Decolonizing Love (May 2018)


Decolonizing Love (May 2018)


Creating the Kind of Relationships We Want

Ever feel like your head and heart are at war? Ever wrestle with who and how you're allowed to love (or not)? Feeling torn about loving yourself? All of that is the direct result of colonization. Misogyny, objectification, fetishism, exoticism, monogamy-as-standard. All colonization. This course is about getting to the heart of your love and rejecting colonization's stronghold on our relationships.

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Dates: Wednesdays, May 9, 16, 23, and 30
Time: 7:30pm-9:30pm
Location: SE Uplift || 3534 SE Main St
$192. Scholarships available.

Your love has been hacked.

The narratives of who and how to love (including ourselves!) were written not for us, but for the benefit of those writing them. That means our stories have been written by colonizers, conquerors, and tyrants. Or, rather, those people in power have tried to write our stories for us. But we can push back and set our own rules for love and relationships.

Ever wrestle with yourself over who you're attracted to, or what you want in your life? Does it seem like you're contradicting yourself time and time again with your desires and love? This course is about undoing all of that. Complexity and nuance are included. Side effects may include peace of mind, clarity, and the safety to love wholeheartedly.

This course is inspired by a talk given by the writer Junot Diaz about love and privilege. "We are never going to get anywhere as long as our economies of attraction continue to resemble, more or less, the economy of attraction of white supremacy." 

Check it out here: 

Note: We are aware of the recent accusations against Junot Diaz. This course was heavily inspired by his idea of "decolonial love," and we felt it important not to erase his work from the course. Instead, we will acknowledge and discuss how celebrity and power and status play into this situation, addressing it head-on instead of pretending it never happened. This course was never about heroes; it was always going to be about us.  

Week 1: Why. “What’s interesting is how many of us are aware of the systems that invite us to tyrannize other people and help tyrannize us.” - Junot Diaz. Why did this happen? (Colonialism.) Why is this up to us? (Collectivism.) Why do I feel alone in this inquiry, and consequently, wrong/deviant? (Individualism.) Why does it really seem like my beliefs are both real and yet contradictory? (Authoritarianism.) Why do white guys seem to like Asian women so often? (Exoticism.) We’ve got questions. Lots of questions. We'll dive into them.

Week 2: What. “The funny thing about our privileges is that we all have a blindspot around our privileges shaped exactly like us.” - Junot Diaz. What is love? What’s the big deal? What are we wrestling with? What are we missing? What’s alright? (Hint: you and everything about you) What’s not alright? (Hint: Feeling less or more than anyone else) 

Week 3: Who, Where. “In this kind of work, most of the ground breaking occurs inside of you.” - Junot Diaz. Who am I attracted to? Who am I under so many imposed filters and narratives? Who are you to me? Where do we go next? Where does this all lead? New lenses and filters mean new questions and new horizons.

Week 4: How. “Part of the problem with many of our movements is that we’re still using a lot of the privileges that we’re fighting against.” -Junot Diaz. How will decolonizing love look in my relationships? How do I decolonize in my whole life? How do I share this revolution with others? How do we keep practicing decolonization in our daily lives? How do we do it together?


Byron Go is the founder of Human Is A Verb, a facilitator for Startingbloc, a fellowship for the future of leadership, and a life coach. He loves wrestling with complexity and nuance, living the questions of life, and you. Yes, you.