All Posts By: ferox

Safe Spaces… or Isolationist Bunkers? Part 1


I went and did it. I got embroiled in an online drama fest. I’m not proud of it, but I feel like I both learned some things and wasted some time. Though I suppose if I learned some things then I did not waste any time.

xkcd comic:

I was added to a new support group for marginalized sexual and relational identities. The group rules immediately inspired some in-depth conversation between myself and some loved ones. We discussed possible “best practices” for identifying one’s own sexuality while honoring and respecting the identity and experience of trans folx. We dived headfirst into whether entire models of relationships could be deemed unethical without opening the door to major risk of abuse. We debated safe spaces and whether you could truly be inclusive while simultaneously laying down rules for stringent and forceful exclusion of others.

I took these topics of concern to the group and asked for a discussion. I don’t think it went well, and in my effort to seek clarity on what their rules actually meant to them, I believe I came across almost exclusively haughty and superior. Maybe that instinct is the true reason I opened the thread. Perhaps I thought I was better or more rational, that I could “save” them from themselves. Regardless, it led to a private conversation with the founder of the group, and even there I felt like the conversation was unproductive.

I wanted to discuss the concept that is now common in polyamory that “relationship anarchy” is moralistically better than others, particularly better than “relationship hierarchy.” In addition, there are formats describing the general methodology and number of partners in a relationship, and we discussed unicorn hunting/identifying as a unicorn. I’ll let you read through the above links and come back. In summary, I believe one can abide by the tenets of relationship anarchy, respectfully recognize that some of their relationships will result in descriptive hierarchy no matter their intentions and that ethical triad (or more) “hunting” can occur in a respectful and humane manner. This person disagrees vehemently.

For the first time, I had someone tell me directly I had triggered them, and they then accused me of being a predator for my support of hierarchical relationships and unicorn “hunting.” But I don’t think these models are inherently abusive by virtue of existing. The people in the relationships are the executors of behaving ethically, and those people can be found in all forms of relationship. I still believe the structure itself should not be demonized and banned, because the abusers will simply adopt your new structure(s), and continue to wreak emotional havoc on their prey. I happen to fit the definition of a unicorn and of a “unicorn hunter,” so in broad strokes to ban those things is to ban my ability to seek support for some of the ways I relationship. I feel the group leadership is blind to fact that the walls they built do not form a safe space, but an isolated bunker.

I have oft spoken of identity and some of the intersections that built the brain I live in, and will likely do so again in the future. So here I explore safe spaces and exclusion, and if those two things are complementary. My earliest iterations in Lucenti involved lengthy discussion with my recruiter and peers about how to form a group of like-minded folx who sought similar outcomes, potentially by very different paths. We wanted to make the world better by shining our own little lights everywhere we could. We wanted to form cohesive units that could knit lives together over great distances and engage in lofty projects that would benefit our fellow humans. We knew these were difficult tasks to undertake, so we talked about where lines in the sand needed to be drawn, and how the safety of the ingroup could be appropriately safeguarded. Of course, we didn’t ever seem to come up with a perfect model!

In creating safe spaces, we run into the paradox of tolerance, psychological patterns of grouping, and many more pitfalls. Some argue that there will never be a community so unified that there is no chance of schism, and some may take that to indicate that the attempt should never be made.

I was introduced somewhat recently to ‘brave spaces’ and it vibed with me. I felt like it was a descriptor that I had been missing, and I want to continue to explore it. We don’t have safe spaces. So in certain circumstances, we can form brave spaces that highlight those among us who may deal with more shit on a day-to-day basis. We can look to empathize and learn from experiences that we don’t get to see or hear much in the public eye. We can challenge ourselves and our peers to grow and be better with us. But none of that will be safe. If you ascribe to a vision of the world similar to mine… you might already know that we don’t have safe spaces. But we can have brave ones because we have work to do.

Flaw flaw away

I posted on my social media page asking about my biggest flaw. Not to attention seek. Not because I was having a sad. I legitimately wanted to see if I could get some overlap between my friend group and the finalists I’d come up with myself. You see, I have been obsessed with personal accountability of late. And a hefty portion of that, for me, has been trying to…

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Radical Heresy Final Part

Seek the truth and run from those who claim to have found it. André Gide All the religious and historical education I’ve encountered has brought me to the firm conclusion that High Churches are far more like primary schools than they purport. They certainly provide a groundwork for the practice of the initial levels of spirituality, and give structure and organization to folks who share some similar beliefs or…

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Radical Heresy Part 2

I wrote last time about modern heresy in lived experiences outside “the norm” and the methods of torture utilized to enforce conformity in the Middle Ages. Now I’d like to speak on U.S. culture but more specifically on my experience in religious-heavy Utah. I have lived on the fringes of this community for most of my adult life. I am currently planning my escape for places that feel more…

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Radical Heresy Part 1

In the Middle Ages, it was considered appropriate and absolutely necessary to physically torture heresy out of individuals who did not conform to the local divine standards. The eternal well-being of these individuals was considered to be at risk. Heresy, these Inquisitors thought, was like a virus spreading through populations – akin perhaps to what athene referred to in their last post. The world has updated the torture standard…

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Listen to Lucenti Live Episode 2

We’re still making a podcast! Find the transcript of the episode here. In this episode, we discussed Burning Man and its 11 Principles, with a focus on the newest one: Consent! Footnotes: What is Burning Man? Their yearly timeline. The Ten Principles of Burning Man. The background for “get my goat.” A really cool organization studying drugs. Far out, man. Burning Man org bought Fly Ranch property. More on…

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Home is in the Desert

I am excited to go back home. I want to listen to music as dust sands down my every follicle and sweat drips from my pores. I want to hold her hand while we skip to our next adventure. I want to find that boy and offer him a kiss. I want to see the lights move around me. I want to meet up with friends new and old…

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Introducing Lucenti for Listening! Episode 1: Community

We made a podcast! Find the transcript of our conversation here. In this episode, we discussed who we are, mutual aid, communities of our past (quasi-monastic, y’all), their evolution, building community for the sake of community, medicating and self-medicating, survival/homesteading skills, cynicism, crafting change in our world, connecting/socializing while sober, disconnecting from ego. So..just a few things! Footnotes: – What is informed consent? – More on Mutual Aid Societies. Also some…

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Fire and Ice, Ice, Baby – Part One

The fire alarm was going off, but its shrill cry had been relegated to the background of my senses. Thick smoke had filled the room, making it impossible to see or breathe, so I had to crouch down. The lights in the apartment had failed, and I was scrounging around in the dark of the bedroom trying desperately to find my phone. As I brought it up and opened…

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