I was invited to be on a panel with the featured discussion for the group being violence in the LGBTQ community. It was interesting as a whole but there was a theme to some of the panel member’s issues when discussing their history with violence, and it was loyalty. Loyalty is an interesting word and I think very misunderstood. Dictionary.com says that loyalty is the faithfulness, or adherence to commitments or obligations which I agree with, but does it apply in the situations where violence or harm is a concern? One individual spoke of being called in the middle of the night to help out a friend who was involved in a bar brawl. This faithful friend arrived after the fight was over but in seeing that backup was near the person involved in the brawl instigated another fight. The results were the faithful friend now has a felony with limited job prospects and was betrayed by the friend to the police because a gun was discharged at the scene and one person was injured. Now there were a few stories that day of individuals being involved in a violent situation due to “loyalty” but loyalty goes both ways and is it really loyalty to ask a friend to endanger their lives because you made a poor decision? It seems to me that a great many people really believe that loyalty should be “blind” to the long term consequences and welfare of the parties involved, but “blind loyalty” may result in an unwanted felony charge.
Associations based in friendships and family-of-choice (the family you choose not the one you are born into) should be for the good of every individual involved not just one person. It does not work well if the loyalty is unequal and detrimental to either of the people involved. The situation above demonstrates unequal blind loyalty and those two individuals are no longer friends with the take-away being bad memories and a criminal record. So does this mean that loyalty is wrong? No, loyalty is important within a relationship, it cements the individuals together and makes the relationship stronger, but part of making the relationship stronger is the desire not to put the other person in a negative or bad situation. Loyalty to them says don’t ask, so the other person stays safe and loyalty to yourself says I love me enough to say no. Healthy loyalty builds, blind loyalty destroys.
Bye for now.