This talk was originally given at Q-Med: Building LGBTQI+ Leaders in Health Care, a conference held at the Yale School of Medicine in March 2019.
It’s an honour and a privilege to be in this room with so many people who are working to transform health care, both through your work and through your very presence as LGBTQ+ leaders in health care, education and research. I want to thank each and every one of you for taking time out of your busy lives and in some cases traveling long distances to be here. Thank you for doing whatever it took to bring you to this moment, to the remarkable fact that we get to spend the next two days learning together, building relationships and finding allies and accomplices in our work to make health care more inclusive and just.
In honouring our presence in this room, I also want to honour those who can’t be here with us today for all of the complex reasons that keep queer and trans people out of health care and higher education, including the racialized, classed, gendered and ableist barriers that prevent some of our kin from accessing rooms like this one. I want to recognize the long history and ongoing actions of LGBTQ+ leaders working outside of formal institutions to bring affirming, accessible health care to our communities. May we honour them through our work together this weekend and remember that we are part of a strong lineage and a diverse community of resilient, creative queer and trans people whose efforts both enable and complement ours. It’s a joy and a privilege to be here; let’s feel into both of these things as we embark on this journey together.
Being invited to speak at this conference feels like an unexpected gift, because although I’ve been deeply engaged in thinking about and practicing leadership over the past decade, this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to explore leadership from an explicitly queer perspective. What’s been affirmed for me in the process of writing this talk is that my leadership style is fundamentally shaped by my experiences and vantage point as a queer person, and that I see radical potential in the act of queering leadership. In offering this idea, I want to draw a distinction between queer as an identity and queer as a verb. As Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele put it, “queering is something we do rather than something we are (or are not).” The word “queer” may or may not resonate with how you describe yourself but my hope is that the idea of queering leadership will be useful to you now and as you progress through your career.
My invitation to queer leadership takes inspiration from a definition of “queer” written by Black queer feminist scholar and poet Alexis Pauline Gumbs. She writes:
Our definition of queer is that which fundamentally transforms our state of being and the possibilities for life. That which is queer is that which does not reproduce the status quo.*
My perspective on leadership is rooted in abundance - the idea that we all have the opportunity and the potential to lead. If we work from this assumption, it requires us to consider two key questions Jeremy Dale asks in a recent article on the role of a leader. He writes, “Since we are all leaders, we must ask what type of leader we want to be? What characteristics do we want to possess?” My hope is that this talk will offer you useful ideas and questions to explore as you seek to imagine the kind of leader you want to be, and that it will encourage you to lead with authenticity and pride in your identity as an LGBTQ+ leader.
What is leadership?
Before we figure out how to queer it, I want to begin by getting us on the same page about what leadership is. The Rockwood Leadership Institute defines it as, “The ability to inspire and align others to successfully achieve common goals.” Leadership scholar John P. Kotter describes it as a set of behaviours rather than individual attributes. As he puts it, “leadership is about vision, about people buying in, about empowerment and, most of all, about producing useful change.” He emphasizes that in our complex, fast-moving world, we need leadership from people at all levels of organizations, a perspective echoed by Nick Petrie in a report on future trends in leadership development. Petrie points to a trend towards understanding leadership as a process, not as a person or role tied to a position of authority in a hierarchy. In her book Dare to Lead, Brené Brown defines a leader as “anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” As Claudio Feser explained in a recent episode of the McKinsey podcast, we learn leadership by doing, trying and failing, and these behaviours become skills if we carry them out consistently. What these definitions have in common is the idea that leadership is a set of behaviours that can be learned by anyone, regardless of their role.
I want to underscore the notion that leadership is something you learn by doing, not something you’re born with or are vested with by virtue of your job title, particularly in recognition that many of you are at earlier stages in your careers and may not yet be in formal leadership roles or higher up in your organizational hierarchies. Leadership is still relevant to you and is something you can and should practice. I encourage you to embrace your identity as a leader, which also means embracing the accountabilities and commitments that come along with it. In my experience, leadership is an ongoing process of learning, curiosity, self-reflection, humility, vulnerability, experimentation and adaptation. You can practice leadership at school, at work, at home and in your communities, whether through formal roles or just by how you show up. The best leaders understand and commit to leadership as a lifelong journey. It’s okay if you don’t figure it all out this weekend! I’ve been in formal leadership roles for over a decade and I’m still practicing and learning every day.
