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 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lesson 15: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


You know too well how poor folks rarely are ever granted privacy, for this you will honor it with yourself and those with who you interact.

Life Lesson:

You know this from personal experience. How you have to fill out your entire life on papers, give documents, fotos, have someone else stamp that you are who you say you are. Then give all of that to someone in a cubicle where another person in a similar situation is seated next to you doing the same thing to another worker.

You sit there explaining your life and your current experiences in a room full of cubicles to a worker who could help you get some type of healthcare help, food stamps, access to services, food banks, etc. But you always remember it's never private. You are never in a room with a closed door, never given the impression that you life, information, identity, will ever be treated with dignity, respect, or integrity.

That's why you choose to do things differently. That's why you choose to answer asks privately vs. publicly, why you keep your 'anon' feature on even with the hatemail you receive (always via anon), and why you remind folks that if they seem ready to share something and you are in a situation as a "mandated reporter" you stop them and tell them that so they can decide if that's what they want to still do: share with you.

In a world where folks talk a lot about their experiences online, and in the field you are in that is one way folks build networks and credibility to an extent (esp. when you can't get to a school or training or afford those things), you will choose not to always share or overshare. You will hold some things close to you and privately because you know you deserve that for yourself. You will do this with yourself, your community, your support systems; you do this because you find it is a survival skill. It's also a skill that you've evolved into the person you've wanted to be and have the relationships that you value enough to grant them privacy.

That's when you knew the boo was who you needed to be with at this time: you stopped telling folks everything, you held some things just between the two of you, other things you just told the ocean and water, because you wanted to hold them close to you.

You work to honor folks privacy. We rarely receive it especially as folks who are poor, queer, disabled, Black, immigrant, undocumented, non-English speaking, indigenous, young, incarcerated. We deserve privacy. You will work to make sure you can provide that to folks seeking your help, guidance, mentorship, resources, trainings, workshops, and the like.

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

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lesson 14: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


The work that brings you the most pride and happiness will not always be shared among others who may consider other work you've accomplished as more important or impressive.

Life Lesson

You'll learn this primarily as you search for full-time work. When folks will ask you to give them examples of managing challenging situations or folks, the examples you will give will not be what they want to hear. For example, at the last full-time gig you had, you shared an accountability and responsibility process of which you are a part; one that was public, that was collective, and that connected to so much of what you value and believe in. You are so proud of that work, even if the outcome with the person held accountable did not happen on their end.

You were told that the process didn't matter, all the research, writing, documenting, conversations, building, negotiating, transparency, holding one another accountable in a loving and compassionate way because you are dealing with ways to deconstruct and destroy elitism, misogyny, and colorism. Instead, they will ask for an example of a challenge you dealt with in a *paid* position.

That's your first red flag. They don't value the work you do, all the work you do, that is unpaid or underpaid. Most of the work you are proud of is unpaid and underpaid.

Another example you'll give is when you created a curriculum for a non-profit you helped co-create with several of your local DMV homegirls of color. You created, at Tamika & Friends, Inc (the only national organization focusing on HPV and cervical cancer prevention and education targeting all genders and providing support to caregivers and survivors to.this.day), a curricula for HPV (House Parties of fiVe) parties. Along with one of your homegirls, you created an amazingly accessible curricula that folks used. It was nothing brand new, we just organized things in a particular way for the communities we are reaching out to at the moment.

That curricula was purchased by Merck Pharmaceuticals and used as examples of how to reach out to and engage communities of which you are a part. You learned through this experience that your work is sometimes best when it supports the community. You learned you don't need your name all over everything, you don't need to always get all the shine you think you deserve, that a lot of your work will benefit larger communities and that is enough.

Yet, other folks will be so impressed with this! And it will surprise you at first, but you'll learn it's what folks want to hear because they define success in ways you don't always. That's ok.

