Alisa Zipursky, she/her/hers
Alisa Zipursky is the founder of HealingHonestly.com a website that discusses the reality of healing from childhood sexual abuse with a community of over 250,000 people across the world. It's funnier than you'd think. Alisa is also the author of the upcoming book Healing Honestly, coming out in early 2023 which will offer survivor-to-survivor emotional support in healing. Alisa has been a long time admirer of The Heal Project and it's essential work to destigmatize the realities of living with sexual trauma and lead conversations people are afraid of (but very much need to have!) to understand how we build a world free of rape culture. HealingHonestly.com | IG @AlisaHealingHonestly | FB @Alisa Zipursky
Alisa's Favorite Interpersonal Skills are Empathy and Emotional Sensitivity. For many years, Alisa saw empathy was seen not as an asset, but rather, as a liability. Alisa felt that she was "too sensitive". Now Alisa sees her ability to understand people's emotions and their emotional lives as a gift, a strength, and a resource in this work.
Sexual liberation to me means that we live in a world where we do not shame people for being their true selves, but rather, honor them. It means that all people experience safety and the space to thrive. It means dismantling the interlocking systems of oppression that prohibit people from living full free selves. If we had sexual liberation and revered all kids, especially kids who are gender nonconforming, queer and trans, those children would be more protected from the risk of CSA.
Chynna Aming, she/her/they/them
Chynna Aming has dedicated the last 3 years to understanding and analyzing the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), or childhood trauma. Through their internships, Chynna worked with women who experience postpartum depression, childhood sexual assault survivors, sexually exploited individuals, and those who experienced intergenerational trauma. Chynna was able to interview, collaborate with, and address a deeper understanding of one's individualized experience, without compiling them into a statistic or data sheet that would remove their personhood. Chynna’s research will continue at Smith College for Social Work to develop interventions to end the prevalence of the sexual abuse to prison pipeline, with a mission to bring accurate representation, justice, and support for survivors.
Chynna's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Dependability. Chynna believes that in a world where we are told that the only person that can save us is ourselves, to have someone who will show up for us when we need it is key. Chynna states how even science shows that dependability like social support is important for healing and resolving conflicts.
Sexual liberation to me is removing oneself from societal norms of what sexuality should look like, and focusing on self-expression. Sexual Liberation is the understanding that after a traumatic experience sexual desires and boundaries may change; and it is removing the normalization of childhood sexual abuse, and holding the perpetrator accountable rather than the survivor carrying their experience as a patch on their sleeve. Many children are not taught about inappropriate behavior, what consent looks like, and how they can create boundaries. Through teaching Sexual Liberation to children, we not only give them the tools that prevent CSA, but also we are allowing them space to identify their own sexuality without ridicule from those who try to control one's expression with power.
Lourdez Velasco or Puti'on, they/them
Lourdez Velasco is a CHamoru parent, artist, organizer and survivor of CSA. Lourdez worked for API Chaya, an anti violence organization for over 3 years and now they are pursuing their art full time! A former core team member of a Two-Spirit, QTBIPOC Alliance, Alphabet Alliance of Color, a co-founding member of Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network and creative in Guma' Gela', a CHamoru queer art collective. QTBIPOC healing and liberation guides all their work. Lourdez loves parenting their child, eating sweet treats, cuddling their pittie and being a goofy tender virgo IG @tendervirgo @tendervirgofarts
Lourdez's Favorite Interpersonal Skills are Practicing Care & Creativity. Lourdez believes that these are the skills that can work to build with folks and have fun doing it too. Lourdez thinks that celebrating our joy is essential to our healing as CSA survivors.
Sexual Liberation to me means consent, loving relationships, boundaries, having agency and autonomy over my body not just sexually but in all realms of my existence. As a parent and survivor of CSA, I have learned the importance of teaching about consent, boundaries, bodily autonomy and sexual liberation to my child so they have choices, agency, and adequate understanding, so when they deepen their own relationship to their sexuality, they will have more tools as well as awareness of red flags. As I heal the relationship to my own body and survivorship, I hope it gives my child models of how to center pleasure, celebration and joy in their own liberatory ways.
Meagan Ingerman, she/her/hers
Meagan Ingerman is a childcare and child development specialist with over ten years as a provider, tutor, and consultant. Within the organized kink community she has been an event organizer, presenter, and volunteer. She has presented on subjects such as safety in kink, kink/BDSM for beginners, and has helped to facilitate discussions about consent and consent violations. Meagan is the Program Director at Prostasia Foundation where she advocates for sex-positivity and civil and human rights with zero tolerance for childhood sexual abuse. TW @IncogNeato111
Meagan's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Communication. Everything flows from communication. Teamwork, empathy, scheduling, and active listening are not possible without clear, effective, and sensitive communication.
Sexual liberation to me is about addressing the root causes of sexual oppression and working to end all forms of oppression. It is also about creating spaces and possibilities for victims/survivors of childhood sexual abuse to understand sexual trauma and generate sexual futures. Sexual violence is commonplace and as such Sexual Liberation and preventing childhood sexual abuse are linked for QTPOC who experience unique forms of vulnerabilities
Romeo Jackson, they/them
Romeo Jackson is from the Illustrious Southside of Chicago and Grandchild of the incomparable Gracie Lee Fowler. They are a first generation Black college graduate, Queer, Non-Binary Femme scholar. Romeo is also a descendent of the estimated 11 million Black Africans who were kidnapped and held in captivity which resulted in their enslavement. Currently, Romeo is the Assistant Director of Social Justice at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Their research, writing, and practice explores Race/ism, anti-Blackness, and Settler Colonialism within a Higher Education Context with an emphasis on the experiences of Queer and Trans Students of Color. Romeo is committed to uplifting and empowering queer and trans people of color through a black queer feminist lens. Grounded and guided by the ancestral power that transcends the grave Romeo thanks Gracie Lee Fowler and Audre Lorde for keeping them committed to their whole-self and making sure they are not tokenized for their identities in a world committed to stealing their knowledge and essence for the advancement of white supremacy.
RomeoEJackson.com | TW @blaqueerfemme
Romeo's Favorite Interpersonal Skill is Interdepence. The commitment to providing for each other is central to liberation. Interdependence is their favorite interpersonal skill because it invites us to think about our relationship to each other.
Sexual liberation to me is change; it is consent; it is autonomy; and it is gender, race, culture. It’s a billion tiny things that coalesce into a bigger movement. It is also one of the best tools we have to fight child sexual abuse. The more we teach kids about their bodies, their sexuality, and their rights surrounding those subjects, the better able they will be to recognize abusive situations and reject them. As a nanny, as a bonus-mom, as a partner, and as a person, Sexual liberation is the root I want to grow from and it is the world I want to help build for children. Sexual Liberation is the love letter I want to write to future generations.