There's a lot of angry people right now.
Some of them are behaving very badly and it's hard to watch. For me, the important thing to acknowledge is that anger in of itself is not a bad emotion to express.
Let me explain.
Every emotion we feel comes from a response related to what we care about and love - even the "negative" ones. Actually there is an argument to be made that "negative" emotions are in fact more powerful for our self-improvement than the "positive" ones especially when they are triggered by our dismay at seeing what we care about and love not being respected in some way. They help us to define what we hold dear and our boundaries about what our internal (absolute) Code of Ethics is. What becomes problematic about the expression of anger is that most of us don't know HOW to work with the anger we are feeling.
I'm angry right now, about the anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists that have hijacked the wellness industry. Seriously there are some complete nut-jobs out there - folx that I once admired and looked up to, some of them my mentors. I feel that it is appropriate to feel this anger when we realize that people not willing to comply with public health measures are harming everyone involved. That's because one of my core values is equity and fairness. Another value I hold is that all of us should contribute to the communities in which we live, even if it's hard, even if it's inconvenient. Being a part of a community showers us with lots of amazing benefits, but these benefits must be paid for by participating in the greater good. To me it's obvious that vaccinations can save us from the inevitable morphing of the Covid Virus into another, potentially more contagious/deadly variant. To me it's also obvious that the sooner we reach herd immunity, the sooner our lives can start to progress again. I am so over the "pause" and the loss of community that it has created. Seriously, 18 months is way long enough for us to all be working at home, on Zoom. I miss social interactions, I miss seeing my clients in person. Here in San Francisco we "opened up" in the middle of June but every day lately, the privileges of being out, unmasked, with friends or just being out and about are being taken away again because of a group of people that refuse to contribute to the society they live in. Ugh.
My anger is showing up as "People that are refusing to Vaccinate themselves are selfish - full stop". There is no place for this level of selfishness in a world where people are clamoring for vaccinations that are not available because they have the misfortune of living in a country that can not afford to vaccinate it's citizens, or will not do so for a litany of other reasons. I've had it with folx who refuse to cooperate with solving problems that require global cooperation - not just Covid, but climate crisis, wildfires and other environmental disasters, world hunger and water inequity, over consumption and rampant capitalism, and equal rights for all people.
So - What are you angry about?
Remember if you're angry, it’s because you care about something. If you feel angry, find what it is that you hold as as a core value and ask “How is my core value being violated?” Then ask “Am I willing to make sacrifices to protect my core value?”
That’s when it’s appropriate to use your anger.
Check in with your heart and your intuition.
Your heart needs to feel heartbroken because what you care about is being hurt and it will give you the courage to do something about it.
There are so many trespasses going on I find it important to check in with my intuition about what is the most important to me right now. Honestly we can't all take on every cause, there are just not enough hours in the day.
Accessing your Intuition can be as easy as taking a few quiet breaths, or doing a grounding exercise or there are a million and one mindfulness techniques and even apps out there.
What is at the heart of what is meaningful about life for you?
Take time to feel into it and connect to whatever has you feel that. Some other examples might be education disparities, racism, AI, human trafficking, homelessness, animal cruelty - you get the drift.
What do you really care about? Feel what bothers you.
What is the actual state of the world you live in?
Then ask yourself, “If this is really what I care about, what should I be doing to be congruent with my own self, my own core values?
What am I doing now that is different than that?
How do I close that gap?"
**If you haven't already discovered her - Karla McLaren M.Ed., does amazing work around the power of working with your emotions and reading her books made me realize that there is no such thing as positive and negative emotions. You can read more about her work on Anger here.
Fridays and Saturdays in Noe Valley, San Francisco.
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*If we haven't worked together before we will do a free 30-45 Curiosity Call first to make sure that Hypnosis and/or Coaching is for you.
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I want to say Thank You for your patience in waiting for information about me and how my business will move forward in this post-COVID world.
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Over these past twelve months, countless people have asked what I plan to do about offering Hypnosis and Coaching after having to close my wellness clinic at Tiny Needles. The truth is, I really didn’t know. I know how uncomfortable that is for most of us. We want things to be wrapped-up, neat and tidy. We want to have something secure and steady in our lives, particularly when so much is not. We can be like little kids in the backseat of a car, crying out:
“ARE WE THERE YET?!!”