It's ok because you know that the work that brings you the most pride: the 20+ year mentorship you have with Candy, a young woman you met when she was in 1st grade and you in 10th; the accountability processes you've been a part of, the organizations you've co-created: Women of Color Sexual Health Network, The LatiNegr@s Project, your presenting at the World Association of Sexual Health (originally called Sexology)  in Havanac, Cuba, presenting in English and Spanish about your personal research and work on Latinxs and pregnancy prevention in the US in 2003; all the students you've impacted just by being on staff/faculty, but by also seeing them as public intellectuals who need support and are hungry for learning more; all the young people, people of Color, queer folks who find confidence and care in reaching out to you to help them cope and understand aspects of their sex/uality, bodies, health, and relationships.

So what you learn instead, is how to convey the stories folks want to hear more than any other when asked. You keep those other stories at the front of your mind because those are what drives you on a regular basis. Those are what is most important to you. And that's when you begin to realize working on your own terms is probably best.

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lesson 13: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


You will not always tell folks you are a sexologist because you don't always want to work when you are out with your homies, or at a party.

Life Lesson:

Because once folks find out what you do all the questions roll in. You won't ever be able to have a "break" from your work and have some fun. You will constantly be "on" answering questions, correcting information, debunking myths, and challenging folks to push beyond binaries.

You get to chose when to do this. Sometimes it will be clear when you want to take a break versus when you want to work. You deserve a break. You deserve to not always work, for free at that! Folks at parties think this type of talk is fun, but for you it's your life's work. It's fun, sure, but sometimes you want to sit back and talk about something else!

Other times you may just sit quietly while others discuss sex/uality topics. This may be difficult if you hear misinformation. Eventually, your homies and support systems will recognize when you need a break, they will help protect and shield you from nonsense coming your way. They will understand why you may choose to be silent during such topics and conversations. Other times you'll have to remind them in case they forget. It's not personal, they are proud of you and want to brag about you to show their love and adoration for the work you do. Recognize that and hold onto it when you have the ability to.

Sometimes, being silent will work to your advantage because if you do choose to engage, folks will listen more intently. You will rock folks world when you share the knowledge you have. When you choose to of course. You will also learn a lot by listening to what others have to say. This is always important.

You decide what and how much you wish to share with folks. As a LatiNegra sharing personal experiences and realities give a different layer and complexity to your work. But it is also exhausting, revealing, and you deserve privacy and safety. 

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lesson 12: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


You have the capacity to see how sex/uality intersections with many different life experiences, theories, and systems. 

Life Lesson:

Not many folks have this gift. Others have similar gifts around other things like music, technology, color, energy, and the like. Yours is centered around recognizing this connection in sex/uality. It will impact the book clubs you join and the selections you suggest (Push by Sapphire; Quiet Violence of Dreams by Sello Duiker; No Mercy: Short Stories by Pat Califia), so much that you build your own "Sexy Bookclub" to read erotica and stories with a sex/uality theme. And folks will love it and miss it when you leave for NYC.

This gift is one that you will sometimes find exhausting. Why won't your brain stop making those connections? Why does it feel automatic at times? When will you ever rest? But you will learn how to rest while making these connections. It won't be a burden when you realize how it works in your favor and is not a distraction.

Recognizing this as a gift is one of the essential parts of maintaining this gift. Sure, it sounds fantastic to say the universe chose you for this gift, and it may be true. What is also true is that you are the one who knows how to nurture and maintain the gift. You are invested in this gift even when you are exhausted by having it.

This is why folks will ask for your opinion. This is why they will include you, seek you out, choose you to build a project or film or organization with: because of your gift. You won't ever realize it until one day your roommate says it as a compliment and your life will gain a bit more clarity when you recognize and embrace.

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

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lesson 11: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


You have so much power you don't even realize it all, and maybe you wont, but you have more power than you can ever imagine!

Life Lesson:

That's why you are still here; doing this work; building this life and community. You belong here doing this right now. There are times when you know, by the way the creators have built you, that you have presence. Being 6ft tall, packing ass, big curly hair, freckles, skin that changes during the season, and a sense of style like no other. Your femme identity and representation already brings you attention and power.

