The Care We Dream Of
Liberatory and Transformative Approaches to LGBTQ+ Health
What if you could trust in getting the health care you need in ways that felt good and helped you thrive? What if the health system honoured and valued queer and trans people's lives, bodies, and expertise? What if LGBTQ+ communities led and organized our own health care as a form of mutual aid? What if every aspect of our health care was rooted in a commitment to our healing, pleasure, and liberation?
LGBTQ+ health care doesn't look like this today, but it could. This is the care we dream of.
The Care We Dream Of is not quite an essay collection, and not quite an anthology. Instead, it's a hybrid kind of book that weaves together the author's essays on topics like queering health and healing, transforming the health system, kinship, aging, and death, alongside stories, poetry and non-fiction pieces by Alexander McClelland and Zoe Dodd, Blyth Barnow, Carly Boyce, jaye simpson, Jillian Christmas, Joshua Wales, Kai Cheng Thom, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and Sand C. Chang. The book also includes interviews with activists, health care workers and researchers whose work offers insights into what liberatory and transformative approaches to LGBTQ+ health can look like in practice. Interviewees include Anita "Durt" O'Shea (of St. James Infirmary), Dawn Serra, Hannah Kia, Ronica Mukerjee, and Sean Saifa Wall.
The Care We Dream Of offers possibilities - grounded in historical examples, present-day experiments, and dreams of the future - for more liberatory and transformative approaches to LGBTQ+ health and healing. It challenges readers to think differently about LGBTQ+ health and asks what it would look like if our health care were rooted in a commitment to the flourishing and liberation of all LGBTQ+ people. This book is a calling out, a out, a calling in, and a call to action. It is a spell of healing and tranformation, rooted in love.
The Care We Dream Of instills the reminder that queers do, in fact, deserve better health care and are worthy of wholeness - an audacious and galvanizing guide for us to reclaim and reimagine our well beings. -Vivek Shraya, author of Death Threat and I'm Afraid of Men
I feel a kinship with everyone whose most relevant health care information comes, not from doctors, but through word-of-mouth. What I've learned about my diagnosis, medications and ongoing wellness, I've learned by talking with other disabled and ill queer and trans friends. The Care We Dream Of is like one of these vital conversations. Accessible and justice-minded health information is offered throughout these pages, most assuredly. There's also humour, front-line wisdom, hot takes, hard-earned truths, dreams and possibilities, and a lot of love. -Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler's Memoir and Sodom Road Exit
The Care We Dream Of conjures a bouquet of defiant, brilliant pieces that are provocative and profound, perverse and poignant. There's a powerful alchemy at play here that gave me glimpses of a tantalizing future where my friends, my loves, my chosen family, and myself get the lush, thriving care we deserve. I adore this urgent, unfettered book. -Hazel Jane Plante, author of Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian)
The Care We Dream Of is a rare thing: it weaves a beautiful account of what queer and trans flourishing might look like with a deeply pragmatic roadmap for how we might get there. Drawing on the wisdom of queer and feminist elders, doulas, harm reductionists, sex workers, femme geniuses, crip radicals, and intersex and trans activists, Sharman completely recalibrates our sense of what vibrant futures are possible when we divest from structures that perpetuate harm and dare to commit to an interdependent future where we live well, get old, and die surrounded by beloved community. This book provides a visionary blueprint for how we arrive at the multiple, collaborative, sexy, and radically just futures we deserve. -Hil Malatino, author of Trans Care and Queer Embodiment: Monstrosity, Medical Violence, and Intersex Experience