Pride Month is dedicated to uplifting LGBTQ voices, celebration of LGBTQ culture, and the support of LGBTQ rights.
I have been a part of AOMA since 2010, and I remember when I started my journey at AOMA I had the all-too-familiar worry of “will this be a safe place for me?”
Very quickly I learned that AOMA is not only a safe place for LGBTQ individuals, but it is also a place where people in the LGBTQ community can thrive.
In my experience, TCM in general, offers a safe and welcoming healing space for LGBTQ individuals.
In TCM there is the Yin-Yang Theory. While Yin is “feminine” and Yang is “masculine”, TCM is actually not a gender-binary form of medicine. The principles of Yin-Yang Theory make that clear:
- Opposition - There are two sides, (Yin and Yang) but the opposition is relative, not absolute.
- Interdependence - There is an inseparable relationship between two parts of a whole; Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other.
- Mutual Consumption – Yin and Yang are in a constant state of dynamic balance.
- Inter-transformation – Yin and Yang transform into each other.
Here we can see that Yin-Yang Theory is about a non-binary spectrum, much like how I associate with gender and sexuality. TCM sees individuals based upon the ever-changing, non-binary, endless variations that Yin and Yang can manifest and combine to create.
I was at a crossroads with my health in my mid-20s and TCM gave me hope when conventional medicine had left me hopeless. During my studies of this ancient wisdom medicine I not only learned how to be a practitioner and teacher in the field, I also grew in ways I never could have imagined. Studying TCM and working at AOMA was a huge part of my journey of awareness, understanding, and growth. Having a safe, LGBTQ-Affirming place to thrive was part of that.
The symbol of LGBTQ pride is a rainbow flag and each color has its own meaning:
Red = Life Force
Orange = Healing & Celebration
Yellow = Sunlight: New Ideas & Thoughts
Green = Nature: Prosperity & Growth
Blue = Serenity
Purple = Spirit
Black/Brown = People of Color & Inclusion
Light Blue/Pink/White = Trans Affirming
The rainbow flag is a visual reminder of the struggles and oppression that people in the community have faced and continue to face. However, the flag is also a sign of hope: no matter how you identify, the colors of the rainbow symbolize that you are included, you are welcome, and you are safe to be yourself, and are supported in your journey to thrive.