Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Top Stories This Week
1. Sexual Freedom in the time of COVID; 2. Mutual aid networks; 3. Crying as self-care; 4. Collective grief and empathy; 5. Coping with quarantine away from a partner; 6. Black adornment rituals; and 7. Indigenous organizing to fight coronavirus.
We announced last month that Woodhull Freedom Foundation was cancelling our in-person Sexual Freedom Summit due to the coronavirus, but we are committed to bringing the Summit directly to you throughout the year through virtual programming. Join us for our first event this Friday as our panelists talk about how their advocacy on LGBTQ equality, rights and visibility for transgender sex workers, and reproductive justice has changed due to COVID-19.. Read more about our panelists and RSVP.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, mutual aid networks erupt across the country (Waging Nonviolence)
Shane Burley discusses mutual aid networks as mechanisms for community care during COVID-19: “Mutual aid is the idea that when we support each other’s needs in a reciprocal relationship, but without obligation or exchange, we have the best chance to survive and flourish. Mutual aid projects have been a staple of radical social movements for decades—from food distribution services like Food Not Bombs to the ‘Survival Pending Revolution’ programs of the Black Panthers, which included free health clinics and breakfast programs. When the state fails to meet the needs of the public, many communities will build resources themselves, and in doing so will build an alternative to the hierarchical bureaucracies of the government.” Read more.
Crying in Your Car Counts as Self-Care (The New York Times)
Jessica Grose contends that crying is an act of self-care: “One highlight of my week was crying in the car on my way to the grocery store. That sounds bleak as hell, but let me explain. I was alone, with no one asking me to do anything for 15 solid minutes, listening to music of my choosing that was in no way affiliated with Disney. But perhaps more crucially, I have family members who are sick with the coronavirus, and I had been presenting a smooth, cheerful surface to my kids. I needed that car-cry for catharsis, and I felt better afterward.” Read more.
(Juan Monino:E+:Getty Images)
We Need a Riot of Empathy (Truthout)
Kelly Hayes speaks with Tanuja Jagernauth about collective grief. Hayes remarks: “We need to rebel against the nature of our current situation, which is a situation that puts us in our own homes, living out our own little dramas in this disconnected way, waging our own battles without the strength of our community at our backs. We need a riot of empathy. We need collective grief as a rebellion against the normalization of mass death because what we are fighting for is our value and our collective understanding of that value.” Read more.
How to Deal With Quarantining Away From Your Partner During Coronavirus (them.)
Michelle Kim shares tips for quarantining away from a partner: “Queer couples, in particular, may face added stress during this time. In general, LGBTQ+ people suffer from higher rates of depression and anxiety (which can be exacerbated by social isolation) and are more likely to experience medical discrimination (which may make it more difficult for them to ask for or receive healthcare in the midst of a pandemic). As a result, queer folks may find it especially hard to be away from their romantic partner(s) and/or chosen family, since these loved ones normally act as a support group who can comfort them physically and emotionally.” Read more.
Sunday Best: The Beauty and Timelessness of Black Adornment Rituals (Bitch Media)
Tanisha C. Ford writes about her work on Black adornment rituals: “Church has been a house of style for Black Americans for centuries. During slavery, plantation owners outfitted their bond women and men in weekday clothing made from drab, cheap fabrics such as osnaburg and denim; but on Sundays, the enslaved could dress themselves in clothes of their own choosing and often of their own making. [...] Even now, the fight to reclaim our humanity plays out in the clothes we wear on our fleshy bodies. For more than a decade, I have studied the rituals that link my mother and me to previous generations of Black Americans, analyzing how Black women and nonbinary people across ages, occupations, and regions have turned trauma into both sartorial pleasure and innovative fashion.” Read more.
(Spencer Platt:Getty Images)
How to Support Indigenous Organizers Fighting Coronavirus in Native American Communities (Teen Vogue)
Jewel Wicker highlights COVID-19’s impact on Native American communities and lists three ways to support Indigenous organizing: “As the global pandemic continues, indigenous communities are working to mitigate the health and economic impact of the novel coronavirus. [...] Whatever happens with federal aid, Indigenous communities are organizing to look after their own. Native Americans in Philanthropy has launched a COVID-19 fund in collaboration with the Decolonizing Wealth Project and the National Urban Indian Family Coalition, and they’ve also been compiling a list of funds throughout various Native communities to make donating easier.” Read more.