Lalita Diaz Personal Reflections

Link to original FB post on January 20, 2023

After a year and a half of persistent effort, 3SC (Safer Sex-Positive & Spiritual Communities) is proud to announce the publication of our website, including a joint statement marking the conclusion of 30+ hours of mediation with ISTA, a comprehensive list of the changes ISTA made and is making in relation to our activism, and much more.

We know our work is not over, but we hope you’ll celebrate these massive milestones with us. We commit to hosting quarterly community forums, and are continuing to collect data to help promote repair, reduce harm, and proliferate trauma-informed best practices throughout our communities.

We want to express so much gratitude to the over 600 people who joined our initial Facebook group, the 60 people who revisited their own pain in order to submit an incident of harm report with us, and all those who supported us both privately and publicly.

This was a 100% grassroots volunteer labor endeavor. It truly took a village and more patience than I knew I had. Culture change is long, arduous work, and we could not have gotten this far without the support of the broader community!

Please help us share this good news and stay engaged on our website to continue to hold ISTA and all sex-positive and spiritual organizations accountable for keeping their members as safe as possible.

It is essential to the health of our society that people have safer spaces to explore their sexuality and spirituality. In order to do so, we must acknowledge and plan for the risks inherent to this type of exploration. We believe the best way to do this is with sustained community-wide dialogue and action rooted in transformative justice and trauma-informed principles. We hope you’ll join us!

Further Reflection

It’s been a challenging week since going public with 3SC’s website. While it’s sweet to receive lots of celebration and gratitude, it’s incredibly hard to hold the critiques even if they are coming from people and places we expected.

It’s hard because we hold many of those same critiques about ourselves, but are also proud of what we have accomplished so far. We see this as a milestone, not an end point and yet it feels like people are more than willing to judge the product without leaning in with curiosity about the process we have been in and where we plan to go next or why.

The hardest critique to stomach is that somehow we didn’t center the survivors enough in this process. And while I can empathize with that perception and there’s always room for improvement, it is a gut punch, when the person who put in the most hours and most intense emotional labor into this project is a survivor herself, unwavering in her commitment to all of those who have endured harm at the hands of ISTA or similar organizations.

Having just barely emerged from a year of mediation, we are a bit out of breath. That part of this already difficult journey required so much stamina and persistence, but also compassion and compromise. It was emotionally and psychological demanding on a level I have not experienced before.

Transformative justice is a long and slow process, it is riddled with uncertainty and requires deep personal emotional work to step into a place of collaboratively creating solutions with the very people you are angry with. The thing that makes it the most difficult is also what makes it powerful, beautiful, and effective.

We need a moment to celebrate what we accomplished, rest, and recharge for the next leg of the journey, which is our first quarterly community forum we are planning for March.

We need more people to get involved and help with the understanding that 3SC’s work is not purely about ISTA, but about a deep need for change in our broader community in regard to how we share power and solve problems together in order to makes sure people have access to safer places to explore and seek healing around their sexuality and spirituality.

If you feel inspired to help, please share our website in your networks, and click on the link below to let us know if you are interested in attending or helping organize our community forum, or survivor support group. While Facebook can be a great tool for activism, in order to build on the changes we’ve already made, we need more actual hands and voices to join us.