Mycelium “grows underground in thread-like formations. It connects roots to one another and breaks down plant material to create healthier ecosystems. Mycelium is the largest organism on earth.”
–adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy
Mycelium is a group of queer & trans youth across what is currently known as BC, who connect to center healing, pleasure, and justice in our lives as we envision and create a world liberated from HIV & Hep C stigma.
It is through the incredible innovation and contributions of youth leading the HIV and Hep C movement, past and present staff and volunteers at YouthCO, that the Mpowerment program takes a step forward to refine our alignment with the needs and experiences of our communities. We are excited to continue to build community this new year with careful attention placed on areas of our work that we would like to see grow and flourish and to lay down the ways of relating to community that no longer serve us. Beginning this next chapter with all of you, the Mycelium team is excited to share what we are choosing to carry into 2021.
Strengthening reliable spaces for all queer & trans youth
Focusing on fostering meaningful relationships with the depth, care, and commitment to one another that builds larger networks of care, trust, and deepens an understanding of ourselves and each other.
Decolonizing narratives of HIV & Hep C in our communities.
Enacting the Principles of Harm Reduction, which includes destigmatizing drug use and other forms of pleasure and centering harm reduction strategies in all aspects of our lives.
Advocating for the decriminalization of HIV, sex work, and drug use and the end to surveillance and police brutality towards our communities.
Curating moments for joy, celebration, and magic.
Building our skills in transformative justice to decrease harm in challenging conversations on consent, disclosure, boundaries, and what we need from our community to thrive.
We choose to unpack the culture of stigma that surrounds HIV and Hep C because we know that HIV and Hep C are no longer solely responsible for death in our communities. We know that today we are living during a time when the knowledge and resources available to respond to HIV and Hep C in our communities is abundant.
However, the stigma of HIV and Hep C continues to keep us from getting the adequate access to care and support that we need to thrive. Directly linked to access are the ways heterosexism, cissexism, and white supremacy show up in our communities and healthcare spaces maintaining a disproportionate representation of HIV and Hep C in our communities.
As queer & trans youth, HIV positive and negative, we are committed to leaning into the nuances, fluidity, breadth, and complexity of our experiences outside of colonial-imagined binaries. This includes being clear and well informed on how HIV & Hep C are passed, while working to take down the systems that are responsible for the ongoing death in our communities.
We choose healing, we choose harm reduction, we choose pleasure as our approach. 2020 has taught us the power of slowing down and getting real in our relationships and finding the exponential potential when we shift some of our focus from the mighty challenges before us to our every day practices where relationships, trust, honesty, accountability, consent and responsibility to each other have the power to transform and liberate us.