Monday, September 22, 2014

Lesson 8: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


To have a community member "call you out"/hold you accountable it is a gift.

Life Lesson:

Lots of folks get caught up in a "call out culture" where some folks seem to be waiting for you to fuck up and blast you. This is not everyone all the time. But, when you are wrong, and you are held accountable, corrected, and have the opportunity to apologize and learn, take it! This is a gift of love, especially if it is by someone you know well, and most especially if it is by someone you do not know well.

Folks are hurt and oppressed in numerous ways. When you act in a way that maintains that oppression, hurt, and are told you actions have resulted in such pain; that is your opportunity to unlearn and make change. Take advantage and do the work.

Here's what has helped in the past:

You respond by saying "thank you," to the person/people who have held you accountable. You acknowledge the gift and what you have done wrong by saying "i appreciate you holding me accountable about what I did/said that resulted in xyz." You then you make your own plan to unlearn and you be transparent about that work. In the past what has helped is "I am going to leave this post for accountability purposes, I'd like to edit it with a link to what I plan to do in my un/learning process." Then you outline your un/learning process and hold yourself accountable. You then do what you say you will do. At times you may provide a public check in, or if folks inquire you share as much as is comfortable at the time. You end with saying "thank you" again. Sometimes you may repeat this lesson above in closing.

Without realizing it, folks will be paying attention to how you respond, what you say, and how you say it to the folks impacted. People will also appreciate witnessing your transparency. It will help some folks when they find themselves in similar situations. It will be helpful as a guide and reminder that they are not alone, the heat they may feel moving through their body, is not foreign, many have felt this and may feel this again.

You will then be able to provide the same accountability to others in your network. You will do so with compassion and from a place of love and respect. To realize that anger can manifest from love and respect is important to remember. You may say to folks "you did/said xyz and that is hurtful because it is xyz. When I am held accountable I remember it's from a place of love and respect and wish to mirror that in our exchange." This is what it may mean to stand in solidarity with people and groups of which you may not be a part but who too are working towards their own liberation.

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