But you don't always realize that power. But it is there. You have power when you walk into a room. Students connect with you, they see you as something they can trust because you look like a member of their community who has something important to share and build with them. Strangers on the subway and street look at you because you are stunning, confident, unashamed, unapologetic to take up space and be completely all you are.

You have power when you choose to treat folks well even when they don't treat you well. You have power when folks read the way you decor your body and even stare. You have power when you mirror back those rude stares that are not met with words. You have power when you are in public with your boo(s). You have power when you are at work, sending an email. YOU HAVE POWER.

Sure, that power shifts, but don't ever forget it is yours. You had power when you had a developed body at a young age and you misunderstood what to do with that power. You know better now and so you do things with a new consciousness and level of knowledge.

You have power and you must always choose to have power-with versus power-over; especially in the classroom or where you have power over others because of a hierarchy of which you have no control. You have power to not mirror that hierarchy in your daily interactions. There is no liberation or freedom in upholding power-over.

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lesson 10: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


We do a lot of hard work quietly.

Life Lesson:

We've heard the Lorde quote "your silence will not protect you" often. Yet, what does silence represent sometimes? You've learned that silence may mean we are processing information, that we are considering all the options and alternatives. Silence does not always mean contempt or riding the fence.

Thinking is hard work especially as it is connected to un/learning! When your students sit quietly in class after you've asked a question and you give them time to think, that is ok. It doesn't mean all of them are not paying attention, some of them are thinking; doing that hard work. It's important to let folks know that silence is not something to be afraid of or think must always be filled.

Sure folks like to say a lively classroom discussion is important. But, when you are with 35 students who are taking their first college course, who could be 16, 17 years old; there's a lot that can be going on for them. It's the same for parents, providers, peer educators, educators and others you train or provide workshops to at various times.

There is often more than one "right" answer. Folks in the US are taught that there is often only one right answer, especially in a US school setting. However, reminding folks that there is more than one right answer for the questions you may be asking (i.e. 'what benefits may people enjoy by upholding a gender binary" or "how do begin to heal from the sexual shame we hold onto?").

When you were a student, you did not speak often, but when you did you had profound things to share. Folks really listened when you chose to speak to them. Oftentimes they were so struck by what you said and shared they didn't know how to respond but to say that they were thankful your comment was shared and it made them think. Silence doesn't always mean something negative. Silence is powerful, and it is important to keep in mind how you choose to use silence.

It's important to use silence in a strategic way. It is important to view silence as a tool many folks use to cope, heal, build, un/learn, focus, and transform.

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

Read all the lessons so far:

Lesson 1, Lesson 2, Lesson 3, Lesson 4, Lesson 5, Lesson 6, Lesson 7, Lesson 8, Lesson 9.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lesson 9: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


When faced with a challenge in your field and among your community, asking yourself: "what is really the most loving thing to do in this situation?*" may help give you an important perspective.

Lesson Learned:

This approach may not always work because the things you have to encounter and deal with are vast, oppressive, hurtful, and may shake you to your core. Yet, the importance in asking this of yourself is not only are you centering the love you are capable of, but you are reminding yourself to show yourself love and compassion in your thinking, moving, and interacting.

Putting yourself first is essential. You are not here to do this work because you do it for others. You do this work because this is where you feel full, free, and find the liberation you desire for yourself and your community. This is the work you choose to do because you feel in your body, mind, spirit, your being that this is the path you shall take right in this moment. Until those feelings vanish, that is what you will continue to do.

The work does not require you to do it without support, safety, or community. When the work becomes that, ask yourself "what is really the most living thing to do in this situation? If leaving the work is the most loving that is what you do. Because you must always center yourself and the love you have for yourself. You will love others in various ways for periods of time, or a lifetime. But that love of others never trumps the love of self.

