Part 1 – Together, Whatever, Whoever
This is our guide on how the Limelight Faeries can be the most loving, inclusive and authentic Radical Faeries we can be.
We aim to create a loving community which embraces diversity and is radically inclusive of everyone regardless of age, gender, sex, identity, race, ethnic origin, financial ability and spiritual path.
We support the individual’s right to self-determination and embrace the idea that we are each free to identify exactly how we choose.
We aim to create a space where faeries are free to express themselves whilst being mindful and respectful of other people’s boundaries. Limelight celebrates open expressions of sexuality in ways which are consensual and cause no harm.
We want to nurture a space for expression of all ideas including those which may be considered challenging by some. We recognise that personal growth happens best in a loving community and in the tension between safety and challenge. We think compromise is sexy and want to encourage ourselves to maintain healthy boundaries and also to feel safe to stretch and take risks.
Sometimes we need to acknowledge and celebrate each other’s differences (whether this be body type, genitals or sexual orientation) for us to be radically inclusive. To this end, we acknowledge that sometimes we all interact together and at others we might flourish in separate groups we are more comfortable in.
Part 2 – Responding to Community Conflict
Limelight is a safe place but counterintuitively there will be times when we need to be courageous in experiencing pain, hurt, confusion and triggers in order to grow and experience new things, to challenge ourselves and to encourage our community towards radical love and radical acceptance.
In any community of humans with flaws and emotional trauma who are seeking to be open, vulnerable and intimate with each other, there will come moments where each of us experiences negative emotions. Sometimes that maybe as a result of something that another member of the community has said or done that we have perceived as hurtful, triggering or unjust.
We should remember that our beautiful community is comprised of people from various and diverse backgrounds. We should also acknowledge some of our own possible biases and privileges and try not to take offence if a behaviour of ours is ‘called out’ by someone.
At Limelight, we aim to offer as much tolerance as we can reasonably manage without depleting ourselves.
We have all experienced situations where something has been said in a group situation and someone has quickly responded (perhaps stating there should be no tolerance for xenophobia) for example “You said X and that’s offensive to the Y folk”.
As a first step we encourage the individual who feels hurt to take a moment, or as long as necessary to pause, reflect, experience and validate the emotion. We ask the person to adopt an inquisitive approach and to ask themselves several questions:
“Where might that remark/behaviour have come from, why would they say/do that”?
“Could I have misunderstood it, could it possibly be interpreted differently”?
“How much can I tolerate this hurt in order to honour another person’s freedom and at what point do I need to challenge what was said”?
It may also be helpful for the person to discuss their concerns with another community member at this point to help make sense of their reactions and possible responses and to seek external and (hopefully) unbiased feedback before confrontation.
If it is determined that a response of some kind is necessary, it is suggested that this is conducted in private, whether this be face to face or via social media/email.
Suggestions on Responding
- Respond when you are calm and centred, not when you are tired and angry etc;
- Keep the response concise and related to the present and specific behaviour in question and don’t bring up things from the past;
- Use “I” statements & remember that your feelings are 100% your own responsibility;
- Be inquisitive first rather than accusatory;
- Be assertive in your response (not aggressive nor deferential).
In situations where the aforementioned options have been tried and a satisfactory resolution has not been found, we suggest a process of informal mediation. We recommend that each party has the option to identify an advocate (this can be anyone, not necessarily from our community) and a mediator who is an established faerie community member. Each of the parties should initially meet separately with their advocate and mediator and then at a later date both parties and their advocates and mediators should meet together to find a suitable resolution.
Autumnal Equinox 2019