As healers, being welcoming and open-minded is an important quality and one we all recognise and no doubt strive to create.
There are specific things we can do to ensure we adopt an inclusive approach when working with clients one to one or in healing centres, in person or online.
Adopt inclusive language
This means not using gendered words or hetero-mono-normative vocabulary. In other words, don’t assume you know the gender of the person you are talking to. Avoid assuming they are heterosexual and monogamous. They may not be. An easy way to greet people, especially in a group setting is to use inclusive non-gendered language such as: ‘Hello folks, Welcome all, Hi everyone.’
If you are unsure how to address the person, use their chosen name and ask them what pronouns they use and then use them!
Describe their role not their assumed gender – be inclusive not assumptive
A client came into the healing centre (not ‘a lady’ came into the centre)
In the shop a customer said to me (not ‘a man’ said to me)
A student asked me (not ‘a girl’ asked me)
Learn the terminology
If you have a regular client who is gender diverse, and/or part of the Queer community, it is a good idea to become familiar with terminology. Do your own research. Don’t rely on the client to educate you. That is not their role. It can be exhausting for people continually explain things when the internet will give you all the information you could ever need. As a practitioner it’s your role to find out!
Adopt a non-binary mindset to be inclusive of all genders and sexual orientations
Understand that gender is a landscape and not a choice of only male or female. To be inclusive of all clients it is essential to recognise that there are many gender identities, including intersex folks (1.7% of the UK population are recorded as intersex at birth but this is likely to be higher as intersex characteristics may not appear until puberty.) Therefore, addressing people as ‘sir or madam’ or saying “ladies and gentlemen” is exclusionary to gender diverse people. Please don’t do this!
If we want to shine a light of love, inclusion, welcome, peace and bring healing to all beings, then how we speak to people is important.
If you would like more support, information or guidance on how to be an inclusive healer, please feel free to contact me. I have lived experience as a non-binary healer who is frequently mis-gendered.
I am happy to support and guide healers and student healers in adopting an inclusive approach.
Many blessings, Pip Lee Meer (They/ Them)