Zoë Lefay – Community Lead
1. What do Red Tents mean to you
Sisterhood and siblinghood. I recently read somewhere that each new generation becomes successively less collective and more individualised. The Red Tent tradition to me is a little raindrop from the vast ocean of community – a way of life mostly lost to us. I love the idea of a space dedicated to bleeding together, giving birth, initiating new mothers into motherhood, celebrating coming out, worshipping Goddesses and honouring the new moon. I live my life through my cycles, I am wholeheartedly a cyclical being and Red Tents have given me the opportunity to connect with other cyclical people – regardless of whether or not you have a menstrual cycle, how you identify with femininity or your religious beliefs.
2. What do you do in Red Tent Directory
I am the Community Lead. This means I get to talk to the people who run the Red Tents. I am responsible for reviewing new listings as well as keeping in touch with established Red Tents. This is a new role for me, so I’m looking forward to seeing it develop.
My usual job is designing reusable menstrual pads and repurposing unwanted textiles. We mostly make and sell reusable cloth pads so anything menstrual cycle related is right up my street. One of our missions, as brand and a platform, is to create a gender neutral narrative around bleeding and menstrual cycles. We want to include everyone who has a period regardless of whether or not they see themselves as a woman. I want to bring some of this with me to the Red Tent Directory. I want to help make Red Tents open to gender diverse people who have a common experience of cyclical living.
3. How do Red Tents inform your wider work and life
The ritual of menstruation is very significant in my life right now. I created a business to honour it and to supply a sustainable option for other people who menstruate. The Red Tent is a small but important part of my own cyclical practices.
4. If you had to describe yourself as a plant, mineral or animal what would it be and why?
Woad. For two reasons: “Whoa woad” is really fun to say; and it is the only source of blue pigment native to the islands I live on. There is so little of the colour blue in nature, and even less of it that you can capture and turn into dye or paint. I love natural dyes because I feel like a witch with a big bubbling cauldron of potions. Woad produces the rare beauty of indigo blue, but it grows like an inconspicuous weed. Plus, I like the story that my ancestors covered their bodies in blue paint from woad before battling off the Romans. Like weedy warrior paint!