Why The Sidelines Are Not Good Enough

Over the next few days, we’re going to shine a light on some of the powerful stories illustrate the need for AllGo.

This is a story about the fierce and fabulous Shilo George.

 
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I met Shilo George on Monday, October 2, 2017 on the first night of an entrepreneur boot camp.

As women entrepreneurs, we both received scholarships from Prosper Portland to participate. I noticed Shilo right when she walked in. Her bright red lips underscored her fierce energy and I immediately knew we’d be friends.

But there was one problem. This classroom we were going to spend six hours a week in for the next six weeks was not designed with fat bodies in mind. It was furnished only with conference-room style chairs that were barely big enough for me and they weren’t going to fit Shilo.

Shilo, being a bold and badass person, asked for better seating right upon entering the room.

I made my way across the room to introduce myself to Shilo. I wanted to tell her about AllGo. But before I could, she was offered an armless, folding chair from a well-meaning boot camp staffer. Like the professional she is, Shilo politely stated that it wasn’t a good option for her either.

Shilo sat on the sidelines the entire program, as the wooden bench on the side of the room was the only sturdy, armless piece of furniture available. I ended up sitting with her each evening, out of solidarity and because she’s really awesome to be around.

Not fitting always has consequences. This time around, the consequences were:

  • A seat on the sidelines, which stifled collaboration with our peers in the cohort
  • Being mistaken for volunteers by guests (including investors) when they came to meet our boot camp cohort
  • Difficulty getting our questions answered because the instructors didn’t always see our hands were raised
  • Missing a lot of the info because we couldn’t hear from where we had to sit

These moments are all too common. This is why we are building AllGo. You can show your support by backing our Kickstarter today.

Shilo George is the owner of Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting. Shilo presents on and consults on a wide variety of topics, including the importance of trauma-informed care; weight stigma in healthcare; and the lived experiences of fat, queer, and Indigenous identities.

Rebecca