As with many membership organizations they wanted an application, membership fees, processing fees, and one specific session that I did not have: a SAR (Sexual Attitudes Reassessment). As I paid for my conference attendance, bought a plane ticket, mentally prepared myself to be and feel "alone" in this space where the sexuality of poor people, people with disabilities, and people of Color would be obviously omitted, I also paid to attend a SAR. I've written about my experiences here in what I call my triptych at the sex conference. You can read part one here, part two here, and part three here.
One part of the SAR that I appreciated and forgot about, was writing a letter to ourselves. I received my letter earlier this summer and it got lost under a pile of other papers. As I was cleaning my apartment for the start of the new school year I found it and put it on my wall. Here's what it said:
Dear Sexy Bitch!
-Seen & respected as an expert in the field of sexology
-You are a sexologist of Color
-You find love & intimacy in new ways that feed & nourish you
-You build communities of practice that are supportive, powerful & free of opporession
-You are content!
-You remain always a fierce Sexy Bitch!
I'll admit I had to take a moment and think about if I have accomplished this in the year. Not being able to afford the AASECT membership fees, processing fees, conference registration, and travel even though my proposal was approved (although my time requested cut in half without notice) for the 2010 conference means I did not accomplish the original goal I had last year. I thought that this was one way to fulfill my first goal.
Even though I did not fulfill this goal, and today even if I did have the money to do it (and I don't forsee having that money at any time in the near future) I don't think I'd follow through. I realized at that last conference that I'm not welcome in that space. It's not a space for me, so instead what I need to do is create a space for us to be welcomed, visible, centered, and our voices given just as much importance as pharmaceutical companies, I mean doctors and those with more "popular" followings.