Isn’t it Queer: The Less Than Peachy Politics of Pronouns (Obnoxious Alliteration Necessary)

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Hedwig's Concerned
Hedwig’s Concerned

Disclaimer: This piece uses a veritable shit ton of “queer-speak” or words used by activists in the queer, trans and genderqueer communities. Note, I am not apologizing but I am excitedly inviting individuals who have yet to read an article of this nature, to embrace the new vocabulary. Please take into account that all of the words developed by queer activists were made with the intention of validating people’s identities, uniting communities and helping individuals to grow and feel safe being themselves. My critique of the use of this new generation of words, is to stimulate conversation and encourage inclusivity and sensitivity. Also, if you have any questions about terms such as genderfluid, trans, or cis, I would like to kindly direct you to google. Enjoy!

Google

I heard by a sour word of mouth recently that there are folks in the LGBTQ-ABCD’s positive community that are less than positive in regards to genderqueer folks choice of pronouns. I was made aware of multiple genderqueer individuals that believe that in order to use they/them pronouns, one has to be androgynous (and also that masculine folks should use he/him and feminine she/her). That sounds to me like a rule made up by cis people. Just sayin. Why so derisive? Why so exclusionary? Why, and according to whom, don’t individuals get to pick their own pronouns? The dude does not abide. It’s another example of people, within their own communities, bullying each other because of their own projected discomfort with people refusing to conform to gender binaries. It’s problematic and does not foster progress toward a dynamic understanding of the gender spectrum.

I also want to acknowledge the more talked about tension between non-binary folks and transmen/transwomen regarding identification presentation. There are ways in which the philosophy of genderlessness, agender, genderfluidity etc. have been interpreted as being threatening to people who identify as transmen or transwomen. They/them pronouns are sometimes seen as threatening or invalidating to his/her already persecuted and marginalized identity. On the other hand, individuals under the non-binary and/or genderqueer umbrella also find it frustrating to be accused of being not “trans” enough because they did not choose to transition from their assigned sex and conditioned gender to “the opposite one”. This is a gender-binary enforcing concept at best, and especially harmful when so many genderqueer individuals struggle with their own transitions. There are challenging emotional aspects of accepting your place on the gender spectrum as well as whether or not you would like to pursue physical transition procedures, such as hormone therapy or surgery.

To summarize for our readers that are less fluent in queer-speak, there will always be debate about fitting into the community “enough.”

Oh, the age old question of enough. “Have they struggled “enough” to be part of our community?” For instance, “are bi-sexuals gay enough?”, “Do non-binary people count as trans?”, “Do you count as a “real” insert race if you are mixed race?”. You can see how well lubricated that downward slope becomes.These questions are often asked by members of marginalized communities in a pattern that mimics patriarchal, white, cis-male tendencies to constantly invalidate the power of one’s peers in order to protect one’s community from further persecution . These questions of “enough” are exclusionary and derisive. Ironically they use a vocabulary (cis, trans, non-binary…) initially intended to offer validation to previously unrecognized alternative identities. The idea that any one individual has to prove their pronoun, experience of culture or race, sexual orientation, or any other major facet of one’s identity, that really should defined by the unique experience of the individual, is ludicrous. An individual’s experience of gender is an absolutely unique facet of their personality and they should be allowed to pick what identifiers suit them. Not to say white people should be allowed to pick their race, that’s not how it works Rachel Dolezal. That’s just appropriation.

This is also Ludacris.
This is also Ludacris.

I bring the fruit cocktail, vocabulary of queer politics to the attention of the reader less because I’m invested in people “getting it right”, and more to encourage people to remember why we are hacking the most colonial language in human history, in the first place. In my humble gay motherfucking opinion, language simultaneously defines and limits our existence. Which gives us the incredible opportunity to create communities that have space within them for everybody on the gender spectrum, by editing and improving the language we were taught. Yes everyone. Cis-gendered female femmes who dream of barbies for days, transmasculine fairies who are only butch on fridays and ain’t nobody can tell what they were assigned at birth, and transwomen who like forest green doc martins and a matching mohawk. Everyone at EVERY point on the gender spectrum should be welcome to identify as they please, and naturally, a good ally for this community would then be defined as someone who can hold space for people without questions of whether they are “enough”.

