Feminisms and Diverse Genders and Sexualities

Finally, let’s explore realms of feminism, narrative practice and expansive gender and sexuality. The relationship between feminist and queer movements has often been fraught, particularly in relation to matters of embodiment and the gender binary. And yet it has also been immensely generative. The wisdom of intersectional feminism is in its refusal to fracture or flatten people’s lives. This is especially valued by queer folks who are religious, exist outside the gender binary, or are not white or able bodied. In this chapter, we will hear from practitioners and from queer and trans folks who are artfully navigating liminal space and intentionally embracing multi-storied identities and existence.


Our host Sekneh shares some of her extensive, groundbreaking work in Australia at the intersection of homophobia, transphobia, racism and Islamophobia – work she has grown in a rich soil of cultural humility and intersectional feminism. In this paper, Sekneh shares examples of collective and individual narrative practice, drawing together the failure map and the queer art of failure and conversations to discover nuanced unique outcomes.

Intersectional narrative practice with queer Muslim clients by Sekneh Hammoud-Beckett (she/her) 


In this video, Aaron Munro, a trans man from Canada/Turtle Island, describes how his relationship with feminisms has evolved across time and gender in nuanced and unpredictable ways.

Aaron Munro (he/him) and Vikki Reynolds (she/her) in conversation about feminisms [14:47]

 


Now for a unique exposition of practice, we hear from both corners of the therapy room. Manja, our host from Chapter 8, and Indi Wishart describe their co-discoveries about what narrative practice can make possible in work with trans and nonbinary folks. Their work together unveils the relational nature of gender and the role that played in their therapeutic relationship.

Nonbinary Superpowers: travels through gender space and time by Manja Visschedijk (undecided pronouns) and Indi Wishart (they/them) [36:55]


In this keynote address, Amy Ralfs describes the way that growing up in a queer family cultivated and shaped her relationship with feminism.

Living feminism in a queer family by Amy Ralfs (she/her) 

Reflection questions

  • What are the dominant ideas about gender, sexuality, family, bodies and relationships in the cultural and political context you live or work in?
  • What are the ways that you or others resist these ideas? What alternatives or counter stories do you know about?
  • In going through this chapter, which assumptions that you have previously been captured by were challenged?
  • Where will this take you? What will you do differently in your life or practice after completing this chapter?

If you are interested in taking a deeper dive, check out our other free online course ‘Sexualities, genders and narrative practice: A narrative therapy queer space’.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. crystalsoares90

    The cultural and political context I live and work in is predominantly heteronormative and Caucasian. There is an assumption that people are either male or female, and that gender is fixed and determined by biological sex. Non-binary gender identities are often misunderstood or not recognized. Heterosexuality is seen as the norm, and non-heterosexual orientations are less understood. Family is typically defined as a married mother and father raising biological children. Other family formations like same-sex parented families, single parents, etc. may face more questioning. Relationships are generally expected to follow traditional heterosexual scripts like dating, marriage and monogamy. Non-marital, non-monogamous or kink relationships may encounter stigma or taboos.

    Rexognizing this is important to our work because if there is a set box with expectations and standards, anyone outside that socially constructed box will adopt a narrative of isolation and unworthiness, if the dominant narrative does not change. As clinicians we hold power in how we use language to normalize or deconstruct these concepts in a way that helps everyone feel accepted for whatever orientation or presentation that they feel most comfortable with.

  2. jiahuanhe.psy

    I enjoyed this chapter sharing views and experiences by people of different minority groups! Aaron’s evolving process of feminist viewpoints as a transman, and the article about the struggles of transpersons’ partners reconciling their own queer identity, have extended my understanding of both feminism and queer culture. I really appreciated this chapter.

  3. boodika

    Aaron Monroe – thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insights. I really enjoyed hearing your story, and your reflections on your relationship to feminism throughout your life and how and why that has changed. In a world where there is still so much prejudice, I applaud your openness and bravery and I am grateful for the learning opportunities you share.

  4. Pia

    I also really benefitted from watching the video of the interview between Aisya and Sekneh. I also really enjoyed hearing Indi’s account of their life and work with Manja, including the recognition of ‘always being in the same river’ and a non binary person.

  5. Michelle Tamara Wylie

    I really appreciated the interview between Aisya and Sekneh about intersectionality from a trans feminist Muslim perspective, and Aisya’s reminder that as therapists we must work from an intersectional approach.
    I also deeply appreciated the nuanced and intersectional lens that Sekneh brought in her paper about narrative practice with Queer Muslim people. Sekneh highlighted this quote in her paper – ‘The person, community, faith, religion is not the problem; The problem is the problem’ (White & Epston, 1990).
    I also really valued hearing the conversation between Aaron and Vikki. I was interested in Aaron sharing how his relationship with feminism has been influenced by being a trans guy, and I was also interested in the conversation about how feminism can appear elitist and intellectualise things that are being learnt of the backs of the most marginalised folks.

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