This session we talk about needs for emotionally well, embodied, and connected masculinity and role-models for boys and men. We offer resources and chat about our agreements.
On gender, I resonate strongly with both masculine and feminine feels in ways that are often perceived by cis men as different or other or in some way either gay or just not cis or perhaps both. I think of it as nonbinary or queer gender. I’ve gotten to the point where when folks talk about an ideal masculine or sacred feminine or any other parsing of these categories that are perhaps not strictly arbitrary but are very much mostly arbitrary in my opinion – I tend to kind of smile and nod because choosing only one archetype of gender has never appealed to me. Court does a good job of qualifying language around this one.
I used to police language a lot and get offended when people misgendered me and I think once my family and found family started getting it right most of the time, I’ve started caring a lot less. That’s not available to everyone and there are still members of my inner circle who get it wrong from time to time. Still, it feels right for me to ease off that need for perfection and clarity.
I’ve been trying more when folks use terms in a way that I perceive as harmful, especially self-identity ones, to simply assume a person is doing their best. When folks use racialized terms, it’s especially hard as race isn’t always apparent. Rather than ask about race and get clarity, I am trying to assume the best. If someone uses an indigenous term, I assume they must be part indigenous. I’m trying to practice not having a need to quote unquote “correct” someone.
Further, if someone has made a mistake, I don’t like the idea of cancelling people over mistakes, especially when they’re willing to do work. I also don’t like the idea of hiding mistakes that I or that others make.
For example, some would argue I have a duty or responsibility to my listeners to make those corrections because failing to do so is complicity in that harm. I think there’s some truth to that. It’s one of the reasons I have these intros. I also think modelling how I struggle with ethical issues is a very vulnerable thing rarely offered and likely to get you cancelled by at least some.
However as a lighter skinned BIPOC person, I know how frustrating it can be to have folks ask me what I am or what my race is. With so many factors and identities, it’s easy to get the balance wrong for just about anyone alive right now. So here is my inner monologue exposed for you, the meticulous thought I put into trying to keep everyone as safe as I can and preserve narratives that are often bulldozed over, at least as much as my energy levels allow me to do.
Then there’s the alternative case – on the one hand, I’m either talking to a white person trying to police their language which is often ill received, or perhaps I’m talking to a white passing indigenous person who’s probably faced a lot of erasure. So sometimes there’s no easy or good outcome.
If you would like to learn more about what I mean, the term two-spirit is often considered a sacred term made for Indigenous Peoples by Indigenous Peoples. you can read more at:
It’s a compassionate way to examine other cultural representations of similar concepts in European cultures that might be more accessible to folks somewhere in the nonbinary experience of gender.
It’s not like third genders are unique to Indigenous cultures and we don’t need to take their terms, words, or practices when using our own can help reduce the amount of dilution, erasure, and destruction of culture and cultural cohesion so common to settler-indigenous interactions.
As usual, Court is energetic and has some great content for us today. I hope you enjoy this session here on Intimate Interactions.