Body Liberation for All
Body Liberation for All
Escaping and Recovering from Cults and from High Control Religious Groups with Goddess Carroll | Episode 25

Escaping and Recovering from Cults and from High Control Religious Groups with Goddess Carroll | Episode 25

This episode Goddess joins me in a heartfelt discussion of our shared experience of leaving the cult in which we were raised, deconditioning ourselves, and finding our way to our true selves. 

Goddess (they/them/theirs) is the Proud MoMo of Sun Seed Community; a platform for the practice of collective healing. Creating Goddess’ tools of liberation took a whole community of support and they hope their village's stories can resonate with others.

They graduated from the Healing Arts Institute of Massage in October of 2018 and continue to explore therapeutic and spiritual practices. You can usually find them in the "pagan" section of the bookstore, sitting in the back of a concert, caressing crystals at your local metaphysical shop, or binge-watching old sci-fi movies while cooking.

This episode we discuss:

🌈 Identifying marks of cults

🌈 Recovering your true identity 

🌈 Communicating with family that is inside a cult or high control group

🌈 Weaponization of the need for community

🌈 Critical thinking as protection and a tool for liberation

Resources Mentioned this Episode

Decolonizing Wellness: A QTBIPOC-Centered Guide to Escape the Diet Trap, Heal Your Self-Image, and Achieve Body Liberation

Sun Seed Community Podcast

The Guardian Watch out for Tell-Tale Signs Rick Ross

Song: No White God by Sizzla -

How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community by Mia Songbird -

Cutie BIPOC Fest -

Mystic Soul -

Black Healing October -

Connect with Goddess Carroll



Note: This episode’s transcript was generated with the help of AI. As often as possible human transcription is used but on occasion work load and other podcast expenses don’t allow for this. Thank you for understanding.

Hello and welcome to another episode of Body Liberation for All. I'm your host and Decolonize Wellness and Body Image Coach, Dalia  Kinsey. I help queer folks of color heal their struggles with shame self-acceptance through nutrition and self-care so they can live the most fierce, liberated, and joyful version of their lives.

Today's episode is a little bit different. It's very personal. And a lot of the themes I talk about today, I was initially reluctant to discuss. But when I came across someone with a shared experience in this same area, I felt so much safer and more comfortable discussing it.

Now, when I listened back, I felt less safe and comfortable, but I still felt like everything we discussed needed to be said and finding the courage to say what I need to say, to say what needs to be said is one of my major focuses in life. And this year in particular, as I'm approaching the official release date of my book, in which I discuss a lot of things that I initially was reluctant to be totally honest about because of previous drama and trauma around being punished for being totally honest.

Feeling free, feeling grounded, feeling aligned. These are all core values for me, core needs and using my voice to advocate for others. And myself is a key part of my journey. So even though I frequently get in my own way, when it comes to speaking freely, I'm leaning into feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

There are sometimes consequences for being totally yourself. Totally honest and transparent about how you feel about things. But I'm at a point where it's more important to me to be free, to speak my mind than it is to be quiet, to stifle myself and to gain approval through that. So I hope you enjoy today's episode.

If this experience of religious trauma with this particular religious sect or any other is familiar, and you resonate with this episode and you benefit from it in any way, please share it with me and today's guest, because I know we both could really use the reinforcement, knowing that it made a difference to someone to vocalize these things that we've kept in for so long.

I didn't want to put any spoilers out there. Today's guest is Goddess from the Sun Seed Collective. Be sure to check out the show notes so you can connect with their work on a deeper level. All right, let's get right into it. 

(Theme Song)

Yeah. They might try to put you in a box. Tell them that you don't accept. When the world is tripping out. Tell them that you love yourself.

Hey, Hey, smile on them. Live your life just how you like it. It's your party, negativity is not invited. For my queer folks, my trans people of color, let your voice be heard. Look in the mirror and say that it's time to put me first. You were born to win, head up high with confidence. This show is everyone. So I thank you for tuning in. Let's go. 

Our guest today, Goddess has a ton of work out there around healing and healing from a perspective that is nurturing for queer folks and for people of color, I'm still glad that they were able to join us today.

Recently on Facebook, I discovered that we are cult buddies. I don't know if cult buddies is an official term, but I think we can make it a thing. So I saw someone else was suffering from some kind of religious trauma, which unfortunately is really, really common in the queer community and especially in queer communities of color.

And they posted something about trauma around the JW experience. And if you don't know what that stands for — good for you. I'm a seeker around so you get to hear all about our shared trauma. 

So Goddess before we realized we were caught buddies, we had a lot of other things we wanted to talk about on the show and like how you connect to intuition and how you allow body awareness and eating to really ground you and connect you to spirit. I want to know how the world was able to get to the point that you can lean into that and understand that when our background is so rigid and so fundamentalist Christian slash culty, that anything that was related to intuition or ancestral wisdom was, you know, demonic.

So how did you get to the point where you were able to accept that, you know, this was safe to do, and that it's actually a beautiful part of your lineage as a person of African descent. 

Uh, okay. So, uh, my initial response to that, and I say this a lot when people ask me this question, um, is that I was super Forney.

I was 13, um, and, um, developing friendships outside of the cult, which is not supposed to happen. 

This is not allowed. You are not supposed to, like outside of school, you should not be hanging well. They say you should not be hanging with anyone, um, outside of, uh, being Joe's witness.

And, um, I had a boyfriend at the time and I was so in love. Um, and I was like, you know what? I'm questioning all these things. Anyway, this doesn't make sense. Why am I  told I can't love who I want to love? And, um, also honestly, even more than that, like that was a, that was a huge catalyst, but also seeing the amount of abuse my mother was taking and also my family was taking because she was a black, single woman in a white supremacist. 

Cool. The nerves, the nerves existed. 

Yeah. So the abuse was like, why do we allow ourselves to be so miserable? Um, and now I understand that it's brainwashing, but at the time I was just so angry and rebellious and thank goodness for it.

You know, teenagers are horrifying to me because they are so clear sometimes on what is right for them. And they don't, they're not in the business of pulling a whole lot of punches. Right. But there's also something so beautiful about leaning into that clarity and not letting some adult tell you, oh no, you don't know what you know, you didn't see what you thought you saw. You've misinterpreted all of this because God said it was totally fine to give women a hard time for everything, literally, everything it's just crazy. 

We were talking before the call, this has taken so many years for me to unpack. I was, I think, first disfellowshipped, I don't know. It's probably been at least 20 years.

I'm getting old every year. I'm shocked at how old I really am. But it's been years. I would say it took me at least 10 years though, to start to feel like I knew how to operate in the world as a regular person, as a person who didn't have all the social ties from the cult. Cause that's one thing I think people don't understand.

Another reason why it's so hard for people to leave is because you're told you shouldn't have relationships outside of religion. You don't have anyone. If you decide to leave, you don't have anyone. If you know, you go into puberty and you decide that celibacy is for the birds, um, you any, what we you're kicked out.