Who taught you to lead, and what have you learned from them?
If we understand leadership as a set of behaviours that can be practiced over time, it follows that leadership can be learned. We’re at a conference on leadership so I’m willing to bet that we’re all invested in learning more about it. This shared commitment to learning about leadership has me wondering what leadership lessons we’re each bringing into the room with us today. Who taught you to lead, and what have you learned from them? Maybe, like me, your professional education and training have included little to no explicit curriculum or teaching about leadership. In 2011, Warren and Carnall pointed out that good leadership is essential to delivering high-quality patient care, yet it’s often untaught, undertaught and unassessed in medical education. Rotenstein and colleagues reaffirmed this in 2018 when they wrote, “to be a physician is to lead,” yet “leadership skills are rarely taught and reinforced across the continuum of medical training.”
I don’t think that the problem of a lack of formal leadership training is exclusive to medicine. Between my undergraduate, Master’s and PhD I spent eleven years in university and none of my courses included content on leadership. I remember feeling acutely aware of this knowledge gap when I was first hired into a leadership role early in my career. I felt confident as a subject matter expert in my field but I sometimes felt woefully unprepared for the challenge of leading. I did a lot of on-the-job learning - including learning from my mistakes - and I eventually sought out (and continue to seek) mentorship and continuing education on leadership.
Whether or not you’ve received formal training in leadership as part of your education, you probably have ideas and opinions about it based on your experiences to date of leading and being led. I want you to take a moment to reflect on those experiences in answering the following questions:
What have you learned, implicitly or explicitly, about leadership from your education, work experience and the communities you’re part of?
What has this taught you about the kind of leader you want to be?
Be as specific as you can in answering these questions; leadership is experiential and the qualities and examples that come to mind will offer clues to your own leadership style and preferences. Some of you may have more negative than positive examples on your list. Bear in mind that the counterexamples may be just as instructive as those you want to emulate.
If we had more time today I would love to collectively develop lists of the leadership qualities we aspire to as LGBTQ+ leaders - and those we want to avoid. My hunch is that patterns would emerge in both lists, and that there might be an experiential and aspirational gap between how we’ve been led and how we want to lead. The gap between experience and aspiration is likely different for each of us, and is shaped in part by our professional, educational and personal backgrounds as well as our identities and experiences of privilege and oppression. The latter feels important to mention because many of us are leading and being led in institutions and organizations that mimic the oppressive structures and power dynamics of the larger societal contexts in which they’re situated.
This brings me back to one part of the definition of queer I introduced earlier. As Alexis Pauline Gumbs writes, queer “does not reproduce the status quo.” If we’re seeking to transform the status quo, we need to begin by understanding what it looks and feels like. In many settings, such as the formal hierarchy of a medical school, a hospital or a university, how leadership is practiced both individually and institutionally is entangled with homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, ableism and other forms of oppression. Many of us are learning, training and working in environments that harm us and our communities and that limit our capacity to fully express our identities. LGBTQ+ medical students report concealing their sexual and gender identities and experiencing bullying and discrimination from peers and instructors (see, for example, Feroe (2018), Mansh et al. (2015) and Nama et al. (2017)). These experiences don’t end after graduation, as LGBTQ+ health care providers also report harassment, ostracization and witnessing discrimination against LGBTQ+ colleagues and patients (see, for example, Eliason et al. (2011) and Eliason et al.(2018)). While research suggests that the climate has improved over time, it’s clear that there’s still considerable work to be done to create affirming, inclusive learning and working environments for LGBTQ+ people in the health sector, particularly for folks who are trans, non-binary or gender diverse.
In highlighting the homophobia, biphobia and transphobia faced by LGBTQ+ health care providers and trainees, it’s important to emphasize that many people are simultaneously experiencing other forms of oppression and discrimination in their learning and working environments. Trainees and health care providers who are members of racialized groups experience racism and discrimination in educational settings and at work, from colleagues, patients, instructors and others (see, for example, Okwerekwu (2016), Oriuwa, (2019), Vogel (2018) and Tello (2017)). The student-led group White Coats For Black Lives has a racial justice report card that evaluates medical schools on 15 racial justice metrics. Of the ten schools they graded in 2018, none received higher than a B-. There’s also growing recognition of the prevalence of sexual assault, harassment and inequality primarily experienced by women and gender and sexual minorities in health care learning and working environments (see, for example, Phillips et al. (2019), Vogel (2018)). The launch of TIME’S UP Healthcare is just one example of resistance against this culture.
