Fractured Community Can Be Whole

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Is anyone else feeling exhausted as hell and more than a little conflicted? Might give the world a hug. Might run away. Might go full-Targaryen and burn them all. IDK (I don’t know). Between the near constant assaults on hardfought civil liberties – marriage equality, women’s health and trans rights – and stalemates on social issues i.e. gun safety, vaccinations and taxes. Check on your people fam. Chances are good, they are not OK.

Now, two years in, my experience in the Sin City LGBTQ+ community has been nothing short of an anthropologic feast for the mind. While we can agree that no community operates in a state of utopian intersectionality, the divisions in our community stand in stark contrast to other major markets nationwide. There are gay men and gay women and never the twain shall meet. God love the trans community, largely overlooked by both factions. And, good luck to a new generation of gender non-conforming and pansexual young people. They don’t know what the hell to make of you.

Blame it on my no-worries, Cali vibe, or the privilege to come of age in an era seeing the greatest human rights victories in modern history; but the division in our community is a major thorn in my side. Here’s the thing Vegas, I know the history. I’ve heard more accounts (good and bad) of the evolution of the local scene than I care to recall. It would be foolish to pretend the division can be reduced to petty differences and not rooted in very real, sometimes, painful events.

But, I am also cursed with the knowledge that it doesn’t have to be that way. I know what it looks like when a community finds its collective power. I have a hard time believing that Vegas challenges are somehow patently different than the rest of the world. That’s not to say that our fair city doesn’t have its own unique set of challenges. Of course, it does. But, are they worse than Birmingham, Gary or Raleigh? Doubt it. And, let us not forget the benefactor of a people divided (it starts with an “O” and sounds like compressor).

Should we hold each other accountable? Absolutely. Should we hold ourselves (and each other) to higher standards as allies? Yes. But, in light of the current social and political climate, do we really want to focus our energy on historical beefs? I would argue that benefits no one but our adversaries. Easy for me to say, probably. There is absolutely value in acknowledging the history that has led us here, but only to the extent that its helps us move forward. It begs the question: “Is what you’re holding on to holding you back?” The truth is we need each other. Every single identification and expression on the spectrum is valid and has a role in the revolution. The sooner we recognize that, the better off we will be. That’s one woman’s perspective. Joz out.

Happy Pride month! Here is our short list of featured sporting events on deck to wet your appetite.

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