This is a basic premise I am going to use here. People fear what they don’t know. So, get to know them.

The key to this isn’t to only socialize with the good ones, the key to this is to accept others right where they’re at. Even if their religion doesn’t line up with yours, or political views. Robust discussion only happens when one person accepts the others opinions as that persons truth. Even if they are different.

Communities in America aren’t successful when they are racially divided. Successful communities thrive on diversity and a sense of community. When old Susanna down the road let’s her kids run wild again, instead of turning a blind eye, how about a real talk “Hey Susanne, I’d like to help you, how is that possible?” one person may be construed as the nosy neighbor, but what if the whole community did it? What if Susanne is struggling with a drug addiction and doesn’t know how to get help and keep her kids? 

What if Angela, who was born Daniel, is prostituting herself to pay for her very expensive, and much needed, hormone therapy? What if its as simple as a community collection effort? Then Angela could go to college and maybe get a job? 
What if the kids down the street have terrible parents? Addicted to drugs, abusive etc..Make sure them kids have SEVERAL safe places to go in that neighborhood. 

These aren’t pipe dreams, these are realistic things you can do. You can have community meetings where its block specific, go door to door and personally meet with people, have non-alchohol block parties or potlucks, in the street. Celebrate the differences of those around you. Be the glue that binds, not the recluse that divides. 

As sensitive issues come up, and hopefully they do, don’t judge. Be kind because this is the opportunity to prevent victimization in your area and prevent a family breaking up. Which is also just as tragic. Why separate a family that may just need a little community to help repair.

As human beings we are designed to solve problems. Oh, the fire is to smokey in the house, let’s do an oven. Oh, the oven is to slow for the single mom, how about the microwave. Oh changing your channel is much to hard, let’s use a remote! 

We are intelligent beings with lots of ideas and it IS your duty to help because your help could prevent a needless tragedy, now or later. You reap what you sow. 

Don’t be nosy, be loving. Be genuine and actually care, then don’t get mad when broken people try to absorb that love, because they need it.

Building community is everyone’s priority. Its how us LGBT people will reach tolerance and community acceptance, we have to get involved. Its hard to hate someone when you have emotional connections to them. Well, that is our job, build those ties. Let’s face it, if someone hates you, they aren’t going to come knocking on your door. You will have to go to them, what a better way then with a little love?

With Love
Jeff Utnage