You may realize you love your partners as much as you love yourself. That is a love that is scary at times, but it is the love that will ground you, hold you accountable, help you grow, build, and become who you see yourself being. That is the love to lean on and to build upon. Sometimes the most loving thing to do is leave, is dialogue, push, challenge, speak, be silent, move, be still, search, breath, dance, fuck, shift, hold, build, or be dramatic as you make your choice. People must see the dramatic love you are capable of even if they do not understand in that moment, or ever. (Thanks Erika Lopez for that reminder years ago about being dramatic, especially as a queer Puerto Rican woman)

When those anti-choice alumni at the college you teach at targeted you, came on your campus giving out flyers about you, compromising your safety, calling your home, demanding you be fired, going to your place of work and causing a scene. Basically risking your personal safety and career; you remembered those are the same folks who fall ideologically in line with the murderer of George Tiller, they do not care for or love you. They do not see you as valuable, they simply see you as a fat brown girl with big hair tarnishing the youth (of Color) you teach. They were scared. You were more scared. You cried alone in your home, you cried when you told the Chair of your department and President of the college how scared you were for your life, life's work, safety of yourself and students on an open campus where any one of them could walk about with a weapon and hurt you, or your students (the hurt your students would carry to witness you hurt in front of them, on their campus).

And holding that fear, sharing it with the people who were able to create safety for you (to an extent), was them showing you love and compassion. You holding onto all of that on your own, was not showing yourself love and compassion. The restraint to not respond to those horrid emails, phone calls, and articles about you was you demonstrating the love you have for yourself. Giving that burden to those who have more power in the situation and members of that spiritual belief system, was showing yourself love. And look what happened! (a forthcoming lesson).

When you center yourself, the love for yourself, everything else falls into place where it should be for you, your community, and the life and liberation you seek and work to create for yourself.

*This is a quote by Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a religious leader who stands in solidarity with Ugandan LGBTQI people and was featured in the documentary about the colonization and impact US conservative Christian groups have on communities all over the world, especially in parts of Africa, "God Loves Uganda." Many folks have said similar things, but I was reminded of this saying while watching this film.

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

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.

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

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lesson 7: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


What you write and create has value.

Life Lesson:

It may feel like folks don't ever read or engage with your work and with you unless it it so critique you. It may be true from time to time. That does not ever invalidate your body of work and creations. What you write, some may not read, others may, some may forget, others not ever want to know. But you know you wrote and created what you did and that is what is important.

Then, one day, someone will write you saying your creation or writing impacted them in some way. You won't expect it, you may view your work as old and may even see parts that you'd want to write or edit differently. Nonetheless, what you created was something folks appreciated. Even if just one person appreciated it, that's enough.

Then, on another day, you'll decide it's time. It's time to write more, write a book, create a film, write life lessons. You'll believe it's time to share some of what you've held onto and learned from, you'll recognize the dearth in the field and wish to fill it in new ways with new media. And you will do it. And it will fill you. And you won't care who does/not read or engage with what you create because you will learn that the folks who want what you have will find you and seek you out and build with you. And you will build with them. 

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Lesson 6: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


There are supportive and helpful and genuine racially white people in the field. You have the right to be cautious, but know they do exist. Choose carefully who to build among.

Life Lesson:

This seems to be a bigger issue and topic than I can give this brief discussion on. Yes, there are solid and supportive racially white folks in each field. In the sexology field, one that is overwhelmingly racially white, it will be exhausting trying to figure out who to trust. When you reach your point of needing a break from racially white folks in the field, during that break is when the solid ones will appear.

They will appear slowly, you would have heard of them (of course), but many of them are just "discovering" you and your work; this says more about them as sexologists than it says about you as one. But then there are folks who you were trained alongside, and some of those folks will be, from the beginning, as honest, transparent, respectful, and divesting in oppression as you can imagine. You will value their input, friendship, and insight for the rest of your life.

You do not need to teach them anything, they will come knowing they have work to do. They will come into your life not to take, but to help support you when you need it the most. They will give you the push you need, or the name of their publishing agent, or a workshop opportunity, or mentorship, or simply their undivided attention and respect. You will come to recognize the difference between the racially white folks who are just talking the talk and you will know who is really invested in doing the work and walking the walk along side you, not leading you, but walking next to you, side by side.

They will give you the space, time, resources they can for you to do what you need to do. They will bear witness and be open to the unlearning process. They may be few, but they are more than enough!

