So in this episode we are diving into the future of Queer Reproductive Justice, and what does it mean to show up for queer, trans, non binary, and other folks who have been marginalized within the perinatal care system.
To lead us in that conversation, I am delighted to have king yaa on to share their wisdom and their work as they have delved into this throughout their career. And as they speak, and educate on this topic in so many different platforms. Learning from king yaa has truthfully been one of the most impactful pieces of my journey over the last few years. As I have searched to grow as a birth worker, to be more aware of different perspectives within perinatal spaces...both as I learned to care better for folks who are queer and trans, but also, as I have looked hard at myself, to understand my positionality within this space to reflect on what I can bring to it, and also how the way that I show up in this work has such an impact on the care that folks receive from me.
Through this conversation, I hope you have the time and space to reflect on your own place in this work, where you want to grow, where you can share your knowledge, and how you can begin to put all this together, as we lift up those who have been most marginalized and create a standard of care that is safer for them, we create a standard of care that is safer for all of us. And I am eager to share with you their thoughts and reflections about what king yaa sees as as they share their queer reproductive justice framework, and the future of care as we all come together to create change.
Listen in as we explore these themes:
~foundation of their courses for providers
~queer & trans people's liberation & pleasure
~king's queer reproductive justice framework
~incorporate understanding of barriers into care
~examining saviorism, intersectionality, & positionality in birthwork
Learn more about king yaa and their offerings through their guest profile.
Recommended IG accounts to follow: @KaydenXOfficial @BirthBruja @FeministMidwife @Doctor_Midwife
Maggie, RNC-OB 0:03
Welcome to your birth partners, the podcast identifying gaps, acknowledging biases, and co-creating a trauma informed standard of birth care with change agents across the spectrum of birth work. I'm your host Maggie Runyon. I'm a birth nurse, educator and advocate who has been searching since 2010 to the answers to how to provide better care during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Through my own pregnancies and supporting births in home and hospitals around the country. I've seen firsthand many the systemic flaws that exist in perinatal care. Through these conversations, I'm thrilled to share with you insights and inspiration as we work collectively to transform birth care.
lSo in this episode, the podcast we are diving into the future of queer reproductive justice, and what does it mean to show up for queer, trans, non binary, and other folks who have been marginalized within the perinatal care system, and to lead us in that conversation, I am delighted to have king yaa on to share their wisdom and their work as they have delved into this throughout their career. And as they speak, and educate on this topic in so many different platforms. Learning from king yaa has truthfully been one of the most impactful pieces of my journey over the last few years, as I have searched to grow as a birth worker. And to be more aware of different perspectives within perinatal spaces, both as you know, I learned to care better for folks who are queer and trans. But also, as I have looked hard at myself, to understand my positionality within this space to reflect on what I can bring to it, and also how the way that I show up in this work has such an impact on the care that folks receive from me. And through this conversation, I hope you have the time and space to reflect on your own place in this work, where you want to grow, where you can share your knowledge, and how you can begin to put all this together, as we you know, lift up those who have been most marginalized and create a standard of care that is safer for them. We create a standard of care that is safer for all of us. And I am eager to share with you their thoughts and reflections about what they see as as they share their queer reproductive justice framework, and what they see as the future of care as we all come together to create change.
Well, welcome king, it is such an honor to have you joining us on the podcast to dive into a little bit more of your your vision for the future and where we can change and perinatal care to create better better care spaces. If you want to just share a little bit about kind of yourself and your journey to this place and your work with our audience.
