This year, I’ve been thinking a lot about where I came from, and how our community feels so very different now to me than it did then. I’ve spent some time watching and participating in hard conversations with people, both new and established. And what I realize is that my perspective is framed by the people that were my elders when I was fortunate enough to find this community. No, I wasn’t excitedly learning from them at the time; at that point in my life, I tended to think that I had already learned a lot about myself and the world around me. In fact, I was probably bitching quietly about why I had to do something in a certain way, or why I had to go talk to people and show up for bar nights (and as a woman in an almost-exclusively mens club, there wasn’t the lure of rough sex tucked down into the crotch of a pair of Levi’s 501’s to get my engine revved up about going up to the Eagle).