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Reclaiming my Medical History – A Writing Workshop

30. April 2023 14:00

In the exhibition “Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer,” artist Pelenakeke Brown shows individual texts from her medical history in which she has crossed out large sections of text with a black pen. What remains are individual words that read like poems. She has given the artwork the title “grasp + release” and describes her creative practice as “excavation” with which she takes back these words. Other words and narratives disappear and become unrecognizable. Her artwork and the exhibition are the inspiration for our workshop: We want to empower self-determined narratives about bodies, disability, and queerness.

Disabled, chronically ill, queer, trans*, inter*, neurodiverse, and fat people are often (psycho)pathologized in the healthcare system – that is, our bodies, sexuality, perception and lifestyles are viewed as pathological or deviant. This is very different for said people, but we share that we are written about in assessments and medical records. Often in cold and incomprehensible language, full of technical terms. Other experiences of discrimination such as racism, sexism, classism are reinforcing the experience.

In a small group we would like to approach our own medical history. If you want, you can bring along medical or therapy records, medical reports, packages of your medications, package inserts, prescriptions, letters from health insurance companies or emails with clinics/therapists. You can then decide on the spot what you want to share or what you want to work on just for you. The forms can be varied: terms and evaluations can be deleted, highlighted or changed. You can also come without texts and think, talk and/or write about them on the spot. We will show a few approaches, exercises and methods that work well for our writing process.

This workshop is for people whose body, gender and sexuality has been or is being declared pathological – for example disabled, chronically ill, queer, trans*, inter*, neurodiverse or fat people. We would like to ask all participants to be aware of their own (psychological) boundaries. We wish to create a space together that can feel as safe as possible for all of us to exchange ideas and offer each other strength. We speak from an affected perspective ourselves. We cannot offer advice or counseling.



Orlando Meier-Brix does activism, research, and educational work on gender and sexuality at the intersection of religion and Judaism. He is white, Jewish, non-disabled, college-educated, (gender)queer, and trans. In 2022, he co-edited the anthology tin*stories (edition assemblage) on trans, inter, and non-binary history with Joy Reißner. Since 2021 he has been a guide at the Gay Museum and active as a freelance educational consultant and lecturer.

Frede Krischan Macioszek is white, trans* non-binary, endo, and grew up in a Catholic family. Frede has a post-eastern background, is not disabled and is a first-generation student. Frede has been active on a variety of issues for several years. In addition to classism, Frede lectures and writes on topics around gender and sexuality, health, vulnerability, and allyship. Frede joined the Gay Museum in 2019.


Please register by email at fuehrungen@schwulesmuseum.de and write us a sentence about why you would like to participate.
Cost: 10 euros, reduced 3 euros
Duration: 4 hours


The workshop will take place in German spoken language in the exhibition “Queering the Crip, Cripping the Queer” and in the education room of the Schwules Museum. If needed, we will be happy to provide DGS interpreters, please let us know well in advance as they are often fully booked. The museum is accessible without steps and has wheelchair accessible toilets, further barrier information can be found on the website https://www.schwulesmuseum.de/besuch/


Photo: Patricia Sevilla Ciordia/ Schwules Museum