One of the biggest factors contributing to negativity toward gay businesses is the wound gay and lesbian children receive around the competence stage of development. Everyone needs to feel that what they think and do is worthwhile. If children dont get this impression from caretakers and/or authority figures, they often grow up to feel incompetent and/or uncompetitive. Gay children are taught that the way they think, act and feel is wrong. How can we support each other if we have no confidence in ourselves?
The other way competence wounds are acted out are by becoming competitive. I am not talking about healthy competitiveness--I am talking about fierce, vicious competition. One business might come out against the other, overtly or covertly doing subtle things to undermine the company. I often see this among gay and lesbian businesses, and the worst part is that there is no need to feel threatened or competitive. The competitiveness demonstrated is from that persons or business past wounds.
The Enemy Among Us
Its wonderful that our community has multiple organizations
, businesses, and support groups. The answer is not necessarily to join together and create a single one, but to allow communication and dialogue among the various businesses. We need to honor our own competence and each others, and support one another by checking on dates of each others events, national and local, held by businesses similar to our own when we can. We should talk to each other about how to stand together for our common good and not feel threatened by one another. What an impact our GLBT businesses could make if we put our heads together and supported each other, allowing for more than one reality and honored each others viewpoints. Isnt that exactly what were asking from those outside of our community?
Id like to end this article with a quote from author and motivational speaker Alan Cohen: "Instead of going to scare city [scarcity], have a bun dance [abundance]!"
Joe Kort, MSW, is a psychotherapist and coach in the Detroit, MI area and author of 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.joekort.com