Why I Center QTIPOC In My Practice
There are many reasons why I professionally prioritize the erotic wellbeing of QTIPOC: I want to serve my peeps. As a Queer Black Woman, I feel a kinship with other Queer, Trans, or Intersexed People of Color as we inhabit similar multiple marginalized categories in society. We have more marginalized identities than Straight People of Color or Queer White folx & those marginalizations impact our sexuality in ways that they don't impact Queer white folx and Straight folx (People of Color & white).
There simply are not a lot of Somatic Sexuality Professionals¹ where QTIPOC can see the fullness of their lived experiences reflected.The seeming majority of SSPs are white and straight. The reasons for this is tied up with colonialism, White Supremacy, and class; and yet those reasons are rarely discussed.
I somatically understand the impact of intersectional oppression on sexuality. In a White Supremacist Society, racism has a huge impact on how people of color develop an authentic relationship to self & Spirit. Our sexuality is used to further "other" us, to make us less than human, and we become the sexual bogeyfolk, the object of white folx sexual fears, jealousies, & fantasies. When our race & ethnicity becomes a blank sheet for White America to project their ignorance, fear, & hatred upon, it can be very difficult to navigate an authentic sexuality. It can be difficult not to police ourselves or other people of color. It can be difficult to take pride in our sexual power.
In a heterosexist society, where heterosexuality is still considered the "norm"; when the box for what is "normal" sex is pretty darn small; when the mainstream thinks queers are inherently "freaky"; when folx act like Gay men have extra anatomy²; it can be difficult to figure out a way of expressing your sexuality that is not about taking on the limitations of "heterosexual sex" (equating "real sex" to penetration for example). Queers are still seen as somehow "abnormal" or "wrong" & carrying those projections in your head also make it difficult to develop your authentic sexual self, it can be difficult to own your turn-ons & pleasures.
As a Queer Black Woman, I understand those difficulties. More importantly, I understand those difficulties somatically. It is not a theoretical understanding, not something I've read about or studied. It's a lived understanding: I feel those difficulties in my gut, they exist in my body with every step I take in the world. I have had to fight my own battle to be true to my body & spirit in the face of heteronormativity & White Supremacy. And while every marginalized person experiences marginalization differently; my embodied understanding makes me better able to serve other queer folx of color on their own journey to authentic sexuality, sensuality, & eroticism.
To change society, work from the margins inward. Lastly, I prioritize QTIPOC because I believe it's a truism that to change society, you work from the margins inward instead of from the center outward. Every huge change towards justice has happened at the margins, with folx with less societal power forcing a conversation until it gets pick up by folx closer to the center. And it's well-documented that the mainstream becomes "cool" by taking from the margins; by co-opting our vernaculars, our fashion, our movements, our music, our healing traditions. Maybe once all QTIPOC are living integrated, embodied, healthy erotic lives, the mainsteam will co-opt that sense of wellness also.
None of this means that I am incapable of serving and holding space for white folk or straight folk on similar journeys. Nor does it mean that I don't authentically welcome straight poc or queer whites (or even straight white folk) into my workshops, webinars, or healing studio. My empathy for those of us who are struggling to live embodied erotic lives does not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference/orientation or race/ethnicity. I am one of the few SSPs who sees erotic healing as both spiritual & political and explicitly lets that inform my healing practice, and there are a lot of non-QTIPOC folx down with the struggle who are seeking that type of integrative erotic healing. I'm here for y'all too.
I simply put my peeps first.
Join me for my next workshop: Erotic Breathwork for QTIPOC & White QTI Allies Saturday, June 4 12:00pm-4:00pm Berkeley, CA
¹ = Sexological Bodyworkers, Sacred Intimates, any type of sexual or erotic healer that includes touch in their work.
² = There are still adults who believe that if a man enjoys having his prostate stimulated that means he is gay, regardless of the gender of the person stimulating his prostate. To paraphrase Charlie Glickman, it's not like gay men have some extra gland that straight men don't have.