My Identity and Community/ies!

Updated: May 5, 2020

My Identity

After my initial thought process, the following identities and communities came to mind: Photographer; Videographer; Freelance Entrepreneur; ASU Sophomore; Film Student; Film Major; Martial Arts Student; Martial Arts Instructor; USMC Veteran; Military Intelligence; EDM Enthusiast; Dancer; Glover; Flow Artist; Filmmaker; and Storyteller.

 

The Concrete

Considering the identities that I relate to my most surface-level and explicit culture traits, the following cultures/spaces were recognized: Casual dress clothes; EDM merchandise (Illenium, Subtronics, Lost Lands, and EDC); Illenial; Bass Head; House Head; Glover; Boat Shoes; EDM Enthusiast; Italian Food; American Food; Asian Food; Food; Freeroam Video Games-Gamer; Romantic Comedy Films; Action-Adventure Films; Horror Films; Comedy Films; Photography; Videography; Filmmaking; storytelling; and Photography and Videography Tutorial-Video YouTube Binger.

 

The Behavioral

My Behavioral Identity traits recognized while going through the process identified as Three Brothers and Two Sisters; USMC Veteran; Military Veteran; Military Intelligence (MI) Community; Rifleman; Honorary Grunt; Martial Arts Trainer; Youth mentor (Ages 3-16 years old); Entrepreneur; Freelance Photographer and Videographer; Introverted-extrovert; English Language as primary and only language; American Citizen; Italian-Family Background; Observant; People-Watcher; Rational Thinker (most of the time); An Empath; Heterosexual Male; Small Family Tree; Divorced Parents/Broken Family Tree Since One-year-old; and I don’t have a political affiliation/preference/stand at this time.

 

The Symbolic

My values and beliefs consist of: Mannerism; Kindness; Empathy; No Religious Preference, but have experienced Christian and Catholic religious practices; Spiritual; Yogee; Meditator; Mindfulness; Inner Peace; Pro-Multiculturalism; LGBT-QQ Supporter; Patriotic; Determined; Work Ethic; Respectful Towards Elders; firm believer that Everyone has the ability to achieve success if you apply yourself; "It's not what you know, it's who you know;" and Follower of the law/obedient to the government.

 

Reflection

The most difficult part of thinking through this process to identify my personal identities and culture was digging into my past. As individuals, we each possess a variety of interests and beliefs that are nurtured from our experiences, childhoods, peers, work environments, and many other factors. Recalling all these moments from our lives to identify a handful of our cultural components not only proves to be challenging but acts as a reminder of our past and why we are who we are today.

As I was going through the process of extracting my identities from my life experience so far, there were a few additional ones that stood out as I would narrow my identities from a macro category to micro. As I mentioned under "The Concrete" section above, EDM is at the top of my list for communities that I've gotten involved with. Identifying as an Illenial and Glover stems from my passion and interest in the EDM Community. My experience as an active duty military member from 2013-2018 introduced me to the Military Intelligence and Critical/Analytical Thinkers, while my time as an assistant martial arts instructor from 2011-2013 showed me the ropes of being a Youth Mentor. And as a result of my upbringing and by my personal choice, I am a supporter of encouraging multicultural environments and spaces. Not only has my interest and journey in pursuing entrepreneurial business as a freelance photographer and videographer supported my multicultural open-mindedness, but it’s also introduced to me the concept “It’s not what you know, It’s who you know.”

Having these identities under my belt has allowed me to participate in a wide variety of communities both locally in my residential area, as well as my participation among virtually established communities. They range from a professional and disciplined governmental duty to personal leisure activities, dancing around to EDM in a huge crowd of good energy with french fries, passionate professional and entrepreneurial settings, and many others. As an EDM/Music Festival Community member, the two biggest things we advocate for are “P.L.U.R.R.” (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, and Responsibility) and the concept that “All Are Welcome.” This open-mindedness and support to multicultural communities have brought me into a community of like-minded individuals passionate about music, who, when in groups, can accomplish great things with the power of our voices through social engagement.