More and more these days waiting is an unfamiliar concept in our culture. Forever rushing and putting one foot in front of the other on the rat wheel is the norm. The modern meaning of the English verb “to wait” (in its most banal sense, ‘to remain stationary’) derives from a trio of Old English verbs: waeccan, ‘to keep watch’; wacian, ‘to be awake’, and wacan, ‘to become awake, arise, be born’. Ellen Wayland-Smith writes: “there is a larger waiting…It tells us that our puny power to do and to be in this world is the exception, not the rule. Waiting is not the suspension of human business-as-usual, but rather the oldest and most elemental form of time.”
I felt odd (to put it mildly) doing Hypnosis over Zoom and by sharing over YouTube and Instagram. Plus I had recently restructured my offerings to focus more on Hypnosis as I loved the one-on-one contact that I was able to provide at Tiny Needles. Some of you may have worked with me over the phone back when I first launched my coaching offerings over 10 years ago. It was never my favorite way to work - I’m a touchy feely kinda gal after all.
Against the tide of businesses which raced to re-open, I waited. I did look at potential new spaces to use but I also watched COVID-19 continue spreading as people left their quarantine bubbles. I observed that face masks and social-distancing became political statements, which many refused to abide by. I’ve witnessed customers verbally assault business owners for enforcing the CDC’s safety guidelines; fellow healing arts practitioners struggling to stay afloat amidst a decline in clients; a steady stream of establishments shuttering their doors. I’ve sat in long, frustrated, sad, and impatient hours as I worried about what could cause harm to the people I care about…and what kind of control I have over that.
My coach reminded me that “things take the time they take” so Paul and I moved to the Russian River from San Francisco and we enjoyed a glorious summer together, in nature, swimming every day and enjoying each other’s company. It was wonderful and bizarre all at the same time. I’ve never been so “stationary” for so long. It actually completely discombobulated me and when the weather started to turn colder and the days got shorter I went into a deep depression. I have spent most of my life hating Winter, avoiding it the best I could, but this year living in a house that was built for people to enjoy a Summer on the river in, one that was never meant to have people living in it during the coldest, wettest parts of the year; I fully experienced it. All the grey bleakness of it.
But as the first breaths of Spring came I started to feel my mood lift and my optimism returning. The garden I put so much effort into during the summer pause started to come to life too - it was glorious to watch. Strangely, the deep depression I endured was exactly what I needed, I felt stronger and more focused. I was once again ready to serve you… But like Bridget we must emerge slowly from our winters.
“We must test the air and be ready to shrink back into safety when blasted by unseasonal winds, we must gradually unfurl our new leaves. There will still be the debris of a long, disordered season. These are the moments when we have to find the most grace; when we come to atone for the worst ravages of our conduct in darker times, when we have to tell truths we’d rather ignore". Sometimes we will have to name our personal winters, and the words will feel barbed in our throats: grief, rejection, depression, illness. Shame, Failure, Despair” Excerpt from the book “Wintering” by Katherine May. Read it!!
Which brings me to now. I have “re-launched” my offerings. Embracing the virtual world all sessions are now held over Zoom.
I am also returning to my roots - the reason I went into Coaching in the first place. My mission is to serve you by offering support and empowerment for Queer Folx and People Living with HIV to Accept, Embrace and Live their Fabulous Truth. My offerings are a combination of Coaching and Hypnosis Techniques. My sessions are always client-centered and incorporate a lot of me listening to you combined with hypnosis, accountability check ins, guided meditations, visualizations, suggestions for rituals and other exercises and my no-nonsense, sometimes, potty-mouthed guidance.
I can also incorporate nutrition and up-to-date medical knowledge and suggestions as necessary.
So while I'm a little late for my birthday picture this year - better late than never!
I feel fabulous for 50(ish) and for someone that hasn't set foot in a hair salon for over a year!! Those of you that know me would know what a "struggle" that has been for me. And who knew that my natural hair color was a strawberry blonde this whole time?? The money I could have saved on colors. I started dying my hair at 16 - every 6 weeks - Ouch!
Paul told me recently that it is acceptable to be 50 at least 5 times so I'm "just" over half way through my 50th birthdays.
To celebrate I'm offering 50% of all my coaching and hypnosis services if you book your curiosity call before the end of March.
The curiosity call is a 30-40 minute call to see if we are a good fit.
