Membership Rules:

There are two very simple rules for Citizenship in Canary Nation. Failure to abide by either of these rules will result in suspension of membership and a review of the person’s behavior. Following that, if the behavior continues, the person would unfortunately be banned from Canary.

1. Consent is an enthusiastic “Yes!”

“Well, I guess…” is not consent. “I don’t know…” is not consent. Silence is not consent.

  • Obtain consent before touching, hugging, or engaging in intimate contact with anyone.
    • Example 1: NOT consent.
      Person A: “Can I give you a hug?”
      Person B: “Umm… Sure, I guess..”
      Person A: “Nevermind, that’s ok!”
    • Example 2: Consent!
      Person A: “Can I give you a hug?”
      Person B: “Yeah, sure! 🙂 ”
      Person A: “Thanks!” hugs
  • Obtain consent before asking potentially triggering or deeply personal questions.
    • Example 1: NOT consent.
      Person A: “Can I ask you a question?”
      Person B: “Uh, I don’t know, it depends…”
      Person A: “That’s ok. It was about [topic] but it’s fine.”
      Person B: “Um, maybe?”
      Person A: “Nevermind, it’s all good.”
    • Example 2: Consent!
      Person A: “Can I ask you a question?”
      Person B: “Yeah, sure! 🙂 ”
      Person A: “Thanks! What’s it been like dealing with [topic]?”
  • You are encouraged to change your mind. Not retroactively change your mind, but in the moment.
    • For example: “Hmm, actually, now that we’ve started on this topic, I don’t think I want to talk about it after all.”
    • Or “Actually, that hug you offered earlier? It would be really great right now if you would still be up for it.”
  • This can also tie in to something that is fairly common, which is that sometimes “maybe” can mean “No, but…”
    • For example, “No, but if I could hear a bit about your thoughts on x, I might be more comfortable with answering questions about y,”
    • Or, “No, but I don’t want to rule out the possibility later”

2. Be respectful.

  • Do not shame, put down, or bully anyone– whether online or in person.
  • Respect people’s right to self-identify. Do not contradict or question peoples’ gender and/or neurodivergence identities.
    • This rule does have its subtleties. Mental health is rarely cut and dry; more often, it falls along a spectrum. There will likely be instances when you encounter someone who is incorrectly self-identifying, and you might think it helpful to question their identity or attempt to correct them.
    • For example, when Johnny first became aware of his own neurodivergence, he incorrectly self-identified as having Major Depression. After having this gently brought into question by his friend Susie, he was able to discover that he was actually dealing with Bipolar Disorder.
    • What makes all the difference is how this questioning is done. Although Susie did question Johnny’s identity, she not do so overtly. She kept her judgement to herself and simply provided Johnny with information. By respecting Johnny’s self-identification, Susie empowered him to come to his own conclusions using the information she gave him. This led to a more genuine change from within, which was encouraged in an empowering, non-damaging way.