I will start with some personal thoughts about why this work is so important to me.
Our bodies are our home. Yet our bodies take in our experiences and pain. As people of color and LGBT populations, our bodies take in the experience of being marginalized in society. Yet as people of color and LGBT populations, we truly have the resilience with love and respect for our cultures to heal. And thus, we can turn the hatred we may have towards our bodies into love and provide our bodies the nourishment they need on so many levels to thrive.
As a queer woman of color whose 10 year battle with anorexia nervosa was shaped by cultural and societal factors, I found it so hard to make meaning of my disorder because I did not have the vocabulary to bring in my culture. Perhaps because I did not value myself as a queer woman of color, I did not give myself permission to bring in my culture. Also my story did not mirror those I read in eating disorder textbooks and biographies when I began my recovery journey. After reading Becky Thompson’s “A Hunger so Wide and so Deep”, I began to read testimonials of diverse and queer women with eating disorders and could relate so deeply to how cultural and oppressive factors were so embedded in their experiences. These stories provided me the comfort and validation I needed to recover.
I am now a student clinical psychology, spirituality and martial arts for my own healing and to help others suffering from eating disorders in their healing journey. These arenas have provided me with awareness, insight, compassion and groundedness to step into this work and the humility to keep learning and keeping my eyes open. There is a huge gap in treatment for multicultural and LGBTpopulations with eating disorders and body image issues. I am honored that I can use my personal and professional experiences and background to provide clinical trainings for agencies and clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area to address this gap.