As a direct social reaction to long-established homophobic violence, hatred and persecution, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people formed a sub-culture commonly called the gay community (or the GLBT or Queer community.)
Because of the vast diversity within the gay community itself, there are various sub-communities that have formed. Most notably among them are: the leather community, the bear community, the chubby community, the lesbian community, the transgendered community, the drag community, the rave community, etc.
One can speak either of the local gay community of a country, city, or town (see gay village), or of the gay community at large.
Many people of sexual minorities value this community highly, feeling that within this community, pride and diversity are celebrated and appreciated, and persons who have faced hatred in their past can feel embraced and free to explore their budding sexuality. Often, people will feel a high degree of loyalty and political engagement to the community.
Others feel disaffected and restricted in this cultural milieu and criticize what they perceive as conformity and ghettoization. Postmodernist gays, for example will often view the gay community as just another social construct.