Community, writing, belonging

Even if you like to write, even if you are not worried about the actual process of writing, blogs are scary. They are scary because you’re talking to the world at large. Blogging about something like polyamory is scary because there is such a particular community around the topic, and I don’t really feel like I belong to that community. Not really. And, maybe the scariest part: I don’t really know if I want to belong to it.

I’ll explain that.

I’ve belonged to a lot of communities and chosen families and subcultures in my life. Goths, club kids. Sex positive people. I’ve led sex ed workshops and consent classes. I’ve been a very involved Burningman person many years, off and on. I’ve put lots of work, time, effort and love in to many times of social endeavors including Burningman camps and other subculture explorations and events. And I’ve also attended my share of sex-positive and poly-community events, parties, talks, happy hours and readings.

Still, I never felt a particular ownership or allegiance to a certain community. I’ve always wondered about people who get really into one thing and seem to define themselves by that thing, whether that is being part of the fetish or BDSM “scene”, the Burner “scene” or being gay, lesbian, poly.

I know that in many ways my refusal to latch on to a group and make that my identity is because I am independent and stubborn and I always seem to have to be different, even when presented with a wonderful community of “freaks.” There’s part of me that has held court in my heart since I was in grade school – that part that thinks, You’ll never fit in anywhere so don’t even try – just be you, don’t look for a community, and you’ll never be rejected from one.

I also know that this refusal is an expression of my extraordinary privilege. I can “pass” as a “normal” person whenever I want to. I never made the kind of commitment that would prevent me from “passing” as whatever I feel like being that day. I am reasonably well off and employed and cared for, and I’ve always lived in liberal, accepting urban areas like NYC or SF, where I live now. I’ve never lived in a place where your sexual (preferences or orientation or fluidity) could get you beat up or killed. I’ve had relatively little to put with, other than being a female (which has plenty of its own problems but I’ll try to stick to my point).

So, perhaps I didn’t cleave too strongly to any community because nothing pushed me. I wonder, if I write about poly, do I have an obligation to read a billion poly blogs and engage with them, or codify some rule set, or use particular buzzwords and accepted terms? Some are useful but some don’t apply to me. This is part of what is scary about blogging (about anything). There are always others who went through what you have, who know more than you, who disagree. That’s ok. And maybe I should read more. I kind of miss personal blogs. Remember LiveJournal? I miss the hell out of that. Partly, I think this blog is my hail mary attempt to see if that sort of personal blogging thing that I had back in the LJ days even really still exists.

Does it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.