Evolution is the process by which organisms increase their survival rate through natural selection and adaptation. It is not a stretch to say that cultures and societies evolve as well—we all know this to be true.

So I am curious if you have contemplated the evolution of the GLBTQI community—where it has been, where its going, or where it needs to go.

All the questions below refer to the GLBTQI community in your area or nation only, or the one you are most familiar with if you’ve lived in many places. There is too much diversity in the world to comment endlessly on all communities from every nation. The GLBTQI community in Kenya cannot reasonably be compared to the community in NYC, so please avoid those kinds of generalizations. Talk about what you know.

Before you answer these questions, I think it might be a good idea to tell us a little about yourself, and where you’re from, just so we know your vantage point.

Question 1: From the time you were first introduced to the GLBTQI community, to the present day, what do you think are the most notable changes within the community?

Question 2: The same question, but instead of the most notable changes, please comment on what is good or bad about the community.

Question 3: Are you satisfied with the direction of the GLBTQI community is going? Why or why not?

Question 4: What do you envision the GLBTQI community will be like in 10 to 20 years?

Please copy and paste the above questions into your comments for easy reference.

Tags: GLBT, GLBTQI, LGBT, gay, homosexual, lesbian, queer, society, straight, transgendered

Views: 48

Replies to This Discussion

Me: 40 y. o. single gay white male born and raised in Texas.

Question 1: From the time you were first introduced to the GLBTQI community, to the present day, what do you think are the most notable changes within the community?


I was first introduced to the gay community in 1987, when I was 16 years old, and had started attending a gay youth support group. By comparison, I don’t think that the problems that existed within the gay community back then have been completely resolved today, at least not the social issues. There is still an element of racism, ageism, income-ism, etc., but I don’t think those things will ever be a non-issue with people. That is just too much to hope for.

In the late 80s, AIDS was on everyone’s mind, and the gay community really pulled together to raise money for HIV research, and to provide services for those in need. That was great to see, as the gay community really had no one else on which to depend. The straight world was pretty hostile to the gay world, or so it seemed.

Today, however, how the gay community relates to the nation as a whole has changed quite a bit. I think we are much more an accepted part of the larger community than ever before.


Question 2: The same question, but instead of the most notable changes, please comment on what is good or bad about the community.

The good is that we continue to be highly visible. The bad is that we are, in so many ways, still immature and superficial as persons, and I’d like to see us do better.


Question 3: Are you satisfied with the direction of the GLBTQI community is going? Why or why not?

As for civil rights, by and large I am satisfied. It does not strike me as a highly complex or confusing issue. It is pretty black and white as far as I am concerned, so it is difficult for anyone to get that wrong (except for those against them). The gay community knows what its rights should be.

As for a place to gain personal satisfaction and enjoyment, it is not there for me.


Question 4: What do you envision the GLBTQI community will be like in 10 to 20 years?

I think we’ll be much more mainstream, and people will start to see that being GLBTQI is no big deal. However, I doubt we’ll see our nation being led by the President and her First Lady by then.

I also think the community will likely be even more inclusive and accepting than it is now, but in most areas, I think it will be pretty much the same community.
Bad: marginalization of bisexuals.

I wonder why that is? You know, that would make a great discussion topic in itself.

Hey, you didn't give us your background (age, location, etc.)
I can only speak for the friends I have spoken with over the years in the Gay community, but their feelings, in general, are that If you can have satisfying sex with your own sex, you are GAY, and having sex with women on the side. Bi's are just attempting to have it both ways, but really just holding back emotionally from coming out as Gay, because for some reason, they feel it stigmatizes them to be thought of as completely Gay, and gives them a feeling of superiority by (so called) being able to have sex with women too. True or false, this is one of the reasons B's are Marginalized.

Nerd, thanks for bumping this back up and nice to see you online!

 

The "community" is evolving and I am evolving as well.  (What GLBTQI community?  Is there one?)

