Things to Bring us Together When we’re Alone
Hello Everyone! I’d like to introduce myself as the newest practitioner now at the Rainbow Health Center. My name is Fennec Oak and I am a trans-identified therapist. I am happy to be a part of the team here and to be able to provide therapeutic support to our community.
I’ve been thinking about community lately and how being in community can mean many things to people at different times. Right now, a lot of us are thinking about how best to support our community by NOT being together due to the Coronavirus. Much has been written on how to best share physical space with others and support each other by following good health practices, so I will not attempt to recreate the good work that others have already done (including another post on this blog by one of our medical practitioners!)
But I would like to talk about some of the projects that people in LGBTQ+ community have created recently, which can be enjoyed in the times in which we can not be together. These are three projects which have inspired me in the past week.
First is the new Solace App that was created by two trans people right here in Washington State. Patrick McHugh and Robbi Katherine Anthony created the Solace app to provide “information and resources to guide transgender people through whatever process of gender transition they desire.” It provides information on laws in each state, how to change legal documents, come out to family members, among many other options. People can choose what to include in their own personalized goals list. It also has an option for parents of trans children, and a section with good news in the media, which I have enjoyed reading.
I have recently been listening to the Queer Public Podcast made by four people on the east coast of the U.S. and Canada which talks about the real life and stories of queer people. The podcast came out in the past year has episodes on queer poetry, racism in gayborhoods, and a beautiful collection of letters written to a gay helpline in the 80’s.
Finally, for those interested in artsy autobiographical essays, the work of T Fleischmann is highly entertaining and thought provoking. Their book Time Is the Thing a Body Moves Through (2019), is something that I have been re-reading after devouring it over the summer. The description from the back-cover states: “How do the bodies we inhabit affect our relationship with art? How does art affect our relationship to our bodies? T Fleischmann uses Felix Gonzáles-Torres’s artworks—piles of candy, stacks of paper, puzzles—as a path through questions of love and loss, violence and rejuvenation, gender and sexuality. From the back porches of Buffalo, to the galleries of New York and L.A., to farmhouses of rural Tennessee, the artworks act as still points, sites for reflection situated in lived experience. Fleischmann combines serious engagement with warmth and clarity of prose, reveling in the experiences and pleasures of art and the body, identity and community”
I hope that something here connects you to community, or inspires you to be creative in your own ways to make connections to those who bring you a feeling of belonging and togetherness.