Something that our communities, small and insular as we may be, have on many others, is how we take care of our own. Sure, many faith based communities have holiday programs and outreach throughout the year. However, very few identity based communities, particularly ones around activities and relationships, take the time and energy to support each other, particularly when going through hardships.
For all that people say kink communities, poly communities and LGBTQ communities are about sex, relationships and sexuality, we are so much more than that. So many of us spend time, both around the holidays and throughout the year, giving back to our community, and not just working on policy and advocacy, but in working to support those who need it right here and now.
LGBTQ communities frequently rally around those affected by HIV and AIDS, as well as those aging in the community. Whether food drives, or helping out with hospice, or sharing love and care with loved ones, we come together to give back. We raise money, we offer our time, we bond as a community to give to our own.
The kink community does the same; many areas have kink groups that spend time volunteering. Whether it is for something specific to the community, like the Leather Archives, or something more general, kinky folks give their time, energy and more to give back. Here in Colorado, we have an organization called Leather Magick that works to help out those experiencing “times of financial, emotional or physical emotional setbacks.” They host fundraisers, they facilitate getting help to those who need it from those who are willing to offer it, and making sure that everyone in our community. Kink communities around the country have these sorts of organizations, whether formally created or just done piece meal by individuals in the community. I invite those organizations to post links to their groups below to encourage support for them
Frequently, communities have a label put on them by others. As communities that celebrate and validate our identities around our sexuality, we are seen as not as legit, not as benevolent, not as community centric. However, they don’t see the amount of love and support we have for one another, how much we care for those that are struggling, how much we too band together to stay strong. When we lose someone we care about, how we support the survivors – in non-traditional relationships, kink partners, queer partners and non-primary partners frequently aren’t recognized as having lost a loved one, and often aren’t supported through legal benefits. We come together and are there for them. When someone is ill, we too host fundraisers to cover medical expenses, we bring food (oh the food that we bring!) to help everyone remember to eat. We are strong communities, and we believe in each other.
For all of our issues, our cliques, our judgment of factions of our communities, the areas we need to work on, we are a strong and caring community. We care about each other, we strengthen our bonds, and we do our best to not leave anyone alone and behind. I am proud to be a part of all of my communities and will continue to support them in supporting our communities.