GDX Prioritises Feminist Rest

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In building on GDX’s commitment to creating an inclusive feminist environment that supports individual, collective and organisational wellness; and an environment of care, healing, and mutual accountability the organisation will be taking a mid-year break from 4 – 10 July 2022. This Feminist Rest week builds on GDX’s existing staff wellness strategy which includes the provisioning of gender affirming hormonal care support to trans and gender diverse identifying members of staff. These initiatives are aligned to GDX’s vision to promote comprehensive health and wellness for trans and gender diverse persons in a world and working environment where basic conditions of employment, most often than not, do not translate into equitably supporting the needs of marginalised people. We are committed to being the change we want to see in the world, not only through our words but also through our actions.


The Feminist Rest week is defined as leave that is not taken from employee’s annual leave; and is an outcome of the organisation’s political resolve to respond to the needs of the people working within it. GDX recognise as a trans-led and trans-specific community led organisation employing about 70% trans and gender diverse persons at any time, as well as people from other positions of marginalisation, that people are traumatised and retraumatised by the nature of the work daily and on multiple fronts. The organisation recognises that many community members step into its employ with immense trauma and thus the organisation must be ready to respond. Other means of supporting team members also include making provision for mental health support, coaching, mentoring and providing professional development support.


The intersections of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, geographic background, language, class, education, amongst others, coupled with the sheer pressure of work puts many of our team members at risk of emotional, intellectual and physical burnout. As the past has shown, typically people start experiencing burnout in the third quarter of the year for various reasons and this becomes even more overwhelming when people have not had sufficient rest. In addition, we also know that if we do not all break collectively, as a matter of principle, that Others will carry significantly more to what they are already carrying and that those on rest do not necessarily get rest as they continue to be saddled with work. These variable factors inevitably defeat the purpose of rest.


As GDX holds team members accountable to serving the mission and vision of the organisation, it also recognises its duty to create an environment that promotes wellness from different vantage points. We recognise that these are small steps in promoting health and wellness in the organisation but believe that over time through incremental steps and actions that we will realise our vision of creating an organisation that is deeply connected to and reflective of the needs of the people who work in it.


As we take this mid-year pause to rejuvenate and re-energise, we do so being fully committed to meeting the demands of the second semester of 2022.


Yours in Good Health and Solidarity,


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