“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
— Audre Lorde
Gabes (she/they) was raised in countryside of the Philippines. While she lived most of her formative years in the islands, Gabes experienced a great deal of geographical movement for the majority of her lifetime.
Gabes is a descendant of the Aeta Indigenous tribes of the Luzon and Mindanao islands, and comes from an ancestral lineage of teachers, revolutionaries, musicians, and healers.
Gabes is an organizer, singer-songwriter, and therapist. Her life’s work is to demonstrate how there’s nothing “post-” about post-colonialism. She studies and teaches how oppression continues to dominate and manifest in systems, society, relationships, imaginations, and our bodies.
Gabes completed a Bachelor’s in Historical Theology & Philosophy at a theological school in Chicago, Illinois because of her fascination in the birth and growth of the Western church and missionary movements, along with their crucial influence on the Philippines’ history of Christian hegemony and colonization.
She completed a Master’s in Theology and Culture at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, focusing on colonialism and how its effects violate the virtue and practice of hospitality. She later earned a second Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, focusing her clinical practice and research on racial trauma, decolonizing mental health, and intersectional feminism. She works primarily with women, femmes, queer, and/or trans patients of the global majority.
In her clinical work, Gabes pays attention to:
- freedom and (un)becoming in a racialized identity and body
- racial and migration trauma
- ancestral trauma and healing
- politicized somatics
- disaster and pandemic trauma
- spiritual abuse
- sexual abuse and trauma
- domestic violence and abuse
- colonized mentality/internalized oppression
- narrative-based treatment
- attachment theory and culture
Gabes founded and co-facilitates the Heritage Workshop, a virtual workshop for people of color around the world where they explore ancestral lineage, stories, and medicine.
She also presents at academic events and leads movements that focus on the teachings and practice of transformative justice and community care and safety.
Gabes writes poetry and music. She independently produced 3 albums of original music, and her first one was launched when she was 17. She has toured in Southeast Asia, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.
Photography by Laurel Yae of Nour Images