I prefer to not fix tightly to labels, as identities are something we do rather than who we are; labels can be essentialistic/fixed and reductionistic – humans (really all material and non material forms) are not. However, labels allow for creation of community, feelings of being seen/validated, and allocation of justice/protection.
For simplicity, if I picked labels – I would be queer-identifed (as a politic, social lens/systems thinker/creative, theorist, person, invisible disability status, gender expansiveness, relationship status, and my hesitancy to even land on a label and share my history).
I am inspired by queer theory in my personal, professional, and community engagements, which means that I often consider power dynamics and critique normative tendencies and concerns. This consideration of systems and power dynamics pulls intersectionality into my work – race, ability, age, body size, etc1, are all important to an individual’s and community’s experience (and this element adds individual, lived experiences and intersectionality to my queer theory lens). As such, I am a critical sexology practitioner, and one of my wishes here is that I had found this path personally and professionally earlier in my life.
My identity as a shamanic practitioner with Buddhist leanings initiated and familiarized me with queer theory – the non-duality, non-essentialist, expansive view of existence is a queered approach to spirituality.
I am a trauma survivor and those experiences have informed my own journey and frame the work that I do through a trauma-informed lens.
I have several invisible health conditions including Ehlers Danlos syndrome, dysautonomia and neurodivergence, and celiac disease, that, in the social and radical disability models, are disabilities.
Other identities I utilize are emotional – I am an compassionate, empathetic person (INFJ, enneagram 4) with social justice as a compass. I will probably cry with you, as a client – I believe in being semi-permeable while holding sacred space around important conversations.
My identities are a part of me, but do not define me fully. I am a skilled facilitator and wellness professional; part of that skill is bringing a critical lens to my own lived experience and biases through my own practice in non-attachment and non-absolutism. I consider myself able to work with a variety of people beyond our shared identities and continually strive to create affirming spaces and professional relationships with those I serve.
Thank you for reading ~ I hope you found resonance here.
- Considering my identifiers and our collective work at unpacking privilege, my intersections include a white (Scottish, Norwegian ancestry), non-Christian, invisibly disabled, trauma-surviving, heterosexual-presenting, femme-presenting gender expansive/orientation expansive, thin-bodied person.
The above content is written by Dr. Allison Mitch, PT (DPT), RYT500; sex-positive/affirming, trauma-informed sexuality counselor and educator (she/her/they/them); copyright protected, please cite accordingly. The picture is from Pexels.
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