As medical student Jennifer Tsai puts it, “professional structures—in the hospital and at large—were never built around women, people of color, workers with disabilities. These systems cannot be diverse and undisrupted.” She goes on to explain that this results in conditional inclusion, “one that hinges on a mandate that [we] cover [our] identities, abandon [our] assets and tie down the very superpowers that would improve the...health care system.” The idea of covering our identities refers to the work of legal scholar Kenji Yoshino, who heads the Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at NYU. Yoshino, himself a gay man of colour, describes covering as a demand for assimilation. When we cover ourselves, we alter how we look and how we act, we don’t stick up for the stigmatized group (or groups) we’re part of and we avoid contact with members of the same group(s). His research affirms that covering is detrimental to our sense of self, our feelings of support and safety at work and our perception of whether we’re the “right” kind of person to move into a formal leadership role at our organization. In short, it’s a barrier to authentic leadership.
All of this is taking place in a wider professional context characterized by entrenched hierarchies and power differentials between learners and teachers, employees and managers, different health professions and providers and patients. Medical students and residents report bullying and harassment from attending physicians and program directors in their medical training, and there’s a strong push to conform in the face of significant power differentials that can make or break people’s careers. What are the consequences of this for diverse learners and health care providers, especially at earlier stages of your training and professional lives? I know that many of you are actively working to change this culture, and change can’t come fast enough. Leadership has the potential to be transformative, yet it can also be stifling and violent in how it manifests in our organizational cultures and in our interactions with others. Moving towards the leadership we need requires us to acknowledge the ways it can do harm.
Queering leadership: Transforming the status quo
What would it look like to practice leadership in ways that enable all of us to thrive? How will it require us to transform our leadership practices to better reflect the world we are working to build? How does this intersect with our work in health and healing? Here I want to return to the second part of Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ definition of queer: “that which fundamentally transforms our state of being and the possibilities for life.” I want us to create space for forms of leadership that are expansive, robust and supportive enough to hold and honour the diversity of our lives, identities, experiences and ways of leading. To queer leadership is to transform our state of being and possibilities as leaders and members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is to resist assimilation and reproducing the status quo in favour of building something more nurturing and liberatory.
By describing what queering leadership looks and feels like to me, I hope to encourage you to reflect on your own practice of queering leadership, and to begin a conversation about what we can learn from each other. Some of the questions I’m sitting with include: how have my experiences as a queer person informed how I understand and practice leadership? What strengths do I bring as a queer leader? How might queering leadership transform our institutions and how we relate to one another within those institutions? As a way to begin answering these questions, I’ll share some of what I’ve learned about the practice of queering leadership, with recognition that it’s a set of ideas grounded in my own experience and therefore both shaped and limited by my perspective as a white, cisgender femme.
When I think about what queering leadership looks and feels like to me, several qualities come to mind:
I lead with my whole body.
I practice being right-sized in how I take up space.
I honour the messy, the uncategorizable and the vulnerable.
I feel into accountability and interdependence.
I lead in service of surviving, thriving and collective liberation.
Let me tell you more about what this means to me.
Lead with your whole body:
One of the ways I queer leadership is by leading with my whole body. There’s something deeply embodied about queerness. Our identities as LGBTQ+ people are rooted in our bodies - how we inhabit them, how we adorn them, how we relate to them alone or in the company of others. Queerness has taught me to come back into a deeper and more intimate relationship with my body, and to trust in its wisdom and intelligence. I’ve learned how to tune into the signals my body sends me when I feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed, or relaxed, open and receptive. I’ve learned how to embrace pleasure and play. I’ve learned how to rest. It’s made me more skillful, creative and empathetic as a leader. For example, I’ve gotten good at noticing when my anxiety gets triggered at work. When this happens my shoulders feel tense and I interact with other people in a way that’s controlling and shuts down possibilities. As I’ve become better at tuning into that response early on (something my body always figures out way earlier than my mind), I’ve learned strategies for tending to those feelings in ways that lessen the impact on me and others. Even simple things like slowing down, consciously relaxing my shoulders and taking deeper breaths make a big difference. I’ve also learned to be more attuned to other people’s bodies by noticing their body language, encouraging them to attend to their physical and emotional well-being, and by leading in a way that is trauma-informed. At the most basic level, this means acknowledging that our interactions with others can trigger trauma responses - fight, flight, freeze or appease - in them and us. (Ronald Heifetz and colleagues have explored this idea in the context of adaptive leadership and supporting others through change and uncertainty.)
