For the Fall 2019 Doula Maternal Support Practitioner Program Scholarship at bebo mia inc we had some amazing applicants and are thrilled to present our winners’ submissions. With the help of some incredible sponsors like Olivia Scobie & community partners, we were able to offer 8 full scholarships and 8 partial Scholarships to our combined fertility, birth and postpartum doula training – all hand-selected by our very own Scholarship Committee!
We’re thrilled to introduce you to the recipient of The Queers for Queer Care Award, king yaa. The Queers for Queer Care Award recognizes a person who self-identifies as being a part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and who also plans to serve 2SLGBTQIA+ clients. The recipient’s business plan will use their intimate understanding of the challenges that 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals face helping them navigate healthcare systems that are commonly cisgender and heteronormative, to ensure that their clients are treated with dignity and respect throughout their journey of reproductive health, birth, and parenting.
Hey. My name is king yaa (always lower case). I’m a black, queer, gender non-conforming/non-binary, intersectional feminist being currently occupying space in Cape Town, South Africa.
My work centres queer and trans folx wellness as a form of resistance through body and gender-affirming bodywork therapist, movement specialist, somatic coach and now as a full-spectrum doula.
I applied for the Maternal Support Practitioner Program scholarship so that I could further develop foundational knowledge to support pregnant, birthing people or those family building using ways that make sense for them, through all outcomes.
I checked out bebo mia’s website and was pleased with their intentionality towards inclusivity in birth work training. For my own wellbeing, I am mindful of where I place myself for learning and to limit my exposure to environments that can potentially feel harmful and toxic, and yah, the feeling that I got from the site led me to imagine bebo mia as welcoming and intentional. I was also pleased to see that Trystan Reese, who I respect as a human, educator and activist, was involved in some capacity. I was also impressed with the level of giving back that bebo mia offers to remove financial barriers from access to training. These are all very important to me.
So, I don’t just want to be a doula. I am specifically interested in supporting sexually and gender diverse people, witnessing, advocating and supporting beings whose bodies and reproductive agency have been erased or threatened or problematized. This birth work is an important and natural extension of my current passion and dedication to supporting queer wellness with affirmation and dignity. And it must also be intersectional, holding space for beings and the myriad of ways that they have experienced multiple layers of trauma and oppression.
I believe that globally, and specifically in South Africa, there are real and complex barriers for many queer and trans people to even consider family building. I know that reproductive health care providers generally operate from a cisgender heterosexual normative perspective. And personally, as a person who has been pregnant, birthed children and requires routine visits to gynecologists, I am well aware of how daunting and often traumatizing it is to access this care for many folx who are not heterosexual and actually violent for those not cisgender. And how does this manifest itself in delayed and/or unresolved reproductive health care?
I will continue to offer LGBTQ+ cultural sensitivity training to intentional HCP, and I am especially keen to specifically more birth workers with developing these necessary competencies. I have recently started a peer support group for LGBTQ+ folx who are family building as well as starting a community to support other queer birth workers. At this point, I have prioritized the need to do this community building so that more folx can see what their options are and also to support more birth workers to have the competencies to be safe service providers for them.
I see my place in birth work as supporting trans, queer and non-binary fertility, childbirth education, birthing/adoption and the 4th trimester, as well as end of pregnancy support.
View more about our Maternal Support Practitioner Program
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