{Image Credit: (https://www.etsy.com/listing/126430117/respect-gender-pronouns-lgbtq)}
{Image Credit: ETSY Listing}

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and sex worker in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example through bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

 

 

 

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COM|PASSionate Events

Morning, loves! How goes it?

We’ve been busy traipsing back and forth to the Bay to hang with some of the coolest middle schoolers around. Seriously…

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Finally at a place where most of have to own the title of “adult,” it’s good practice to surrender to how epically un-cool you are in the midst of 11-13 year old gender rebels. I plan to bow my tarnished unicorn horn and step back gracefully. It’s good self-care to let some of the whippersnappers “eat genders for breakfast!”

{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399702165046/}
{Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399702165046/}

So we’re cuddling up, slowing down, catching some outdoor time, and generally honoring our self-care.

What is your favorite form of self-care? What self-care is always accessible to you? Have any tips for the rest of us?

{Image Credit:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399703427978/}
{Image Credit:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/3307399703427978/}

EVENTS

Get out, take care of yourself and heal in community!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Don’t forget there’s lots of upcoming ways to get involved!

  • You’ve done plenty of volunteering and advocacy this year! How about you do something for your queer kinky unicorn heart and run away to Amorous Revolt? Amorous Revolt is queer kinky camping, “To celebrate our bold love, our brilliant spirits, our playful (and sometimes serious) sex, our creative relationships, our radical interdependence, our perfect bodies, and our unstoppable power and agency.”
  • Hey younger COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES looking for something fun to do this summer?? How about Brave Trails— a leadership summer camp for LGBTQ Youth & Allies?! Folks that are our age or older– we know what you’re thinking– where was this camp when we were in high school?? Well, you can still go help out by being a camp counselor or leading a workshop! Go check them out!
  • All of these internet shenanigans too much? Need to digitally detox? How about checking out Camp Grounded: Summer Camp for Adults! CA camp is over but you can still take a road trip to hit the North Carolina camp in August!

RECOMMENDATIONS

Oi! A little self-promotion or rather invitation to come heal with us! COM|PASSionate REVOLT will soon have physical office space at Deep Dog Yoga, Yorba Linda! However, in the meantime, you can already book appointments for Physical Therapy Wellness Services through COM|PASSionate REVOLT PT or LGBT, Queer, Genderqueer, Non-Binary, Non-Monogamous, and Kink Affirming and Knowledgeable Mind/Body Services through COM|PASSionate REVOLT Healing.

We’re also dreaming up a COM|PASSionate Men’s Group and other COM|PASSionate Out-tings! This is a collaboration so make sure to let us know if you have any ideas! In the mean time here’s some self-care spots on the interwebs– have more? Let us know!

Radical Self-Care Tumblr

{Image Credit: http://radicalselfcare.tumblr.com/}
{Image Credit: http://radicalselfcare.tumblr.com/}

Boxers + Binders Queer Self-Care List

{Image Credit: http://boxersandbinders.com/2014/11/rest-in-power-leslie-feinberg.html}
{Image Credit: http://boxersandbinders.com/2014/11/rest-in-power-leslie-feinberg.html}

Elixher Article: Black Queer + Trans Women Discuss Self-Care

{Image Credit: http://elixher.com/eleven-black-queer-and-trans-women-discuss-self-care/}
{Image Credit: http://elixher.com/eleven-black-queer-and-trans-women-discuss-self-care/}

Let’s Queer Things Up Article: Self-Care for People With Anxiety

{Image Credit:http://letsqueerthingsup.com/2015/02/13/a-guide-to-self-care-for-people-with-anxiety/}
{Image Credit:http://letsqueerthingsup.com/2015/02/13/a-guide-to-self-care-for-people-with-anxiety/}

The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Life

{Image Credit: http://queerfatfemme.com/2015/05/20/capacity/}
{Image Credit: http://queerfatfemme.com/2015/05/20/capacity/}

 

Take care of yourselves,

The COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community<3

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*Events are put on by the CR Community/CR Community members. Other events are by friends of the CR Community or of interest to the CR Community. Feeling a little nervous about getting out and involved? Email us and if we can we’ll make some introductions so you have a friendly face to say “Hi” to when you get there!

**Most of these events will be local to Southern CA (unless we notice an event that sets us off into road trip dreamland.) If you want to do a COM|PASSionate event round-up for your local area let us know!

