I think of my two discourse communities as my past and present self. More specifically, they are my friend group from high school and my friend group that I hang out with most often. To be clear, I love the people in each of these friend groups to death. I experienced my adolescent, formative years with my high school friend group, and that bond can never be broken. I’ve found my fastest friends in my current friend group and know that they have my back. They’re both made up of talented, motivated individuals. However, in most senses they are very different from each other.
My high school friend group is, in a word, rude. One on one they’re all great and friendly individuals. We talk mostly about surface level issues, like how work is going or who is the best Kings player. Yet when they all get together, they start spouting sexist, racist rhetoric that really irritates me. They’re very close-minded and are not willing to interact with people outside their bubble. In all, I enjoy hanging out with them but only for short periods of time.
My current friend group is crass, outrageous, and fun. Those may not seem like admirable qualities for the most part, but that’s why I love them. They are much more open, in multiple senses. They are pro-feminist, LGBTQ-friendly people to whom I can talk about anything. Before “squad” I didn’t have friends that I could express my feelings to. Now I can be as weird and as open as possible, and it feels excellent.
I’ve been told in the past that I don’t need to justify who I hang out with. We all have friends for different reasons. At the same time, friends may come and go, and I have a feeling that my high school friend group is on the way out. Occasional visits aside, I am going to stick with my new squad.