When I first started doing readings professionally in the early 90's, I still had to do the Pronoun Game with some of my clients. "So this person that you love, they have feelings for you but they aren't able to....." A few times, I would just stop in the middle of the reading and say, "Ok, can we just talk about this?" I was always very cautious, though, because coming out is personal, and some folks have been afraid for their lives for their ENTIRE lives, and you just don't out someone (even to themselves). You just don't.
As the decades have gone by, it's been more and more important to me to be a strong advocate for the queer community. I've done a lot of readings for folks who are transitioning, and who are struggling with family issues because of their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression. Tarot readers are able to see people - really see people. We can be a safe place for folks to explore feelings and experiences that are difficult to navigate alone.
I think that we have a responsibility to our community to welcome those on the margins. Tarot readers are weirdos, after all, but we are weirdos with power. I encourage my fellow readers to use their power for good and to be a strong voice, advocate and ally to the Queer community.
Here are a few ways we can do just that:
1. Use deck with queer imagery.
2. Have numbers for crisis hotlines at hand when you do readings:
- http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ 866-488-7386
- https://www.translifeline.org/ US: (877) 565-8860 Canada: (877) 330-6366
- http://www.glbthotline.org/talkline.html 1-800-246-7743
- http://www.glbthotline.org/national-hotline.html 1-888-843-4564
3. Educate yourself.
If you are not comfortable with or familiar with the language associated with LGBTQ folks, do some research. http://www.hrc.org/resources/glossary-of-terms
4. Study the cards through a new perspective.
Beth Maiden and crew from Little Red Tarot have a great series called Queering the Tarot. This series by Cassandra Snow looks at each card through a queer lens.
5. Remember, your job is to LISTEN and give your clients a safe space to express themselves.
Just listen. Just be there. That means the world.