Bakla Show co-producer, Shannon Lee L. Pacaoan, attended The 12th Annual Queer Pin@y Conference at UC Santa Barbara — [Re] Generation: Reviving Our Past, Creating Our Future. This is the third post of a three-part series, focused on the workshops she attended while at the conference.
Session III Workshop:
Sexual Assault In Queer Communities of Color
Elysse Madarang and Corina Herrera
From the workshop description:
Rape culture is prevalent in our society through perpetuation of gender roles, media and in our institutions. This workshop will examine how gender based violence has been normalized while marginalized communities that face these issues are systematically silenced. Through this presentation we hope to break sexual violence myths.
Walking into the last workshop wearing my name tag proudly, I was not prepared for the transition into the next subject. But I had to catch up quick.
Our facilitators began with presenting an in-depth review of gender-based violence: sexual harassment, in school and business; street harassment, a misdemeanor that involves touch over clothing; abusive relationships; stalking and sexual assault, a felony that violate an individual underneath clothing. They emphasized the different experiences between men and women with a video from DeafHope and Lavender Revolution titled ‘Do men understand Rape Culture?’.
Delving deeper, our facilitators continued discussion into how the unspoken threads the experience of sexual assault facing the queer community. Silence is used as self-protection by those sexually assaulted, and service providers will default to heterosexism while treating their patients, even when they identify on the LGBT spectrum. And overall there is a lack of accountability for perpetrators. This silence is evident in the lack of research documents on the topic of sexuality and gender identity.
Conversely, the language we do use for and about sex encourages rape culture. We need to learn a new language and become accustomed to these words to communicate open and honestly. In the most powerful exercise of this workshop, we participated in creating a list of terms synonymous with sex. And I ask you, how many terms can you list that are not interchangeable with violence or identify your partner as an inanimate object?