As an example, in 2018 one of the most prominent dubstep producers and DJs in the game [at the time] known as Datsik, saw the end of his music industry career through the power of our voices. He was publicly exposed by several women on social media (Twitter) for having sexually assaulted them during his tours. A sin in our community that will bury your career to the ground in the music industry if you are exposed for committing these actions. These women gathered in masses sharing their stories and traumatic experiences together and for all to see. In less than two days, our voices were heard. Datsik's entire management team, as well as all local shows and festivals who listed him as a headliner, dropped him from their events. Let's be honest, it was basically online protesting! In November 2019, a year and a half after his music career withered away, Datsik uploaded a video to his Facebook with an unworthy and invaluable apology to the victims of the cause. Katie Bain with Billboard claims his "statement does not directly acknowledge nor offer an apology to his accusers, an omission generating a great deal of backlash from fans and other members of the electronic music community."

This drive for "safe-spaces" and encouraging multiculturalism created a sense of shared identity that has not only grown within the EDM community, which I cherish closely and dearly because of its positive impact it’s engraved on me as a person. But this identity has also brought an element into my everyday life personally, academically, and professionally that allows me to be adaptable to all people and vice versa. I believe this aspect of my identity and culture will continue to have a positive effect on my business and personal growth as well.

 

My Community

As you have probably guessed by now, the EDM Community is the spot for me! In every aspect, it's brought me to some of the most kind-hearted people in the world. Because of how closely I consider myself to music culture and its members, I only think it's fair to share a little bit about it. Recall how strong our grouped voices can be in the Datsik situation. This was all done in an effort to make a change and make sure that the public knew, "hey, sexual assault is not okay." The action we took to display this sense of unity is what we can consider civic engagement; "working as individuals or in groups to solve public problems." The problem, in this case, being sexual assault awareness and prevention.

Through the social capital built from our group's shared identities, we are able to voice ourselves for the things that matter most in our community and see results from the combined voices of those who support our cause. This strength allows us to contribute towards civic engagement in our community by addressing our views on potential “community issues” and we partake in our own form of social engagement to make it happen. We encourage people to join our community from all walks of life. No matter your age, race, and sexual or religious preference(s), you have a “safe-space” here where you can find others who are also whole-heartedly open-minded. The common culture aspects we embrace and radiate are heavily associated with just being a “good, pure, genuine, and loving human” toward every other human. We encourage each other to be comfortable being whoever and however they wish and reassure that we accept them for that, whatever it may be. We embrace mannerisms, kindness, acceptance of all, open-heartedness, and lean on the mindset that “All Are Welcome!”

Our “safe-spaces” for the EDM community exist virtually on Twitter, Facebook Groups, Sub-Reddits, artists’ website communities/fan-pages, and more. We use these means to communicate, building trust and friendship through shared identities [music, artists, travel, and memories]. We make efforts to coordinate our travels in a way that allows us to find local friends and/or meet up with virtual community members whenever possible at music events/festivals around the world from North America to Mexico, to Canada, Belgium, Mediterranean Cruise Ships, and many more locations. Through these boundaries and spaces, we have seen many positive, uplifting outcomes arise from these built relationships. We have seen members of our community find best friends, romantic relationships, physical relations, and spiritual or religious connections, all uniting us together to further nurture our social capital. There are no set characteristics for a member of our community, which is in part what makes it so amazing. There are many different types, colors, shapes, and beliefs in the people who are a part of this community. Here are a handful of the people I have had the pleasure of meeting because of the EDM community:

As a proud member of the EDM Community since March 2017 when I attended my first event, Beyond Wonderland Southern California, I embrace and cherish the multicultural experience it provides. My most active years in the community and our events would be from mid-2017 to mid-2018. During this time, I was not in school and my free time was purely exactly that; free time. I had a full-time job then with full benefits, expressing myself in my free time by participating heavily in our online community. I was a listener, a follower, trendsetter, responder, and supporter of all people and groups that crossed paths with me and my group of friends. I participated in hosting events where these community members could be together and basically network. I remain open-hearted and open-minded to all individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds. I provide my feedback to those in need of support who may want or need reassurance from their trusted-friends gained through this community, whether virtually or in the real world. I freely address community issues that I find essential to address in the face of the public eyes in order to maintain the community, its health, and what we stand for; PLURR. To this day, I carry this mindset spreading it as much as I can in both my EDM community, as well as personally, professionally, and academically.

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