Question 1: From the time you were first introduced to the GLBTQI community, to the present day, what do you think are the most notable changes within the community?

Amazingly more acceptance in many places than ever before.  With that, and the internet, the sense of community seems much less even than it used to be.

 

Looking at this another way, most of the people I knew at the time that I was 1st "introduced" to the GLBTQI community are dead.  A little thing called "AIDS" took most of them 20 years ago.  That I didn't contract it myself probably says more about me being a social "outcast" from the community then, as a total geek and workaholic.  So Im probably not even qualified to comment on the "community"


Question 2: Please comment on what is good or bad about the community. 

I think the sense of community is devolving to oblivion.  At least in my life, I don't socialize with any LGBTQI people in person.  That may be because of my age, or my work"life".

Question 3: Are you satisfied with the direction of the GLBTQI community is going? Why or why not?
Is it going any direction

Question 4: What do you envision the GLBTQI community will be like in 10 to 20 years?

I don't think there will be a community. 

 

Damn Im jaded. 

Me: 46 y. o. single gay white male born and largely raised in Michigan.

Question 1: From the time you were first introduced to the GLBTQI community, to the present day, what do you think are the most notable changes within the community?

The focus on HIV/AIDS, there's not as much of that now as there was in the 1990s.

Question 2: The same question, but instead of the most notable changes, please comment on what is good or bad about the community.

Queer youth, from high school and younger, are more visible today. That's definitely a positive change.

Pride Days, though, continue to be a very missable event. I've gone almost every year for some 20 years, and they always look pretty much the same. I no longer feel I'm really missing anything if I don't go to a Pride Day somewhere. To compensate, I now try to go to at least one Pride Day each year in cities I haven't been to yet that are hosting such events, hoping to see something really different.

Question 3: Are you satisfied with the direction of the GLBTQI community is going? Why or why not?

There is an increasing variety of sports and queer sport teams or clubs today. That's a positive direction to balance out the bar/nightclub scene.

Also steadily increasing normalization of being queer in our culture. That's also a good thing.

Question 4: What do you envision the GLBTQI community will be like in 10 to 20 years?

I expect to see asexuals, intersexuals, bisexuals, queer senior citizens and queer youth to continue to get better organized. Hopefully also queer nontheists! Maybe also queer groups for different parts of the world that are in the U.S. that are not very represented in the US queer community yet.

Non-discrimination ordinances on the local level will continue to be expanded to include queers, like Kalamazoo, MI just did in the most recent election.

Pride Days will need to innovate to continue to appeal to local queers.

There will no doubt be more queer community centers that are built and owned by the queer community. Those kind of community resources apparently take a long time to build up. I was very surprised to learn that the new building for Affirmations in Detroit, which was built 2 years ago, was only the third such building in the country. (Affirmations serves the queer community of southeastern Michigan.) Compare that with when I lived in Washington, DC from the late 1980s to 2001, I remember that DC didn't have anything similar, a central place where we could all go. The closest thing might have been the Whitman Walker Clinic or the Lambda Rising Bookstore, or the Dupont Circle area, the gay area of DC, or the local gay bars. When I lived in Providence, RI in the early 1980s, there was nowhere for queers to go either, at least not that I can recall.

I expect before 20 years (probably more likely in 10-15) have passed that all of our remaining legal issues - adoption, marriage, employment discrimination, Don't Ask Don't Tell, (did I leave anything out?) - will be resolved.
Queer youth, from high school and younger, are more visible today. That's definitely a positive change.

Great observation. Yes, the youth are certainly better able to come out at young age, which will only benefit them. Some as early as 10 or so.

There is an increasing variety of sports and queer sport teams or clubs today.

That's true too. I hadn't thought of that.
Question 1: From the time you were first introduced to the GLBTQI community, to the present day, what do you think are the most notable changes within the community?

