I’m not queer, transgender, a person of color, or fat-identified. Can I still receive service here?
Absolutely, yes! The reason we name those specific identities in our mission is that we feel the wellness industry actively excludes them. We want to change this culture by actively calling in folks who might not feel welcomed in traditional wellness spaces. If you do not identify as any of those, you may not have experienced discrimination while receiving something as intimiate as massage therapy and may feel comfortable at any massage business. AND, you are also more than welcome to enjoy our services!!
What does it mean to be “queer centered” business?
Many things! For us, the term “queer” is synonymous with radical resistance so much of it means going against the status quo that oppresses and marginalized people out of the main stream. Queer is the norm, not exception.
1. Almost all of us are queer identified, and this business is owned by a queer, trans, person of color.
2. Queer therapists in the Bay Area seek us out and work with us in order to serve the community in which they belong and to escape discrimination they experience in other work environments.
3. Queer couple’s massage happens regularly here because folks feel safer showing up as who they are. We are also happy to offer services to hetero couples!. #loveislove
What does it mean to be “trans-competent”?
This definition is ever-evolving as we continue to learn more ways of creating a safer space for gender divergent folks! As some of our staff are trans-identified, we know firsthand just how daunting and triggering the health care system can be. One of our main missions is to provide gender-affirming care. Some of the ways this we accomplish this:
1. Never assume anyone’s gender identity based on their appearance and always ask people for their pronouns.
2. Refraining from using language in our documents and interactions that support transgender identities. For example instead of saying “biologically male” we could say “assigned male at birth.” And instead of “had a sex change” we could say “transitioned.”
3. Only asking questions relevant to the care that we provide. Unnecessary and prying questions about gender and body parts can make transgender people feel “othered” and uncomfortable.
What does it mean to be a “fat-friendly” space?
Larger bodied people and fat-identified people are another group of folks who are often mistreated within health care and wellness systems. Their weight and size are often blamed for unrelated health concerns which can prevent them from receiving the actual care they need. Some of the ways we make our space fat friendly:
1. We purchased the maximum width tables with extra padding.
2. We also have arm rest extensions so that folks can fully let their arms relax while lying down.
3. We have a wide variety of waiting room furniture to accommodate different bodies.
4. We will never offer unsolicited nutrition, dietary, or exercise advice. (Especially since it is out of the scope of practice for most of our staff!)
5. We will only discuss topics relevant to the care we are providing.
What does it mean to be a "POC centered" space?
As massage therapists in the industry for a combined 30+ years experience, we each have noticed the lack of people of color (POC) in practitioners and clientele. It is our mission to shift this and invite more POC into the wellness industry.
Our experience suggests that cost is not the only barrier for some POC. Massage therapy in an individualistic culture like American society is regarded as a luxury and an occasional treat. Many communities of color, collectivistic cultures are socialized to put the needs of the group or others before themselves. Massage therapy can sometimes be seen as a wasteful form of self-care that POC may feel unworthy of receiving. It’s our goal to change the narrative to where all black and brown bodies believe that they are worthy of this service.