Mairi is #BecomingVisible
Mairi has been a member of get2gether since its beginnings. During the pandemic, she hosts Horoscpoes LIVE with Mystic Mairi on our community Facebook group “get2gether at home” where she gives weekly predictions to our members, depending on their star sign. Mairi has also been involved with “Let’s talk about sex” workshops and Q&A sessions with Crew 2000! Here is Mairi’s #BecomingVisible!
What does becoming visible mean to you?
To me becoming visible means to promote get2gether more because it is such a simple concept. The simpler things are, the better they work.
We have moved online, we have created our own world, membership is free, we are for anyone over 18 with any disabilities, visible or invisible.
We have to become visible for people’s skills to be recognized and to be treated like adults. We work, we turn up on time, we use appropriate language, ways of conduct and we are starting to be seen as professionals! We hone our skills.
I am Mystic Mairi and I have been going LIVE every week, going to meetings, absorbing and learning new tech stuff from get2gether members, including learning to be safe online. We facilitate members to join and organize their own events, they own classes, we promote people to do things for themselves, and that is really important, such an integral part of becoming visible – for ourselves and our community.
We aim to have love, fun, friendship in accessible space, everyone’s opinion matters, everyone has the right to speak and have a voice, that has to be emphasised because there are places that are not like this. Get2gether was the first organisation which was quietly revolutionary, where I was never asked specific questions around disability. Being myself with long health conditions and not being labeled has been so different, and get2gether is one of the very first organisations that does not do that. It is fantastic!
Why is the diversity of our membership so important?
It gives everyone a voice. Get2gether gives people the confidence to be and work in harmony, safety for everyone. and not being labeled which helps me to relate to people, colleagues, volunteers, and members better! It’s a very unique concept that doesn’t focus on individuals but rather focuses on what we can do.
Before get2gether, I was involved with different other groups that were more focused on conditions and I found that narrow, you had to fit certain criteria. When I joined get2gether it was like a breath of fresh air, the first time I had been clubbing I enjoyed myself as a young adult. And that is huge!
We are treated as adults all the time, and in this way having a disability becomes a small part of who we are.
How has it been moving online?
For me, it’s been great. I’ve found it enjoyable and easier because I can mute myself and I’ve been able to follow conversation much easier as a Deaf person, plus the chat box is great too. Google calendar, which Mojca taught me, has been fantastic and digital ambassador Stephan has been fabulous with his tutorials.
I’ve seen our membership expand and younger people coming in. Our member Aaron is a BSL master and I really enjoyed him hosting the steering group with his BSL signing, that was so lovely and I understood 95% which was really cool.
Tell us a bit about what you’re involved in at get2gether? And why do you feel passionate about it?
I feel passionate about people’s rights and everyone having a voice and being heard. There’s no one worse off than anyone else. The best thing about get2gether is that everyone has an equal say.
Mystic Mairi came about as a bit of a joke, something to do. I did some research and I found there was nothing agony aunt-esque for anyone with a disability so I decided ‘why don’t I put a twist on it?’ I always put a disclaimer on it, that it’s just a bit of fun and there’s always two rules, I don’t get paid and I don’t say anything negative.
That’s really important because a lot of people with disabilities have been fleeced, charged £60-£80, been lied to, or told something harmful so I made it clear to people at get2gether that it’s free, a bit of fun, and totally voluntary.
I don’t say anything negative because it means people come back and listen to me again, plus it’s not get2gether’s vibe.
You’re also very involved in Let’s Talk About Sex?
Yes, it’s been fabulous because it has really helped with healing and providing information which has never been available to me. It’s encouraged me to be more open with family and friends. It gives other people voices and me an opportunity to hear different opinions and different experiences.
I found that very helpful because you think ‘I’m completely alone and then you realize someone else has a different experience so you can relate and also learn something new. I’ve grown as a person.
What has been your favourite aspect ‘Let’s Talk about Sex?’
It’s the healing aspect. It’s having people on your side. For me, it’s very cathartic and it’s made me a better person in terms of relating to people. Friendships have deepened but boundaries have also been reinforced. It’s made me take a step back and grow up a little bit.
I’m more careful about how I word things and I can relate to people differently, at meetings or online events. It’s made me more aware of how other people are feeling, just listening to everyone and taking it all on board and making sure that what the other person who is speaking matters.
Get2gether has been instrumental in getting me to that point, that platform to express my story, notably the Life Your Life and Let’s Talk About Sex courses. I’ve been learning how to take a step back, to listen and take things on board, to take into consideration what the other person is saying, even if you disagree or not.
That’s not the point, the point is that we’re all adults and we have to listen to each other. None of us are children, we’re all over 18 and want to be treated as adults.
What has been the biggest learning from 2020-2021?
To be more considerate of other people’s feelings. To understand that other people have a point of view. I have also learned about active listening from the Live Your Life Course.
People listened to me, people have helped me move on with my past and my timekeeping. I’ve learned to ask for help more.
What else would you like other people to know?
I consider myself nonbinary, neither male nor female, gender fluid. I’m also a mystic. I also consider this world to be fantastic, get2gether is a very worthwhile organization because it brings everyone together so please please keep supporting us.