AI: Worlds Collide


I’m the sort of person who tends to have groups of friends that stay fairly separate from one another.  I’ve got my friends from lab, from various online communities, and various other subdivisions of life.  It’s always a little odd and a little stressful to me when disparate groups come into contact with one another, even when I’m fairly sure they’ll like one another.  I feel responsibility to make sure everyone has fun, and I fret about anyone feeling like the odd one out, since that’s happened to me many times in the past.

How do you feel about different groups of your friends coming into contact with one another?  What kinds of experiences have you had with this?  Have you ever run into conflict, and if so, how did you deal with it?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.

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  1. I generally encourage it. My queer/poly/trans* friend group and my past-academic/work/tech/gaming friend groups are largely separate, but tend to be compatible and have a few overlaps here and there. For the most part they get along, and I like to encourage the diversity of experience and conversation-provoking interactions that happen when they collide.

    I have run into only one significant conflict when one of my programmer buddies turned out to be pretty strongly gender-essentialist and was boozedly lecturing some of my other friends (from a privileged educated white male position – ‘I am an ivy-league man and thus inherently correct’ attitude) on the fundamental, biologically-determined differences between male and female behavior. While standing behind – unknown to him – a transwoman at the time. Whereupon he got severely told by a lesbian friend of mine, who he may not have expected to have a similar (PhD) level of intellect plus greater knowledge on the subject. Fortunately she was 100% willing to stand her ground and school the dude; most of us were too conflict-averse. It was an uncomfortable scene … but in the end his shell was cracked and he learned something from the experience. Worth it, I think. Anyway we got a good story out of it.

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