Ms Betterhome

LGBT communities in a post-peak world
January 15, 2010, 12:51 am
Filed under: love & relationships, politics | Tags:

I have been participating in a discussion over at Casaubon’s Book, in which Zuska comments: “The gay and lesbian kids who leave rural America and small towns for the acceptance they find in big cities may be less thrilled about what a return to subsistence living really means for us socially.” She offers this link as an example of  ‘what subsistence living really means’, presumably to demonstrate what that a community based around subsistence (or home-cooking?) is intrinsically going to exclude queers.

Now, I’m a cis-gendered woman who identifies as queer, and most of my friends are somewhere over the lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer rainbow. Yes, many queers have been excluded from families and communities of origin, but the response has been the formation of new ‘families of choice’, and countless official and unofficial care networks to support homeless youth, people living with HIV, women with breast cancer, elders etc etc.

In response to the implications I think I see in Zuska’s link, my personal experience of non-biological networks of care and kinship in the queer community absolutely involve the same activities that biological families, or faith-based communities might participate in: preparing and sharing food; caring for friends who are sick, in distress or out of work; babysitting; gardening; and celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.

I’ve also been involved in HIV community education for about a decade, and have quite a bit of working knowledge of local organisations like the AIDS Council of NSW, the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation and Twenty10. Most of these organisations receive some government funding, but they are powered first & foremost by the communities they serve. This puts queer people in a position of strength, IMO.

One of the things urban LGBT people are *really* good at is grassroots community organisation, because they HAVE to be. I think we’re actually very well placed to adapt/transition to a post-peak oil world, not because we are ‘independent’, but because we genuinely have skills to offer that model ‘interdependence’.


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