November 6, 2013
Whether we live in a small town, the suburbs, or a city, communities play a big role providing support and a sense of belonging in our lives. Having people we can talk to, spend time with, play with, and turn to when we are going through hard times is important.
The communities we are part of can be wide ranging and include people from different times and places in our lives and/or interests and passions we have. They may be communities that relate to our identities (poz, racial, faith, work), things we like to do (music, art, sex, sports), and the neighborhoods we live in. Some of us feel that we are part of a “gay community” and find strength and solidarity in that community. For others, feelings of isolation can be commonplace particularly in areas where a gay community does not exist. In addition, the relationship to any “gay community” may be difficult due to experiences of racism, HIV stigma, and transphobia.
Many of us look for sex, friendship, love, and community online. Social media, online sites, and mobile apps have given us new ways to connect with each other. Like all communities, online networks can be a place we find support and connection. They can also be places where HIV stigma and racism can play out. Communities can be a force for great support and improved health and wellbeing and communities can be a force for struggle or for norms that reduce health. What kind of community do we want to live in?
How do we make sure that all of the communities and networks we belong to are healthy and supportive? How do we understand the ways that HIV stigma, racism, and other social issues can impact our sense of belonging to community? How do we learn from each other to work towards communities that celebrate and protect all of us?
As this website continues to develop, be sure to check back for more articles, resources and blogs by queer men near and far. This is our agenda, our place to foster a conversation, share ideas, resources, learn from each other and build a strong community network.
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