One year ago, I woke up, turned over in my bed, and looked at my phone. A day with plans of grocery shopping and reading went away with the opening of an app – there was a shooting at Pulse and 49 lives had been taken on Latin night.One year later, my sister took me to visit Pulse, a place I had found joy and dance in so many years ago with friends and kin. Being there was just surreal.
When discussing the application and translation of theory-to-practice, Dian asked about what I thought about the concept of meaning-making. What does it mean to me? Of the questions I was asked by the class, that one had me pause to think about my answer the longest. I asked if I could cheat by using the words “meaning” and “making” in my description and then I talked myself out of that.
I've been thinking about the things below a fair amount over the past two weeks. While I use language of we/our, I realize that so much of that is me reaching out and saying "I/my" and trying to bring others aboard, to relate in more than distance away from. And this is me sharing the wisdom and love that so many folks who are marginalized by their race, gender, and sexuality have tried to instill and teach me. This is from the women/femmes who are trans, of color, and queer who have continued to hold me up, who were doing the work before me and continue to do it
Above all, I have learned that it is through reflection and action that my imposter syndrome (that is so often imposed on me than a natural locus in my body) is best remedied through being in community with and alongside others and not minimizing myself or my accomplishments. I've learned to have as much grace, as much compassion as I muster for others for myself. I've learned that the arc of the universe bends towards justice because we collectively push it towards justice - it is not a natural phenomenon. I've learned that my search, my yearning for justice and equity is more wrapped up in my own sense of spirituality, which is still in the development process (as is everything else), and my belief of interconnectedness. I've learned to protect an enduring hopefulness for a more caring, just, and thriving world while simultaneously being both impatient and restless for it. And I've learned to always center a radical love (link) in doing so <3
We are in the midst of holidays and coming up on more. And it is around this time, I feel the complexity of going/being home. I have many homes, often made up of people more so than walls. And I am still brought back to my original home, with my family in South Florida, and really this year just feels a bit different in reflection.
This semester, my office colleagues and I have been reading Lipsky’s Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others. Lipsky’s work has helped me to reflect on and (un)learn ways in which I was (not) actually taking care of myself. As my colleagues and I were discussing one of the latest chapters, a question emerged: How often do I something in the name of self-care to avoid confronting what I actually need in order to take care of myself?
Dear our Spartan student community,
This last week, these past months, this past school year has been tough. Incidents of interpersonal and effects of structural, interlocking oppressions have continued to affect your Spartan experience. You have felt unheard, felt silenced, felt like there is nowhere to go.
In some ways, I am trying to catch my breath. In other ways, I am trying to ground myself in my body, to reclaim my mind from what seems like a prolonged dissociation. This election night was scary for me in many ways. It was scary for what the outcomes on the national, state, and local levels meant for me and those who I call my kin. Because so often rhetoric, however harmless folks may view it, has continued consequences for those most marginalized in our society.
Last year, I wrote about me and pronouns. This is the next part of that story. For some of you, this may be your first reading in how I identify and how I need to be referred to because I potentially have not felt ready to share this part yet or felt the context we inhabit together is not the "right" place for that conversation. Lemme start the work of doing better for our relationship now: my name is Alex and I need you to use they/them/their pronouns when referring to me.