Belonging has been a formative struggle for me. Like most people with marginalized identities, my experience as a queer person has taught me that it’s hard to be yourself and feel like you belong in a culture that is hostile to your existence. That’s why my body of work as a scientist, author, professor, speaker, and advocate for body liberation always comes back to the impact of belonging or not belonging.”
Radical Belonging is my manifesto, helping us heal from the individual and collective trauma of injustice and support our transition from a culture of othering to one of belonging.

Lindo Bacon

An expansive guide to the impacts of living in an oppressive world, this book offers an antidote to mainstream ‘bootstrapping’ self-help culture and illuminates real solutions for how we can thrive while pushing to create a world where social justice is present for everyone.

MATT MCGORRY, activist and actor on Orange Is the New Black

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I read Radical Belonging through tears. Tears of solidarity from the vulnerable personal stories which give a voice to anyone who has ached to belong. Tears of sadness from seeing our hostile culture laid out in such painfully plain terms. Tears of happiness at feeling deeply ‘seen’ in a way that is rare. And tears of gratitude for being able to read a book that couldn’t feel more appropriate or needed than it is right now.

JES BAKER, activist and author of Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls

Too many of us feel alienated from our bodies.

This isn’t your personal failing; it means that our culture is failing you.

We are in the midst of a cultural moment. #MeToo. #BlackLivesMatter. #TransIsBeautiful. #AbleismExists. #EffYourBeautyStandards. Those of us who don’t fit into the “mythical norm” (white, male, cisgender, able-bodied, slender, Christian, etc.)—which is to say, most of us—are demanding our basic right: To know that who we are matters. To belong.

Being “othered” and the body shame it spurs is not “just” a feeling. Being erased and devalued creates structural and material realities that impact our ability to regulate our emotions, our relationships with others, our health and longevity, our finances, our ability to realize dreams, and whether or not we will be accepted, loved or even safe.

Radical Belonging is not a simple self-love treatise. Focusing only on self-love ignores the important fact that we have negative experiences because our culture has targeted certain bodies and people for abuse or alienation. For marginalized people, a focus on self-love can be a spoonful of sugar that makes the oppression go down. This groundbreaking book goes further, helping us to manage the challenges that stem from oppression and moving beyond self-love and into belonging.

With Lindo Bacon’s signature blend of science and storytelling, Radical Belonging addresses the political, sociological, psychological and biological underpinnings of your experiences, helping you understand that the alienation and pain you are experiencing is not personal, but human. The problem is in injustice, not you as an individual.

So many of us feel wounded by a culture that has alienated us from our bodies and divided us from each other. Radical Belonging provides strategies to reckon with the trauma of injustice; reclaim yourself, body and soul; and rewire your nervous system to better cope within an unjust world. It also provides strategies to help us all provide refuge for one another and create a culture of equity and empathy, one that respects, includes, and benefits from all its diverse peoples.

Whether you are transgender, queer, Black, Indigenous or a Person of Color, disabled, old, or fat — or you more closely resemble the “mythical norm” — Radical Belonging is your guidebook for creating a world where all bodies are valued and all of us belong — and for coping with this one, until we make that new world a reality.

Radical Belonging is a rare book in which I saw some reflection of myself in every chapter.

Ijeoma Oluo, activist and author of So You Want to Talk About Race

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Kelly Diels, Writer and Feminist Marketing Consultant

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