Yesterday, The Womanity Project invited Lala as our guest on our daily check-in! Thank you, Lala, for coming on and telling it like it is!
Lala reminded us to check on those we love. She shared her realization that “situations like these show you who is truly going to be there, who actually called to check on me.” Lala chooses to take this time as one of reflection on how to care for yourself in terms of the people you surround yourself with. She chooses to take this Womanity Check-in time to discuss the true concerns of COVID-19.
She starts off by letting us into her confinement situation. Lala lives alone, her work, for which she holds great passion, cannot be done properly merely from her home. She is the kind of woman who needs to get out there and fight against anti-LGBTQ+ policies.
“the way that I combat things has completely changed…our work does not stop”
It’s important to try and stay active, she tells us, expressing her efforts to try and put in place better habits for herself during this time. She admits to not being “a stay at home person…”
Lala feels for the many people who are having a very hard time. As a trans woman, she thinks of the “trans folk that are alone.” Going on to remind us of the “folks who are incarcerated, the folks who are undocumented, she emphasizes that “incarcerated ppl are basically in solitary confinement” as to prevent the spread of the virus. As much as we are concerned about our families and ourselves, we should still be “feeling for other people as well.” She stresses that “as a taxpayer, I believe that they have rights, and that they should be cared for, that they should not be mistreated, and that the officers should have the resources to be safe.”
“everyone is human and even in this moment, regardless of what ppl have done, they are still human and as humans we need to make sure they are ok”
Our guest gets emotional as she touches on the simplicity of “having more compassion for people, allowing your heart to have more compassion,” to be able to care for others. “Ugh i just cry thinking about it,” what humanity needs is “compassion for people who just have no one.” She “tosses and turns about at night” over the fear that some people are “combatting this alone.” “They’re thinking about what am i going to eat today, and where am i going to flee, that’s the reality for a lot of people… those are the folks that I just pray about everyday…and unfortunately many of those people are part of the LGBTQ+ community”
Lala urges parents that are at odds w their LGBTQ+ children to “reach out to them,” saying, “if you have thrown out your child, ask them what they need, if you’re able to give them a place to stay, if you are able to send them money…”
“it’s a time for people to check their biases”
During this time it is necessary to prioritize our humanity as wellness for ourselves and others, “at this point anyone of us van live with this reality, no one is exempt, if you’re rich, your’e poor, you’re black, you’re white, you’re queer, you’re disabled, you’re a drugdealer, you’re a sex worker, you are a person, no one is exempt from getting this.”
For Lala, having a routine and working outside of her home, keeps her sane. Effectively “quarantining yourself is also imprisoning yourself.” In order to keep up a semblance of normal life she makes it a key part of her day to keep in touch with the people that “need to hear from” her. She makes sure “to at least go outside,” by thinking of something she needs for her cupboards. She takes this time as an opportunity to support herself and to be kind to herself in thinking “I can’t do everything but I do try to check in with folks of the community when I can…but I also have to take care of myself.” She lets us know that she’s “always put over people first, but in this situation, it is affecting [her] health”
We are currently all sitting still as opposed to our usual movemented lives, especially as New Yorkers. “Your body” begins to “ache” for all the “staying still.” Despite it being hard to remain inside without real life social interactions, Lala tries to push herself to do some spring cleaning, for instance.
Aurelie calls on Lala’s friends and family to “to pick their phone, call, and take care” of her, but also “for people to do that with everybody.” Lala shares she has found to connect with her people amidst this social distancing era: “zoom happy hour, play games, some people wanted to do karaoke.” She urges all of us to share resources, advice and check-in to “hear how over people make it through the day.” She tells us, if we have food ressources, to share them, simply…
to do “any old thing but to do something outside of yourself”
Lala believes that “the reason that we’re in this rut” has to do with our consistent lack of humanity.
“We’ve been so out of tune with being humane with each other” but “this situation can help us understand that we’re all human and we need to be humane with each other.” She calls on our humanity to manifest itself and to challenge ourselves to be more humane in having more compassion as opposed to only caring “when it hits you personally” because “that’s when it gets real.”
She mentions the “people who get hospitalized” and how their family members are forced “to find a virtual way to connect with them…the situation is different ” than usual times in which we may go visit our ill family members. The questions become “how can we support them” and “how can you step up to be a human to this person in our life.”
“check in with folks”
Aurelie introduces Lala to her famous Rant & Rave activity which consists of ranting for a minute straight then raving for another. This activity is meant to allow one to acknowledge and validate their feelings of anger and sadness, all the while uplifting themselves by expressing gratefullness for the wonders in their life.