Leading with my whole body feels like an antidote to a culture of ableism and overwork that falsely divides our minds from our bodies and rewards us for working through hunger, exhaustion, physical and emotional pain, even the most basic drives like stopping work long enough to eat or pee. I’m conscious of the fact that I’m standing in a room full of people - and I include myself here - who’ve been conditioned to believe that our worth is rooted in how academically and professionally successful we are and how much work we churn out. (If you want to have a real talk with yourself about this, check out the signposts of workaholism from Workaholics Anonymous. I suspect that I won’t be the only person who had an “IT ME” response to this list.) Maybe you also experience some combination of perfectionism, shame, fear and impostor syndrome - I know I do. So I want to remind you of this: you are worth more than your work, you are inherently good and worthy, and your body is wise. How would it feel to lead from this knowing and from a place where you’re valued for who you are, not how much you do?
Practice being right-sized in how you take up space:
The second quality of queering leadership that I want to explore is being right-sized in how we take up space. I once went to a workshop where we were invited to embody what it felt like to be right-sized. It went like this: the facilitator gave us several different feelings to convey only through our body language - no talking. One of the feelings was pride. First, we were invited to show what it feels like when we have an outsized amount of pride. I remember walking around with my chest puffed up tightly and my head held so high that I couldn’t make eye contact with anyone. Then, we were invited to embody what it looked like to have too little pride in ourselves. I went from big to small, curled in on myself, shoulders slumped forward, not looking at the others because my eyes were cast down. Finally, we were invited to embody right-sized pride and that’s when it really clicked for me. I stood tall with my head up, and I felt confident and in my power. But I also felt a softening across my chest that felt like openheartedness to me. As I walked around the room I made eye contact with others, and I remember feeling connected to them and able to see and honour the pride they had in themselves.
What this exercise taught me is that there’s something powerful about being right-sized, and we can learn from this as leaders. This sometimes means attending to privilege and ego and being intentional about taking up less space, and it sometimes means taking up more space than we’re accustomed to. Here I want to emphasize the idea of calibration, which is something I’ve learned from the queer community: how much space I take up as a leader is going to shift depending on the context and circumstances. For example, if I’m the only woman leader in a roomful of straight, white male leaders, I may strategically take up more space; by contrast, if I’m the only white, cisgender person in a roomful of trans people of colour, I will intentionally take up less space - including asking whether it’s appropriate for me to even be there in the first place. Calibration asks those of us who carry specific forms of privilege like white privilege or cisgender privilege to do the important and ongoing work of understanding how it shapes the ways we take up space, and how being right-sized doesn’t mean taking the space we’ve been conditioned to think we’re entitled to. Calibration invites all of us to ask ourselves how much space we ought to take up in any given moment, and to embody an adaptive kind of right-sized leadership. I encourage you to get curious about this. What does being right-sized look and feel like for you in different contexts, and how might that knowledge inform your leadership practice?
Honour the messy, the uncategorizable and the vulnerable:
The third quality of queering leadership that stands out to me is how we honour the messy, the uncategorizable and the vulnerable. One of the things I love most about queerness is our capacity to defy binaries and categories. Queer folks are boundlessly creative in how we embody and name our identities, our relationships and our family structures. As a queer leader I’ve learned to feel comfortable with ambiguity, doing things differently and thinking outside the box. It’s taught me to honour the messy and the uncategorizable. Now don’t get me wrong - I also love a colour-coded to-do list and I definitely own a label-maker - but in our complex and rapidly-shifting world, being able to stay grounded and see potential in the face of ambiguity is an asset.