king yaa, birthworker 3:14
Sure, Maggie and thank you for the invitation. My name is king yaa, my name is lowercase always. And my pronouns are they them, king. And I've been in reproductive health spaces, like given this work for a few years. And it's funny because I was just listening to some of my old work when I used to do work, and maybe around the body and vibration and body movements and whatnot, specifically for queer and trans people who have challenges in their body existence. And I was listening to some of the old things that I will share all contents, and I even back then I was still talking about reproductive health spaces. So it's cool to kind of come around and do a full circle I have more about includes work though, from my own experiences of having challenges, getting the care that I need to take care of my body, the challenges of trying to find queer affirming, trans affirming, non binary affirming, specifically, gynecological care. So that made it really challenging for me to, you know, just take care of my body in that way. And just seeing is an obstacle for a lot of people who already find that, you know, going to take care of that part of their body to be quite intrusive. And yeah, just painful and traumatic, you know, regardless of whatever their gender identity is, specifically, if you do not conform to whatever is gender expected that you're supposed to be when you're going for this type of care, that a lot of the gynecological practitioners are not trauma informed, you know, and I think that that's a bare basic, you know, so I've had experiences where I've had a lot of inappropriate questions when I'm already vulnerable. I'm already unclothed and you're inside in between my legs and asking me all sorts of things. So I just got frustrated now. Understanding. So yeah, so that's where I started. That's how I got into this work. I know I did some training with birth advocacy, I can't remember what year, I think it was perhaps the first year that they were offering first birth training. And from there, I've just been making sure that I can offer the courses that I wish that health care providers that have when taken care of people like myself, so yeah, that's what I've been doing for the past two years, as well as you know, I'm sure we'll go into this further in the conversation. Yeah. And it shouldn't be traumatic. I mean, if we were ready, going, and it will be traumatic. What are ways that practitioners themselves can set an environment that is one that is consensus, that it is pleasure driven, and I don't mean that I want people to also be aware of what pleasure could look like, it could mean something as simple as asking for consent, because other people have not had that. And also could be like, the environment itself, like, can you have some music, anything that will make people feel a little bit more comfortable? In your space? You know, and I'll ask him certain questions when people are unclothed, you know, so yeah. So anyway, that's how I got into his work. And this is what drives me. And I'm really good for queer and trans people liberation. And our pleasure. And I talked a lot about that as well. I don't want everything that I talk about that is, you know, being driven by trauma. But more specifically, I'm here for our pleasure, because we deserve it.
Maggie, RNC-OB 6:21
Oh, my gosh, yes. Well, I, I'm so sorry, you've had those experiences. And I, I am hopeful for the vision of what you're creating that you know that there is pleasure centered care that it is. Yeah, like you said, trauma informed care truly is like, it's the bare minimum, it really needs to be the standard. And you know, all, all clients deserve more than that, from their experiences, and especially for trans and queer clients who have faced so much stigma, and just issues with access. And as, as we've watched as the, the world collectively and here in the US continues to work against rights for queer and trans clients wanting to make sure that health care is a safe space for people to seek what they need and to receive that. And so I really grateful for the work you're doing. And the trainings you offer to inform those of us in, you know, the perineal space, in particular, which is already such a vulnerable, vulnerable space, how we can make that something that feels feels fulfilling, and actually actually is care, instead of just kind of checking off boxes.
king yaa, birthworker 7:31
Maggie, RNC-OB 7:32
I would love to dig maybe first into a little bit more about the queer reproductive justice framework that you have, that you've built and how you've kind of taken in the work that has done and really just expanded that so much further than I think many of us had kind of considered when we first heard about reproductive rights or reproductive justice as a concept.
