Hopefully, by now, you've been to my new site at www.catalystLB.org. The vision for the organization is to reinvent the GLBTQ culture in Long Beach, CA over the next 30 years as one that embraces meaningful relationships, community partnership and resident ownership of the city.
I wrote an article on the first part of this vision unpacking what I mean by "embracing meaningful relationships". I thought that you might like to read it:
"Reinventing Our Culture Through Relationships"
As always, I appreciate your feedback. Does the article translate to other parts of the country? Other countries? Does it come across patronizing? Too naive?
On one level, it seems pretty elementary. But on the other hand, I think it's something that many of us aren't conscious about - much less intentional. I guess all i'm trying to do is speak into our local culture to hopefully inspire us in a direction as a community.
Twenty years ago, I was on fire about the very same issues you wrote about here. If I had been as articulate and dedicated as you are, I might have written the same thing.
But today, being over 40, in a long-term relationship, and living in San Francisco, I see your first and third points a bit differently. I don't think platonic friendships or romantic relationships built around personal growth are rare in my community. (Your second point about friendships between genders IS relevant for us.)
That's not to say those issues don't matter to anyone here. It's just that I think they're more likely to be relevant to single people, and maybe to a younger demographic.
I think building a deep romantic relationship brings you to a place where you're able to have platonic same-gender friendships. Maybe part of your vision should be how those of us who've essentially solved those problems for ourselves can help others who still struggle with them. I'm realistic: I know there's something of a divide between single and partnered people. But if you could make your mission more relevant to this other group, maybe there's a way to reach overall community goals together.
Good luck, and thank you for all your work!
That's the kind of feedback i'm looking for! Thanks! As a single gay man, i'm really trying to get a broader perspective on things. I'm going keep that single vs. coupled lens on as i continue to refine the vision.
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