Giving to My Community

A few years back I was chair of and actively organizedevents for the Toronto Tongzhi Club (TTC)– a Mandarin speaking gay men’s club in Toronto.  Many gay men from China met through this club.  Some of them developed long-term relationships.  Tonight I will attend a celebration event by a couple who have been together for 5 years.  I haven’t seen them for at least 2 years.  They have invited me because they considered me as their “matchmaker”.

I received much respect and love from TTC members when I was the chair.  After my mother had a surgery, many of them came to my home as a group and presented my mother a beautiful card signed by everyone and a beautiful pot of peace lily plant.  Today, my mother has divided this pot of lily into 2 pots.  I will bring one pot to this couple tonight.  This pot of peace lily helps to express my appreciation to them for the love they once gave to me and my mother, and for their appreciation of the volunteering work I did at TTC.  This lily also symbolize the long-lasting good will between us, which doesn’t need frequent meetings, for it is in our hearts.

TTC as an organization disappeared just over one year after I resigned as its chair  — I did so because I wanted others to volunteer for this organization to avoid it from becoming a one-man show.  TTC eventually died because of lack of volunteers.  Last year, a gay man from China, then living in Toronto, found me through my blog site here and asked me where he could meet other Mandarin-speaking gay men.  He was lonely.  I emailed him back and said, “I don’t know”.  A while later, he asked for my help again.  I suggested that he volunteer to help re-start TTC and I would help him.  He said no. 

I feel that the strength of a community largely lies in the spirit of volunteering and giving for its own community by its members.  There is a Chinese gay community in Toronto.  But their is not an identifiable voice from this community because their is no cohesion and organization in this community.

Giving to my community takes a lot of time and effort, as I am doing now to my gay climbers community.  Yet it is rewarding.

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 13th, 2010 at 10:05 am and is filed under Canadian, Chinese, Gay, Just Being Me. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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