And you think that these relationships you have are so strong because part of the rules basically it's that we should look as though we're United, no matter what, if we disagree on things, we shouldn't discuss those things. So there are a lot of things that are discouraged and you're not supposed to participate in because it usually brings up a lot of differences that people have.

So like you don't participate in politics at all. And of course they have other reasons that explain why they don't do that. But I really think in reality, it's much easier to control people when they're under this illusion that, you know, everything's fine. And we agree on everything. We're all having the same experience, but the amount of anti-blackness that I saw growing up that way and, um, the amount of distress that I've seen other people experience from just the homophobia, the sexism, um, there's a lot of issues with just people not understanding the importance of consent.

And then they're also being a ton of predators that are in that organization as well, whose behaviors are being allowed. And I don't think that everybody even believes that the behaviors are that bad. I think there are more people probably in my hometown right now thinking. I'm doomed. And I'm a really, really bad person because I'm openly queer, but someone who has molested children, if they claim they've repented, they're fine.

And you don't need to keep an eye on them because male sexuality, you know, it's the same bias that we see in society in general. It's like magnified in these very patriarchal, controlling organizations/ cults. 

Yeah. Like what we're. So, um, when we say the world, we're talking about anything, that's outside of being a Jehovah's witness.

So there's like language that we have within like the cult that like, not everyone might understand. So like in the world, like the world is, um, not like people, but being a Jehovah's witness is like, um, like a microcosm of white supremacy. And it's like, like you were saying, like magnified, um, the entire religion was bill off of a white man's imagination of what a God was and is, and how it should be fulfilled. And so I don't think black folks or any BIPOC folks were really welcome in until later on probably.

And they were kind of seen as like, oh, and you, and you, if you stick to these specific like frameworks in which we want you to be in, which is very white, someone said it's, um, corporate. Jehovah's witness. It's very corporate. 

It actually is! It’s so crazy because one of the things that's come up a lot for me lately, it's people keep telling me that they liked my presenting style, or they are kind of just smitten with my comfort of public speaking.

But because of how corporate that cold is and how structured the training is, I have got to say so much of that comes from that. Like they didn't literally train you from very, very small to be comfortable with public speaking. Or you have to give little talks on the platform as a kid. If you're a woman though, you don't get to give lectures per se, you get to do demonstrations.

There's always, it's always a difference in what you can do based on your gender. And according to them, of course, there are only two of those and. But still, I will say I have done so much public speaking since childhood. I was my failures fully, even now. I sometimes it's very in some anxiety around speaking about it openly, but I am tired of feeling like I'm the only one who has to suppress my beliefs and my feelings.

And that is a common theme. Like you said, it's a microcosm of what we see and like broader dominant society where people are so controlling and believe that white whiteness is the default. And is the golden standard. You, if you deviate from that at all, if you're not CIS white-het, if you are not. Yes, actually, if you're not that mythic-norm. Then you should play down those things and try to assimilate as much as possible and that’s, the only way to be acceptable. So they do acknowledge that some people experienced same sex attraction, but it's considered a defect. And it's something that you need to play down. You need to fight, you should not talk about.

So I think there are probably a lot of people that already got queer vibes off of me growing up, but it was okay as long as they talk about it, right? What does that cost me psychologically to think that I don't have permission to be myself and I don't have permission to speak about the things that are important to me.

And what I think is valuable. I love spending time with queer people. I love spending time with especially queer folks of color. There are things that I get from being in community with us that I can't get any place. What am I sacrificing if I'm staying in a cult  that doesn't allow me to be myself and cuts me off from having community with people who want me to be myself?

Exactly. And that idea of like staying silent or not looking at the things that are very much a part of you, because they are defects, it creates this like roboticsm in your brain of like, uh, of ignoring your truth, ignoring your truth. Like, I remember being very young and looking at my mom's bra catalogs and deciding who I want to marry.

Now, I question that decision based off of like, I don't know, bra, but like, and it didn't, but I didn't, it didn't click for me that I was queer until I was 18 and that was a deep struggle. And so like how many times did I have to ignore? You know, that part of me, um, and such a big part of me and not see it.

And how many times was that affirmed that ignoring affirmed and taught to me by my family and by like older people, elders that were supposed to love me and said that I, but conditionally, but conditionally and the key is it's so conditional. 

And I think it hits so hard that it's conditional when you experience excommunication. So they still do that and they, they are very good at it. So this story is that by completely cutting people off, when they leave the church, when they do something that the church doesn't approve of, you putting them under that psychological distress of losing their entire support system in a day is supposed to help them help bring them back to, you know, righteousness essentially.

But what it really is is you are raised in a community and you're told everybody agrees on everything. There's all this harmony, there's all this unity. And then you leave the little counseling tribunal thing and you walk out and you don't know anyone that will speak to you. You don't exist. People who you grew up with will see you on the street and turn away. They're supposed to like, just walk away, not greet you, not acknowledge you, not make eye contact with you. It's so interesting. The damage that facade of everybody agreeing on everything dead to my concept of what is it a good friendship. What is it? The relationship as well, because there was never any complexity to these relationships, because anything where you might have a difference of opinion, you would not discuss it.

So then out in the world with normal people where people don't agree on everything and that's okay, at least used to be okay. And a lot of ways now, like that belief that everyone in your life should be part of this echo chamber. That is more part of how technology has evolved and allowed us to create these little bubbles.

But the cults were like the old bubbles. These are the, there's an analog bubble. 


Versus the bubbles we  put ourselves in now voluntarily wanting to spend time with people who agree with us on everything. But it was really hard to form relationships because I'm like, well, who are my people?

Who am I? I was told that who you were as an individual is not important. It was important for you to learn, to follow all these rules that would make you pure or righteous and so many of the defaults in that religion are strictly cultural and centered on whiteness and people who are in it definitely don't see it.

So I've been reprimanded before for wearing natural hair because it looked too worldly, but you can have natural hair that is straightened blind and that's neutral. Well, if you're making whiteness neutral, we've got a problem there like that. That's white supremacy, right? Go straight to the default. It is the default.


And what is the damage? I heard the song. I think it was like a rastafarian song and it felt kind of extreme, but it's very catchy. So I have listened to it many times, but the refrain in it is 

“I have no white, God don't teach me anything wrong. How could a white God save me from white man's oppression?”

And it's a very good question. If your concept of the divine does not connect to you in any way, what is that doing to you? And if your concept of the divine really supports the idea that the dominant culture is in that position, because they should be because they are more God-like than you again, what is that?

And we all struggle with internalized racism and internalized homophobia because we're surrounded by it. But what happens when your religious belief system also reinforces these things? 

That's that also is meant to like provide, use, um, like safety and shelter from oppression. Yeah. Like it's, it's really hard because I do know that Western religion, um, is very important to a lot of black communities. Um, it's been a gathering place. It's been a resource, um, for liberation. It's also been, um, it's also been kind of, we put some stank on it. We put some spice into it.

I do think that old religion have been meshed with the Kriser's beliefs.