king yaa, birthworker 7:50
Certainly, I wish I could remember off my heart, considering how much I talk about it. [laughter] But really, the basis of it is that I needed the right to have the full spectrum or experiences, including our challenges and our barriers to be recognized and to be held. And for providers to understand the intersectionality and their positionality when taking care of us. And that we're all here to make sure that nobody gets left behind. So when you're looking at the full spectrum of all of our identities, right? And I think that a lot of times when people think about intersectionality, I think that it's still very limited in their view, right? So perhaps with myself, you might think of you know, that I'm Black, and I'm queer, and I'm of trans masc experience. However, you know, what I mean, there's a lot of other things I'm disabled, you know, I mean, I could be, I'm not, but I could be neurodivergent there's so many other parts of, you know, maybe there's people who are fat, there are people who are undocumented, there are people who have the wrong document, whatever the wrong is, right. So understanding all those things that make up the person's identities, how you also recognize them, what the barriers may be, what the barriers actually are, and how you're accommodating that the fullness of somebody is welcome. And as a firm is not problematize that is not pathologize. But there's you're there to support them, and they don't have to hide parts of themselves. And two, as I said, more worldly to make sure when you're looking around in whatever space is, who is being left behind, and making sure you're looking back and you're making sure that you're carrying everybody forward with you. Right, so liberation does not mean just what black and queer. It means you're fat, and it's very undocumented means for people on how these were people who are young people who eat meat or people who are old enough for me to think about it. Right? So it is not just again, it's not just Yes, it is about um, choice to have an abortion, but also have access to abortion and access. You know, abortion is something that we're talking a lot about in the States, but also access means that I'm not going to hesitate to go because I'm going to be harmed as I look at it with gender. Yes, right access me. So maybe thing. So in this way, we can just talk about liberation. I think that when people think of liberation, they think about it and they're coming from it, an approach of saviorism, right. So they're thinking about it being for somebody over there. Which means, you know, sometimes I talk about our share, but you know, I find even this whole concept of being an ally, people feel like one thing, they can designate it to themselves. And they also believe that they can stop it, they can stop being a supporter, when it is inconvenient for them. But being a supporter, if somebody uses a tone, that they don't like, they can stop being an a supporter, when when it feels uncomfortable, or even something is being asked of them that they themselves did not feel like, you know, a lot of times when allies decide what it is that they're going to do, they don't ask them the people who actually need the help what they need, right? So they themselves are now you know, determining on people and saying, Hey, stop, we're actually-this is our problem. And if you are here to help us, right, we're the ones who are doing now this is unload experiences, listening to what our needs are. And then this is what we mean, there's just a call to action to this ABCD. Right. And some people feel, you know, they get into their their feelings, you know, so it's uncomfortable for them. So for being here for all of our liberation, because it is a we're all collectively ties, one of them.
Maggie, RNC-OB 11:16
Yeah, so many threads to pull from that, that saviorism peace...We have talked at length about it on the podcast, that is something I certainly talked about how I have continue to work through that piece of it. And you know, positionality, as a nurse, and within the healthcare team, like so much of our education is based on a foundation of saviorism. And it takes a lot to acknowledge that and then to start to unpack that and see how it can be done differently in in the healthcare space, when there has just historically been power dynamics and such that have created healthcare workers, physicians, especially providers up on a pedestal. And I think it's just it's so important for us to continue to really evaluate and question that within ourselves how that is showing up and how then we are showing up for communities that we care about, that we want to be allied with or to be supporters of. And I appreciate how much you speak about that it's been really powerful in my own personal journey, as I have kind of walked through how to how to live that out. And I also think the other piece of it, I don't know, if you can dive into a little bit more of the the intersectionality. With those identities that are less visible, I think that is part of how we have maybe we've kind of trained to learn about intersectionality, like you said, the things you can theoretically look at someone and see or guess about their identity, and how we start to maybe understand or relate to folks about some of those kinds of more invisible identities that aren't as as obvious.
