cereus: Abstract picture of the sun as a fire with the word Hearth (hearth)
(This came up in my mind because Mark is reading Sunshine on video!)

One of the things about Sunshine that's amazing is the community there.  Like Mrs. Bialosky sticking up for Sunshine, and helping keep the neighborhood flowerbeds planted, and sharing the right kind of gossip.  And Mel comforting her when needed and giving people rides on his motorbike.  And Sunshine making food for everyone (obviously :P ).

And Paulie taking an early morning shift every once in a while so others can sleep in.

And Charlie... And Jesse.... And Miss Yolande...

And none of these people are the same.   Sunshine is a baker, and a monster of sorts, and a tree.  Mrs. Bialosky is a Were (and an old lady).  Mel repairs motorcycles and paints them.   And Paulie is as young and enthusiastic as Mrs. Bialosky is old and measured.

And I think the same thing applies in the real world.  Communities can form with all kinds of people, provided they can (and actually want to - which is important)  work together.  And the "traditional" kind of community actually has grandmothers and young boys.  People who are deeply devoted to carrying on mysteries and ceremonies (religious or otherwise) and people who have doubts about everything and call themselves "godless".  And some people who just like the festivals because they're fun and pleasant and connect with them on that level. (And some of those three things can be the same person.)  They have farmers, and medicine makers, and stonemasons, and teachers, and people who don't necessarily do anything we'd see as "work" but are still part of the whole thing.

Community doesn't have to be about what kind of person you are.  Community is about holding eachother up.  Keeping eachother going.  About whether we enjoy eachother's company sometimes, and find ways to deal with it when we frustrate or hurt eachother.   And making sure people don't get their boundaries walked over.

(And when that isn't working - that can be a valid reason to walk away from a community.  There has to be that ability.)

I think sometimes the ideas of "what kind of person you are" and "Community" get mixed up and melded together.  An I think that  it's been causing some frictions recently.  LIke for instance, kids who are (mis)diagnosed with something else and/or questioning whether they're autistic or not asking if they are "allowed" to be in "the autistic community".   Which, I would say - can you communicate with a group of autistic people?  Does doing so help make your life a better place?  (Perhaps through increasing your understanding of what's going on with you.)  Can you give something back?  It doesn't have to be anything much.  Then congratulations, you are part of AN autistic community.  Diagnosis shouldn't have to figure in (IMHO). Not all autistic people are part of "autistic communities" either.

And things can get especially tangled in LGBT+/Queer communities.  Because there's all sorts of history tangled up there.  And also, sometimes the same word can do *triple* duty, describing not only "what kind of person you are" (in matters of attraction or gender) but also culture and community.  So a Lesbian who discovers she's into guys sometimes but still wears the same gender-fuck-y clothing, and cares about the same people, and likes to go to Lesbian Bars has a dilemma on her hands.

And this also, I think feeds into the "culture wars" that go on.  I mean, if in your worldview, everyone in the same community has to be the "same kind of person" and trans people start coming into your community, or some lesbians have had male partners, and you don't want to transition or do it with guys then you have 3 options.  Either give in and do the stuff you don't like,  Loose your community and be out in the cold because the definition has changed.  Or tell those "awful people" to stop doing all the "awful, gross stuff" that you hate, so there won't be any pressure on you to do it either.

Of course, all those options are awful.  There's got to be other choices because all those ones are bogus.

The history can come in in many ways, some of which make this more complicated.  Like the fact that a lot of LGBT+ people got kicked out of their original communities for doing whatever they were doing gender or relationships-wise.  And so they need the resources the new community can provide badly.   And getting it to them is important.  But even then, that might not fall nicely into the existing categories.

And it brings up the whole question of who came up with the idea that only people with the same sexual orientation could be in the same community in the first place...

Yeah.




May 2017

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