1. It is a tough moment to be queer, trans, and nonbinary in the United States.
A lot of people in this country are scared right now. I’m talking about those who are afraid of losing their grip on power; afraid of being left behind and not being able to understand the national conversation. People afraid of no longer being the ruling majority, or of no longer being able to gerrymander their way into being the ruling minority. They are afraid of communities they’re not a part of, and afraid their children will be unrecognizable to them in adulthood.
And for many, their fear has metastasized into hatred and cruelty.
This rising tide of panic, hatred, and disgust is fuelling a public battle against our queer, trans, and nonbinary bodies. Cynical and power-hungry rightwing politicians are capitalizing on people’s fears and cruelty and are pushing legislation to limit our rights; to control our bodies; to, as some say openly, eradicate us.
There has never been a better time to learn self-defense.
Like our elders (and peers) in the Dykes on Bikes beginning in the 1970s, or those who rose up in the face of the AIDs epidemic and formed ACT UP in the 80s; like Queer Nation and the Pink Panthers fought back against increasing hate crimes against queer folks in the 90s; like Bash Back! in the early 2000s – we are capable of defending and fighting for ourselves against violent forces.
2. It’s more than just physical – self-defense starts with standing up for yourself in your life in small and big ways.
The self-defense I teach was developed by feminists and queers in Columbus, OH in the 1970s. It includes physical self-defense, of course, but it also teaches other non-verbal and verbal self-defense skills.
Want to tell your roommate to stop eating your last secret back-of-the-freezer emergency thin mint stash? We’ll cover that.
Want to learn some basic work conflict skills? We’ll hit on those.
Want to learn to tell the handsy queer on the next barstool to back off? Yup, we’ll practice that.
3. It’s a fun couple of hours with other queer folks. I’ll probably even have snacks.
It might sound intimidating or intense, but when I teach self-defense, there’s generally plenty of laughter, chatting, and fun. After all, most of my examples are food-based. I feel strongly about food boundaries.
So whether you’re hoping to feel a little bit safer in our festering national environment, to learn some standing-up-for-yourself basics, or to hang out with queer folks and feel a little community camaraderie, we’ve got you covered.
Come on out to Proud Haven on March 25th, 1-3 pm. 525 East Ohio Street.
If you’re feeling frisky, you can even stay for my 3:30 Conflict Navigation workshop! Hope to see you this weekend.