The Queer Parent Convening is an opportunity to connect and share with other queer and trans parents and to explore collectively about how we shape our families and some of what parenting queerly means to you, particularly in regards to gender and sex in family-building. It's story sharing, open conversation, and facilitated exercises, led by facilitators and project leader and dance artist Meg Foley.
Meg Foley has been leading a series of these convenings and you can learn more on her website here. For the Los Angeles presentation of Blood Baby, we are planning to offer a one-day session on Sunday January 28 from 10am-12pm. Please fill out this survey if you are interested in participating so we can gain more information and a sense of the size of the group.
We will gather, we will ask questions, we will share (as much as we feel comfortable with), we will take time for ourselves and explore together.
What sets these Queer Parent Convenings apart is the focus on somatics (how your body feels from the inside out), on creative exploration, and on existing in the questions together. Sharing space and gathering - slowing down time - is the resource exchange.
Some of the prompting questions we work with are: How do you feel seen in your parenting journey as a queer person? // How has your gender evolved in relation to becoming a parent? // How do you teach your child about gender? About queerness? // How does your sexuality and sex-practice relate to family-building? // How do we honor ourselves as queer parents?
Some examples of exercises:
-drawing as a somatic listening practice, to get closer to listening and stay grounded in your body
-exploring the texture, stretch, and sensation of fabric and soft objects as way to get into and ground our bodies
What will the queer parents convenings group focus on?
Parenting is a practice, of attention, of movement, of relating to yourself, to child(ren), to other family members, and to the world. It is hugely improvisational. What does being queer have to do with being a parent for you? How does queerness or transness or sex-positivity or gender-affirmation or all of the above get woven into your daily rituals of parenting and family-building?
What is expected from the participants?
We ask for people to come to the Queer Parent Convenings groups with open minds and a willingness to share, to explore, and to connect. For Queer Parent Convenings groups that have several meetings, we request that you commit to attending as many sessions as you can and to participating/being present as fully as you can, however that looks for you on that day. That said, we understand life needs may get in the way and that people may need to miss sessions or attend partially.
What will happen with personal information that participants share?
Personal information and specifics will stay in the room. The queer parent convenings are not a study, nor will people’s personal information be represented in the Blood Baby performance project.
What are the agreements about consent and confidentiality?
We will address group agreements at the start and will practice regular, informed consent.
How do the Convenings relate to the performance project, Blood Baby?
The Queer Parent Convenings is conceptualized under a larger project called Blood Baby. Blood Baby is a multiformat performance project that explores intersecting embodiments of gender, gestation, sexuality, family-building, and queer belonging. Made and performed by a community of queer artists, Blood Baby unpacks queer family experience and our creation stories. Blood Baby is comprised of multiple iterations, utilizing immersive sculpture and dance installation, participatory performance, somatic workshops, storytelling, and video art, and will develop a network for queer parents to connect.
Why "blood" in the title Blood Baby? That maybe brings up some things for me...
Great question! I know the title may carry A LOT for some so I wrote about the origins of the title here.
You keep using the word “somatic”; what does that mean?
Somatics are defined as the experience of one’s body and sensations from an interior perspective. Sometimes we experience things that we may not be able to easily name because the experience is a sensation, a feeling, a connection, yet the effect of these experiences is very real and may define who we are in a given moment. With Blood Baby we are using that focus to think about how transformative processes (gender, pregnancy, sexuality) play out on our bodies and into our social lives.