The Occupy movement gets addressed from a lot of angles, but the one most relevant to this blog is community-building. I sort of wanted to get involved with Occupy, but the groups in bigger nearby cities seemed really overwhelming. The prospect of being smooshed in a huge crowd of strangers made me feel too unsafe. So, idly, I searched for "Occupy [my town]" online, and found that we were actually having a meeting. I was truly surprised, because this is a small, boring, apolitical, relatively conservative suburban town. Since then I've become pretty involved with our small occupation, even though we only meet for a couple of hours each week. And at this point, the most notable result of our occupation has been a burgeoning sense of local community.
I'm not saying that everyone in the group is my new BFF, or that we're all going to get along 100% of the time (that's not what community is, anyway). Nor do I know what this occupation is going to look like a few months from now. But the fact remains: This is the first time, in the 3 years I've lived here, that I've ever experienced community in my town. Through Occupy, I'm able to sit down with a group of people who were strangers to me in October, and work with them to try and change things for the better. I've met neighbors, and around town, I've ran into people that I know. This is a big deal, because it's something that I doubted would ever happen. I've always felt very isolated here, like the world was happening outside my town, and I was missing most of it. Occupy gives me some hope that this is not the case. If we can create community here, of all places, then maybe change is truly possible.
Although there is that asexual issue...up next.
(And last, here is some utterly shameless self-promotion for my zine, because it's been a while. If you're ever thinking, "Well, I'd sure like to hear what Ily has to say on some non-asexual topics", here's your chance. It's both serious and funny, like this blog tries to be.)