Not Seeing Difference

One of my favourite parts of this year's Swordsquatch was being on the Making HEMA Awesome for Everyone panel with my fantastic colleagues Isaiah Baden-Payne, Beth Hammer, and Shane Malone. The goal was to talk about diversity and inclusion in the HEMA community in concrete, actionable terms, and to share our success stories of building … Continue reading Not Seeing Difference

Big Gay Sword Day and Celebration vs Struggle

Last weekend's big event for Valkyrie WMAA, Big Gay Sword Day, was created in a moment of frustration. Someone had posted in one of the biggest online HEMA forums and asked a simple question: were there any HEMA events aimed at members of the LGBTQ community? The resulting conversation thread was a shitshow. People scoffed … Continue reading Big Gay Sword Day and Celebration vs Struggle

Queer Toughness

I had a really great conversation after today's self defense talk that solidified a lot of floating ideas I had about why we need queer spaces for teaching this stuff. One of the things we discuss a lot in the "observation" material of our talks is body language. How unconscious cues can betray a person's … Continue reading Queer Toughness

This Pride Season

I've always had an arms-length relationship with Pride. As a teenager who thought she was straight, I didn't think Pride was for me. My social circle was aggressively heterosexual and often consumed by petty teen rivalries over boys, and we saw Pride parades as cool things happening somewhere outside of our bubble of interests. I … Continue reading This Pride Season

On Making My Martial Arts School a “Safe Space”

I've been thinking a lot lately about "safe spaces". Between constant articles about coddled university students who want to be protected at all costs from the real world, a recent blowup in the online HEMA community about letting Neo-Nazis air their views in martial arts forums, and the needs I've seen brought up in my … Continue reading On Making My Martial Arts School a “Safe Space”