Queerness has also taught me to embrace vulnerability. I have a print by trans artist and poet Lora Mathis on my bedroom wall that reads, “Radical softness as a weapon.” Here’s how Mathis describes what they mean by this: “Radical softness is about embracing emotions and combating the social stigma surrounding vulnerability. It’s about being forgiving with yourself for having a hard time, and recognizing that healing is not linear...It’s about trying to work against shame and viewing softness as strength.” Working against shame is something many queer and trans people are intimately familiar with as we push back against messages telling us that who we are and how we love is wrong. It’s no wonder we want to protect ourselves. As Brené Brown puts it, “When we’re raised in unsafe environments, confronted with racism, violence, poverty, sexism, homophobia, and pervasive shaming, vulnerability can be life-threatening and armour is safety.”
To queer leadership is to resist shame. It’s an invitation to take off our armour and reveal the glorious, imperfect, brilliant selves hiding underneath. I understand that self-protection is necessary and life-saving for many of us, and I’m not telling you to throw your armour in the recycling bin. What I am saying is that leadership doesn’t need to be hard, sharp and invulnerable to be effective. Some of my most powerful moments of leadership have come when I’ve given myself permission to be vulnerable - to open to my emotions instead of denying them, to soften into empathy for myself and others, to embrace the messiness and unpredictability that can come with connection. What would it look like to lead from a place that honours your vulnerability instead of from a place of fear and shame? How would it feel to take off your armour and let yourself soften and shine?
Feel into accountability and interdependence:
The fourth aspect of queering leadership that I want to explore is feeling into accountability and interdependence. Author and speaker Nilofer Merchant asks us to reflect on the questions, “Who are you?,” “Whose are you?” and “Who are you for?” These questions point to what I see as a core aspect of queer leadership: understanding who we are accountable to and feeling into the interdependence that comes along with that accountability. As a queer person, I’m aware that I’m part of something much larger than me, a community and a lineage that is broad and deep and spans generations. I understand that I have accountabilities to my community, both in the specific ways that come with being in relationship with particular people in a particular place and time, and in a broader sense of asking what I need to do in this lifetime to follow through on my commitment to be a good ancestor to the queer and trans people who will come after me. So much of health care can be about attending to what is immediate or urgent that we sometimes forget to think beyond this moment and remember that we are part of a whole lifespan and lineage.
When I feel accountable to a person or group, I’m attuned to how my actions might affect them, both positively and negatively. I take responsibility for the impacts of my behaviours and build my skills around conflict resolution, apology and repair. These are all critical skills to develop as a leader. Being accountable means thinking beyond myself. Feeling into interdependence reminds me that I’m not doing this work alone. It’s helpful in shifting out of a mode of leadership that rests on my contributions as an individual and it creates a much more resilient, supportive structure. It feels good to know that I don’t have to create all of these momentous changes by myself, and I don’t have to do it all in this lifetime! It gives me permission to ask for help instead of leading from a place of autonomy, lone wolf heroism or unhealthy self-sacrifice. It supports me to move out of feeling obligated and chronically overwhelmed into having healthy boundaries in my work and relationships. It enables me to lead from “we” instead of from “I,” and to move from individualism to collectivism without losing myself in the process. What would it feel like to know that you’re not in this alone, and that you don’t have to carry the weight of this work all by yourself? Whose are you, and how might your answer to that question enable you to lead from a place of accountability and interdependence?
Lead in service of surviving, thriving and collective liberation:
The final dimension of queering leadership I want to explore is to think about leadership in service of surviving, thriving and collective liberation. Sometimes, as queer and trans folks, we need to focus on our survival. But if we’re perpetually in survival mode and habitually covering who we are - including the magnificent fact of our identities as LGBTQ+ people - how can we lead authentically and build solidarity with fellow LGBTQ+ folks and members of other stigmatized groups? As Kenji Yoshino reminds us, assimilation is not the path to authentic leadership. My hope is that by queering leadership we can develop the tools and resources we need to lead authentically and to move from surviving to thriving. In turn, I hope that this becomes the foundation for us to take up the important work of supporting others to survive and thrive - and ultimately, to move towards individual and collective liberation. Like leadership, this is not a linear journey but rather an iterative process of learning and practice over a lifetime.