king yaa, birthworker 12:33
Yeah, certainly, I think a lot of assumptions are made, right, I think a lot of assumptions are made about so many things. So you mentioned you know, just as a nurse or as a practitioner in a hospital or any kind of medical setting, I do a lot of you know, guest teaching on platforms where there's classes on childbirth education, for example, right. And that's not the only place but the assumptions around what people's families family dynamics. So that again, isn't a difficult one. So one you don't know somebody is solo parenting, right, and even understanding even though language around so parenting just I find interesting, because it sounds intentional, which is great. And also the only one, that's another part of my thing that gets me off, I'm kind of going off on a tangent here, around landing mutual aid. So solo parenting is great. But there are a lot of parents who may not have had that choice. And they are solo parents, right. Whereas there's definitely a hierarchical understanding with some of those who are single parent, rather than a solo parent once I was intentional one sounds like it just happened, and put them advantage, right. And I also know what they see, we think about what we think about solo parenting, versus who we think about when we think about single parents. And that is where the stigma and where there's something that sounds like it's, you know, revolutionary, but anyway, so realm, what do people's families look like? You know, are they a poly configuration? And understanding around how family might be built understanding around what parental names that people might use? Or even what they're role is? Like, maybe they are carrying their, you know, their gestating, you know, they're carrying a baby, but as a baby that is intended for them? Are they going to be you know, some nevermind language around Mommy, you know, mom, and you know, all this gendered language, whether or not that is the case, you know, as far as what language people want to be using? What is this person planning on parenting this child? Yeah, you know, against those assumptions, their assumptions around again, I, you know, I feel like it's always been there just to talk about documentation, because there are a lot of people who don't have whatever this right type of documentation is, I mean, everybody's on the stolen land, you know, called North America or whatever it is that you know, people are occupying, but then there's under this understanding of documentation of what that might mean and also access to food. You know, not everybody has the same access to food yourself. Looks like somebody, you know, necessarily explicitly, you know, just to make sure you have your vegetables and your, you know, whatever it is, right? We don't know what people have access, we don't know if people have access to clean water, we don't know what people's access to shelter, we don't know what kind of situation, you know, housing situation that people have. So intersectionality, it demands that we look through them right into what the fullness of somebody's identity is that the fullness of somebody's experiences, you know, and also, when we talk about nationality, I'm glad to hear you share about your experience thinking about your positionality and having to unpack that. I think that you know, something that I talk about in just about all of my offerings, because I think that in order for us to talk about and look at and unpack and others, all these variables, we need to look at what our lenses are, right? What are we bringing into whatever it is, and I mean, we're going into a room, we're going into an examination, we all go in with mentors of our social standings, our of our, you know, the classes that we take our families, our friends, we anatomy, all these things impacts when we walk into a space, how we're going to view that first in this situation. Yeah. So it is something that I'm always asking people to continuously do. Because depending on what situation you're in, depending on what room you're at, depending on where you are, whether it's a bar, or wherever it is, right? Something else is going to be demanded on me. Right? You don't mean? Right? So it might mean that you're again, going back to whether or not you're listening to what are the call of action to me based on my identity, right? Or whether or not you are the one who's going into the room avoid saying, hey, there's a problem here, right? And you need to fix this. Because it is unfair, and you're you know, whatever it is, it helps you to understand what your role is in each base. So just do not be complicit in harming people. You know that when it's your time to be reaching up and using your voice? It is your turn to be using your body sometimes to obstructing violence that might be happening against somebody else. Yes. So yeah, I hope I am.
Maggie, RNC-OB 17:09
Yeah. Oh, my gosh, yeah, yeah. And then like fired a million other things for my brain to follow up. I think that piece of the, that positionality piece that you were just speaking of when we think about how I think how often healthcare workers have maybe constructed ourselves that we are like a neutral position, right, that we pretend that we are at some sort of like that there is a there is a neutral, there is a baseline that is, you know, it's equal for everyone. And how important is to dissuade ourselves of that idea, because it's not true, everyone has biases, and that's fine. But I think what for those of us who hold any sort of power, and when we have our biases combined with that sense of power, because of how systems are set up, that is where we run into issues, that is where we perpetuate those injustices hearing you speak about positionality, and how we can be aware of where we're at. And what that means that we have to do with that power, right like that, we're there is no neutral, we all have our own stuff, we all have our own lens. And so we need to interrogate that way more deeply than most of us take the opportunity to do, and then be aware of how we can use that power to put our words our body, whatever, you know, whatever we can in that situation to stop to stop harm from happening is really important. I wonder off of you know, off of that, where we're coming from a system that is set up like that, where there is just the power dynamics suck. There is so much imbalance in the kind of provider to patient client relationship in in your world vision. What would it look like for you an ideal world where how would we access and kind of support folks through care?
king yaa, birthworker 18:44
Wow, that's a big one.
