on SiriusXM 24 hour LGBT radio channel OutQ. Bach originally appeared on the show to discuss “personal (and collective) development”. Unfortunately, the host was more focused on Bach’s age rather than his message. Bach commented that the disagreement displayed fragmentation and dissonance in approaches and stated:
“I think illustrates not only the widening emotional and spiritual gap between gay men of different generations, but also the jarring disrespect with which gay men often publicly treat other gay men.”
Interesting and intelligent perspective though I worry about what spirituality means separately to other gay men and the fact that it’s more common to find the absence of said belief than a inference to a collective ideal. But that in and of itself is semantics and I do greatly agree with the sentiment. Also, I agree with Jordan that our society has a notion that with age comes wisdom and that is not always true. In my none too important opinion you limit your ability to advance, to obtain wisdom and learn and grow when you limit the source of knowledge. Knowledge is subjective, fluid, and malleable. I’ve acquired wisdom from all ages and seen those twice my age act as though they are children.
Further Bach wanted to reiterate what his intent for the community and what must be done to become stronger:
“My intent has always been to inspire gays to discover the best in themselves, and so I want to start having discussions about personal issues that affect us, like body image, relationships, and life purpose, in a way that is enlightening and uplifting, not sarcastic or overly eroticized.”
Despite the unfortunate interview Bach want to make sure that his message is distinctly and clearly understood and that with progress and awareness we can grow and evolve:
“My prayer is that gays everywhere should begin the inward journey, shifting our collective energy en masse, not looking back in anger or forward in fear but inside right now in awareness of all the places in our hearts where we ourselves are holding judgement and unforgiveness, that we might all be more swiftly delivered to the bright future that awaits us.”
Joe Kort, Michigan psychotherapist and writier for GayLife.com, discussed the concept that in our community an internalized homophobia, or LGBT that hate themselves for being gay as well as the homophobia that is directed from society, has become pervasive and detrimental.
Kort notes that this phenomena is why gays and lesbians will say someone acts “too gay” are over effeminate. This also makes me think of the dreaded terminology “straight acting”. Kort explains that this is because of . In conclusion Kort felt that in oder for our collective community can advance we need to communicate with each other “honor our own competence and each other’s, and support one another “. Kort feels states how this is obtained by offering this solution:
“checking on dates of each other’s events, national and local, held by businesses similar to our own when we can. We should talk to each other about how to stand together for our common good and not feel threatened by one another. What an impact our GLBT businesses could make if we put our heads together and supported each other, allowing for more than one reality and honored each other’s viewpoints. Isn’t that exactly what we’re asking from those outside of our community?”
I don’t and refuse to act as if everything within the gay community is perfect or that there isn’t always room for improvement. I think that as we grow and learn about ourselves. And whether I agree completely or not with Bach’s or Kort’s approach is irrelevant (as I do in most aspects), I do agree with the passion and conviction to always strive and support the community.
To foster productivity and understanding because we will collectively and personally be stronger for it. In my none to important opinion questioning our productivity as a collective is how we improve, notyice and correct what’s wrong as well as pontificate the things we do right. I do believe it’s definitely something to think about to discuss.