But it's been. And I think a lot is that we have to question, well, like why did we go into these religious practices? Like where we trying to secretly perform our own religious practices and then cause because that's happened in many culture where colonizers, AKA white folks usually came in, um, I shouldn't say usually, but in the ones that I've heard, um, came in and they like the, the indigenous people there had to hide their own spiritual practices. And so they would hide their idols within a white idol. Um, they, and then eventually people just forgot and started worshiping, you know, and like looking to that. So it's, I forgot who it was. Oh, it was a friend. Um, and they were also the one that told me. Um, that I was a slave to the white Dick, which is definitely, definitely linked in with, uh, 

Is that still a friend? Was that like an aha moment or was it..

It was like a moment where a friend tells you something and you don't want to believe it and so you ignore it. 

Oh man, and I mean, okay. That, that phrase is so distracting. There were other threads that I wanted to pull, but I've got to know what was that? So that about?

So we were talking, we were talking about relationships.It was in college and they were like, it was another black queer person. And they were basically telling me like, you are so wrapped up and like how I interpret it was like you were so wrapped up in wanting to be wanted by white people, specifically white dudes when it came to romance at that time. That like it's enslaving you. And it upset me the way they said.

Well, that's rough.

But, but what, what it did and you spoke to this earlier, um, was that it, it put into my head, this idea of, um, being really attracted to and wanting to put all of my power, at least serving my power into someone else and like questioning that. And that is exactly what this cult did. Like you do not think for yourself there is and when you need to be held accountable, it's not you being held accountable. It's like you go to the religion. Like when I talked to my family about. Okay. Why, why is it hard for you to accept, you know, my pronouns and use them? It's like, oh, well, God doesn't like, see it this way and this and that and the other. So they're not being held accountable for their decision to believe that is so, all of our, um, autonomy and it's a really good way to escape things. It's a really good way to not talk about racism within, you know, your, your relationship dynamics. That's a really good way to do that.

Um, and we can get to that later. I did well, but like the original thing was that, um, this, the same friend asked me that question of like, what, who, what were our spiritual practices before Christianity, before all these, like these like dominant religions? Like what we're experiencing practicing. And I was like, wow.

So you're saying like, so my, it blew my mind because I was like, I was thinking that the only valid way of connecting spiritually was created after colonization. And it wasn't like, uh, like a thought that like was a solid thought, but it was, um, what is it called? It's like, it's not tangible, you know, even the taste of our eyes, it's in the ether. 

And it's like, oh yeah, you learn the lesson. You learned the lesson that you were taught. This is what you're taught everywhere. I I've heard so many people even now talk about how people should be so thankful if they are in a nation that was colonized because they're like, look at how all these other people are living.

That assumption that's still whiteness is so superior to all other things that you should be grateful that we came in and took your resources and raped your children and raped you. And just, you should be so thankful because now you have access to what we consider the gold standard, which is this Western super capitalistic way of operating.

There's more than one way to do life and plenty of indigenous people. We're doing life in a way that felt right to them. And that assumption that only your culture has got it. Right. That is. Nonsense right, right here. Yeah. And I know that, you know, Japan got real ad control with colonization as well. So it wasn't just maybe European of European descent, but that is the experience that I have most been affected by. And that is what most of the planet has been affected by as well. So I think it's pretty safe to say, like, y'all know who we're talking about. And it's still, it's still complicated at the same time, because you know, almost all black Americans, we have mixed ancestry, just the same way that the religions became a mesh of traditional religions and the colonizers religions. We are a mesh of the colonizers, we're descendants of enslaved people and the people who perpetrated crimes against humanity.

Like you don't get to choose like this weird blend of both of those things.

One of the things that always has broken my heart is that there is no home to go to. We can't go home because we are not that anymore. The people who were kidnapped and brought here, you know, I don't know that they would recognize me. And that makes me really sad, but I feel like the cold magnified that distress, because not only can I not go back to some country where I would magically belong, have to right accent, speak the language and be part of the majority. Like I literally don't have that option. There's nowhere I can go to experience that.

But I also didn't get to experience black American culture growing up because I told that was really so like you said, the Christian Church is such a big deal in black American culture. And I don't know any of it. I don't know the people talking about praise dancing. I'm like, if I haven't seen it on TV, I don't know what it is.

And I feel like a lot of times, especially when I first got out, I would try and like fake it, like little things that you don't know. Like, I didn't know the words to the pledge, which is not really the blackness, but I didn't know the words because wasn't allowed to do that as a child. I didn't even know which hand needed to go where, and you hate to be othered, like, you don't want to talk about your traumatic religious experience with people who probably aren't going to understand.

And it feels like so personal, like, and you don't want to constantly be rehashing that stuff. So you try and pass as a person who was re outside the leg at Christmas parties where everybody's singing Christmas carols. And you're like, I only know the first two words. Only now do I feel like every now and then somebody might not pick up on like either Dalia’s memory is really bad or something different here.

Why is she not acting like I missed out on so much? And then to even add to that feeling, and I don't have people, I have nowhere to go. We were told over and over again. These are your people. I remember specifically a presiding overseer saying to someone, he asked a group of kids, there was a Lebanese kid., uh, Italian-American kid, um, me Afro-Caribbean kid, you know, what are you?

Well, that's a strange question, but maybe from the south, the only time anyone asked that they want to know what is your ethnic background? It sounds very rude because it is rude, but that's how I phrased it. But it was a trick question. We were supposed to say Irish, Jehovah's witness that when somebody was like, well, I'm a Lebanese and I'm like, well, I'm black. I mean, no, you're not. You're Jehovah’s.

That identity should supersede all other identities. 

The other ones don't matter. 

We're your people. Okay, great. Okay. You're my people. But then the minute I decide to express normal human sexuality, because hello, like I'm a human and I don't have any people. So I don't know anything about black American culture. Didn't get to experience it. I got reprimanded once for listening to, you know, wild worldly, rap music, um, by Will Smith. And if anybody remembers how outrageously wholesome and whitewash his rap was, you understand how super ridiculous that is. That's how intense the anti-blackness was that listening to Will Smith was too worldly. It was too ethnic. I think it's like the layers of me constantly. I like, obviously I don't know anything about, I I've tried to catch up, but every now and then I just. I feel like it can't be done. 

Yeah. And it's also hard to talk about it outside of people who have experienced it, because one it's like that. 

Oh, you were, you were in a cult and so you build like this, like, I don't know, like this mold child there's I don't know. And then feel weird and then time of feeling weird. And then to like, add on the fact that you're black in a, like, in, in that it's like, and now only a year ago and men gender non-conforming, it's just like, like, like it is.

Oh, it's it's. So the closest thing I've had to relate to it has been, um, the incredible Kimmy Schmidt. You see this? Oh, first of all, can we talk about, is his name Tidus? Titus Andromedona. I honestly, that first season and yes, you're right. I love that show and the way she even captures the sheet of the, one of you known as a mole woman, like she doesn't want that to be at her whole identity.