The racially white folks you have encountered and built with who you would recommend:

Cory Silverberg
Judith Steinhart
Jini Tanenhaus 
Bethany Stevens
Jenny Bornstein

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lesson 5: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


The field in the US is very racially white. Changing that will mean expanding who is identified as a "sexologist" and you will embrace that expansion because it means inclusion.

Life Lesson:

Expanding who one identifies as a "sexologist" or even "sex educator" or "sex worker" can lead to inclusion. There are some folks who will not engage with "sexologist" and prefer "sex educator." Sex work as a term and identity marker will be one that folks will be drawn to if it encompasses their experiences. You will realize how each term speaks to what you have done and will do and your contributions.

When you realize that there are significantly more Black, Latinx, Asian, Native and multi-ethnic/racial sexuality educators who are being ignored by sexuality organizations, this will be your motivation to lean on the side of inclusivity. Think of all the HIV educators, testers, outreach workers; all the folks who do sexuality education in schools (regardless of how great or poor the curricula they use may be); the folks who work in medical care; who serve and help heal in traditional and non-traditional ways. We are all sexologists. Nobody's work is more important or valid than another. This will be a lesson you hold on to for the duration of your time in this life.

There is room for more people of Color in the US field of sexology. We are already doing this imperative work. We are not being paid well for the work, we are not receiving the attribution to do the work, but many of us choose to continue to do that work because it is with our own communities, families, and youth. We will do this work even with the poor pay, watching racially white folks get more shine, and our organizations get less funding. Our work will continue even if it is "underground" or subversive. Our work saves lives.

And when you are ready and have the energy you will create spaces for us to build community. Places like the Women of Color Sexual Health Network, Tamika & Friends, Inc., and The LatiNegr@s Project all will benefit from your expansion of the term "sexologist."

This will also be one important way to make the field accessible and inclusive to working poor and working class folks; to youth; and it will become the layered and complicated and dynamic field you always imagined you'd be a part of. You just didn't realize you'd play a role in creating that space, but the rewards are vast.

Sexologists of color are here, we exist, we do the work, much of the work others don't want to do or think they should not have to do because they have degrees or training or read certain books. Your definition of sexologist will push beyond that to include lived experiences, supportive networks, sharing of collective knowledge, and healing.

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lesson 4: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


The US field of sexology was built on the bodies of enslaved Africans and indigenous people. You are not allowed to ever forget this.

Life Lesson:

Because so many others will forget, happily. They will forget and that erasure will seep into the work they do and it will continue to erase the humanity and needs of those who are most in pain, most under-resourced, most oppressed. You want nothing to do with that as your liberation is not rooted in the oppression of others.

Your sense of liberation is rooted in so many interconnected things and people and spaces. Oppression has no place. It will seem like a majority of your life's work will be in reminding folks of the fucked up ways this country has hurt and injured and built upon our bodies. That the least folks could do is take a moment, a breath, a thought, to let this soak in before making a move. There is healing in that work. There is also more pain. You decide how much you can endure and that is enough because your goal is to not forget and to act with integrity and humanity.

This will show in the work you do, the responses you make, the creations you build, the community that welcomes you, and the ways you use your body, voice. When others begin to remind folks of this reality and history, your work is still not done! There is space for everyone's reminders. There is space to push selective knowledge in a space that will not isolate or bring more pain.

And there will always be your work, because you've chosen to be transparent in your unlearning process. You work will be a part of a much larger movement and voice. Don't forget what you've said or written or done, even when others may. Sometimes they don't mean to, sometimes they don't have the same access, sometimes they didn't do the work to get there, sometimes they just don't know yet. Your work will always be here.

See what you've written:

An Open Letter to White People in the Sex/uality/Sexology Field

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lesson 3: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


Your unlearning and learning process will be lifelong.