***Are you an individual, meet-up or community group that has some COM|PASSionate events of your own? Email us for details on how to submit your event to our calendar!

****Have your own story about healing or thoughts on healing? Are you a queer vegan healer? Want to talk to your community about ways you’re living consciously and connected? Do you want your blog, org, or event to be featured on one of our running series or want to do an interview introducing yourself to the COM|PASSionate REVOLT Community? Are you a unicorn in a pony world disguising your magickal star dust sprinkling mane to live amongst the commoners?

Pitch us a blog series or interview idea!! Contact us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com!

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Isn’t It Queer: Bisexual/Queer Invisibility

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Sometimes I feel like I am not gay enough. No seriously. If you read this blog regularly then that might be a laughable statement, because to those who know me I’m unicorns bathing in rainbow glitter. There have been times though when I’ve entered a new community and I’ve been treated as if I’m not gay enough for groups populated heavily with lesbian or gay identified individuals, and not straight enough for groups of people who identify as heterosexual. I identify as queer, what that means for me is that I am about as pansexual as they come. My preference in sexual and romantic partners includes trans individuals, butch lesbians, cis-men, and really everything in between. My attraction comes from some chemical reaction deep in my brain (…or is it nether regions?) that I have yet to correlate with people’s particular gender identity or sexual orientation. As such, I feel like I didn’t jump far enough on the gay train for a lot of lesbian identified individuals or gay men, and the perpetual shock I receive when I identify as not being heterosexual at said hetero-gatherings, is at very least annoying. Which is why I want to talk about bisexual/queer invisibility.

gay legos
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1QcVOUV}

So, have you ever had this experience: Upon attending a snuggle party (yep, a snuggle party, all the rage in poly communities, apparently) and after canoodling with 5 or 6 different women, found out that everyone of them identified as straight? Whoa…really? All of you? And more entertainingly, you get this little gem, “Oh what?! You’re gay? It’s totally cool, I just had no idea.” Ummmm thanks woman I just made out with. I apologize, did I project queerness on this party? If all this het on het action is just a progressive manifestation of polyamorous living, why aren’t all the het men making out too? My confusion abounds. I’ve had the same experience at LGBT gatherings, where people met my comments about my hetero cis-male hook-ups with a sort of resistance, or even offense. I’ve even been told that eventually I would abandon the practice with time, which suggests that I might age out of my current sexual orientation once I abandon naive thinking. Rude.

vomit glitter
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1AAk9lJ}

 

At 26 I don’t claim to have learned everything there is to know about my identity, fortunately, I have a plethora of time to explore. For anyone to suggest that after 26 years of flirting, dating, falling in love, and cultivating my identity, that you, person who has known me for a grand total of 18 minutes during an awkward small talk over a bag of cheetos, knows that I will eventually fall into one of the archetypes of more or less accepted sexual orientations in the U.S., is utter fucking non-sense. If I sound bitter-cakes, it’s ’cause I am. It’s not to say I haven’t been immersed in incredible communities of people that love me for who I am and celebrate my unicorn like uniqueness, because I absolutely do, glitter baths and all. One of my wise cohorts actually advises me to use these reactions as a test of whether a person can be a supportive force in my life and good ally. Simultaneously, the abundance of black and white thinking surrounding matters of sexuality, orientation and gender identity is still mind numbing. If we are progressive enough as a poly community to recognize that love is not defined by ownership or celibacy outside of one partner, how is it not an intuitive line of thinking to approach sexual orientation as not being gay or straight? If as LGBTQ individuals we have been endlessly poked and prodded with repudiation regarding our counter-culture, non-hetero preferences, how are we then so quick to repudiate other individuals who do not fit the gay-straight, masculine-feminine binaries?

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{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1FcOqTa}

 

Although I am lacking an artillery of brilliant solutions to the on-going binary mindset problem that we are facing, I am pleasantly suggesting that a more fluid approach to orientation and gender identity in conversations with prospective friends or community members is absolutely necessary to becoming more inclusive as a community. I’m not suggesting that there is an easy solution to this on-going systematic misunderstanding of the spectrum of sexual orientations that exist in human beings, but putting aside judgment when faced with an unfamiliar situation is a good start. Instead of “What…you’re gay?” or “Eww, you fuck straight men?” how about asking a follow up question like, “Oh cool, do you have a partner?” or “Nice, is he good in bed?” I don’t claim to be an expert, but coming from a place of judgment generally tends to isolate people. Bitter-cakes out.