And then the way she struggles to learn how to relate to people after being in such a peculiar social environment for so long, that's a great show. Like the last season was not great, but a lot of it just hysterical awesomeness. 

Yes. And it's so it's relatable because I do feel like when connecting with people like a child sometimes like, which he had, like these quirky things that no one says anymore, that is so me, like, this is really relatable.

However, it's White! It's a very white freaking show, even the back that like, she added this like gay whack best friend, and like give him a couple of points though, because he had the full storyline. We just had a big difference from what we're used to saying. Like, we were talking about this before the call that everyone has been socialized in the west who's watched movies to think of the black character as a sidekick. They don't have their own story. And when you disappear, they're not doing anything. They're just waiting to drop more truth bombs on you and help you live your best white life. Right. Um, the same way you don't say to your dog is, you know, going to work when you leave and living this full life, you think that black folks are just sitting around waiting to see how they can enhance your storyline.

That's really how we've all been socialized. So. I can understand why your friend said, oh, you look like you have this real desire to have that connection and romance with a white male. Well-trained like trained to want that who wouldn't want to be connected to the gorgeous male lead, because think about the Bechdel test and like all the white women who did get any lines that one directly related to a male cast member.

Once again, that belief that the woman can't be a catalyst for the plot. Also, you can do a slow it down and she is a sidekick. She's like a fixture. She's not a real person. She doesn't have any goals or anything or anything cool to contribute. She just is going to scream like or something else, ridiculous and slow down the plot, but who wouldn't want to at least be able to be there in every scene and to not be murdered 30 minutes in, you know, of course.

This is how we've been trained as a part of the brainwashing. In addition to the cut washing, you like this social innovation for our Western north America, like culture, it's like, we've all been trained to believe. We have very few options about what we can be. If you are dark skinned and assigned female at birth.

When did you even realize that you have the option of using the pronouns that are right for you and that you could be assigned female at birth, and that is at the end of the story?

Um, so I came into that realization more when, um, a friend of mine was actually coming into their truth more and having the opportunity to reframe my relationship to that person and how I, you know, talked about that person and how I related to that person really was challenging and humbling because it does exactly what the cult tells you not to do. And that is, think, think outside of what you are taught. And, and I will say this, like, Jehovah's witness witnesses.

Like we are told that like, we should do research, but we have all of these books. Like my mom had a whole entertainment system built of books that were created by, I don't know, Bethel, I can't even remember the language anymore. The Bible and track society. Maybe like Ash tower, Bible, and tract society, something like that.

Yeah. So like all the research he did within the, what they gave you to do the research. Yeah, exactly. They have the resources. And I do want to know,

I think it was a good time to mention that the only unforgivable sin is speaking out against the cult. Then you are an apostate, sinning against the holy spirit. The only thing you can't do. You can have, you can violate people. You can rob people. You can push an old lady into traffic. All that can be forgiven. You can rape children that can be forgiven, but don't speak out against cult. Then you're going to into apostate territory and you can't come back from that, even though I've heard that some people have, but then I think they had to like publicly retract a lot of stuff they said.

Yeah oh my gosh, just a side note. So you've got, they say, do research, but you can only use their approved resources and then be cautious of the apostates cause they're out there and they're trying to get you right. Exactly. And any type of, um, like reprimanding system is created by the religion. So like say you did violate another person.

Um, you need to go within the religion to solve that. Now my sister told me that they have been changing that up now that you can go outside of, um, you know, Jehovah's witnesses to do that. However, I pretty sure that the final decision will be made between you and a group of elders. And usually that means that the elders are the ones speaking, just the awkward vest.

First of all, I just want to celebrate that you are with it enough at 13 years old to say, this is not the tradition for me, and I'm not going to participate. That is massive and anybody who's listening has been told that they're too young. To know what's right for them. Question that question that you have so much wisdom inside of you.

And you're constantly been told, being told, not to believe in yourself. And I think it's so dangerous across the board. And if that's true in all areas of life, when you're always told you have to look outside of yourself for the answers, your savior is outside of yourself, the person who's going to get you to where you need to be and show you the next step is not you it's so detrimental. And I really feel like in my life, things haven't started to make sense until I started working through all of my blocks against just believing my own internal wisdom, the tribunals situation, the depths of the brainwashing, it sounds ridiculous from an outside perspective, but you have to understand that for a lot of people who are raised in it, if you told something since birth. How are you going to know where the truth begins and where the lie start? How do you know the difference? It's a whole practice learning to trust yourself, learning, to use critical thinking skills. And if you're in a tradition that tells you don't ever do any of those things, because they'll lead you down a sinful path.

Of course, in hindsight, it's like some of the things that I did and Santan was like, wow, that was some effective brainwashing you can leave. Of course you can leave the church at any time. If you can understand that you can leave the church, they didn't in time. But do you, do you understand that props to my little brother, because he knew when he wanted to lead and he started establishing his social network outside of the church real low key.

Like, I didn't even notice it. So when he was disfellowshipped or excommunicated. He had friends to go to dinner with. He had people to call and hang out. Like if he had a flat tire, I went from always knowing that I had a support system to have a zero people to back me up and help me. My parents actually went through a little process to get permission, to allow me to stay in their home while I was unemployed and excommunicated at like 22 or something.

Um, but imagine if they had said, no, I literally would have been homeless and it's complicated cause you don't want to criticize the people who gave you life. And you also don't want to judge people based on your understanding, your lived experience, but it's so, so hard. So there's some ways where I see how they've done so much more than other people to try and be as loving as possible. And they're doing the best they can with what they know. Then I also get very upset when I think about the fact that I can't have a full relationship with them and be myself at the same time. And that there is an organization in between me and my family and that organization can tell them when to not talk to me anymore and they will comply.

Oh, that hits so hard. 

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That is so true because these are the people that love you, and they are loving you to the best of their ability. But that ability is limited by a framework that was set by this church.

And that in that framework, like it tells them that they love you. And so that's why they're doing this. Yes. Because they want you to be with them in paradise. And so they're going to continue to not fully see you in the hopes that you will come back and it's, so I don't know, the words are like, it feels suffocating.

Like you're trying to connect with these people who raise you, who puts you to bed tonight at night? Who like saying like, did you go, oh, like we, thank you, Jehovah. My mom would sing that to me. Like,

um, it's so, so crazy. All the detail and how...

You feel like you were raised in this little bubble with them because you limited your contact with outside people. And that in my experience anyway, also included limiting your contact with family that wasn't in the church. So I have a lot of cousins. I have a lot of family that I don't know because they weren't in the church either.

At the same time, this is a real kicker, you know, so I leave and then some of them converted I'm like, this would have been, I finally could have come hang out with you and now you run off it and convert. So it's like, I'm never going to have that relationship. It really has broken the family into pieces. And it's really, really tough because you were, of course, your parents try and love you the best that they can. But then also when they're like the only people you have for so, so long because other kids had. Uh, until I was probably 10 or 11, I never really asked to go do anything without my parents. Like I always wanted to do stuff with my parents. You know, as you enter your teenage years, you usually are suddenly ready to be more social and you want that distance, but we were just so close and you felt like they were the only people in the world that really understood you.

