Gender & Beyond 2018 Program
Imagine a community of loving people who care about each other and the Earth.
Discover relationships that are both heartfull and free.
Step into your own power to build a life that works
At this 5-day community journey, we will open these explorations in a field of love, curiosity, and compassion.
2019 Program Coming Soon!
Morning Circle – Daily
Every morning we’ll gather for appreciations, announcements, and connection.
ZEGG Forum – the Forum Team, Daily
Forum (http://www.zegg-forum.org/index_en.phtml) was created at ZEGG, an intentional community in Germany, and its sister communities as a way of promoting transparency and mutual understanding among community members. ZEGG members found that decision-making meetings often got derailed because of emotional conflicts and undercurrents that were not known to or understood by all. In Forum, each individual’s experience could be seen and understood, leading to greater empathy and creativity in the community. Now, many residential and non-residential intentional communities have adopted Forum as a way to maintain ongoing connection, intimacy and understanding.
The goal of Forum is to reveal what is alive but not known to all. The community sits in a circle, forming a stage for one person at a time to stand and show what is true for them. Facilitators may assist the person (or “presenter”) to reveal themselves more deeply. Afterward, community members may offer reflections, or “mirrors,” on what they saw.
One of the gifts of ZEGG Forum is that it allows us a space to appreciate every perspective without taking it on as “truth.” Every voice has its own poignancy, its own wisdom, its own truth, that does not negate the wisdom and truth of other perspectives. Allowing all voices to surface and be known can lead to a profound and unexpected integration within a community. We tend to think that events leading to painful experiences and conflicts are bad, because they feel bad in the moment. However, when we open ourselves and compassionately witness what is happening for everyone, these experiences can be gateways to greater closeness, understanding, and love. When conflict emerges, whether or not we are in a formal Forum space, we can choose to listen in this way. This deep listening sustains and nurtures community life and relationships.
Orientation & Connection – Friday Evening
Let’s find out who’s here and what we have to offer each other! We’ll spend much of the time moving around, meeting new folks and deepening existing relationships. Here we will learn about each other, camp, and the land we will share for the coming week. Participants can engage with the group and get quick, direct feedback on issues they care about. We’ll also have time to go deeper in one-on-one connections. This is a quick, fun, easy way to lay the groundwork for our time together, get a sense of the group and the facilities, and get to know each other!
Consent Culture & Snuggle Party – Friday Night
Together, we will lay the foundation for a consent-based culture with discussion and experiential exercises. We will practice sharing clear boundaries and on-going feedback while connecting with others. And we’ll open up a sensual playground to explore consensual, platonic touch! Nurturing, consensual touch has been shown to release compounds (i.e. oxytocin) which help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, and contribute to feelings of connection and emotional well-being. No one is required to touch another person in this workshop; you’re welcome to talk, cuddle, read a book, or observe– observation is full participation.
Intention Setting & Boundaries – Saturday Morning
Mmm, that glorious moment when we are giving exactly what our partner wants to be receiving! Sometimes we find that “sweet spot” spontaneously—but more often, we find it through clear communication and feedback. How many of us say “yes” to things we don’t actually want out of guilt or a fear of losing connection? In many ways, “no” is the most daring and intimate response possible – if I can hear your “no”, I can trust your “yes.” In this workshop, Sarah will lead us to establish intentions for Gender & Beyond, to meet & connect with our “pods” or family groups, and to practice finding the sweet spot of mutual “yes”– through a series of juicy, experiential exercises.
Being Human Together: Intimacy In Community – Saturday Afternoon
As human beings, we are social organisms with needs that extend far past our needs for food, sleep, and shelter; many of us share a need for Closeness. For intimacy. With discussion and experiential exercises, we will explore the facets of being human– from understanding emotions to navigating deep, satisfying connections. And together, we will open up a space of loving connection with ourselves and each other.
Wheel of Consent – Saturday Evening
It’s often apparent when observing physical interactions who is touching and who is being touched. But what happens when we expand and deconstruct the ideas of ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’ touch? It isn’t as straightforward as you might think! In this session, we will be exploring the dynamics of human interaction using touch as a model. We will talk about agreements, pleasure, and the gift of touch. You will learn how to increase awareness of your desires and limits along with how to communicate what you want. At the same time, you will make your own touch into a more present, satisfying and downright delicious experience. And nobody is required to touch another individual in this touch workshop
Sensual Space Orientation – Saturday Evening
The Sensual Space is a warm and inviting space to explore Connection & Intimacy by engaging all of the senses. This is a space to lounge together after spending the day learning communication and intimacy tools – the perfect place to practice communication and share affection in a relaxed and sex positive atmosphere. We will give an introduction to the space and we will practice the “Safe Sex Elevator Speech.”
