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A note for anyone who has ever not felt welcome...

When I first started going to circles I worried whether it would be strange as a non-heterosexual woman to attend a women's circle, I worried if the women would be uncomfortable if they found out.

OF COURSE not thank goodness or at least not that I could sense or see.

Experiences from my youth of being cast out of changing rooms or social groups because some of the girls felt 'uncomfortable with the bisexual' ran deep.

I did sometimes, however, feel that my experience in class and in circle wasn't being represented.

I remember class intros about 'the husband' being offered as a way of connecting to the class (rather than as personal experience which is obviously ok!) but it left me feeling disconnected and whenever relating was mentioned it was in the context of a heterosexual relationship.

And even though that is my current relationship structure it still didn't feel as though it was seeing all of me.

I am not sharing this to criticise because I know I have fallen short and will continue to do so. It's very, very hard for one person to capture the lived experience of every single person in the room.

Rather I am sharing because I know when others have shared it has helped me to become more inclusive.

Each time I don't see my experience reflected I take it and learn from it, remembering how important it is to think outside of my own experience and address my language, bias and blind spots.

It took a long time for me to make peace with terms like 'The Divine Feminine' and to feel comfortable in groups of womxn and I see now it was because I hadn't yet allowed myself to expand outside of what society had shown me 'feminine' meant or my limited views of what was encapsulated within the label of 'woman' or 'femininity'.

I am so grateful that this is changing and more and more womxn are finding their way to womxn's work without feeling that they need to fit into a certain group of characteristics or biological functions.

I've never felt archetypically Feminine yet I predominantly work with womxn and this is because being a woman and exploring Femininity isn't about being archetypically Feminine, having a womb, bleeding or being assigned female at birth. The Feminine with a capital F is innately inclusive and that is what I'm here for!!

The moment my circles became more diverse in their expressions of Femininity the more at home I started to feel and what I take from this is a lesson in making sure I'm doing the same for others.

I sincerely hope I can do more and more work to ensure that trans women, non-binary folks & Black, Indigenous & People of Colour from our community feel seen and represented.

Read more:

Carly x

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