The Queer Spirit Podcast

Episode 24:
Reframing Activism & Self-care
with Dean Spade



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Dean Spade is a writer, professor, and activist, who has been part of struggles against policing, prison, immigration enforcement and poverty for the last two decades. In 2002, he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a non-profit collective that provides free legal help to low-income people and people of color who are trans, intersex and/or gender non-conforming and works to build trans resistance rooted in racial and economic justice. He is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law.

Episode Highlights

  • Dean shares how he first came to studying law through witnessing law enforcement from the perspective of queer activism in NYC.
  • He then started teaching law as a way to create change from the foundation of the legal world.
  • We discuss his forthcoming book, “It’s Not You, It’s Everybody,” which is a self help book for people who want to change the world. It looks at the way that capitalism and hetero-patriarchy contribute to stress, and how we can bring communal healing to activist individuals and groups.
  • We explore the difference between self-help, self-care and expanding those practices to groups and communities.
  • Dean talks about being conscious of your autopilot behaviors, and how they are supportive and detrimental to your wellbeing.
  • He shares new and radical ideas about self-care, challenging the capitalist and escapist ideas of self-care.
  • Dean asks, How do we cultivate an economy of care? How can you be well while being of service?
  • We talk about the different kinds of self-care which might not be what most think of.


Web links



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