Creating Relationship with Difficult Emotions: A Guided Meditation – Sunday Morning
This guided meditation is an adapted shamanic practice in which we invite, relate, and show generosity to our most difficult emotions, especially fear. No meditation experience is required; participants should arrive prepared to choose their level of depth and to examine challenging aspects of themselves/their lives.
Ecstatic Dance – Sunday Evening
“If you have a body, you are a dancer.”- Gabrielle Roth. Ecstatic Dance is a movement practice that leads us to open places in ourselves. It is a collective journey that sheds the layers of stress, judgment, and restriction to make space for inner clarity. Stillness. Motion. Intensity. Release. We invite all modes of expression and being in the space– from yoga, to meditation, to shaking, to rest. All bodies, movements, and sounds are welcome… as we find Ecstasy through Dance.
Narrative Medicine For Remembering Ourselves – Monday Morning
This ritual space, inspired by southern US storytelling traditions of enslaved African diaspora people, will use story remembering, reframing, and retelling to guide a power reclamation experience.
Authentic Relating Games – Monday Evening
Dawson Driver & Indigo Dawn
Who are you? Who am I? Who are we? In this high-energy, interactive workshop, we’ll explore the deep connection that comes from feeling truly seen. We will play a number of games aimed at fostering a better understanding of ourselves and others. We will practicing honesty and authenticity with others, so that we can learn to be honest and authentic with ourselves. Our time together will develop our empathy, strengthen our community and relationships, and help us gain a better understanding of our true selves.
Queerness and Sexuality – Tuesday Morning
Through experiential exercises, we will explore connection, kink, and sexuality in our gender-expansive, queer community!
Preemptive Radical Inclusion: advocating for self and other And Exploring our identity journeys through Theatre of the Oppressed – Tuesday & Wednesday Afternoon
Kerr Mesner & CB
In this collaborative workshop series, we make these assumptions about participants in Gender Camp:
We all want to make the world a better place – for us, for our peers, for others.
We all want to live in peace, to experience justice and well-being.
We all want to participate in creating justice and well-being for others.
And in a social world built on systems developed to maximize and maintain privilege for a few, these are complicated endeavors.
Last year in CB’s workshop we explored the ways we bear privilege even as we experience oppression in other ways and how to create inclusion for others in spaces we have some power in/authority over. And last year in Kerr’s workshop, we explored our identity journeys, using Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed activities.
This year we will examine the complexity of trans* / NB / genderqueer bodies in a world which privileges cisnormativity, whiteness, masculinity, ablebodiedness, middle and upper-class backgrounds and more as we focus on self-advocacy and bystander/ally actions.
For even as we may be marginalized or oppressed, we also have privilege and choices about acting. #PRI is a framework for creating just, whole and healthy communities. “Inclusion” is not the goal of PRI – it is a means to the goal, which is Justice and Equity.
We will explore this through conversation, ideas, concepts, and experiential activities from the Theatre of the Oppressed repertoire. Together, we will explore who we are as individuals and in community, and how we support and advocate for one another. You don’t need to have any theatre experience to participate in this workshop—this workshop is for all levels of experience and varying abilities.
Love Ceremony – Tuesday Evening
Allow us to invite you into a series of partnered and group interactions that will celebrate the divine in you and in your fellow participants. Beginning with ritually honoring one another, we will open up to emotional and physical intimacy. This love ceremony will focus on emotional intimacy, with the option to share loving, nurturing touch. All participants are always “at choice” to modify the interactions so that they are comfortable with them, or simply to witness.
Art, Music, and Contact Improv – Wednesday Morning
There lives inside of you an ever-burning flame; a noiseless song that your body sings. Have you ever stopped to listen? In this workshop, we will listen deeply to ourselves and others. We will craft visual art, music, and dances that exist to be felt and experienced rather than performed. We will play, express, and connect through art, music, and movement. We will speak without words.
Cabaret – Wednesday Evening
Come one, come all to the grassroots, Gender & Beyond CABARET!!!! Whether you’ve practiced your act a billion times or none, we want to spectate what you want to share! Come share that secret (or obvious) talent, that poem you wrote last year, that songs that brings you to tears, that ROFLMAO moment from earlier today, or whatever you’d like to share with our community!
Closing Circle – Thursday Afternoon
As our time together comes to a close, we will connect, reflect, say goodbye, and prepare to re-enter the mainstream world. What gifts will we bring with us from Gender & Beyond? What will we create in our lives and communities?