The organizers of the Queer Astrology Conference want the experience for this event to be able to include sharing, risk-taking, support, freedom to express our authentic selves, and empowerment. Intended to open us up to curiosity and reflection rather than shut us down with rules or requirements. We are all human, flawed and beautiful, and hopefully reflecting on these ideas will help you consider the beautiful, flawed humanness in everyone else. To help create this kind of space, we offer the following suggestions:
1. If you are a white queer (LGBTQI) human, please recognize the privileges you have in the larger society. As queer, you have probably experienced forms of oppression and marginalization in the dominant hetero-normative world. Yet as a white person, you still hold privilege that queer people of color do not. Consider what those privileges are, and be willing to hold space and respect for the experiences of people of color.
2. If you are a queer cisgender human, you also hold certain privileges that trans and non-binary people do not have access to in the larger world. Consider how being cisgender gives you privilege, and be willing to hold space and respect for the experiences of transgender and non-binary folks.
3. If you are a settler who has ancestors or family members who migrated here, be willing to open to the experiences of indigenous queer folks, who have to contend with the on-going effects of colonization and genocide. How does your life benefit from the colonization of indigenous folks?
4. If you are masculine-presenting, you may hold privilege in a society that prioritizes the male/masculine over the female/feminine. Consider the ways you may have experienced this privilege. Make space and have respect for femmes, feminine-presenting humans, and all women.
5. We all hold so many identities; some of these identities are subjected to marginalization and trauma, while others hold some privilege and status. Let’s agree to be thoughtful and respectful of each of these identities and how we take up space and share space with one another.
6. If at any point you need assistance in working out conflicts or issues that come up, please find an event organizer. We are here to support attendees in striving to make this a thoughtful, inspiring, and respectful space for all.
Some thoughts from Ian
The work of drawing together a Queer Astrology conference, much less a biggest one yet (3 Days!!) is unimaginable.
And the spell which those two words seem to evoke when we put them together, for many of us, seems possibly radical // powerful.
Some things we might agree on:
Experiences of oppression and violence are staggering both within and around us, in our pasts and in the present.
With this event coinciding with the national observance JP has dubbed #notmypresidentsday, we must name and face the Racism / Whiteness in America, and act now to fundamentally alter the norms into which many of us have been born or socialized.
Listing our ongoing traumas can be frightfully non-exhaustive, sometimes a collapsing effort. Rhea suggests looking at Whiteness, HeteroSexism, and Colonialism as a few categories where we (likely all) might lean into our growth.
While drawing focus on People of Color, Non-binary, Trans, Indigenous folk, Women, we foreground these identifies with prayers that we might spare one another from the repetitions we/they suffer every day. We pray for tending and care for us all.
The intent of crafting a Thoughtful / Safer Space document might even call us in toward some of the medicine we need, if and as we choose. The heat of purification, a safe space for tears, sensing and being received, maybe some moment of jester-ous joy.
To Rhea's good work on creating a Thoughtful Space, I’d add a few ideas:
Soft Borders - Remember that the rigidity of binary logic/knowing dehumanizes everyone.
No Assumptions - Remember that the cultural / racial / sexual / & gender markers we may think we read on others might not be their truth.
Additional Resources for Reflection and Empowerment. These articles are presented with open-hearted curiosity for the ways in which each person brings many identities, experiences, hopes and fears to their daily lives. What do the articles make you think about? What experiences do you they help you reflect on? How do they make you feel? Can you stay with those feelings and listen to their messages?