Crossing 'Borders': social and psychic costs

Crossing 'Borders': social and psychic costs


People who are part of less privileged groups can try to pass to gain privilege or people can have been part of less privileged groups and and still feel connected to them.

Being in more privileged groups (eg. those who were unemployed and now are employed) or passing(being GNC and passing as a binary gender) can have psychic costs and social advantages like gaining or losing friends (those who are unemployed). You might question your identity and your authenticity. Did you feel guilty about these advantages? Did you lose contact with the people or identity you left behind. How did you retain that contact or identity in the face of the pressure to pass or acclimate to your new status. We want to open up a space to share experiences of dealing with these issues. What borders have you crossed and what did you give up or retain and how did you determine where the border was? These borders are “thresholds” that result in gaining a certain level of acceptance and safety.

And considering intersectionality, multiple borders can be crossed together. (eg. a GNC person who passes as a binary gender who use hearing aids who passes as hearing and deals with psychosis and tries to pass as sane) There are also people who can’t pass and the effect we have on them.

You might be a :

  • GNC who is trying to pass as a binary gender/
  • Gay person trying to pass as straight/
  • Lesbian trying to pass as straight/
  • Trans who is trying to pass as CIS/
  • Neurodiverse person (autistic, OCD, ADHD) trying to pass as Neurotypical/
  • Mad (psychosis, voice hearer, anxious, etc) trying to pass as sane/
  • person who is undocumented trying to pass as a citizen/
  • person who deals with trauma(sex/murder/relationship/family/etc) who tries cope with it rather than asserting boundaries or requesting accommodations.
  • person who was born into a caste trying to pass as uncasted or a higher caste
  • Person who have hearing loss and tries to pass as hearing
  • Person who has illiterate and tries to pass as literate
  • Person who appears white and tries to pass as white
  • Person trying to pass as more able-bodied/
  • Person who feels pressure to comply with varying self repression that may come from forced social acclimation.

You might be a:

  • person who was fat and now is not fat/
  • person who was poor and is not poor/
  • person who was unhoused who is now housed/
  • person who was undocumented who is now a citizen/
  • person who was taught to appreciate the natural female body and now chooses to wear makeup/
  • person who was taught to appreciate your natural hair and now choose to wear westernized styles/
  • Person who was incarcerated and now is in the community
  • Person who had a visible disability and its not visible or cured
  • Person who didn’t use hearing aids and who now uses them
  • Person who served in combat and now is in civilian life
  • Person who lived in a war zone and now lives in more stable society
  • Person who experienced depression and now doesn’t.
  • Person who experienced active substance use issues and now practices harm reduction and/or abstinence


General Breakdown:

  • our project introduction

  • shared reading of our Community Agreements

  • group Introductions and Safety Guidelines

  • Group Discussion

  • Movement Activity

  • Sharing of support and resources

  • Closing Activity

  • Check Out

TRANSPARENCY: Though we are committed to collective liberation and are a mixed race collective, our history has traditionally brought in white, middle class people. In order to protect Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC) from tokenization and psychic harm, we as a collective commit to prioritizing the needs of QTPOC in our public events and promoting QTPOC leadership in our collective. We acknowledge the emotional labor that QTPOC may perform in these spaces, which often go unrecognized. Therefore, we want white cisgender people to independently undo racism, gender binarism / sexism, while remaining accountable to QTPOC. We are currently engaging in an ongoing process of integrating these goals internally within our organization, among our mixed race organizers, and within the structuring of our external events. *

ACCESS ISSUES: The space is accessible for wheelchair users but does not have a bathroom for wheelchair users. We use mics to support people who are hard of hearing.

Bluestockings is wheelchair accessible, with no steps or platforms, and wide aisles between shelves. Our bathroom is not wheelchair accessible. There is a Starbucks two short blocks down the street with an accessible bathroom (at Allen and Delancey). Metered street parking is readily available in the blocks surrounding Bluestockings. Bluestockings is not a scent-free space, but we encourage visitors to please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products (including essential oils) and smoke far away from the entrance to the space.

And then we’ll hang out for a little while and be gone until another month. Make sure to sign-up for the mailing list at the event or email

NYC Icarus FB event

NYC Icarus website

DATE: Jun. 5th, 2019

TIME: 7pm

LOCATION: Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St, Manhattan

Hope to see you there! Mad love, Icarus Project NYC