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  • AutorenbildDaniel Bernhard


Aktualisiert: 6. Dez. 2019

QUEERS IN MAINSTREAM S*XPOSITIVE SPACES - Part 1 An unsorted, ongoing reflection. Invitation to join.

There is one topic that keeps moving me unlike any other during the last months, most of which I spent in various forms of s*xpositive / temple / sacred intimacy / s*exual healing spaces. I love to be in these spaces because I can feel, express and encounter so much of myself, because I can reach moments there where I feel free from the constraints of identity, where all of me is welcome, femme and butch, sexy and sad, gay bi straight pan eco, whatever I am.

I also get othered a lot in these spaces and feel exclusion and often feel like I am channeling the rage of all queer ancestors at once. For example when a "Men's Tent" is inaugurated and no one interferes when someone asks me to "cut the bullshit" after I claim that I will feel only safe in this space if the term "man" includes all those who define themselves as such, including transmen. In that moment I felt super lonely and just never set foot into that tent again. Didn't even find the strength to adress this again, never again looking this person in the eye, just felt paralyzed, anxious, with a lot of rage boiling inside. And helpless. It's 2019. And this temple space is where I also feel most alive. But I am not fully welcome, no one's gender ambiguity is. It's still Lingam vs. Yoni, Yin vs. Yang. Can't people at least acknowledge the difference between genitals and gender when we explore these polarities that play the main role in our cultural programming and the way we make sense of the cosmos (nothing against that)?! My soul is flaming with impatience and rage.

And still I know the value of these spaces, that are nor explicitly queer nor straight and actually aim to include everyone. And also have the biggest potential to actually do so. I do want to meet and play with everyone. I do want that it is possible fearlessly and with joy. And most of those I talk to want that, too. So what to do?

In the following days, i am going to share some of my unsorted thoughts and feelings around that. To start a multilayered and vulnerable discussion. You are welcome to join and listen and comment. No wish to write "the" post about this. Might repeat myself. Let's go, inspired by a thread in a secret s+ Facebook group:


As a queer person and facilitator of healing spaces that sometimes include s*exuality, I regularly get to revisit the pain of exclusion, the rage about the injustice and violence that queer people are experiencing daily since so long, the wounds from millennia of patriarchal rule that everyone carries in different ways, my own and the pain, rage and wounds of people participating.

It often leaves me helpless because it's quite a huge job to sort all of this out, to create the structures that really help us heal and not keep us locked in the old boxes of victim and perpetrator, savior and accomplice. So often the discussion doesn't get to leave the usual dynamic of accusation / calling out and as a reaction defensiveness, guilt, gaslighting. There's a lot of explaining, ignoring, silencing, holding on to oppressive power and fear of change on the one side, radical fury on the other side that can even become violent (at least it's a step out of the silence and numbness and a sensation of weakness. Sometimes you get very harsh when you haven't been listened to for a long time).

My wish for the spaces that I am creating is that all of these pieces are welcome and invited to be expressed so they do not secretly rule our behaviour. If not every emotion and every perspective is heard and seen, then the space isn't safe for anyone.

Of course there are a lot of practical, structural changes that are necessary: yes, abusive patterns have to be exposed and if people can not hold a loving space with integrity they shouldn't do it. Toxic behaviour may not be tolerated. Period. (To me it makes a difference if someone is excited to learn and willing to change after they behaved in a way that is out of integrity or not. If they choose to defend themselves instead of listening, then: bye - but if they want to listen and learn then I also find it really important to grant this to them, to be a human being who can fail and learn and thus grow. I personally would not like a fear- and guilt-ridden facilitator who just tries to pretend that they are perfect and won't mistakes, get every wording right but actually just do it out of fear instead of the wish to create a world that is safe for all.) Inclusivity is only achieved on all levels, this is why I also think that if (some of) the organizers have a queer background that changes everything. Yes to all of that. And more about a practicalities in one of the next posts. But what does it arise from?