To schedule a free curiosity call, the link is below.
I have to keep reminding myself of this magic thing right now.
Looking at my various screens sometimes makes me want to scream, sometimes cry, sometimes curl up in a ball. I see the terrible news stories, I read and process them.
I am angry - very angry.
Everything is horrible, there's just no way around it. Division and Conflict are daily assaults on our humanity and on our communities.
The stress is warranted. It's natural to feel helpless watching everything unfold, each minute feeling more unsteady than the last. Especially as we shelter in place, which depending on where you are, is the way for a lot of us right now.
For me the best thing for me is to take breaks from the "news".
I'm not hiding from everything that's happening, but I am trying to not to let it consume me. Friends reach out to me but I do not respond because I don't want to keep re-hashing The drama.
And I can't help think that is really what they reached out for - The drama. We as a society are addicted to it.
I have also had to draw a firm boundary for myself. For all my friends and clients outside of the USA - I am not the receptacle of all The drama that is unfolding in the USA. I am not able to help you process what is happening by being your dumping ground. I am not responsible for every disturbing news story.
I take my own personal actions where and when I can and other times I put my efforts into supporting others. Other times I do nothing except cry. This is all OK.
What I have been doing every day is going outside and engaging with the world around me. I find the little things in ordinary life to be the most powerful and transformative - they give me strength.
Instead of falling into The drama cycle suggest you try it too.
Go out for the day or for an hour.
Leave your phone behind.
What will you see?
Today I saw:
Tonight My love and I are planning a yummy dinner.
All these little things add up.
These little everyday interactions do wonders for your emotional state.
You feel like you're moving forward - and you are.
The possibilities to explore and engage with our world are infinite.
The real, actual, world is so much bigger and more beautiful than what you see on your multiple screens.
I'm not suggesting that you be an Ostrich with its head in the sand - ignoring the state of things, or pretend it's not happening.
I'm definitely not saying you shouldn't care.
What I am suggesting is to look for things that are familiar, things that make your world feel like the world you know. They're out there in abundance.
All those little things allow us to take a deep outward breath and feel stronger.
There is much work to do.
Speaking for myself it is starting to feel like the world is spinning completely out of control at the moment. With everything that is going on - good and bad, it's important to get grounded in our bodies so that we are have the strength to face the world head on.
Here are some of my tips to do just that:
Do a simple grounding exercise by focusing on your breath. Pull it into yourself and down into the very bottom of your belly. Hold it there for a while and exhale loudly - completely emptying your lungs. Do this a few times and imagine that your breath is energy. Now imagine that this energy is going down into the ground through your feet. See it go down so far that it goes into the Earth. Then imagine it rushing back towards you in time with your breath. In your minds eye watch this energy move backwards between yourself and the earth, grounding you. Holding you steady.
You can do this in a few moments at anytime - I've been known to do it in the line at the grocery store instead of losing it with some idiot put there just to wind me up.
Other ways of grounding include simple every day tasks.
Take a Shower. Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you want. You may find it easier to imagine the energy transferring to and from the earth with the aid of the water.
Moisturize everything. Use whatever lotion you like. Unscented? Dollar store lotion? Fancy 48 hour lotion that makes you smell like a field of wildflowers? Use whatever you want, and use it all over your entire body. This reminds you that you are in your body and within your own energy field. Remind yourself that from this place of power you got this!
Put on clean, comfortable clothes. Constrictive clothes can also constrict your energy field and make you feel vulnerable. Take it a step further and have some fun while you're at it. Put on your favorite underwear. Cute black lacy panties? Those ridiculous boxers you bought last Christmas with candy cane hearts on the butt? Put them on.
Blast music. Listen to something upbeat and dancey and loud, something that’s got lots of energy. Sing to it, dance to it, even if you think you suck at both. Lose yourself in the rhythm and enjoy the sensations that it brings to your body. Again, remind yourself that in when fully in your body you got this. This is my personal favorite way to get back to my body - I can dance for hours and nothing matters other than me being in my body.
Make some yummy food. Don’t just grab a protein bar to munch. Take the time and chop the vegetables and flavor the food they way you really like. Fresh food connects us to the bounty of Earth and nourishes our soul.
