It’s hard to know how to begin our accountability newsletter this month because of the inundation of news on military, legislative, and cultural violence. What we can say with certainty is that we are processing it all along with you. We specifically want to address the willful neglect of Black and Trans people trying to flee from war in Ukraine, and all of the trans and nonbinary youth in our own country who are living in fear of discriminatory laws.
In a more personal view of our accountability work:
During our last session with our Anti-Racism Collaborator, Britt McClintock, we marinated on these questions: How can we address our intersectional identities from a storytelling view rather than a way of measuring our distance to power? And how do we know when we are deeply listening?
We’ve been thinking about how both storytelling and deep listening necessitate the body being present and centered. How does listening with our whole body alchemize us and our relationships? After reading My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies, it’s clear that we need to address the inherited pain in our bodies before we can really allow someone else’s story to come in.
Healing and honoring all bodies is a major theme in the work we do. As men of trans experience we have been told that our bodies are unnatural, ugly, and threatening. Oftentimes it's difficult to really listen to someone else when you are consistently receiving messages like this. Take for example the message the nation is sending to trans and nonbinary youth about their bodies when at least 18 states across the U.S. have made progress in making it a criminal act for trans & non-binary teens to seek the healthcare they need. At least 7 states are trying to keep trans kids from playing on sports teams that align with their gender, which oftentimes means keeping these youth from playing on team sports all together. We can do better, we need to do better for our kids. Keep track of the long list of these dangerous bills here: https://www.aclu.org/legislation-affecting-lgbtq-rights-across-country-202
We want all people to feel safe and centered in their body. We want all people to value the diverse bodies that surround them.
Part of our mission is to humanize the trans experience, and there is nothing more human than acknowledging that we all come in precious, unique, beautiful bodies. That’s the thread that runs through all that we are processing and all that we are working towards. All of us share the experience of being in a body where we store all of our pains and joys. It’s time that we start valuing each body as the incredible gift of nature that they are.
Five Action Items to Stop Anti-Trans Bills by Chase Strangio
Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens and Jasmine Syedullah, Ph.D.
We Do This ‘Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba
At Liberty Podcast: Finding Trans Joy Through Sports with Schuyler Bailar
On Being Podcast: Towards a Framework for Repair with Robin DiAngelo and Resmaa Menakem
If You Are Afraid of Cis Men Pretending To Be Women To Win Women’s Sports, You’re Afraid of Cis Men. Not Trans Women. Instagram reel by Schuyler Bailar @pinkmantaray
“Mashama Bailey” on Chef’s Table S6 E1 (Netflix)
Consider Supporting Who We Learn From:
Chase Strangio: @chasestrangio
Raquel Willis: @raquel_willis
With love and solidarity,
Wes & Finn
Co-founders of Q Inclusion, LLC