Maggie, RNC-OB 18:45
[laughter] snappy, two minute answer for that one.
king yaa, birthworker 18:48
Yeah. Yeah. One of the things that whenever I do any kind of visioning, right, I'm also very conscious, I know that even when I'm manifesting, I do a lot of manifesting. One of the things that I am very intentional about which takes work in even the wording and language and, and even, you know, visioning, you know, is that you don't put in the negative light. And by that, I mean, I'm not going to say right, because I think that that people will receive less harm or whatever I'm like subject matter of fact, once I put harm in there, somehow injected that into the vision. Right. So here we go. Right when I imagine was an affirming and caring, healthcare space might be like feel like one I would like there to be an awareness of the fluidity, the openness, expansiveness of people's genders, that there is an understanding that we can look in many many ways. And there will be an acceptance and A willingness to see somebody just as we are to ask the question where, with openness and curiosity, from a place of wanting to open heartedly care for this person, and make sure that they feel really good about this experience that they're going to have. Knowing that this person is the expert of their body, and feeling privileged, that they are being invited in as part of the team, to take care of this body, that the experiences the trainings, or whatever it is that they have had, that this person has come into them, they're looking in there, like almost going through like a screen show, you know, in the back of their mind, like, okay, what can I offer? Based on what this person has said that they need? How can I help them to get whatever it is that they need from me in this experience? And how can I do it and offer it in the most loving and gentle and caring, compassionate, and respectful, you know, way? Right? And how can I be invested in this person and their wellness? How can I, you know, if they need an ear to listen to that I'm in, I have the time and resources that I can do that, that I have the time and the patience, and that this person will leave my space with the information and whatever offering that they needed that they came for, or that I have a magnitude of resources, and references, and you know, that I can refer to them? Yes. And knowing that I'm a part of a team, I'm a part of a collective. I'm a part of so much more, you know, and I want to make sure that this person has everything that they need, so that they get to live a pleasurable, long life in their body.
Maggie, RNC-OB 18:57
Yes, that is a healthcare environment, I would love to be a part of that piece you spoke to about just that curiosity, like how different that would feel if if we were approaching folks with that, just that willingness to like, want to hear and learn. And like you kind of say that like this, you know, the slideshow is going in your back your mind trying to think okay, well could I have that actually meets that instead of when I feel like so often what happens is like, providers feel like they have to come in with a plan, they already had to know what to do before they even walk in the door and speak to you, they already have to have it all laid out because of the time thing and the patient's issue and just needing to just through everything and how how much more healing and hold that would leave everyone involved in the system, how much better that would feel obviously, as the person seeking care, but also for, you know, the people who are providing it, how different it would feel to know that like, Okay, you're calling me to ask this and really and truly believing you're not expecting me to have or know or be everything for you. Because that's so unrealistic. I think providers put that on themselves so often. And that it impairs the way they actually get into relationship with people because they're so hesitant to say, I don't know, I'd like to look into that. Let me speak to a colleague, they feel like they need to have that quick response again, just to move everything along. And so often that quick, kind of pat responses inadequate, it doesn't, doesn't you're left leaving that point of being like, that's not actually a question I had, that's not an issue I had, like, people are just so quick to pick one thing, looking at a person or looking at stats on their chart to decide that that's the issue. How different would feel if we really came in with that curiosity and just wanting to know and connect and having connection, connection connection as a basis instead of the fixing? mentality? Yeah, I, I know you've spoken about this, you know, a lot particularly for you know, providers, and folks are out there listening if you know, if they are feeling like they are really uninformed about how to care for queer and trans clients in particular best resources, you could recommend books courses that they could look into to really start to build that muscle up. If that's something they haven't been able to stretch yet.
king yaa, birthworker 23:47
Well, I'll we'll recommend my courses.