Get Creative. Write a short story or a poem, draw a picture, color a picture, fold origami, crochet or knit, sculpt something out of clay, anything artistic. Even if you don’t think you’re good at it. Make a mess and Create. The messier and more imperfect it is the better. Enjoy it!
Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your skin. Breathe.
Reach out to someone - a loved one, a friend, a family member, or even call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Talk to a stranger on the street. Have a conversation and listen to someone’s voice. Remind yourself that we are all in this together.
Cuddle your pets if you have them/can cuddle them. Take pictures of them.
Talk to them. Tell them how you feel, what's on your mind or even just sing to them - they LOVE that. Animals are so empathetic that they are able to communicate on a deeper level than we are. They are always listening and care about you.
If possible make love with someone or with yourself. Don't rush, take it slow, breathe, feel the sensations and enjoy them. Breathe, Relax and let go. Don't try to control how it goes, just let it happen organically.
That's the main thing really - letting go of the need to control every situation by being grounded in your own body and connecting into your energy force, which in turn connects you to this big magnificent world.
I hope you find these helpful. If they resonated with you and you want to get support at this time schedule yourself a free Curiosity Call with me today. I look forward to meeting you.
There has been a meme going around that I have myself shared saying that it feels like Mother Earth has sent us to our rooms to think about what we have done. Being in our figurative rooms can be difficult so I thought I'd put together a list of actions that we can take while on this pause.
Be Kind to Yourself
A lot of difficult feelings are coming up, making us feel uncomfortable. The main thing to remember is that it's absolutely OK to allow yourself to feel all your feelings – including the pleasant, the difficult, the uncomfortable, and the ugly. Also notice when you are holding yourself up against some perfectionist ideal that has you feeling like you’re falling short - whether it’s related to job loss/ job insecurity, working from home, homeschooling or whatever challenges have suddenly come into your life. Acknowledge that nothing or no-one is perfect and it's ok to allow yourself a little down-time. Not everything has to be worked out right now. Instead of beating yourself up, try on the perspective of “good is good enough,” you’ll be surprised how often that’s exactly what’s called for. This kindness towards yourself will naturally lead to kindness towards others and there’s never been a more appropriate time for us to all share kindness.
Focus on What’s in Your Control vs. What’s Out of Your Control
When you think about it, even when things are going well and you're not in the midst of a worldwide pandemic
you're never in control, not really.
Now's the time to take stock of what’s in your control versus what’s out of your control so that you can focus on what you can influence while letting go of what you can’t. For example you probably have no control over when you can go shopping for food, or what will be available when you get to the shops, but you can control the decision to do the best you can with what you've got. Other examples of things that are in your control include taking care of yourself, setting boundaries with others and communicating to your loved ones how you feel and not watching the "news". Don't bother yourself with the things you can't control like people ignoring health directives, the fact that your job has paused or closed down and other people's words, actions or thoughts. Notice when you do start to focus on the things that are currently out of your control, take a few deep breaths - right down into your belly and then refocus on what is in your control.
Create Meaningful Social Connection
We're all in the same boat and all need social connection. Social distancing doesn't mean social isolation. For your sake and for your community please do reach out to family, friends, colleagues and/or neighbors via phone, video conference, text, email.
Remember that Community builds Immunity.
If you’re on video conference overload due to working from home or online learning try changing up the start of the meeting or staying online after the meeting ends to allow for some personal interaction. Ask questions about how folks are doing. Maybe ask if anyone can recommend a good book or delicious recipe. Most people want to share what they’re currently experiencing and you'll end up with a much different (and better) video meeting.
Then there's always the good old-fashioned phone call. Without visual distractions, the phone can allow for more vulnerability, more presence and deeper connection. I certainly often notice these benefits in phone sessions with clients.
Exercise / Go Outside
This is always important, but even more so at the moment. If it’s still allowed in your region, take a neighborhood walk, go skipping around your block or run or bike ride. Releasing the energy pent up inside of you has huge positive affect. Even a few minutes outside in the sunshine (or the rain) barefoot on some grass, sand or dirt will help ground you and connect you to magnificent Mother Earth.
She could do with the connection as well.
And while you need to stay six feet away from folks you come across, try making eye contact and smiling – it will make you both feel good. Last time I checked saying hello is still legal and will lift your spirits.