A big part of the solution goes beyond these practical, structural changes. They are acturally created out of a brutally honest AND loving meeting of all perspectives involved, with the intention to allow vulnerable sharing and create understanding for each other, in all directions. To get to know each other. Everyone's wounds and everyone's fear and glory. Otherwise it will stay like this old pattern where one part is trying to do it right and the other part is calling them out and where the one side never actually listens so the other side keeps shouting louder and louder. And the pain gets so big that also the other side can do what they want but will never be able to make up for the structural injustice. What is necessary for that to dissolve?

I want from those who hold positions of power and privilege (that's basically most of us in regard to some form of oppression) to let go of all their protection and masks and lay bare their helplessness and radically listen to those who are coming from marginalized perspectives, not because it is what you need to do these days to be PC and stay out of the shitstorm but because they want to grow as human beings and have an interest to liberate themselves from oppression and live in actual interconnectedness. Because any system of oppression and violence fucks up the lives of all those involved with it. Straight people need the queers in the room to liberate them (more about that in the next post). So they have to roll out a fucking red carpet for us by listening without defensiveness and by being ready to completely rebuild the existing structures, to let everything about their image of themselves and in their organization that is unwelcoming to the totality of humanity dissolve, vanish, let go of it. Because it was fake in the first place.

For me it's that radical: either you are ready to be changed completely by someone or you just dont invite them for a deep meeting. Same with racism. There can't be enlightened togetherness if not all aspects of white supremacy are disassembled, transmuted, composted, burned, eradicated.

But can this happen in an instant, just like a machine where you just change the software? We are still humans and our software usually is rewritten in small portions, day by day.

Regarding my own journey with my internalized racism as a white person, I acknowledge that it takes a lot of time, that you do a lot of mistakes and mostly that I am extremely grateful for those who allow me to learn, who call me out and also who are compassionate towards my situation as someone who is trying to unlearn violence and who might not ever get out of that position. I also don't take this patience and compassion for granted. No one needs to be my unpaid educator. At the same time I need to educate myself if I want to liberate myself and also need time and patience, as much as persistence and some work.

My wish for my fellow queer beings is to be at first extremely proud and supportive of each other for even entering hetero and cis normative (& -organized) spaces in the first place. It's super hard and often hurtful and we need to be sweet to each other and make mutual support a priority. And even more make empowerment a priority. It's time that queer people step into their royalty & priestX status and demand the place at the table that is our right. With a highly elevated head, with clarity and power. We are oppressed because we are too powerful for this system. If we reclaim this power and mix it with compassion, we can go beyond the victim role in this game. That should be the aim, to get out of all this.

Especially to really distinguish the sacred rage that calls for justice on the one hand and the wish for revenge on the other hand. It's so hard to do that. And it's also unfair that it's again upon the marginalized and excluded people to be patient, compassionate and decide to not perpetuate the cycle of violence. No one can ask that from anyone. But when we have the strength to do so, something moves. And something heals deeply. If it doesn't happen, the suffering goes on: I have witnessed lots of moments where someone found a toxic and intransparent way to draw fake power from their victimized position, ruling over a space by weaponizing and at the same time cementing the guilt of "the others" and their own victimhood. This is very understandable but it's not healing. Mostly when that happened it happened because the person felt powerless and left alone on a deep level. Otherwise no one would resort to this kind of behaviour.

So what I want to cultivate for a transformation away from these old roles is patience and connection. A willingness to see all perspectives without losing sight of what is just and what is unjust and also to always keep in mind a bigger picture: the problems are structural, they are inside all of us, just putting it on some individuals, the bad guys who did this and said this to someone and whom we then exclude and shame and fight against will not solve the structural problem.

Fear of judgement and judgement will not solve the structural problem.

Connection and intimacy and safety will solve it alone.

This is why, to complete this long thought, regular groups, tribes, circles, networks are the most important element. They bring accountability, build actual trust over longer duration and they establish a path that leads away from consumerism. Within trusting communities we can address all the hurtful things and find compassion and healing. Only from that spirit can grow true accessability and inclusivity.

It's about cross-intersectional community instead of consumption.

Spaces where everyone is assured of their natural right to a space in the circle. So the privileged ones are safe to let go of their defenses and the ones struggling for recognition don't need to fight to get heard and can mix their sacred rage with compassion. And relax. I deeply long to be just relaxed and feel how the other bodies relax in the spaces I am in. Not just in separatist spaces, but f**king everywhere!

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