In Solidarity with Marquisele Mercedes, Lindley Ashline, Veronica Garnett, and ASDAH
To our friends and colleagues,
We are grateful to Marquisele Mercedes (Mikey), Lindley Ashline, Veronica Garnett, The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH), and others who are sharing their very clear experiences of harm with Lindo. Reading through and processing the many accounts this week put us right back in our own string of cringeworthy experiences with Lindo that led us to pull back from them years ago. When you add the intersections of race and fatness to these dynamics, it further amplifies the harm. We are angry, sad, and frustrated. We wish Lindo had used this moment to be in service of the movement, leverage their privilege and allowed marginalized voices to update and evolve the Health at Every Size book and tenets instead of believing that they should own that process.
These actions highlight a trend of people in our community wanting recognition without doing the work to develop and embody liberatory praxis. This is an invitation for the HAES community to break cycles of abuse, harm, and systemic oppression. We ask you to turn towards the scholarship of fat, BIPOC, and disabled folks to learn and unlearn. (See @NicolaHaggett’s “Body Lib Books” highlight)
Lindo is not the creator of HAES but authored a book about it. HAES is an offshoot from the labor and creative force and necessity of the fat acceptance movement, started by fat Black women (See @TheUnplugCollective post on 3/2/22). HAES often ends up representing the professionalization of the movement that has been attempting to confront and mitigate the systemic weight bias in healthcare and helping professions, and has not often been radical, inclusive or successful.
We need the people in our community, all steeped in unjust systems, to develop a liberatory analysis and strengthen their liberatory praxis. We hope there will be more opportunities for the HAES community to develop shared language and liberatory frameworks that aid in the repair and transformation of this community. See @FatMarquisele’s post on 3/13/22, What can we do?, for more direct actions.
We will be keeping an eye out for Lindo’s response, and paying attention to what happens next. Maintaining the status quo is not an option.
Thank you to Mikey, Lindley, Veronica, and ASDAH for the incredible amount of labor that went into navigating these experiences, crafting these responses, and weathering the aftermath. We see you and we are with you.
P.S. You can offer your gratitude and support to Mikey as they continue to navigate the aftermath of being the first to bravely step out publicly to expose and request accountability from Lindo regarding their unjust and long-standing harm in the HAES community.