Get a regular dose of non-binary love in my weekly Letters from Home. I'll also keep you up to date about new meditation and other videos, special offers, and new courses, too. You're already a GEM. Let's make it official !
By joining together in a place of acceptance, compassion, and non-judgemental exploration, we discover our true nature.
On the left is a meme of Judith Butler, a major American philosopher who's had quite a lot of influence on how we currently think about gender. In her book Gender Trouble, she talks about gender in a way that no one had before, and its influence continues to be felt today. The thing is, Butler did not invent gender, she just built on what others said before her, and put into words things people already felt and sensed. In fact, people have had ideas about gender since time immemorial. Gender trouble, you could say, goes all the way back to Adam and Eve.
When people have words and images that reflect their authentic selves, it becomes easier to be one's authentic self. Many of us learned this the hard way: we had to craft and mould new ways of being that fit our authentic self. Gender Mentors is a place to pass on that hard won knowledge, and to make the world a better, kinder place for us all.
I've been teaching sexuality, gender, and critical race studies at top Canadian universities for over thirty years. Feeling limited by intellectual ways of understanding our experiences, I began exploring the creative arts, mindfulness meditation, and building communities of compassionate practice to expand and develop my capacity for emotional connection, both with myself and the world around me. Gender Mentors is a place where I bring all of these together to provide much-needed support for those of us navigating the challenge of living in an ableist, racist, queer-phobic, and gender-normative world.
Image to the right: a black and white photo of Tilda Swinton dressed as David Bowie and David Bowie dressed as Tilda Swinton. Both Swinton and Bowie have understood and embodied gender fluidity over the course of their careers and in their artistic practice.
"Ele Chenier introduced me to queer theory and the history of LGBTQ+ liberation movements before I understood my own queerness. Learning this helped open me up to exploring parts of myself stamped down by compulsory heterosexuality and heteronormativity, and find a place in the context of my queer ancestors."
"I took a class with El this past fall and it was one of my favourites! They created a learning environment that felt safe and welcoming. Through breathing exercises and check-ins, I felt grounded and ready to learn. Most of all, I felt encouraged to talk and share, which is something I struggle with in group settings; it was a really important confidence boost for me! I learned a lot about identity from El and I highly recommend them! "
"What an incredible opportunity to be guided on a special journey as we try to break out of binary understandings of self and other. El is a very experienced and excellent teacher and a very curious and creative person. I can’t recommend this to you more strongly!"
Short hits of non-binary wisdom.