MAnifesto //

Adelaide Matthew Dicken & Mel mcintyre

Image from workshop during Show don’t Tell at the 8th floor/rubin foundation. Mel and Adelaide sit in conversation with six workshop participants while attendees write ideas on butcher paper.    image courtesy of the 8th Floor/Rubin foundation

Image from workshop during Show don’t Tell at the 8th floor/rubin foundation. Mel and Adelaide sit in conversation with six workshop participants while attendees write ideas on butcher paper.

image courtesy of the 8th Floor/Rubin foundation

We are two fat organizers who connected in efforts to create democratic popular education spaces in New York City. One of us is a trans woman who rarely accesses group fitness space; the other has relied on intensive body movement practices and study to live with disability. We hold circles to participate in realizing the construction of a green, worker cooperative gym. 

We imagine spaces for gathering and wellness in which trans people and disabled folx are more than “included” or “accommodated.” We recognize that many fitness institutions are struggling to repair their violent reproduction of militaristic “training” for bodies “fit” for participation in white supremacist patriarchy, reification of the gender binary, and the exclusivization of public space. We believe that people organizing movements for trans & disability justice must be at the center of all spaces of healing. In the liberated wellness spaces of the future, our communities will have access to entire buildings in which we lead autonomous, consentful, worker-owned processes for community care. 

As we dream of these spaces-to-be, we hold the following values:

  • trans and disabled people, particularly queer people of color, are at the center: as both leaders and participants

  • materials can be reappropriated and reused

  • worker-owners are paid equitably, acknowledging the historical exploitation of the labors of trans & disabled people

  • bodies move together: we heal both through individual -body movement but collectively as co-shapers of movements for social transformation

  • fuck body shaming. Our spaces strive to be joyful, creative, and provide sanctuary for rest.