I love my people. Deeply. Passionately. My friends, my partner, my dalliances.
I love the communities where I live, too. There are brilliant, strong, amazing people willing to stand up and fight for what they think is right, and to create space and acceptance for all.
I saw this opinion somewhere online and saved it, because it spoke to me:
“Communities are always toxic in my opinion. The hive mind combined with the dominance hierarchy is a disaster waiting to happen, it just breeds clones who then become extreme stereotypes in a futile attempt the climb the hierarchy.”
And I disagree.
Communities are not always toxic.
They can be though. And they often contain toxicity—especially to those who are not “the same.”
I often say that every community is a reflection of it’s leader.
Just like I say that a power exchange relationship is a reflection of the dominant.
What I’d like to clarify, though, is that the leader (or dominant in a relationship) is not always the person you see. That is a topic for another writing, but I did want to put that out there.
Also, in some communities, there are more than one leader. Leadership, if you will. A group of people with ideas and ethics of their own, that may or may not be the same as the others.
And community is often a reflection of that.
After all, if people don’t believe that a leader is running things well, and in a way that benefits them, usually the community will split and you’ll now have Team A and Team B.
Not unlike religion.
But back to leadership.
Most kinky communities are home-grown organizations. Started by humans who want more people like themselves around.
How much like themselves and in what ways matters, though.
No one is perfect.
And some people, however well-intentioned, surround themselves with people who will be LIKE THEM in as many ways as possible, including in their fears and apprehensions.
Sometimes, even in their petty meannesses and hates.
And that creates a toxic community.
A feedback loop for members that THIS is good and that is bad and if you aren’t the same, if you don’t assimilate, you will alone. Now and forever.
Some leaders, though, seek diversity and inclusion.
They look for a variety of people and ideas and thoughts and experiences and value what they bring to the table and how they make the groups or family of club or system stronger through their diversity.
And unless a leader or leadership team truly VALUES diversity and inclusion and, more importantly, CHANGE, because change will constantly happen if you have a diverse cast of characters with a wide variety of viewpoints and needs…unless those values are core values in everyone who makes up the leadership team, they will fade away over time.
Not unlike startups with lofty ideals often dull as they get bigger, and the corporation and capitalist mentality sets in of “more MONEY at all costs,” versus “more VALUE or GOOD at all costs.”
And as I write this, I realize that Not only am I wanting to share these thoughts with you, but I’m specifically writing them for myself. A reminder to my future self of what I do what I do with Dating Kinky, and why I make the decisions I do as we grow.
And why I am constantly on the lookout for new voices to lift and people to connect with.
And how so many other amazing communities have been brought low under the weight of their own leadership—and their fears and petty hatreds.