Survival is often a victory in and of itself for queer and trans folks. The very fact of our presence in this room today is a victory. We are alive and we are here together and that’s a beautiful thing. What would it look like for us to move from survival to thriving? What do you need to thrive as an LGBTQ+ leader in health care? The word “thrive” has its roots in an old Scandinavian word meaning to “grasp to oneself.” How might we hold fast to our identities as queer and trans people as integral to our thriving and our leadership? What resources and supports do we need to thrive in our work and in our lives as LGBTQ+ people, not just now but sustainably over time?
One of the things I find most exciting about working in health care is that it has the potential for both individual and systemic transformation. Many of us are called to this work out of a desire to do good, yet the liberatory potential of our work sometimes gets lost in the everyday challenges of being a small cog in a big, bureaucratic machine. As someone deeply committed to moving systems towards equity and justice, I’m very interested in understanding how to enable social accountability in health care - that is, to move from knowing about health disparities to doing something about them. Being a leader in health care brings with it a specific kind of power and responsibility. I invite you to think about how you’ll use the power afforded to you now and in the future in service of enabling others to thrive. Leadership in service of our own survival, even our own thriving, is insufficient. Our call to action as LGBTQ+ leaders in health care is to be part of facilitating movement towards collective liberation. It is to do something about the health disparities that disproportionately affect our queer and trans kin and other groups who also experience unjust barriers to care.
I recognize that this might feel like a daunting task. Some of you might be thinking, “I’m just starting out in my career. I don’t have any power yet, and it’s hard enough navigating my overwhelming workload!” Some of you might be living through the painful realities of discrimination or bullying in your learning or working environments. I know that I’m in a very different social and professional location than many of you, and I’m lucky to be in a position where I have enough power and seniority to be an out, vocal queer leader. I don’t take that for granted, and it inspires me to work towards a world where everyone is supported and celebrated to lead authentically, and where every LGBTQ+ person has access to the affirming health care they deserve.
I’m not asking you to radically transform leadership or the health system all by yourself in one fell swoop, now or ever. What I am inviting you to do is think about what you can commit to today - and the very first step might be figuring out how to keep surviving so you can figure out how to thrive. But I want us always to keep the collective in mind, and to remember the liberatory potential of this work. We can be agents of change within the health system so our queer and trans kin don’t have to suffer discrimination anymore. Let’s work together to build a health system that enables all of us to survive and thrive, and that realizes its true liberatory and healing potential.
It’s big work and it’s hard work, and it’s our work to do, because as the Social Transformation Project’s Jodie Tonita says,
In the face of daunting challenges, we must summon the courage to believe we are the ones we have been waiting for, take risks, and experiment towards solutions. We’re being asked to believe in our inherent capacity, step into the unknown, and challenge deeply held assumptions. For most of us, that’s radically disruptive and contrary to how we’ve organized ourselves to succeed in life to date.**
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. If you trace back the history of this phrase, you can find it in a poem about resistance against apartheid by Black bisexual writer June Jordan. As LGBTQ+ people and leaders we are part of a lineage of pride, resistance and transformation. It is our privilege and our responsibility to be part of continuing the work of moving our health system and indeed our society towards justice and liberation, so that everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
In their book Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Change, Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linksy write, “At its best, leadership is a labour of love.” Cornel West, in turn, reminds us that, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Our work as LGBTQ+ leaders in health care may feel risky and terrifying at times, yet the practice of queering leadership is also a profound act of love for ourselves and our communities. How will you put that love into action this weekend and beyond in your lives as LGBTQ+ leaders in health care? How will you lead with pride, authenticity and a commitment to the health and liberation of all queer and trans people? How will you answer the question, “What type of leader do I want to be?”
When I look around this room I see the future of health care, and that makes my heart want to burst with joy, because you are magnificent. You are magnificent in your queerness, in your transness, in wherever you situate yourself in the marvellously vast galaxy of gender and sexual diversity. You are magnificent in your strength and vulnerability, and in every facet of your identity and every part of your story that brought you into this moment. I am so grateful to be in this work with you because it is love made tangible. Let’s take that love and use it to build a better world together, a world where everyone can thrive.
*This quote is from a piece by Alexis Pauline Gumbs in the anthology Revolutionary Mothering, edited by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, China Martens and Mai’a Williams (p. 115).
**This quote is from an interview with Jodie Tonita in adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy (p. 177).