And then to find out that the people that you thought loved you unconditionally have conditions. It's very difficult. It's very difficult, but I feel like the convert that you feel, we understand you will not break. If you don't get love from all the places that you want it and that you can respect people and allow them to live life the way they are.

And you can take permission, give yourself permission to live life the way it feels right to you. They so hard. I remember that coming up in therapy that, oh, well it sounds like you need to set and reinforce that boundary. And that was one day. I know my therapists, um, had a lot of training around working with people of color, but that doesn't make you someone who's had that lived experience of like the rules about respecting your elders that are also cultural things, because you don't completely leave your culture at the door.

Just the concept of telling your mother we really, we can't talk because you know of this problematic behavior, you can't seem to stop or “Remember mom? I told you so-and-so” I feel like I'm going to die when I try and set a to with my mother. Yeah, it is. So I'm comfortable to the point where. They're pretty good communicators growing out there, very open. I will give my mom credit that she was on high alert for child molesters. And so very young told us, like, I need for you to get independent with wiping yourself. And from this point forward, like only you maintain this part of your body and no matter what anybody tells you, and no matter how it's framed, if anybody touches you here, you report it to me immediately.

And when it happens, also let them know. You're going to tell like immediately and that you know that they're lying and they're trying to trick you into being silent. She did a lot of training on like molestation prevention. Yeah. And it also makes me sad to know that she was aware that predators are everywhere, but they're in the deal and believe exactly.

But still believed that, oh, well, they're like, you know, rocks there under the surface meant to stumble people, but it isn't an indication that maybe this belief system allows people. To be this way and not think that there's a problem. 

Right. And I don't know, I can't say specifically how the system is set up to protect, um, pedophiles, but it is like if you look at the statistics and these are just the reported cases, there are so many that weren't reported.

Um, there are high rates, um, of child molestation in, um, this cult high rates. Um, there's also the rule, um, that you cannot, like if you are physically or emotionally harmed by your partner, you can't leave that partnership. You have to stay with them unless someone. Uh, it has like it cheats on you, right? So I know you could divorce them, but you can not remarry because technically your marriage can't really be dissolved unless there's adultery.

Right. Exactly. So I know of people who have like committed adultery in order to get out of situations like that. 

It's amazing what you're, when you're fully indoctrinated, what you will do to get permission to do something, because honestly you could just leave. You could just not be in the cult anymore. Who even said you had to officially get divorce. I know people who have not seen their spouse on paper for decades. And they don't worry about it because they believe that it didn't matter whether or not it was officially over, they were done. Yeah. You don't believe that you literally can't do anything. I went through the process of being disfellowshipped, which essentially is sitting in a room with three men, usually older men explaining to them how you have been sexually deviant, how cringy and disgusting as that. But I didn't know at the time that I could just not go anymore. I thought I needed to go through the official steps to be kicked out so that I wouldn't have to go anymore.

That's some effective brainwashing again.

And how they, how they keep you is big as the desire for community. The desire for family, a lot of people come in because they want community. They want love. And this idea of like this perfect world someday where like, you know, the lion and the lamb will lie, like lie together and no one will be hurt and you'll live forever.

And you'll be with your loved ones and celebration every day. Like sounds really . And like, because no one talks about things in the religion, like it, it feels there's this, the illusion of peace is not the case at all. It is still. 

So cause in a lot of cases is everyone who's being treated poorly, cannot say anything about it.

Right. So you can say hurtful, sexist things. You can make nasty. Like I can think about times when people have said things about maybe somebody being complicit in their sexual assault. Well, if I talk about how problematic that is and how deeply offensive that is and make an issue, then I am wrong in the  because I disturbed the peace and the card grew by taking issue with what someone said.

If I say I'm disturbed by the fact that a six year old male child has authority over women in their eighties and nineties, because they'd been baptized because this kid was born with a penis. If I have an issue with that, I am the problem because I'm making waves. I been counseled for not cultivating my quiet and mild spirit for, um, wearing things that were too androgynous.

Like there's so many things I feel like I'm just now realizing this is how I've always been. But I was told I couldn't be that way. And so getting older and be out, it's like revisiting, remembering who you were as a child. And it's been interesting to hear how many people go through that process who didn’t the experience of being raised in a cult and that it's very common to recover what you lost through socialization as you age, if you're working and growing and learning that who you thought you were as a kid is who you've always been.

And people told you, you are mistaken and I didn't have the language for it. Even now. I'm always, I find myself still looking for a set standard to figure out who I am is correct, because I do fluctuate between she/her and they/them. But I really, and truly know that's who I am. I'm gender fluid. And unfortunately the numbers aren't that high for gender fluid people so I don’t get a lot of people modeling that for me, but just that need to have someone tell me that how you are is okay. It's really, really been an uphill battle. Getting. To that point of believing that you're okay. 

And we've been robbed when you say that that's so sad. It almost makes me want to cry that people were just looking for community. So marginalized people are the most vulnerable to groups and they convert a ton of people who are coping with systemic oppression and the sail.

Is that all there's going to be a time when it won't hurt to live. Yeah. Your pain will be gone. Yeah. And it's it's now go ahead. Go ahead. It's just a mess. but it's, it's scary. It's it's it's angering and it also so very I'm. I'm so happy I made it out and I'm also. Who I am because a lot of people who, who, who escape, it's escaping, um, a lot of people who escape because we don't have support outside of it and we feel that the entire world is dangerous. Like they teach you that, like, if you step out of the church you will have no one and the world is dangerous and they're going to tear you up. It's going to be, yeah. And they do get eaten up. They like, there's a lot of people who were dealing with a lot of mental health challenges.

Um, and if they don't know where to find the right supports, um, or don't get the supports they need, they either go back or they're very unhappy. 

Because you're not given any of the tools that you need to be ready to live an independent life, so if you’re a person of color. And you know, you or the generation before you was pulled into this, because you're looking for community, you're looking to think, oh, well, there'd be a time when people don't treat me that hateful way because of the color of my skin.

So you're already vulnerable. You didn't get to accumulate generational wealth because people have been stealing it from you for 400 plus years. And this cult run by people who are descendants of colonizers, who got to accumulate well. So by and large, they're doing fine people who are at a point where they still need to be working on breaking the poverty cycle are told that you shouldn't go to college because again, critical thinking skills compromise people's loyalty to the group. Then you're also told you need to be volunteering like a lot of hours. That also is time that you could be spending, you know, working on breaking the cycle of poverty.

So when you suddenly don't have that support system, you also don't have any of the tools that you need to run a life. That's headed in a different direction. Right? Right. So it's no wonder that people crumble and go back. I mean, it is hard. If you are a person who has limited financial resources, you cannot exist outside of community.