I first became aware of GLBTQI-dom as a teenager in the early 70s in a small midwestern town. "They" (never knew who "they" were) would take guys who were perceived as gay, to a park or outside of town, and beat them with baseball bats. In some cases, guys (it was always male, with sexually ambivilant behaviors and sometimes who had male 'roommates') would just "disappear". People would speculate on what happened to them and why. There were rumors of night-time castrations in the main town park.

I came out in the military in the late 70s, and it was actually quite welcoming, I was just viewed as a guy who liked guys, and there were others around. Really never a big deal. Strange but true. It was fun. I had a great time, my self esteem improved, and I have no complaints.

After that, I went back to school, started dating, and then AIDS came along, and killed quite a number of people who I respected and a number who I knew, and I lived from day to day wondering if it would be me next. Plus in the different midwest town where I lived, the police would entrap men and arrest them, publishing their names in the newspaper without trial, and as a result there were job losses, and families broken up. As a lab/book geek and extremely shy, and picky in who I dated, and with luck, I did not contract HIV and did not get rounded up in any of the police sweeps. Still, civilian life was much harder, and scarier, than Army life.

The world is incredibly different now. Rights are actually discussed - major rights, like marriage. It's not OK in many places to ridicule. There is a lot less of the beat-them-up situation, although it's definitely not completely gone away. In my position, my partner has benefits from my job, and we'll be going to the company holiday dinner together - stunning, and unthinkable for me even a decade ago. HIV is a treatable illness, not the certain death sentence that it used to be, and is less stigmatized. Not zero stigma, but less.

(I'll have to answer the other questions later - gotta go)
The generation before me was in worse shape. At least I got to see change. I get to live with my partner, openly and with all the same problems and comforts as any other couple. I'm reasonably respected at work. My parents are ending their conscious lives without having had to see their son disgraced or dying of a horrible disease. I worried about that for a long time. (My mother has dementia, and my Dad is on hospice). I earn a good living. Not bad.

I think the darkest time was during the worse of the AIDS years. (Speaking of that, did you know that AIDS is now the world's top killer of young women? but I digress)
OK Dallas, here's part 2 of my answers to your questions...

Question 2: The same question, but instead of the most notable changes, please comment on what is good or bad about the community. I'm not sure there is "a community". If there is, I'm not part of it. I live in my house in a regualr neighborhood, I work in a setting that's probably 90% straight, maybe more, and my activities center around caring for my declining parents, my partner, and my worklife. Maybe there really is a GLBTQI community and I have just become too isolated from it. For gay men, at least the younger visible gay men, I became alienated because too many of the guys who I knew spent their time partying and chasing one another. I don't want to condemn that, but it was happening when too many who I knew were dying. So I let it all go. The GLBTQI press (mainly The Advocate and Out) seems too HOllywood oriented too me.

Question 3: Are you satisfied with the direction of the GLBTQI community is going? Why or why not? I think that as we come closer to equality in the US, the community, such as it is, will dissipate. A few disparate and quarreling factions will remain.

Question 4: What do you envision the GLBTQI community will be like in 10 to 20 years?
As above. I'm either an optimistic pessimest or a pessimistic optimist.
Question 3: Are you satisfied with the direction of the GLBTQI community is going? Why or why not?

Getting back to Question 3, and following from what Daniel says, although I doubt it but possibly because I'm still too culturally bound by the present and current ideas, if the queer community largely ceases to exist and acceptance of the idea of fluidity of sexuality becomes part of the culture, then ironically enough, the straight community will also largely cease to exist. Neither can exist without its opposite to define it and help it to keep its place in the culture. I agree that subcultures will find it very difficult to exist in an actual culture of complete equality and acceptance.

That in turn would also mean that an attempt to build a bisexual community might come too little too late, because by definition the bi community would not exist without the queer and straight communities to give it anything to react to and thereby help it to create its own space for itself.
Daniel & Eric: Thanks for the input guys.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

MJ

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service