Maggie, RNC-OB 23:50
king yaa, birthworker 23:51
You know, I spent a good bit if I'm kind of curating the best teachers, I've become in need, because again, coming back to this community based and understanding that I don't know at all. And I have, you know, spent time making sure that the teachers are amazing that they're offering their politics, because nobody could talk about this and say that there's no politics involves definitely politics. So their politics are in alignment. And also that these are people who are going to learn to learn from so I always want to make sure that I name my offering first, right. And it's also taught me there's a lot of other places where people can learn from it. Yeah, I've just been quite intentional. And making sure that the people who I invited on board that they are queer in there, some of them are trans, and they are people of the global majority, meaning that they are black, indigenous, or people of color. So where else would I say that people can learn from? I would say, Kayden X Official on Instagram, or Birth Bruja, Eri, which is my you know, my work wife and we do a lot of work together. Feminist midwife. Yeah, that's funny, as well. As there's another Stephanie...
Maggie, RNC-OB 25:02
king yaa, birthworker 25:04
there we go. Thank you. Absolutely. And, yeah, there's quite a few. I mean, it's hard for me to remember the top of my head, but quite a few people. So while I'm always saying, you know that there's a lot of people on Instagram, where we can be learning from, and I think that is always a great place to point people to, I'm always also reminding people that teachers can look very many different ways. Sometimes people have the resources to put together courses, like I do, and sometimes people are teaching on Instagram and other places to learn from. So I also remind people to pay teachers, right, and also to credits your teachers as well. So a lot of times I see what people are taking, I've seen that somewhere else. When people are talking about certain things, I know where they came, that information came from. And normally they are stealing content from black and brown, and queering, trends, content providers, content makers, creatives, and educators, and activists, and advocates. Only there live live. So I want to put that out there as well. Yeah,
Maggie, RNC-OB 26:08
yeah, I mean, that's such a good list and we'll certainly link in the show notes and everything for folks, some of those handles for kind of the easy access, we're starting to get into it. And you know, we've talked before about how the, the power of social media is very flawed, but how you know, you're able to curate a feed that really reflects the voices that you want to learn from, and you know, who, like you said, that are ethical, that are aligned, that are really living and breathing all of this that are not just taking some concept and you know, trying to make some viral video happen to you know, purport whatever their their other desires are being like aware of that. And so I appreciate all those folks that you named, who certainly are like they're living and walking this very much. So having the pleasure of taking Birthing Beyond the Binary with you, as you have really like evolved your your courses, as you've learned to offer it to other people and have more voices and having other teachers, you know, continue to come into it and bring their perspective. Are there any, like takeaways you've had, from that experience that have that have changed the way you the way you have these conversations or the way you you think about it, anything that strikes you?
king yaa, birthworker 27:11
Great question, one of the things that I find, for found that a lot of people come into the course, they think that they're going to get a little thing to use when they're, you know, taking care of, you know, they want to take care of the queer and trans people. And what I've heard back is that people have learned more about themselves, and that they've been able to use the things that they've investigated, and interrogate and is their own personal lives, their family, you know, friend, how they show up in social media spaces. So even outside of whatever their original intent was, you know, those their birth worker, for example. But they've realized that there's so much more things that they need to perhaps work on things that they had not thought of before, and also how to be a critical thinker when thinking about even whatever space that they're in. Right? So again, we started with, you know, what is your positionality? And what do you need to be doing in this space? That people have not necessarily thought about that? Because for whatever reason, right, also has given them an opportunity to think about and to practice? And to see and, yes, you can see, I mean, I think that a lot of people can write, you know, you know, yes, we can open a prize or polish it, there's a lot of things that we've not thought of before without seen before. And some people can choose to unseat, people seem to want to write and even when it is, you know, jarring even when it hurts their head, you don't want to get tired, you know, to be in a space and to be able to see all of the adjustments, and not have to have it as a real on a continuous thing in our feeds. That it seems like it's happening over there, like other people's traumas over there, but now you can walk into even sometimes your own family home, and seeing how people are being mistreated in