People always help each other. Um, but then when you do, when you're still kind of living at that poverty level, which used to be fine because you were volunteering a lot and you know, working part-time was great because it let you spend all this time working for free for the church. When you suddenly don't have anyone to help you, if your heart breaks down.

So people do they go crawling back because they have nowhere else to go. And it was heartbreaking to me. To think that just how abusive that relationship is.

It's so abusive. Um, and so it's hard to, although I hold my family accountable for the things that they've said to me, the ways in which they've treated me.

Um, I also understand, and I think that that's different, like, you know, holding someone accountable and also understanding them, um, because it does it completely engulfs your life and defines who you are. And so when you don't have that, when you no longer have that praise for being. You know, an auxiliary pioneer.

Um, when you like, even if you do continue your education, it's meant to be yes. Gain all the resources that you can from the world and come back to us and use it. So you can then go to Bethel, which is like price. Like if you're in Bethel, um, like all of go volunteer at 24/7, who aren't familiar to basically completely uproot you, you live onsite.

And there are a lot of people there. They don't take just anybody. They take people who have skills that they need as an organization. So if you're a lawyer, maybe they would allow you to come fall into here with them for however long. Um, at electricians plumbers, like they’ve used to let people know what they were looking for and they never wanted to take women.

And so you would have to be exactly what they were looking for as far as your secular skill for them to accept you. And they started something recently where, um, they basically are kind of rolling people through there, not taking them for 30 years at a time. And people were retiring out from there and everything, but it's interesting.

It keeps, it keeps growing and changing. And since I haven't been connected to it for like 10 years, there are some updates that I am fuzzy on, but the basics remain the same. And they're just getting, they're adapting to economic changes, the expense of owning all that property in New York, you know, but they're still absolutely using people for free labor for years at a time, which is less egregious if you come from a family of means, but if you're taking free labor from people of color, You are compromising their ability to liberate the next generation from the cycle of poverty and limiting the options that they have to go do something else until they are trapped there slash enslaved there.

And speaking of liberation. So when I was in college, one of my sisters who now is actually the only one who like, says, okay, when I tell her, like, these are my pronouns, um, and I have changed my name. Um, she asked me like what I wanted to do after college. And I was like, why would I don't agree with this. But like, I really would like to go work for a nonprofit. And she's like, well, then you're working for the devil. 

What? Yeah. That is so extreme here. Why?

Because to put your skills toward anything outside of the religion, when, you know that God is going to wipe this world clean someday and bring peace, anything to do with working for the here and now outside of being a Jehovah's witness was working for the devil.

Did you feel that compulsion, like you wanted to volunteer, you still had that compulsion for community and that sense of unity was, was that tricky too? like, did you realize the nonprofit thing was not your way and that you could actually find a way to be of service and build community on your own?

Like you have to find another organization to become part of.

Right. And that has been really hard. Like I've had to be really aware and you brought this up too earlier of what I am attracted to and like, why am I drawn in like, what, what is about this like charismatic person. Or this organization that, um, is really attracting me.

And then am I asking questions to know if they truly are for what they say they're for and are they living in to that? Um, and that are crucial. 

How have you started to navigate that? How, because this is an established fact, people that have been in a cult before, whether or not it was your idea, mind you, we were in there very young.

Okay. It's not our idea, we didn’t go sign up for this, um, that we're vulnerable to other charismatic leaders and were vulnerable to other like culty things. 

How have you learned to gauge whether or not a relationship is going to be healthy? And by relationship, I meet with somebody who wants to do a collaboration with you and the work that you do with an organization, with a partner. How, how do you tell?

Well first I have always been rather rebellious from a very young age. I've questioned a lot. Um, however, I also through honestly, a lot of sad interactions and harm and learning and processing with people who actually had my back, what happened. Um, and again, it's, it's the support system.

You need people around you who are going to mirror to you when things are not okay, who are going to feel safe and like, and, and truly tell you like what happened to you was not okay. Here's why you need that. You really do. Um, and it, and for me now, it looks like unapologetically asking questions. Like, I don't need to explain to you why I'm asking you this question.

Like an unapologetically setting boundaries, especially with people who, you know, that systemically and like in our society, in this western society have, um, an upper hand because the entire structure was made for them. 

And I've also been brainwashed to think that we are here to be their sidekick. We are here to be the magical Negro. We're here to advance their storyline, whether that's on a conscious level, we all got that training. We all got that messaging. So when somebody is in that position where they think, oh, everything's made for me and people want to support me and nevermind how this is going to help, you know, the plans that God has has for their business or their organization.

Like I need goddesses to do this for me and black people love being magical. So let me get some of that magic because it affirms that I’m finally worthy. Like I'm finally worthy of love. You know, I'm finally accepted and we all need that. Like, we all need affirmations of our, our value, even though it's not, um, it's not needed, you are valuable period.

You don't even have to place a value on yourself, you know? And I mean, but we do need Baird back to us, the love, and, and then the positive thoughts that we have for ourselves. 

Do you have any, well, I saw you posted something I'm facebook with a book on, I want to say belonging is part of the theme. So what, where that work about and what are you kind of doing to help other people understand this?

So that I think this is a crucial part of health and wellness is having that sense. So tell us more about that. 

Are you talking about, um, the book by songbird? Yes. Okay. So I actually just ordered it finally. I was like, I'm splurging getting all the books that I’ve been wanting to read. Um, but there's a really good podcast episode by, um, her and Prentice. And I'll send it your way. Um, along with this idea of the lawn gay, um, they are both black and they were talking about the idea, um, and that practice of like learning how to ask for help, um, which, um, we have, has been inculcated in black and black bodies that, um, that's not a good thing to do. Like you always have to be providing for yourself because no one else can.

Like no one else. No one else will. Um, and you also need to appear strong so that no one can come in and, and destroy you. 

Absolutely. I feel that like that's that's yeah. That's like the song that if the backdrop of your whole life, in order to be strong, in order to be safe, don't ask for anything, don't be an imposition, be small, be invisible, be self-sufficient.

Right. Exactly. So what sends these community, um, is doing is we're imagining. So, um, we're imagining what it is like to exist in community with other people who are thinking outside of what we have been told are there structures and the only structures. So what does it mean to, um, Co-create something to share with other BIPOC people that was only co-created by BIPOC people.

What are the ideas that come out of that? And then also when anti-blackness, when, when white whiteness shows up, how is it, how is it held and how do we like, you know, like release that? How do we release it? Um, it, it hits so different being in community with other queer BIPOC people, um, queer trans, um, intersects with BIPOC people than when I am doing the same work with white people who also have queer trans intersex identities.

It's so interesting. And I've been trying to figure it out for a while, maybe first fix ridiculous. I really everything's been a 10 year project for me, but it only really been making headway recently with the help of, uh, a coach who is a queer black fan, who has decided that they only want to work with people of color and as they went through their progress or their process of understanding, not only is that possible, there are a lot of people who need this service because we're so used to people not making anything for us.

