Originally Posted by CielDuMatin
Exactly, which was what I was trying to do by starting this thread and not making it about some specific forum, but a much more general discussion. So far I'm not sure that we are making any progress and you're right, Ceoli, maybe this isn't the right place, because those that are truly marginalized by this forum have already left. Hard to know how to reach out to those people though - I assumed that this was one of the more open poly forums around - it has certainly seemed so based on my own impressions and feedback that I have got. If you have a better suggestion, I'd be glad to hear it.
First, I would suggest that putting responsibility on a marginalized group to somehow "un-marginalize" themselves by teaching everyone else how not to marginalize them tends not to work. I've found that the best way to succeed in being more inclusive is for the dominant group to *first* do some hard self-examination.
Next, if I was doing a training on this, I would ask the participants to to make a list of all of their assumptions and perceptions of people who are young and poly. This is often a hard thing to accomplish because people can be very unwilling to admit what assumptions they carry (even to themselves). This is a hard process that has to involve some brutal honesty.
Then we'd examine how those assumptions we make (whether correct or incorrect) manifest in what we say or what culture is created in the larger group.
Those are just some first steps.
But we live in a rough world, and sometimes this necessitates creating the "niches". I look forward to a day where such niches aren't necessary, but I fear that we are a long way off this.
Niches are not always a bad thing. People are diverse and have diverse needs and there's nothing wrong with gathering together around common needs or tastes or identities and to celebrate that. However, when a community that contains a broad range of identities makes that space welcoming to some identities and not to others, or somehow operates with incorrect assumptions about the identities of others, then groups are created out of a need for space to just be heard rather than a desire to gather and celebrate their identities. In that case, there are larger, less healthy things going on in that community.