With the election behind us, the television and radio advertisements over, the Facebook posts decreasing and the next four years transforming — perhaps we can have a short period of time with less polarization, partisanship and prepossessed opinion. I am elated with the multifaceted results and civil-rights advances; however the Brechtian theater lover part of me was twistedly interested to have seen us violently hurled backward to the 1950s with the GOP, and Romney and Ryan’s platform and plan. I would’ve loved to live through the second American civil war! The huge transformation that is occurring in the world really boils down to scarcity versus abundance thinking. Those who once held all the power were terrified of the shift toward equality. And when you think of these two very different types of thinking, abundance or scarcity and how we go about life, perceiving and behaving, I truly believe that being more abundant can be one of the greatest shifts we can grasp.
That’s the country; but now let’s downshift to the state, the city, the community, specifically our queer subculture; where the same scarcity patterns tend to exist and thrive.
I’m a truth teller for as far back as I can remember. At times, I get my ass into some not-so-pretty situations because I can be too candid. It’s who I am, and when you are my friend, my coaching client, my team member, my fellow actor, hell – even my dear partner – you pick up both ends of the stick. On one end you get what I’ve been told is sensitivity, valuable wisdom from life experiences, a wicked sense of humor and honesty; on the other end of the stick – the complete truth about any situation that you’re asking my opinion. What I’m trying to say it that it can be a good and a bad thing at times.
A few lead-in questions.
1. Why do we in the queer community devour one another?
2. Whose role is it to define community? To grow the community?
3. Where does self-esteem come into the totality of success in our community?
4. Is drama a required component of our community?
5. What perpetuates genuine caring and concern in our community?
It all comes down to mindsets or what some old-timers call paradigms. The way we see things, perceive life, people, the way we process information and formulate our opinion about everything! In particular, our mindset or life outlook of abundance versus scarcity in our thinking, behaviors and relationships whether they be personal, volunteer, civic or professional.
So get to the fucking point. So many times I see members of the LGBT community consciously or subconsciously hurting one another. Why? Aren’t we all in this together; the same queer community shifting together, doing our best to make sense of our collective lives and improve our queer community in the process? Why is there so much divisiveness, suspicion, meanness, gossip and downright destruction of one person, group or organization toward another? I have seen and heard it within all groups, and I find it to be the biggest hurdle we still have to overcome to obtain full and wonderful acceptance by the society outside of the LGBT world! If we cannot listen to each other, learn from one another, seek first to understand one another, without bitterness, cattiness and demeaning comments and machinations, then how are we to expect others to act toward us in better and more respectful ways?
Over my years of living out and loud in the LGBT culture, I have come up with what I call the four cancers and the four cures. The four cancers infect and spread within entire communities, organizations, teams and most importantly in individual LGBT relationships unless we are prudently on the lookout for them and combat them by being abundant in our behaviors, words and mindsets before they become destructively entrenched and even deadly.
The four cancers are: competing, criticizing, complaining and comparing. We’ve all participated in them. That’s human. The challenge for behavioral change, which leads to individual happiness, relationship effectiveness and organizational success, is recognizing when we engage in the cancers, check ourselves immediately to be more abundant and gravitate toward the four cures. If left unchecked, the cancers can easily become habitual — a lifestyle and ever so difficult to delete from one’s day-to-day conversations, thoughts and life.
I am advocating that all of us in the queer community take some time to recognize how frequently we fall back into conversation that includes one or more of these four cancers. I know I have to check myself every single day to make sure that I don’t fall into the trap. It’s damned tricky and difficult to do.
I’d be sententious if I only yammered about the four cancers and ended there. So in my sincere desire to honestly shift our queer community toward abundance I unpretentiously offer four cures.
The four cures are: communicating, collaborating, cooperating and celebrating. Now, I didn’t expound on the four cancers, but I do wish to do so a bit more with the four cures. I don’t desire to define them for you, for that is a personal and individual matter. Nevertheless, I have personally discovered and observed that actively participating in these four behaviors a person, team or organization can promote and advance an abundance mindset. I would like to implore the LGBT culture to give them a try. They do work, and they do provide a solid platform for progress for all the positive things we are collectively working toward. There’s a huge transformation taking place, of which the 2012 election outcomes are manifest evidence. How we get to our next successes, victories, societal change, is just as important as when we get there.
So the next queer community gathering, work-related meeting, volunteer situation, or intimate conversation, please go for the four cures instead of a debilitating cancer.
To borrow on my heritage I can bear testimony that they work, and they take effort and exertion. They are founded in tremendous abundance. Let’s remove drama from our community, let’s work together intergenerationally, let’s check our egos and turbo charge our collective queer self-esteem, and truly care, show concern and take 100 percent responsibility for being abundant. The changes we most desire are found within that number.
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world — that is the myth — as in being able to remake ourselves.”
Best and bless from this big mouth, striving every day.