your family. Right, and now also being able to name certain things, you know, so you can advocate on the small level you can advocate on are, you know, and take the scary steps in your workplace as to, you know, maybe asking a supervisor, can we have like some education around pronouns? You know, can we talk about what our intake forms are looking like, are the things that we can put onto our system, one where, you know, seeing a patient or a client, so that we could remember certain things about them so that we don't have to ask the same questions over and over again, we can, you know, have a reminder as to how it is that they made their body parts or what their family dynamic might look like. Why? So I think that, from what I hear, that people end up, getting a lot more out of the course out of the training than they originally intended. And also another part is around have an accountability. So having the accountability parties, I think that a lot of people are not familiar with having somebody that they're accountable. accountable to, you know, someone, you're saying that I'm going to be in this position this, that you have somebody there who's also reminding me remember, you said, you're going to do this, or that you're going to be working on this, this or this, or whatever you're doing right now is in direct contradiction to what you say that we want to be. So what do you want to do about that? Because I'm, I'm here waiting. Yeah. So there's a lot that has come out of it. I think that I love hearing about all the ways that people are using all what come up the aha moments that people have had from taking my
Maggie, RNC-OB 30:41
poll. Yeah. So powerful. I think that that piece of the community and accountability that isn't often present in that kind of active, you know, way where, you know, so often you feel like you're just taking courses online, boop, boop, everyone's very much on their own individual journey, I think there is so much learning and growth, and that has opportunities for reflection. So I totally resonate with that piece of just that, getting so much more out of the course than what I expected in terms of thinking like, okay, yes, it's about birth care. Got it, like it's in this bubble of, you know, my life. And then seeing that there's the way that it ripples and really impacts the way you're looking at so many other systems within the world and seeing that, the way that everything else is, did it just start up your current offering for that? Will there be another one in the fall? Or what's your plan for that for this year?
king yaa, birthworker 31:23
Yeah, that's right. So right now, queer trans reproductive launch is going to be starting in July. And, and then again, in October, queer, trans reproductive loss is gonna be coming up again, as well as birthing beyond the binary, and all of them are open to everybody. I just wanted to also add, one of the other things that come up from my training, because I've practiced it. And I do mean practice. And I like to remind people that practice is the practice of a practicing, that we're not meant to get it perfect, is the whole idea around decolonization, right. And looking at one of the things is expecting perfection. And that means in others, but also in ourselves. And it also means taking time. So pausing, I talk about pausing a lot, and there's so much richness that can happen in a poem, you know, it allows somebody else to to feel like you're listening. It allows somebody to feel like they can, that you're actually present and there. And it also allows you to connect your thoughts and think about, Do I even need to say something? And, you know, and also what I'm going to say, how do I want to offer this? Right? And then why did why do I want to offer it? You know, maybe even asking for consent? Can I ask you though, so there's so many things that can happen in a pause. And one of the things that I've done my, my offering is that I people are forced upon with you can't move forward, until I've witnessed because I want to see, and I want to make sure that I could obviously have, you know, an engine setup that people just, you know, submit their, whatever it is their five minutes, and then they just move on to the next one. Other people aren't sharing, there's a lot of times when people are sharing something about themselves, and it blows me, right. So I take time, because I'm feeling everything that people share. Right. And I appreciate when people are taking the time to be vulnerable, and to be messy, and to share some shit that I'm sure that they've not talked about in other spaces. And how am I supposed to say just move on to the next one? Right? Because we're not meant to be checking boxes, you're asking me, right, like, we're not checking boxes, right. And I'm not checking boxes, and we should not be checking boxes, we're talking about people. We're talking about people's lives. We're talking about our lives. We're talking about experiences. And again, we're talking about pleasure, we're talking about so many things. And we're not meant to be checking boxes. And the only way that we can sit there and see a flower opening by standing there and sitting down and pausing. The only way that you can sit with somebody while they're dying is like sitting there. And just being still and the birth. All of these things. The only way that we can be there truly is by pausing and not feeling rushed and not having other people who will watch and not watching that experience.
