Pillars of Our Shared Work #1
Author: Lamia Gibson
Pillars of Our Shared Work
- sharing the foundation of Six Degrees -
When we say “health”, it includes not only physical health but also holistic wellness, which is often related to the intersection of systemic oppression. In an effort to continue nurturing a culture of health, we decided to start a new section - “Pillars of Our Shared Work” - in our monthly newsletter to talk about the foundation that Six Degrees is built on. We are eager to share with you thoughts and resources on some of the topics that are passionate about! In this section, we ask: How can we together build a community that values awareness for inclusiveness, respect for shared labour, and creativity for fostering engaged participation? We would also like to invite you to get in touch with any topics that you are interested in reading. To kick start, let’s chat about inclusiveness and what it means for some of us!
Lamia here. I am delighted to be writing this personal message to you all on the topic of inclusiveness. Today is coming out day for me! For years I have been sifting through the binaries of gender trying to locate myself in one or the other. Despite the truth that we have been around for 1000's of years, it was with the birth of my child and the awareness raising done by countless 2-spirit, trans and gender non conforming folks that I am able to step out of another closet into the light of genderfluidity. I am a trans identified genderfluid being. I use the "they" pronoun as a better (yet still incomplete) reflection of who I am and my child calls me Bada (her choice) instead of Mum and this, for us, supports the genderfluid truth of me and me in our family.
For me, inclusiveness at Six Degrees is integral to my health and the health of all the people who come through the doors. To be seen as and to treat people as a shifting gender person, to be held in the truth of the often confusing experience of being gender non-specific is to be heard and seen. When I am heard I can more honestly share what I need to in order to be treated as well as possible by those who offer me acupuncture, massage, somatics, herbal support, Tai Ji, Yogic practices or meditation. When I am not seen I might shut down, making it harder for me to share what's necessary to inform my practitioner and creating stagnation internally which just makes for more work for those shiny needles!
The amazing video below (made by Rémy Huberdeau) is a snippet of deeper understanding of what gender means for me. I ask us all to be mindful and aware of the genderfluidity that is finding a safer place in the world and at Six Degrees. That old phrase stands true here, "we can't judge a book by its cover" and we can be wise and caring. Don't assume you know someones gender even if it seems "obvious". Welcoming gender diversity makes space for all of us to be, including those who "fit in"!
< Start watching at 4:34 for Lamia's section >
I want to learn more !
Here's a cute comic about What To Do (And Not Do) When Someone Asks for Different Gender Pronouns.
Got more questions? Common Objections to ‘They' Pronouns The bigger picture of your role in Trans activism:
You would notice that in the article title above, there is an asterisk after the word "Trans." There has been advocacy around dropping the asterisk because "Trans" is already an umbrella term. We encourage you to read this article about why the asterisk could be problematic.