Greetings and Vision for 2020
"I've been embraced by a new community. That's what happens when you’re finally honest about who you are; you find others like you."--Chaz Bono
A few days ago, I was asked about the places in my life – throughout my history – where I have felt safe and welcomed. As a person who has multiple intersecting marginalized identities, there are not many. I feel this in the family I have created within my own home – with my spouse and my children. I have also felt this way in ALGBTIC.
As President-Elect for this last year, I have met so many queer and trans counselors and allies, and people who are committed to our communities. They work every day against the biases, misogyny, homoprejudice and cissexism that impacts our culture, our selves, and our clients every day. I have met students, counselor educators, school counselors, clinicians, counselors, and other therapists that are like minded in our mission to not only make our world a safer place, but to celebrate our authentic selves. I have worked with Board Members and Committee members who were welcoming, eager to be inclusive, and ready to face changes that we need as an organization to better meet the needs of our members and our clients.
I am very aware that not all people currently feel a sense of representation, safety, and celebration in our organization. As in our communities at large, racism, transphobia, and a binary worldview can often mean that queer spaces are not always safe for ALL queer and trans people. My vision for our organization is to ensure that we represent, include, and celebrate all of our diverse and intersecting identities.
I believe that uniting our communities, not only aligns us in purpose, it brings us back to our roots of who we truly are – as queer and trans people, we are healers and gifts. When I began to be more connected with my Native ancestry, I learned about two-spirit communities. Native communities, prior to colonization, recognized variant gender and affectional orientation as a blessing to the tribe and would celebrate when they discovered a two-spirit person among them. In indigenous society, we were respected leaders, spiritual advisors, and caretakers of children, elderly, and the infirm. And the world around us needs healing, and needs us, so very much right now.
In this next year, our theme for ALGBTIC will be “Indivisible.” This word to me, in terms of our organization, means that when we become united in purpose, when all of our voices are heard and valued, when we connect with our wisdom keepers, and we revisit our mission and vision for our organization, we will be truly united in purpose.
To accomplish this, we will be completing a strategic plan. A strategic plan will allow us to create the strongest organization possible for all of the community in which we serve. It will allow us to redefine and clarify who we would like to be as an organization, as LGBTQIAPG+ counselors, as allies, as advocates, and as leaders.
In order to do so, I have convened a committee that includes voices that may have not always been heard in our organization: particularly Queer and Trans People of Color, Non-binary Affectional and Gender identities, and Asexual persons. I also want to us to connect to our wisdom keepers, so I have set up an Advisory Board of Past Presidents (our Elders) and have asked our Queer and Trans People of Color Committee to serve as an advisory board for us as well.
I will be reaching out regularly to members to hear your voices, perspectives and wisdom, as we begin to shape ALGBTIC into the organization that represents and celebrates all of us. We have many other exciting changes and new member services on the horizon. I look forward to hearing from you and learn about how we can better meet the needs of our members as an organization.
Thank you all for this opportunity to serve our communities and this organization.
Dr. Misty M. Ginicola
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