Maggie, RNC-OB 34:15
Wow. Well, you're speaking directly to my soul right now. I feel like I am probably in a season that I need to pause where and take that time to kind of be and evaluate. And I really appreciate how you just explained that and the power that that has, I think we are so between that wanting perfection, and then not being willing to like pause and exist in it. I think that is something that is just like rife in US culture, and certainly in all of us who are who were looking for a different way. You know, throughout this whole season the podcast, we've been talking with all sorts of different folks who are involved as you know, change agents changemakers, who are looking to see a big shift, and gosh, I think it's really hard to sit in, in the pause when you are waiting to see these system changes and you're looking for big, big shifts to happen. As we wrap up here. Do the language that You feel kind of like explains that role is part of of who you are just how you how you exist in the world,
king yaa, birthworker 35:05
about language around and how to describe myself a little way. I think that I'm definitely a pleasure seeker. And I do just about everything that I do, I have to enjoy it, and then have to bring me pleasure. I know that even when I'm asked to do something like be on a podcast, I do take a long time to respond. I'm invited to be a guest teacher, I do take my time to respond. Because if it doesn't feel good, if it doesn't feel like it's going to feel good in my body, because I'm the one who has to live with my body. I knew when was the live with myself. So there's nothing worse for me and I betrayed myself for whatever reason, sometimes with money, sometimes it's whatever it is, or the platform might be this great platform, or whatever it is, that maybe I shouldn't be on. But it doesn't resonate for me, whatever it is, my body's just not saying yes. So, above anything else, I believe in pleasure. Yeah, my love of life. I'm here for liberation. And I know that in that while I'm looking for liberation, and while I'm actively doing what I can for the duration, that I'm, I want us all to feel pleasure, and I want it to be a pleasure.
Maggie, RNC-OB 36:08
Well, yeah, I think that is the perfect note prior to wrap up on I love the way you explained that. And how you use those principles to guide the weight move through this work that can feel daunting and overwhelming and can feel like a constant barrage, how how you model, taking that time to feel it in your body, and to make sure that it is it is in alignment, even when it is something that feels like it could be good for XYZ reasons that we can't justify. Well, thank you. Is there anything else you want to share with us as we wrap up?
king yaa, birthworker 36:39
Nothing much. I'm hoping to see more people in my spaces. I like when I hear people in Instagram, you know, saying that they've heard me there, or did see me there? I like yes, of course, I want people to sign up for my courses. I like the time, I lay there three months plus, of getting to know people. Right? And I love being there and seeing people as they're, you know, I don't know if it's called a transformation. I'm kind of weary of such words. But, you know, that is the language that I've heard. But I just want to be there and witness people as they're having their aha moments. It's such a beautiful thing. I love it. And also knowing that these aha moments, I hope that they translate, and people like myself, will share that added myself that there's one more person that they can reach out to.
Maggie, RNC-OB 37:24
Yes, absolutely. Well, thank you for witnessing so many folks journeys, whether it's through your courses, and then also as you as you share information out there on your platforms, as we all work to take that awareness and turn it into action and create change. I very much appreciate you and your work. Thank you so much for joining us today.
king yaa, birthworker 37:41
Thank you so much.
Maggie, RNC-OB 37:44
Well, I know that every time I have been in learning spaces with king yaa, I always need to take a little bit of time to just reflect and soak it all in. I so appreciate the lens that they bring to this work and how they challenge us to push past our our preconceptions, constantly encouraging us to unlearn and relearn how we want to show up in this work. So as you all reflect on the queer reproductive justice framework that they shared, and how this will show up in your work, I encourage you to reach out to us in our community group, your birth partners community on Facebook, we would love to hear from you as you process and reflect and work through this and think about how you can be a part of the change that is necessary to create prenatal health care spaces that are affirming and safer for all queer and trans and non binary folks. Thank you for being with us in this space. Till next time