I will start with some personal thoughts about why this work is so important to me.
Our bodies are our home. Yet our bodies take in our experiences and pain. As marginalized folx, our bodies take in the experience of being marginalized in society. Eating disorders are rampant in marginalized communities and yet current eating disorders treatment models are not geared for marginalized folx suffering from eating disorders. So the unhealing continues for marginalized folx.
As a cisgender able-bodied queer woman of color whose 10 year battle with anorexia nervosa was shaped by cultural and societal factors, I found it so hard to make meaning of my disorder because I did not have the vocabulary to bring in my culture. Perhaps because I did not value myself as a queer woman of color, I did not give myself permission to bring in my culture. Also my story did not mirror those I read in eating disorder textbooks and biographies when I began my recovery journey. After reading Becky Thompson’s “A Hunger so Wide and so Deep “, I began to read testimonials of diverse and queer women with eating disorders and could relate so deeply to how cultural and oppressive factors were so embedded in their experiences. These stories provided me the comfort and validation I needed to recover. I am also very privileged and was able to access eating disorders treatment for my recovery. And due to my proximity of whiteness, I was able to heal in the current eating disorders treatment model. This is not the case for too many marginalized folx who suffer needlessly from eating disorders. And this massive injustice in this field needs to be dismantled. Anybody suffering from an eating disorder deserves healing and we need to especially focus on our marginalized communities who continue to suffer from eating disorders.