Everything's get in where you fit in and get your crumbs, you know, um, find a way to figure out how this applies to your individual experience or there's something so healing, that's something being made specifically for you, with you in mind? Because when I think about the things that I would tell another, like young queer person of color, if they're trying to figure out how to navigate body image and how to deal with, how do I feed myself and a world that consistently threatened my safety and my sense of belonging is very different from there's some things that are universal, but it is this lived experience that we share that affects how we heal each other. And I just don't at this point in my life, feel that people who don't have that similar experience of battling systemic oppression and making some headway, like I'm not including all BIPOC folx who don't know their BIPOC, you know, or who have to lean into that identity.

But people who have started to do that work, it's like a healing balm when they start to explain their process. And I think it's also a very indigenous or decolonized thing to know that the healer is not an expert. The healer is a guide and they walk alongside you. They don't get on the mountain top and tell you what to do, and they're not flawless. And they're not a descendant of spirit in a way that's different from you, you know, or maybe we're all connected, but they're not like the only divine one getting these special messages. They are not meant to be the thing that connects you to your higher self or to spirit. We're all connected. They're just telling you about your own connection.

And even that concept that I don't have to wait until I know everything to start helping people is a real departure from what we're typically told by Western dominant culture, you need to be flawless. You need to know everything. You gotta be ready to prove everything that is so exhausting. That for me is been one of the biggest indicators to me that, that isn't my target audience.

I don't want to have to keep proving to you that Minority stress is to blame for a lot of poor health outcomes that we see, and that is something for us as individuals to take responsibility for. We did not do that. We need to learn what healing practices mitigate that damage. Whereas when I find people in other wellness spaces that are for everybody and everybody really needs white people, it was white centered.

And when you say, oh, is for everybody that is dangerous, it's for white people, that data to dangerous and people of color do this all the time, because we're afraid to lose that proximity to whiteness because through lived experience, we've been shown that that's a dangerous position to be in, or it's an uncomfortable position, or it feels uncertain.

And people have not modeled that you can make something that serves the people who need it the most, make it just for them. And it'll actually be fine. And that even it's so funny when I did a healing project earlier this year, it was called the black joy summit. I got, I got really positive feedback from the black people who needed that healing.

But then I also got a ton of white folks asking, like, is it okay if I come and funny? The realization was from white people who I'm like, what is up with what's up with this? Because I've been so concerned that if I sent her things on black people, well, it's like, will I know how to find the black people will, um, will it be enough people, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And this white person's explanation was, I've always been told that everything is for me. So even if something says, Hey, this is for like, um, I don't know, Afro-Caribbean people with one eye. I still think, oh, well, I can probably go too. So she said, it's funny that anyone's, cause she's seen people say this to me.

She says, it's funny that anyone ever tells you, oh, if you don't make this all about white people, no one will come. She's like, we go everywhere. So we'll, you actually will have to do is go out of your way to tell us not to there's the opposite of the fear that I had. It was like, I can't make healing tools specifically for my community because I'll get in trouble or I'll be demonized for embracing my identities that the dominant culture has established as valuable and something bad will happen to me.

Now I did rebrand that to be more, um, BIPOC inclusive, just because of the extreme amounts of homophobia I come across when I try to do things that are like black American center, but that's like a whole can of worms, ah, kind of threw it that one. So I've kind of suit for it. Sure. For sure. Oh, I'm just so many things to unpack here.

You definitely have to come back on.

Is there a practice that you can share with people who still don't feel that in their bones who don't know that they don't need to prove their value and they don't need that proximity to what we have been treated as valuable?

I can think of a couple of different things.

So one thing in my toolkit I find is writing. And when, I mean writing, I mean, you writing down all of the things that you're afraid to say to yourself, write them down and really look at them and ask yourself why you were afraid to say them, why you're afraid to believe them. And if they're truly you. Um, and then the other one,  as you're going through the process of liberation is finding ways to get into your body. That's part of it too, is like finding something that you enjoy doing that connects you with your body, where you're feeling, um, closure from it or pain. And not in a way of like, I guess the, sadistic with it, but so that you can notice how your body reacts in different environments, because your body is a wonderful, um, gauge of what you need.

So get into your body. And however, that looks, I really love hot yoga, the sweat, and every, like something about it just really gets me into my body. Um, I also really love, um, cooking and dancing in the kitchen that gets me into my. And that helps me work on the ways in which I like am ashamed of, you know, different parts of my body and working on my fatphobia.

Um, and then another thing is really discerning the people in your life who will be your mirrors and talk to them about what your process is, because the people that have seeing you change and can hold you in that. And listen, are the people who are the most, who, who does, who, who deserve, you know what I mean?

Like who deserve to hear your truth and will give you the right feedback? Um, those are the people and those three things I think are what has helped me to get to. I don't even, it's not linear, but are holding me right now. They helped me escape that abusive cult. They helped me escape abusive relationships.

Those are the, those are so key — so key.

I think community is so under utilized as a healing tool. And I know that a lot of times, and I've experienced this everywhere at work at school, like on the street. When people see a group of people of color together, a lot of times either there is like verbal assault or, um, people actually physically discouraging you from getting together.

So a lot of us may have fear around like, is it dangerous for me to spend time with other people in my community, but that is what the internet is for. And you can find safe spaces where you can figure out a way, like, there's always a way you can find a way in the face of adversity when there's no permission.

You know, even in countries where people are at risk of legal repercussions for living out their orientation or living out their gender identity, people always find a way, this is how the human spirit works. And so even if you perceive that there are challenges, I promise you, there's always a way it may not be as easy as we want it to be.

There may still be risk involved. And you may not be able to live out your connection to community and to live out your true identities in one country, the way somebody can in another country. But she always can, there is room to do it. And the biggest barrier is knowing that it can be done knowing that it's true.

Yeah. And then figuring out how can I do it with the circumstances that I am in. Yeah. And that's where the first two resources so important that writing and the whatever way in which you can reflect back to yourself, your own being is so important. 

Ah, thank you so much for coming on. 

Where do we find the Sun Seed Community?

How do we connect with you? Yes, please. Um, link up with us on IGG or Facebook. We are Sun seed community or just come visit our website, we do a lot of workshops. Um, and so like, come find this, like, we are one of those places where it's brave space to be who you are. And you're doing a lot of amazing things too.

Like, you know, the black joy, like I just there, there are places she got you. Exactly. I saw the CUTIE BIPOC Conference and that's Cutie like Cutie BIPOC conference that was online this year. And it's a, exactly what it sounds like, like a queer people of color conference that usually happens in person in Europe.

I want it, I think that's right here. I've never been, I only found it because they were online. That's here because of COVID and it's just been well, Americans know this. We are very much self-absorbed. So sometimes we forget. Th the people like having these modern lives, having these modern problems as queer people, as people of color and other countries that in a lot of ways, they have a lot in common with us.

