The Path Forward
If you have been following our blog and social media sites, we have been sharing our efforts to change the name of our business. Today, we are proud to announce our new name, Modern Path. This decision was not easy, the related work was challenging at best and overwhelming and frustrating at worst. It was introspective and at times uncomfortable but today we are able to announce that we did the work that was placed before us to be a better ally to our community as a whole.
When we chose the word tribe it was a word actively being used in many of the communities we walked, specifically in the consensually non-monogamous community. It was common language for polycules or non-heteronormative groupings of folks to be called a tribe. The dictionary reinforced our language as it describes tribe as a group of persons having a common character, occupation, or interest. However, once we started marketing beyond the CNM and non-heteronormative communities, we began hearing that it was problematic.
Sitting in that discomfort, we began reaching out to bipoc individuals we knew in the CNM and BDSM communities and asking how this word specifically felt for them. They explained appropriation. They explained the violence associated with the term. They directed us to resources to help us understand. We sought their consent and offered compensation for their time and emotional labor. In short, here is what we learned. The word tribe promotes a myth of primitiveness and with that comes violence and discrimination. Colonized views of tribal nations assign terms such as "savage", "animals" and worse. The word often implies binaries of "oppressor/oppressed", "us/them", and "in-group/out-group". This is NOT what we wanted our business to reflect.
Change had to occur so we went back into our home communities with our chosen family and friends and began brainstorming a new business name. We came across many words that had impact but none sat as warmly and reflective of what we do here more than Modern Path.
So we ask you to join us. Join us in reflecting. Where can you develop your insights into the impact your words and choices have on others? What improvements can you make in your own practice to be more affirming of those outside of the heterogeneous norm?
Join us on the Modern Path, where we offer counseling, education and consulting for all identities, all genders, all relationships, all people.