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IGNITING THE POWER OF BLACK SAME GENDER LOVE

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SUMMARY: “Tops” & “Bottoms”?: On Cultivating Shamanic Wisdom with Language As Conjuration Workshop

In recognizing the power of language as cultural bearing, as means by which we shape our relationship to the universe, and assume control within it; and in observance of that part of The Gatekeepers Collective’s mission which entails honoring our uniqueness as same gender loving people, The Gatekeepers Collective (TGC) conducted a language workshop.

Following check-ins, the facilitator shared, “TGC operates as a self-reclamation, historical trauma relief, and community development center where we unlearn internalized racial and sexual oppression, commit to valuing and integrating our multiple identities, including celebrating our sexualities, and building our communities.
“As we discover what it means to be Twenty-first Century Urban Gatekeepers; magical beings with the power to restore balance and harmony to the collective where it is lacking, what might happen if we were to practice using language that grounds us in our power, as distinct from all others?

“Is everyone aware that, periodically the dictionary is updated, including slang?”

The community answer, “Yes.”

“What if we updated our own dictionary?  As African Americans, we have long turned language that was used to devalue us into language that affirmed us.  We thought it might be fun, if we created a workshop where we flip the script, and take a pass at creating a new narrative for ourselves.  Do you think this might be a worthwhile use of our time and energy?”

A consensus is formed to do a language workshop.

Over the next three hours, the men engaged in a fun-filled series games and exercises designed to access and tap their creativity during the first “Tops” and “Bottoms”?: On Cultivating Shamanic Wisdom, with Language As Conjuration Workshop.

At the climax of the workshop, one man says, “I don’t see why we would need to reframe the terms “top” and “Bottom”. Who said they came from a White gay lexicon? Everywhere I go, that’s what people say...”

To this, another man responds, “We have to remember, we are the first people! We don’t have to follow behind everybody else…We are the first people!...and they don’t want us to remember that…”

Facilitator says, “That is absolutely the case…And, it is as we remember that fact that we begin to reclaim ourselves…And, as we reclaim ourselves, we tap into our power [as distinct from that of any others] And, that is the reason why we are doing this…”


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