Saturday 11/21 — Body Empathy

Body Empathy:
A day of body mindfulness, gentle movement and writing for queer, genderqueer
and trans survivors of sexual trauma

Facilitated by Alex Cafarelli and Jen Cross
10am-4pm, Nov 21, 2009
At The Space, 4148 Mac Arthur Blvd., Oakland
(The Space is wheelchair accessible)

No previous experience necessary! Pre-registration required. Fee: $50-100,
sliding scale (Please check in with us if funds are an issue—payment plans are
always possible, and we may be able to work out trades or other arrangements
as well!) Please write to to register.

What if we could truly experience empathy for our bodies as they are – and
then, by extension, for ourselves, as we are?

As queer, genderqueer & trans survivors with a wide array of backgrounds and
identities in a sexuality-/gender-restrictive culture, our self-protective
tendency can be to “check out” by detaching mind from body to such great
degrees that it can be dangerous. Physical activity and writing are two ways
to check back in with your embodied self.

With deep respect for the privacy and variety in our personal experience of
gender expression and our individual histories, this workshop will create safe
space for participants to embrace our bodies as they are, and to write the
stories our bodies have been wishing to speak, while allowing possibility for
the integration of identity and physical presence. Using brief writing
exercises and low impact body mindfulness exercises derived from
improvisational theater, Zen meditation practice, and the internal Chinese
martial arts, participants will have the opportunity to fully embody our
gender complexity in a healing and playful environment.

The exercises we practice can be easily incorporated into our daily lives and
can enhance our ability to reflect mindfully on our experiences, while
interacting with others from a place of self-acceptance, internal power, and
confidence, as we move through the world as the fabulously feisty queer &
gender warriors we are…

Your facilitators:

Alex Cafarelli is a Jewish genderqueer femme trauma survivor with a background
in 17 years of martial arts training. Currently teaching body mindfulness
classes in Oakland, Alex also works as a gardener specializing in
drought-tolerant and edible landscapes, does Reiki/massage bodywork, and
develops and leads element-based rituals to support women, queers, transfolk,
and genderqueers in moving through transitions and healing from trauma. Cntact
Alex at

Jen Cross is a queer incest survivor and a widely-anthologized writer who has
facilitated survivors and sexuality writing workshops since 2002. She offers
two weekly AWA-method workshops (Write Whole: Survivors Write and Declaring
Our Erotic) in San Francisco. Fnd out more about Jen at or write her at

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