Life Lesson:

Yeah, folks say this all the time in some variiation, but what they don't say is that you won't be just learning new things, but you will be unlearning a majority of the white supremacist, colonizing, oppressive, and hurtful stuff the field in the US was built upon. Being trained by only racially white people in school, clinical settings, non-profit spaces, will be parts of your training. You do not have to hold on to all they teach you. Most of it is incorrect and wrong anyway. Especially the cultural parts.

Plus, things will change anyway. Language is alive, it will change and this you will learn. You will learn about new findings, new ways the body can heal, new forms of medication and prevention. But you will also have to unlearn all the ways you were told the body usually works. Those forms of training are cissexist, heterosexist, and guesses at best! You will learn folks bodies are not the same, no matter how much folks with MDs and PhDs say they are, and young people will lead this!

The unlearning is something that has been done in secret, a form of shame and embarrassment. But having survived more shame and embarrassment than other folks wish to even understand, you will know that sharing this unlearning process is imperative. Doing this publicly will be healing for you and others. It will be a good example of what is wrong with the field. It will help others come to understand their unlearning process. It will open you up to building connections and networks with folks who holding onto those ideas would push away and keep you isolated.

It will become a part of your integrity.

Unlearning is mostly uncomfortable, but it doesn't have to be painful. It won't be if you see it as a gift, a healing, a necessity. It is also collective and you are not doing it alone no matter how often it feels that way. Sometimes unlearning is the only option.

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lesson 2: Lessons Learned as a LatiNegra Sexologist


You will be in love again, and again, and again.

Life Lesson:

The "love" you will know will shift and change. It will be a love of life, work, career, knowledge, people, expansion, community, lovers, body, family, emotion, movement, spirit, expression, health, it will be so layered and complex. You will learn about love through your work as a sexologist. These lessons will be unlike any other person may learn in any other field. Sometimes only other folks in the sexology and sex work field may understand. Sometimes they will be yours to keep to and for yourself. Sometimes folks will not ever understand, but that doesn't make the lesson or the love any less important or valid or transformative.

Sometimes it may feel lonely. Remember you are surrounded by love, so that loneliness is about holding onto something that is not a reality for you, but a reality for someone else. You will teach others about this love the way your body moves, the way you feed yourself, the way you divest in things that do not bring you what you need and desire, the way you invest in people and things and spaces. You will have all you need.

And when you find the partner you will be with for the remainder of this life's work it will be a challenge. A constant struggle. One that is rooted in the deepest forms of compassion and intimacy that will test you in ways that hurt, ache, vibrate you to your core. It will all be worth it each step of the way. You will find support that will bring you to tears, bring you to your knees, make you question your existence. And each time you will be surrounded by love, touched with loving hands and spirit. This is where you need to be.

Lean into the love as your Irish lookout tells you each time you call her hysterical and speaking in dolphin. The love is there to lean on.

Look at what you've written on this subject:

How Do You Discuss The Multiple Layers of Love?  (February 2010)
Preparing for 'the talk' with your Child (February 2010)

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lesson 1: Lessons Learned As A LatiNegra Sexologist


It will be rare when folks will pay you what you are worth to do a workshop, presentation, share original research, or hire you in general. 

Life Lesson:

You get to decide how much you are willing to accept. You get to decide to say "yes" or say "no" or say "please find more funds and get back to me." You are worthy of what you produce and share. You decide who you will do a workshop/presentation/lecture/etc. for a lower fee based on your values. This will be different for everyone in the field.

Some of the most funds will come from academic spaces as they are run like businesses. If you wish to reach people of Color your fee may have to decrease as many organizations reaching out to us have limited funds (see white supremacy for reasons around this).

When you do accept a position, do your best work each time, regardless of the amount. It is your reputation, life's work, and often the spaces paying the least amount of money need you the most. If you have time to, always write a personal thank you card to the hosts of the event.

You are worthy. The work you do is important and needed.

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

30 Things I've Learned As A LatiNegra Sexologist

A series for Latinx Heritage Month (Sept 15-Oct 15)

I'll be posting some things I've learned over the 18 years I've been in the sexology and sex/uality field. Some of them will be joyous and abundant. Others will not be. They will all be true and based on my personal experiences in the US and when I've gone abroad.