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and they aim to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

Audre Lord

de

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

 

Isn’t It Queer?: Finding Our People

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Have you ever run headfirst into your people? After unconsciously shielding and censoring your speech for people who you didn’t feel safe around, after dressing yourself down or “less loud” to avoid being asked ignorant questions, or for some of us, wondering if we “pass” with anxious tension, there they are, like a big fucking rainbow cake. Like a gay fairy tale, you walk into a family of incredible humans that accept you in all your queerness and polyness and with all of your kinks AND they are so fucking queer (and poly! and kinky!) you can barely handle it AND these magical bastards think that every word of passionate discussion on gender politics you utter is the sexiest thing they’ve ever heard. WTF. You people exist? You mean you’ve been here the whole time?! Oh Los Angeles how you spurn me! Theatrics aside, the experience reminded me of a conversation I’d had recently with a dear friend.

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My incredible, life changing, ally, Lyneonme, once described the bittersweet experience of having visited Brooklyn for the first time. She grew up as one of the only black women in her neighborhood and at the schools she attended. She said that it was the first time she felt like she didn’t stand out for just walking down the street, almost baffled that she wasn’t being tokenized, and also one of the first times that she lacked the constant haunting isolation of being the sole black face in a community, as she went about her daily business. This is when she introduced me to the concept of “finding your people” and how important it was for her personal growth, to surround herself with a healthy community of people who identified with experiences she’d had. Her words stayed with me as I visited Oakland on my recent road trip.

Everyday I was introduced to a series of incredible individuals who could discuss gender politics, trans politics, and sex workers rights, and each conversation left me feeling more and more affirmed and confident in my identity and in my life choices. I saw personal style that reflected mine. I met a variety of polyamorous folks and was absolutely enamored with their ability to give each other real constructive feed back and validation during challenging life events. The experience was powerful and transcendent and to be honest, it initially left me bittersweet, like Lyneonme described.

It made me resent Los Angeles for it’s materialism and vanity, and especially for it’s fragmented queer communities. If Oakland has families of poly, kinky, and queer folks, Los Angeles has a series of estranged cousins, who are missing the shit out of one another. Jealous and bitter, check…but once I set aside my catholic (possibly genetic) martyr complex, the experience left me overjoyed that such supportive, inclusive communities existed. It also left me pondering a few questions regarding community building.

If I were to move north in hopes of building a chosen family in the Bay Area, would I be abandoning the growth I am making in Los Angeles by facing adversity? Would I be robbing myself and Los Angeles of the possibility of building community and creating my own chosen family here. Fighting to build a kinky, poly, queer friend circle in L.A. would then provide a space for others who are feeling isolated, to feel affirmed. We all deserve a chance to be held in the arms of a community that provides nurturing and safety, that is obvious. Not to mention, through the process of searching for affirming alternative lifestyle comrades in So-cal, I have built a small family of incredible allies of different backgrounds, who have educated me on the struggles of other marginalized communities. I also know that these allies have supported me and loved me for who I am, in every phase of my growth and when they didn’t have the information they needed to affirm my life choices or gender identity, they had genuine curiosity and open arms to learning that information. I’ve heard great activists say, “You can’t build a movement if you move” and I’ve also heard great activists say, “Surround yourself with your people,” The question remains then, what is the importance of settling into a city and building community and alternately what is the impact of moving? You tell me bold spirit.

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and they aim to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

Audre Lord

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**ATTENTION QUEER,  KINKY, POLY FAMILY** COM|PASSionate REVOLT will be at the Contemporary Relationships Conference in Austin, TX on May 15 + 16, 2015 doing a workshop on Queering Consent: Navigating Consent Outside of the Hetero AND Homo Normative.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Isn’t it Queer?: Poly-Ponderings on Love, Sex and Connection in Abundance

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Hello Vibrant Souls! Today on Isn’t It Queer? I bring you thoughts, ideas, dilemmas and revelations from a queer, polyamorous, purveyor of love, sex, and connection, Dia Davina. To preface our plunge into that sparkling can of omni-sexual worms, watch this incredible spoken-word piece/delicious real talk, from Dia Davina about the challenges and rewards of poly-life:

 The Polyamorous Mating Habits of the North American Red Squirrel

Dia Davina’s piece rocks my fucking rainbow socks, not to mention, they are so attractive, charming and articulate, it nearly blinded me. Hey Dia, I know three lovers is already a lot, but hit me up. Their piece illuminates the unique challenges that poly people take on when choosing to live an alternative lifestyle: the social pressure and frequent questioning from outside parties, the lack of support from family, the lack of good poly role models to learn from, the daily face to face battle with jealousy or possessiveness and the negative impact those emotions can have on relationships. Davina’s piece gives poly folks the gift of not romanticizing or glorifying poly relationships. Speaking anecdotally, there is a tendency in groups that live alternative lifestyles to feel pressure to depict their community as having chosen the ideal, revelatory, revolutionary, and flawless life style choice and the one with the most benefits, rather than just a life choice. When the reality is, people with multiple lovers, partners or spouses, also come with childhood trauma. They are also prone to feeling jealous, not feeling worthy, struggling to keep promises, and a whole assortment of other very human behaviors. Because -crazy concept- poly people are human, as fickle, inspiring, and full of potential, as is implied.

Davina’s piece, boldly and honestly, shows the challenges that poly lovers face, touching on everything from having to remember the precious details of each interaction with each of your lovers -citing emotionally fatal text message errors- to the revelation that having a plethora of partners, does not numb the very real pain of heart break, no matter how much incredible support our abundant community lends us. My favorite point Davina makes, remarks on the dilemma that poly life and successfully navigating multiple love relationships has no formula or road map. Making it perhaps one of the scariest life style choices in love, sex and connection. A majority of poly folks do not have parents in the lifestyle to model their practices on, and in all reality, a large number are attempting this lifestyle in order to escape some of the emotional stagnation they saw in previous generation’s monogamous tendencies. Making our “best practice” a brand new uncharted territory, that is frequently debated. “How do I tell my partner I need to spend time with my other partner in their time of need?”, ” How do I explain that I am not interested in the same sexual practices with one partner as I am the other?”, “How do I ask my partner to take responsibility for their jealousy?” “How are all of my partners having their period on the same day?”, “How do I process feelings of jealousy around my partner’s new partner?” Also, most prevalently, “what the holy fuck am I doing?”

DiaDavina

Being brave enough to take on your jealousy and apprehension in order to obtain abundance, is stressful. It is hard to take on a lifestyle that is stigmatized by the predominant culture, and equally exhausting being called “greedy” or “damaged” and having your relationship choices be repeatedly invalidated. It is refreshing to hear a piece that does not spend it’s time justifying our lifestyle to monogamous individuals (which is necessary at times) but instead validates the experience and struggles of those seeking their abundance despite great struggle. The piece is cathartic to listen to, hysterically funny, and as a political piece of art, it does justice to the poly-lifestyle, by portraying poly individuals as the diverse, emotionally complex, humans that we are.

-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,

Cory

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Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and they aim to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.

“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.”

Audre Lord

de

———-

**ATTENTION ALL RED SQUIRRELS** COM|PASSionate REVOLT will be at the Contemporary Relationships Conference in Austin, TX on May 15 + 16, 2015 doing a workshop on Queering Consent: Navigating Consent Outside of the Hetero AND Homo Normative.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

MHM Ep. 3: Disclosure

Good morning REVOLUTIONARIES!

We hope that you’ve all been safe and well this past week! On today’s podcast we’re talking about the complexities and intracies of disclosure and how we can make it more affirming for those of us doing the disclosure.

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You can listen here:

or on LibSyn!

We’ll start with a word to our allies and the 3 C’s of being safe places for folks to disclose to:

  1. Be Conscious- Check your privilege, know this is difficult and know that you don’t have the right to this information.
  2. Be Considerate- Can you help everyone navigate physical environment safely, are you a safe person generally and are you using affirming and non-normative language?
  3. Get Consent- If someone has disclosed to you, they have disclosed to YOU only. Be respectful and honor this information.

We’ll also discuss planning the best structure for our disclosure, getting clear on our needs, getting clear on the space we have to educate others and how to communicate everything clearly and succinctly.

Here are some of the links that we mention in our podcast:

Thanks so much for listening! We hope that this was helpful and we’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and resources as well!

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci

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You can reach us at compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB