Leadership and Community

December 3rd, 2012

“Behind every great man, there’s a great woman.” Or reverse that, if you’re the other way around. I’m not a leader. I don’t play the politics game. I am a follower, an organizer, a communicator and a peace-maker. I stay behind the scenes, quietly helping things run as smoothly as I am able.

This community of ours is large and quite diverse. I am lucky to be a part of a local community with so many active groups that I’m not sure I can even name them all. And in a kink community, with so many alpha(Dom) personalities, it really takes something to be a leader. It takes something I don’t have, and I’m very grateful to those that do.

It isn’t even just about running one of the many group meetings or parties. These leaders bring together people from all walks of life, with kinks as varied as the stars, and they create community. They create spaces where everyone can be their true selves without fear. They lead by serving, always active in their events, and in the events of others. They also mediate disputes, with fairness and understanding. They stay true to themselves and their agreements with the community at large, to keep everyone safe. Even when doing so makes people unhappy. You can’t make everyone happy all the time, especially if you’re a leader. Sometimes you have to put the group above the individual. Even if you care for the individual very much. I couldn’t do it, and I’m so very grateful for and proud of those that do. And do so with discretion and care for all involved.

 

Well, that was not what I had intended to write. But since it’s what came out, it probably needed said. I was going to write about community. What does community mean to me, was the question I was asked. So, let’s go from there.

Community is a group of people with a common interest (most dictionary definitions stop there, but I go further), who come together to support each other and share with one another. In the context of this blog, that common interest is Kink. We are a group of people whose sexual expression is outside the societal norm. We come together to learn and share and protect each other. Not to mention meet each other, it is harder to be kinky alone, though not impossible. Self-love, after all, can be quite fun, too.

So, what about this community I call home?

I love it. We have big groups that host amazing events. We have little groups that have dinner together. We have a couple groups that focus solely on rope. We have groups that teach a wide variety of topics. We have groups that throw parties. We have a group that goes to hookah bars. We have a group that goes bowling. We have a group for littles, groups for FemDoms, and one for photographers. And as mentioned above, I’m sure I’m forgetting some others. (Oh, yeah, there’s a poly group, too.) It is amazing the wide variety of options available here.

And yet, we are still one big community. People can attend nearly every single one of these groups, and quite a few do try. Most days, you can find a kinky gathering going on, and often, if you can’t, someone creates one, even if it’s just a movie night or a game night or a thrift store trip. Weeknight events can gather 30-40 people, play parties upwards of 100, and the big events 300+ (often limited only by the space available). It is incredible the joy, energy and caring that comes together in this community. And once again, a shout out in gratitude to the folks who make these groups and events happen.

So, what does the local community mean to me?

It means acceptance, understanding, strength, growth, learning, sharing, and caring. It means a place where I can be myself. Where I can serve and love, learn and teach, scream and cry, giggle and chatter, fly and space out. It is a place where dreams come true, and reality is even more exciting than fiction (and yes, stranger, too). It is also a place of humanity. Where people make mistakes, where bad things happen, where relationships don’t always work out. Where people fight, spread rumors and believe half-truths or all-out lies. But it is also a place where people can learn from the bad, where we can grow beyond our mistakes, where the end of a relationship, doesn’t have to mean the end of a friendship. Where truth can cut through the rumors, and bring healing, in time. Because we are here together, to share and support each other. If we didn’t, it’d be a pretty poor community, and we would not have anywhere near the strength that we do.

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Thanksgiving Day Gratitude

November 22nd, 2012

Thanksgiving. A day for gratitude and over eating. What am I grateful for this year?

I am grateful for all the people who love me, and whom I love. I have a life full of loving, and caring individuals who support me. Whether they live with me, in the same town as me, in a different state or even in a different country. I have a wonderful network of friends, family and chosen family. And I am grateful for them every day of the year.

I am grateful that I was born in the USA, with it’s freedoms, democracy, and wide diversity of beliefs, people, opinions, and opportunities. So much of the world is drowning in poverty, oppression and war. I am grateful that I have so few barriers (and those mostly internal) to following my dreams.

I am grateful for this blog. I have this space where I can speak my mind, openly and without fear. I can share it with people or leave it to be discovered. I occasionally get comments, publicly or privately, that encourage me to continue. I am grateful for a place to share my journey with others.

I am grateful for the little things. For a hug when I need it most. For a whipping when I need to break. For knowing I’ve only cracked and pushing harder. For a bed to crash in. For smart ass jokes. For pictures of fire. For kitties. For a puppy curled up in my lap. For apologies. For thank you. For space. For closeness. For believing. For listening. For asking. For silence. For music. For a phone call. For a text message. For I love you. For mindless movies. For chocolate. For cooking lessons at 2am. For running out for take out. For comments, likes and loves. For comfy couches and fleece blankets.

Speaking of which, I have to be at work in 7 hours. Goodnight folks.

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