consensual culture is a relational healing framework and community collective that is rooted in a decolonial and liberatory practice of body-based trauma resolution.
Our theory of change is one that centers our liberation through the embodiment of our core values of
interdependence, inter-sovereignty, integrity, co-creation and compassion.
consensual culture is a praxis for resisting and dismantling the dominant culture of oppression within ourselves and each other, and co-creating trauma-sensitive culture that moves us closer towards personal and collective belonging.
As we consider the intersections of the most marginalized identities that exist within the waters that we live in, the driving questions we are exploring are:
What roles do we need and want to play, what skills do we need to be equipped with, and what values do we practice so that we can take up space with our leadership, and the embodiment of our purpose-driven essence-nature?
When bodies of color know how to be unapologetic about our needs, uphold our energetic sovereignty, relate from our integrity, have clarity on our part in the movement and our relationships, and practice compassion for ourselves and each other, we’re shifting the paradigm towards a body-based, humanity-centered ecosystem of care.
Why consensual culture?
consensual culture exists as a space to unpack systems of oppression and how it shows up inside our relationships and ourselves. The colonial, white supremacist, anti-Black, capitalist patriarchy uses strategies that disembody and dehumanize bodies of culture and those with marginalized identities, perpetuated and upheld by a culture of white supremacy that uses shame, gaslighting, erasure, whiteness and many more to silence these bodies.
As humans with marginalized identities inside these systems, it was once necessary for our survival to internalize these strategies within our bodies and psyche, creating false narratives about our potential, worthiness and wellness, while also repressing our spirit and the embodiment of our energetic sovereignty, belonging, safety and wholeness.
The nature of power dynamics is that it is not seen, and rather, is something that is felt on a nervous system level. As our nervous system can sense these intangible dynamics, it sends a signal to our brain to respond as if we were under threat- that there is something with power over us. We might then respond with our own internalized, unresolved trauma with assimilation and/or appeasing, for example. We may also unintentionally perpetuate the same dynamics that colonized our body, mind and spirit to begin with.
Therefore, simply saying “trauma-informed” isn’t enough. We must understand how we hold trauma, its role in our need for safety and survival, its responses to a currently perpetual threat, and of course, how we can resolve, heal and liberate ourselves.
The relational healing framework of consensual culture will offer us the education, skills, practice and space to not only heal these internalized narratives and embodied trauma responses, but to also co-create a way of relating to one another that is transformative, abolitionist, and in right-relationship to the integrity, dignity and reparations for queer, trans, Black, Indigenous and people of color.
We are grateful for the works of adrienne maree brown, bell hooks, Angela Davis, Mariame Kaba, Prentis Hemphill, Resmaa Menakem, Sonya Renee Taylor, Kimberlé Crenshaw and countless others who steer the path of liberation and have informed consensual culture. We are committed to deepening our understanding and practice of Black feminism and somatic abolitionism as individuals and as a collective.
Our time is now. There has been enough violence against our bodies, roots, heart and spirit. While this work will take time, iteration, care and patience, we are calling in those who are committed to the discomfort of creating cultural change. Generations before us did not have the capacity, safety and resources to access the healing, care, and vision that we now know is possible- so let’s begin.
How we’ll do this:
We are also committed to growing our capacities to become a safe-enough space to explore:
- Healing justice for racialized, queer and trans identities
- Erotic essence and sacred sexuality to address internalized fatphobia and misogyny
- Ancestor reconnection and animist perspectives
- Subtle energy, the esoteric, spiritual, mystical and cosmic
- Im[migrant] identities, existing beyond borderlands, Indigenous reparations & sovereignty
- Resilience and liberation through body connection and the nurturance of our spiritual essence within the context of leadership
- ENM, polyamory, sex work and relationship anarchy
- Emergent strategy, transformative justice and decentralized leadership
Our goal is to make these information, resources and practices as accessible as possible, while maintaining the resources that we need to sustain this work within an anti-capitalist framework.
In order to create this, we need your support!
Our donations will be distributed based on the following buckets.
Our team of three
Scholarships for QTBIPOC
Redistribution to grassroots communities
resources & offerings
Read writings from our team.
One of the ways consensual culture is growing within me is our essential design of feeling belonging to ourselves and each other- a central thesis to this body of work. As I deepen my relationship to my needs and limits; a muscle that eluded me for most of my...
As the sky looms cloudy and grey in San Diego, I’m relating to a false sense of urgency within me that I’ve come to know intimately over the last few years in my embodiment journey. This felt-sense of speed and scarcity is a product of being socialized within...
In the following week after we launched the consensual culture fundraiser last Monday, I froze. I froze because asking for $25,000 is not just about making sure our team and business are well resourced, nor just about creating scholarships for queer, trans...
Learn more at our introductory workshop.
Join us on Saturday, May 8th, 2021 at 12pm PST, 3pm EST for an introductory workshop to consensual culture.
This is a free workshop open to all. Register to receive our Zoom link, and a recording will be available for 48 hours.
Heads up, you’ll also be added to our newsletter when you register and you’re welcome to unsubscribe after the event date.
Denise Chang (she/they)
Denise is a queer, non-binary immigrant of Malaysian Chinese descent with indigenous roots and Daoist ancestry. She brings her wisdom of somatic trauma resolution, spiritual embodiment and the uncanny ability to sense systems of oppression that exist within our culture and relational field into her practice of consensual culture. Her role within our collective liberation is relational alchemist, lead educator, somatic healer and culture conduit.
Currently, Denise is exploring what it means to exist beyond the binaries of gender and sexuality through musing upon her own erotic essence nature. She’s also a pittie mama, lover of Black femme musical artistry and rollerskater in occupied Kumeyaay territory.
Celine Jusuf (she/they)
Celine is a passionate, queer, gender-fluid member of the Chinese-Indonesian diaspora living, working, breathing, and loving on Kumeyaay land. She is a fierce believer in the life, wisdom, and dignity of other humans, committed to finding and creating abundances of joy, and relentlessly expanding the boundaries of the life and experiences we ever thought we could have on this timeline. Within this lifetime, she is a catalyst for others’ expansion of love and healing, especially as it relates to creating the spaces for softness, laughter, belonging, and identity-exploration in this current world. She brings a warm and loving analytical creativity, magnetization of intimate connections and community-building, and the alchemization of many non-linear processes to the front of our hearts and minds, mobilizing us toward decolonial and anti-oppressive love/living. Currently, she is revelling in the magic and healing of trust and consent and seeking out more fried Southeast Asian food.