When Sonja asked me to write something for Pride month, I was like sure. Then I was like, "what the hell do I write about? I’m a solo-polyamorous Black Queer Femme who is currently not getting laid because my lover lives on the East Coast and COVID-19 is fucking up my game.
I’m sheltering in place with my 22 year old son who I made come home from college to finish out the year with me due to the pandemic and we live in a converted church recreation room with no walls so I can’t even have a sexy cyber date with my boo because I don’t know when my kid is going to walk into the room. DAMN! There are two things getting me through this time, Pilates and my queer family. I got into Pilates to share movement with my communities. Communities? How many communities do I have? Well, I have my Black community and my Queer community. And within those communities, there are more peeps; Fat, Disabled, Sex Workers and Trans Peeps. This month, after talking with one of my butch lesbian clients, I am hosting a Butch Into Pilates beginner series. To some of you, this is a really hot visual and I can see how a room full of butches can be appealing. I’m honored to be able to share my love of Pilates with a group of peeps that may have never had the opportunity to explore it. And as a femme, I am getting a front row seat to witness a vulnerability that is only shared with a select few.
What goes into teaching Pilates to 17 butches? More than you would expect. I already use neutral language when teaching and had to streamline even more. I had to make sure that I didn’t use exercises that wouldn’t put them in compromising positions to not activate any past traumas. I had my butch client who has been working with me for 1.5 years be my demo. I’m femme and butches take up space differently than I do, so I wanted them to have a body that they resonated with. Being able to see yourself reflected is a big deal (see Black Girl Pilates).I dated butches in the past, so I am able to not only see them for who they are, I am also able to respect them in a way that other instructors might be too nervous to do because of how they walk the earth. I can't tell you how magical it was to have these seventeen, masculine identifying women remove their inhibitions and fully embrace the method that is Pilates. I was moved to tears more than once during our first session. This is why I got into Pilates and I’m sure it will happen many more times during the next 3 sessions of this 4-week series.
The status quo has never been my jam. My main intention when I got certified was to be able to share with my queer community how we can be even more badass, more embodied and more authentically ourselves so we can stand taller and more grounded, love more fiercely and fuck harder.
Find out more about guest blogger/BGPI sister, Teresa Ellis, by going to Pilates Barre & Jams