Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lesson 16: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


Be careful and make conscious decisions about what organizations, people, spaces, and projects of which you will be affiliated.

Life Lesson:

Folks will exploit you. You may be the first LatiNegra they have ever encountered in the field, and they may want to use you to represent a "diversity" they are not committed to in any way. You may also interact with people who have a history of being oppressive and crappy to other people you care about.

Always research before committing. Ask those hard questions before, like "what are your policies and actions around outreach and maintaining a diverse and inclusive space?" Be ready for folks to come with a standard form response, and be ready to disengage. You don't ever have to endorse someone you don't believe is someone you would want to be affiliated with.

There are lots of folks who have great intentions and do crappy things along the way. It's up to you if you want to build with them. But what you have learned is that when you can't find the space and folks you wish to have around you, you build your own spaces and organizations.

It's also ok to leave those spaces and organizations you've left when the time has come. Those spaces need to grow and evolve just like you did when you created them. Having you in a leadership position isn't always the best thing for the organization or for you. Other folks will have a vision and the energy to push that space in a direction you may not be able to do or go. That is the gift you give those who come after you: a space to push in a new exciting direction.

Ask those hard questions and push folks who you are committed to building with. When people don't have a solid understanding of gender or are using gender specific language, and you believe this is something that impacts a person because of how they were created and born into this world: speak on it! If it is about cervical cancer, push to make language and spaces inclusive of everyone who was born with a cervix and push that org to do better, learn more, reach more broadly, and be more inclusive.

Do that work if you have the energy. Do the work you are dedicated to. Do not let the work run you over, suck you dry, manipulate you, or cause you continuous pain (because this path is painful at times, until you find your way and hold onto your convictions).

Folks need you to do this because you have the power you have and can use it with versus over other folks.

For inquiries or to hire bi visit her site or email bianca@biancalaureano.com 

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