I think sometimes we just forget that we're not the only people on the planet. I definitely try not to, but it definitely felt like in all the volunteer meetings that I was the one who was most ignorant about everyone else's country. Um, I blame America for that. I am working on it and that's coming from someone who's half an immigrant kid still just obsessed with just here.

So you can connect with people all over the world who want to support you, who identify with your experience. So even if in your little town, if you're stuck in Iowa, if you're stuck in south Georgia, you may think there's nobody out there, but they're there all over the place. Just waiting. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah. Cutie BIPOC fest, mystic soul is another one. Black Healy October with reclaim was, oh, I highly, highly, highly recommend that. I'll put that in the show notes. Just the inclusivity and the accessibility from, but you know, remembering that not everybody can hear, not everybody can see, not everybody's able-bodied and we all still need community and you may be a loving person and you definitely don't want somebody out there who is blind not to be able to connect to your community.

But have you thought about that? Have you done the work with the accessibility? 

I mean, I learned so much about accessibility and I've got a long ways to go. I, I was like, what are you in my photo? Like, I'm, like, I don't even know. I even described a photo of enough. Yeah, I learned a lot, but the way that they modeled it, it wasn't like, oh, shame on you for not knowing, like, not everybody can see.

And some people are hard of hearing, like, get it together, just really doing the work and teaching us all through example that we can make all of our resources more accessible, but then also learning that it also requires resources. Check them. You can, when you get right. They even had interpreters at every single session.

No let's sign ASL interpreters. And it was an ASL interpreter agency. Like for people of color, just mind boggling. They're always doing a great thing for California. Once again, that's California trying to show us the way, but everybody look Goddess up. Look, the Sun Seed community up. You're going to be hearing from them in the future because I feel like.

There's actually a little workshop here. I feel a workshop. Would it be, if we like, this is so neat, it's just this niche niche. It may just be you and I there. What if we did a workshop that was for queer people of color that escaped the call? Yes, I was the girl. I was like, can we ask some type of like, regular, like get together?

Like I kid you not, I really do want to rewatch some of the movies we grew up with. I'm like, just like with other people who are like, okay, that's fucked up. Goodness. Honestly, as an activity, how incredible would that be? And the technology is here now. Yeah. They used to have little like kid dramas essentially on how, if you go out into the world, your life will immediately go to shit like immediately.

Yes. That one - oh, nevermind. Now, the one would die there again with the dark den once again with the consent. So the story is like, oh, you want to go out and express your sexuality because you’re human?. Okay. And you want to have friends?. Wow. Yeah. Well, here comes a date rate. Yep. And, um, yeah, I, yeah.

Okay. Yes. We need to do that. Everybody reached out to us and let us know if that's something you need.

Do you know, a queer person of color who used to be a Jehovah's witness and we'll take the Mormons too honestly, because they have had a very similar experience. I used to go into the support group and it was at first it was just ex witnesses and then the Mormon kids came in and we were like, holy shit. We had no clue. We had so much in common because we were also convinced their coldest is special. Um, yes. And now the cult. Yeah. That's like the biggest thing.

You know what I think I'll put in the show notes. The definition of. Because it's, you can't deny it when you look at the definition and the controlling and just really all you need to know is that the only unforgivable sin is that you speak out against it, hello, like warning, warning.

That's a problem. How in the world, could that be the only unforgettable sin? How do we did not see that one? I don't know, but again, effective brain brushing. If you, if you need to do some brain washing, like go take notes, you know, they're very good at it. 

Um, everybody, we will see you next time. We hope to hear from you, um, with all your prize, for like how badly you want that workshop.

Thank you for joining us. 

I hope you enjoyed that conversation as much as I did. Goddess is such a joy to talk to. Be sure to check out the show notes so that you can connect to their work with the sun seed community. They're really out here doing amazing things. I crunched a little bit. When I listened back to the portion of the interview where I mis-gendered myself, I've been going through all kinds of hoops, trying to get the people around me to stop using any pronouns, to refer to me.

But because that is a little peculiar for native English speakers, people have trouble saying my names so many times in a conversation, and it feels like you have to know at the beginning of the sentence that you're trying to not use the pronoun for it to come out in a way that flows. And just so much of this tension around do I want to do the emotional work to tell someone once again, I don't use any pronouns at all and explaining that I even had a really awkward exchange with someone who took it as hostile to the LGBTQ plus community. Now, understanding that I am not the only one out there who doesn't use any pronouns at all.

I tried on they/them, it didn't feel right. I've known for years that gender fluid feels like a label that applies to me. But I spent a lot of time in the gray and feeling completely neutral, not so neutral that I would say a gender feels correct, but none of the pronouns felt good. I feel comfortable with people just calling me by my name.

And while that sounds simple in practice, it doesn't feel intuitive for a lot of people. And even sometimes for me, it doesn't feel intuitive. So that was just interesting to hear myself do beause in real time, I didn’t hear it. So everything is a process. In other news, I have an exciting announcement. 

Decolonizing wellness is now available for pre-order.

My book is a QTBIPOC centered guide to escape the diet trap, heal yourself image and achieve body liberation. There are a lot of body positive books, but there's nothing like this out there. This is specifically for us and anyone who is struggling with self-acceptance because of how they've been socialized.

We'll find this book helpful, but particularly queer folks who are having a tough time finding themselves reflected back to them in wellness in general. It's all about defining wellness on your own terms and really looking at how your relationship to your body, your choices, your intuition all affects your sense of wellbeing.

White supremacy, culture, heterosexism, CIS sexism really does a number on your psychological wellbeing. And if we want to be well in a holistic way, we need to address the damage that that has done to our ability to thrive. The great news is there's a remedy and it's intuitive and it will make you feel great.

This book is not at all about making us wrong for what we've done to get by up until now. It's all about moving into the next phase of our healing so that we can enjoy life to the fullest extent possible. So the link is in the show notes. 

Be sure to go ahead and put in your order. Now, if you email me proof of purchase, then I will make sure that you get access to a secret podcast feed that will come out when the book launches in February. The secret podcast is going to take a little bit of a deep dive into each chapter. So it's something that you'll want to use as a companion guide. I'm super excited about this and can't wait to hear what you think about it. Thank you so much for joining me again this week.

I will see you next time. 


Yeah. They might try to put you in a box. Tell them that you don't accept. When the world is tripping out. Tell them that you love yourself.

Hey, Hey, smile on them. Live your life just how you like it. It's your party, negativity is not invited. For my queer folks, my trans people of color, let your voice be heard. Look in the mirror and say that it's time to put me first. You were born to win, head up high with confidence. This show is everyone. So I thank you for tuning in. Let's go!

Body Liberation for All
Body Liberation for All
Holistic Registered Dietitian Dalia Kinsey created Body Liberation for All as a resource for QTBIPOC folks who are ready to become the happiest version of themselves, using healing tools tailored for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folx. Since wellness is multi-factorial each season covers a broad range of tools (sexual expression, indigenous medicine, mindfulness etc.) for the pursuit of happiness. Special guests and healers join throughout each season to share their journeys to inner peace and fulfillment.