By Bryan Garcia (he/him)
Spring is here! I think we can all agree that a change of weather was long overdue and very much appreciated. I love the colder weather, but am looking forward to this new season. Spring is known to be a time when it is neither cold nor hot but instead pleasant weather and days that grow longer. The birds chirping is more noticeable (to the point where it can get a little annoying because some of them cannot carry a tune) and fragrant flowers begin to bloom and butterflies dance through the air. Delightful breezes try to bring joy to those who need it the most. Outdoor gathering anyone? I’ll bring the “noms” and you bring your mask?
This Spring, let’s welcome all the good that each of us deserves and are so very worthy of. Let’s make room for healing and listening to what our bodies are trying to tell us. Is it asking for more water? Or perhaps more music? An increase in quality “me time” spent in silence, dreaming, or resting? (Reminder: You are so very worthy of resting, friend.) Let’s offer only what we have the capacity for and avoid stretching ourselves too thin. Our time and energy are valuable and finite and our bodies and mind need the right amount of time (however long is your business) to recover and restore. We can learn to say “no” (it’s okay if this takes us some time) and we can learn to understand and respect when others are exercising their boundaries. Maybe we just need to slow down and listen to ourselves as we speak, as we take action, as we move through the world. What is your body asking you for?
Even with the recent increase in vaccine access and us getting closer to a post-pandemic world, it doesn’t seem like those virtual calls are going away anytime soon. These virtual calls have facilitated a very real human need for connection. Being in each other’s homes creates a level of intimacy like no other. If you can and feel comfortable doing so, perhaps consider facing the sunlight to brighten up your beautiful face on the screen and using that cardboard box or turning that waste basket upside-down to raise your camera to eye level on zoom calls. Still, there are so many valid reasons why some folx prefer to use virtual backgrounds. Maybe you can take or choose a picture of a place that is representative of you and that you do want to share and make that the personalized virtual background that you invite folx to sit in with you. Maybe we can call out names as people hop onto a call and acknowledge them even before any formal introductions are made. Let’s welcome Spring and the people we love and work with into our lives so they see themselves not as passive consumers watching a tv show, but as active contributors to the conversation. Let’s build, nurture, and strengthen connections with intention.
Many of us are ready for a renewed atmosphere after the winter storm that devastated us and that many are still feeling and dealing with the economic and mental/emotional impacts. Moving into the warmth and fresh air of Spring doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge what has happened before. Doing so can help us make this important transition into the new season.
So what does this mean for us, queer and trans Black, Indigenous, people of color? allgo acknowledged and uplifted Trans Day of Visibility on Wednesday, April 31st of this year. We can make concerted efforts to make sure our trans, non-binary, and gender-fabulous community members are seen, loved, and celebrated every day. Celebrating and acting in solidarity with them as they strive to live their most authentic lives without fear is the perfect way to welcome Spring and all that is good into our year.
We can do this by staying connected and amplifying each other’s work, needs, and experiences, especially those of Black trans women, considering our liberation is bound to theirs. Two of the Community Agreements we use for allgo’s Health & Wellness events are “Move Up, Move Back” and “Progressive Stack.” A progressive stack makes room for people who are directly impacted to be able to speak first. Trans folx’s needs often fall on the wayside when it comes to making important decisions that affect us all, like in Public Health reform. We need to be more intentional about passing the mic to those who have historically not been able to do so and go beyond this by actually listening to them and believing their needs and lived experiences.
Join us on Wednesday, April 21st from 6 PM to 7:30 PM CT as we welcome Spring. What do we need and want for it to look like for us? What do we have a say in making that possible? What parts of ourselves need more embracing and acceptance so we can begin or continue to create lives that we love? What are we excited to grow and heal and be joyful about? We can’t wait to see you! You can register here.
We are also excited to invite you to Pleasure Healing – an opportunity to do what QTBIPOC communities do best and access our pleasure to heal! Come connect with us on Friday, April 16th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM CT to talk about how we can nurture what makes us hot and happy and then join us while we dance in celebration of our fabulous selves together! Register here.
These events are two of many this year around promoting the well-being and vitality of QPOC communities in Austin, TX. For more information about this and other Health and Wellness events, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
How are you welcoming Spring? Let us know on social media @allgoqpoc on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.