Queering Psychedelics II, a two-day conference from Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, will take place on April 22 and 23 at San Francisco’s Brava Theater Center (2781 24th St.). The conference, a part of Chacruna’s Women, Gender Diversity, and Sexual Minorities speaker series, highlights the voices of queer visionaries within the psychedelic community, and examines the history and future of psychedelics from queer and non-binary perspectives from over 40 speakers.
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — The collection is already being hailed for creating an inclusive space in psychedelic medicine and culture. “Queering Psychedelics performs an absolutely vital task in analyzing the perils and promise of psychedelic medicine and experiences for LGBTQIA+ people and communities,” Hannah McLane MD, MA, MPH, Founder, SoundMind Institute wrote. “The in-depth, multifaceted approach brought by its many talented contributors serves to expand the horizon of what is possible in this rapidly evolving field. There is wisdom for everyone to learn in this approach towards liberation.”
The conference also celebrates and continues conversations from the edited collection Queering Psychedelics: From Oppression to Liberation in Psychedelic Medicine, edited by Alex Belser, Ph.D., Clancy Cavnar, Psy.D., and Bia Labate, Ph.D. The collection, published in December 2022 by Synergetic Press, illuminates the central role queer folks have shaped the psychedelic movement, and the harm caused by its heteronormative applications. It also integrates Indigenous outlooks on psychedelics, gender roles, and identity and seeks to ally them with the struggles of other marginalized groups. The authors include queer academic researchers, LGBTQIA+ clinicians, Indigenous two-spirit activists, transgender autodidacts, and queer neo-shamans. They will make up the roster of conference presenters, alongside many other BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ speakers.
Many of the contributors, including collection editors, will present over the course of the conference. Dr. Belser’s session, “Dear Straight Psychonauts: An Open Letter to Cishet Folks in the Psychedelic Community from a Queer Researcher,” calls for a reckoning in the psychedelic world. Belser focuses on psychedelic conversion therapy and calls for the formation of a Psychedelic Conversion Survivors project to collect histories of people who went through this therapy from the 1950s-70s, and to support those who have experienced homophobic and transphobic treatment in contemporary retreat centers and other settings.
Dr. Cavnar’s talk will share her personal experience of being a queer American woman in a traditional Brazilian ayahuasca church, where she found acceptance not extended to her in other parts of the culture. The talk will more broadly examine gay people’s experiences with ayahuasca and its effect on their perception of identity, as well as the role that culture and religion play in shaping psychedelic experiences.
Other presenters include Behike Sensei Kevon Sampson, speaking on the return of ancestral tools and rituals to BIPOC urban communities; joie wolf w-m-n on radical queer group psilocybin retreats; Courtney Waston on ketamine for queer and BIPOC healing; Emma Knighton on kink-informed consent in psychedelic-assisted therapy; Taylor Dahlia Bolinger on transgender activism in the psychedelic space; Diana Quinn on astrologically-informed psychedelic journeys; and a conversation between Ariel Vegosen (Gender Illumination) and David Bronner (Dr. Bronner’s) on psychedelic healing and gender liberation. Other topics include: queer eroticism; psychedelic harm reduction for the queer community; spiritualy of the queer African diaspora; BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ intersectionality, networks of queer psychedelic facilitators and trainers, queer psychedelic veteran storytelling, and many others.
The conference offers three tracks for participants, all of which centralize the continued presence and radical potential of queer psychedelia. Conference passes are on sale now and start at $250. Learn more about the conference and register here.
Lorien Chavez, Chacruna Institute, 1 937-823-2512, [email protected]
SOURCE Chacruna Institute