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Network Ambassador

Queer Odyssey

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

Please visit Queer Odyssey website, Facebook & Instagram for our most current news, updates & offerings.

CONNECT
We are in service to supporting Youth who desire ways to mark passages in their life in a ritual, sacred, ceremonial & life giving way.  Assisting them in exploring their self designed Rite of Passage//Hero’s Journey– from The Call through Return and anywhere in between.
The communities of Youth we serve identify as:
Trans*
Gender Non-Conforming//Non-Binary
Gender Fluid//Gender Queer//Two-Spirit//Intersexed
Queer//Gay//Lesbian//Bi-Sexual//Asexual
Questioning
+++
& are not limited by these labels
In addition to creating Queer Odyssey Youth Initiations, we invite existing Programs serving this dynamic group of youth to contact us when they desire to introduce Rite of Passage Programs. WE also invite existing Rites of Passage Organizations to be in touch when they are ready to explore becoming more accessible & inclusive to the Youth we serve. WE have the ability to collaborate &  assist in development & application specific to your Organization’s needs.

 

THE SPARK
The following is a writing piece from August of 2015. It is my belief that this inquiry laid the foundation for where I am today & creating Queer Odyssey
PERSONAL NARRATIVE: A GENDER ODYSSEY

+++ THIS that fueled the fire to begin NOW

BEARING WITNESS: EXPLORING RITES OF PASSAGE AS A SUPPORTIVE FRAMEWORK FOR TRANSGENDER YOUTH
Published October 17, 2016 Confluence: A Youth Passageways Journal VIi1 Fall 2016

 

The Vision
The hope is this work will take place wherever The Call is heard.
That I will have the opportunity to continue travelling//exploring and incorporate my field experience.

It is with this knowing that I come back from this most recent Queer Quest committed to filling the need for creating Trans* & non-binary specific Rites of Passage, support existing Rites of Passage organizations in becoming not only inclusive, but accessible to non-binary Trans youth and introduce ROP to Organizations already working in the field with this dynamic community. 

Tools we can use in creating your Rite of Passage
Supported with Traditional Practices, Meditations, Rituals & Ceremonies
+
Gifted by those who came before us
&
Shared experiences of Peers, Adults & Elders
mixed with Your Alchemy
ˈalkəmē/: a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination

Expressed through Self-Designed Ceremony
IDEAS in which to do this are through Poetry, Visual & Expressive Arts
Music, Movement & Dance
=

WE FORMALLY MARK AND CELEBRATE  PASSAGE IN A WAY THAT COMMUNICATES ACROSS ALL BORDERS. CREATIVE IN ENSURING AN ALL-INCLUSIVE SPACE.

Themes of Initiation, Severance & Incorporation
Intentions & Gifts // Naming & Identity
Gender Fluidity
Sexuality
Rituals of Reconciliation // Conflict, Trauma & Grief:
Reclaiming our own roots // Ancestral re-connection
Passing the Torch
+++
+++
MY TEACHERS
OUTWARD BOUND
JOANNA MACY
BILL PLOTKIN
YOUTH PASSAGEWAYS
MELISSA MICHAELS

A bit of my Story…

Having come of age in a time where there weren’t, what I believed to be, “people like me”, I learned to navigate life independently & constantly scanning, searching for reflection (or threat). This brought many gifts, including strength, courage & self-awareness, but also times of “You don’t belong here”, and walls that read, “You must go it alone”. Messages that reinforced a long held belief that “something is wrong with me”. Out of pure self preservation this protected me from further pain, but created walls that kept me from authentic connections with others and my communities. I’ll admit I’ve spent the last 20+ years trying to prove my existence, that I belong, building my credentials to prove my worth, discovering my purpose(s) and finding ways to translate that into work in the world. One that aligns with what I value, is life-giving, sustainable & fun.

I’d hit my “rock bottom” a few years ago with a series of events. It was bound to happen and culminated over the course of the past 13 years, since the death of my sister. As hard as I had/have been working on self-inquiry, advocacy & support of issues (Social & Environmental Justice), jobs that kept me challenged, participating in retreats, seminars & workshops to further my development as a spiritual person having a human experience, there still felt as if something was missing; a love for life. I knew this rock bottom had occurred when I no longer wanted to serve, I no longer wanted to be, what I had learned through my studies in Buddhism, a Bodhisattva- a compassionate being who chooses to stay with the suffering of the world, vowing not to attain enlightenment (Nirvana) until all beings are free of suffering. I’d reached a point where I didn’t even want to come back, if reincarnation was an option. This was revealing to me that I was in fact at my lowest, because I had been committed to easing the suffering of others for so long, Service’ Compassion in Action. It was time to work that hard at relieving my own suffering, offering as much compassion I had to others, to myself. And learn how to do that, co-arising with, being in service to humanity.

OR NOT. OR GIVE UP. DIE.

I recognized it would be irresponsible to continue serving and inauthentic to ask those I worked with to search edges I was fearful to search myself. My Odyssey, my journey was to “Seek the Great Perhaps”. What that meant to me is that I answered the Call. There was nothing to do but listen and be receptive to what this Pilgrimage would show me. In hindsight, I believe, among other things, as I still process this chapter, that this was a Pilgrimage in Search of Belonging, as I found “home” in myself & laid to rest a Rejection Story that has run undercurrent in my relationships, work & choices. I learned to trust who I am fully, maybe for the first time, regardless of that being reflected back from family, peers or society.

I believed the communities I wish to serve, to be a advocate & champion for, to support and serve as Mentor and Guide, would still be there upon my Return. having no idea how long I would be gone, trusting would know when the time arrived. I traveled from May through October 2016. 3 months on a 50 ft. sailboat, then 2 months of solo Europe travels by land. Both I have never done before. Both, and many more experiences I wish to share with you.

I created Queerodyssey.org & social media for Queer Odyssey to document my experience, to utilize these platforms as a foundation to step from Hero’s Journey of self as Artist, Explorer, Refugee & Pilgrim to the Return & Re- Incorporation of Belonging. To answer the next Call as Mentor of those walking, and maybe even lost, on the same journey. We can stay found together.

As of today, 10/25/16 the Facebook site identifies as an Organization for networking purposes, although it does carry the thread of it’s origins as the Queerest Quest (in every sense of the word); Explorer//Artist//Pilgrim// using the Hero’s Journey & Rites of Passage as a template for navigating change.

Organizational Information

Contact

29.9511° N, 90.0715° W
New Orleans, Louisiana, US 70130