If you’re not currently allowed to exercise outside, the internet is awash with online exercise classes. The great thing about them is that no-one can see you mess up the moves and you can do them without a bra or having brushed your teeth. DJs all over the world are playing virtual sets online so now's the time to check them out and dance like no-one is watching. Personally, as the disco-dancer that I am, this has been going on a lot in my place.
Choose Healthy Food
Most of us are still able to go out to purchase food. When doing this, make the decision to buy the best quality ingredients that you can afford. Shop, wherever possible, at local businesses rather than multi-national chain stores. The local businesses will appreciate it and it creates more community. If there is a farmer's market near you, even better. Bring home all your lovely ingredients and try out some new recipes. The "I don't have the time" excuse isn't really valid at the moment.
Continue (or Develop) a Mindfulness Practice
This can be whatever works for you and gets you out of your monkey mind and into your body.
Some ideas include; Yoga, meditation, writing a list of things you are grateful for (focusing on what you have rather than what you have not) journal writing, knitting, prayer, baking, listening to relaxing music or getting your hands dirty while planting a garden or growing something in a pot or a windowsill planter. I love to hang out with my plants - it always lightens my mood and instills a sense of accomplishment and my kitchen-come-home office space also looks fantastic! Personally I also like to chant every evening for 10-20 minutes. I start with lighting a candle, then I say a little prayer to Mother Earth and then I chant until my voice runs out. Chanting has been shown to increase the positive vibrations in our energy fields and increase our vitality. It has been used for centuries by both Eastern and Western "religions" - everyone from Gregorian Monks to Tina Turner has done it. Neuro-scientists and researchers have repeatedly found that chanting helps block the release of stress hormones and increases immune function.
It's also been said that it keeps our muscles and joints flexible!
Here's my prayer to Mother Earth - I cobbled it together from what felt good for me and a chant, that as far as I am aware, is a Lakota chant (although finding the exact details has been difficult) The actual words are unimportant - what is important is the intention and the sound frequencies you create.
A Prayer for Mother Earth
The earth is our mother, we must take care of her
The earth is our mother, we must take care of her
Hey yunga, ho yunga, hey yung, yung
Hey yunga, ho yunga, hey yung, yung
Her sacred ground, we walk upon
Her sacred air, we breathe it in
Her sacred waters, we drink them in
Her sacred fire, we are cleansed by them
She gives us life
Hey yunga, ho yunga, hey yung, yung
Hey yunga, ho yunga, hey yung, yung
And so it is
These are just a few suggestions from me to you. Please share below what has been working for you. I'd love for my community to come together in this way. I have opened up my practice to online zoom calls for both coaching and hypnosis. Please reach out if you or someone you know could currently benefit from online/video support.
COVID-19 or the Coronavirus has created a mass panic and fear and has triggered a lot of us that have past trauma. We all process risk in different ways so I wanted to talk today about the ways in which we can mitigate this mass-fear response.
A gentle reminder to feel compassion for yourself and anyone else who feels frightened right now.
It's distressing to see news media, to be constantly reminded to wash your hands and to hear all this talk about death.
As a society we don't talk much about death and we certainly don't have a cohesive societal attitude toward it.
Rationally, it is possible to educate our minds to understand that the risk is relatively low, even in high risk populations. The latest figures provided by the World Health Organization place the mortality rate (of confirmed cases) at approximately 3.5% globally or closer to 1.5% for all countries outside China. The numbers of people that have mild or asymptomatic presentations have unlikely been tested so these numbers are actually a lot less. The folks that are dying or needing to be hospitalized are those with chronic medical conditions such as lung disease, diabetes and heart disease and/or in elderly and immuno-suppressed communities. Rationally then, taking precautions such as frequent hand washing and the usual things we do to reduce the transmission of flu should be sufficient for the vast majority of the population.
Your risk of dying in a car crash is 1 in 103. Yet we get in our cars most days and don't feel scared.
Because we feel like we're in control.
Whereas with a new outbreak, people feel out of control and therefore powerless. When we feel powerless and out of control, we respond emotionally, even if it's not "rational". As you may have experienced, trying to have a rational argument with someone who is emotional is often fruitless. Emotions like fear arise from a very different part of your brain than the critical-thinking-conscious mind. The primal, survival-oriented limbic brain is linked more closely with our sub-conscious and doesn't care about rational arguments. It just wants to help you survive at all costs.
Fear is natural and normal when something is new and you feel powerless and out of control. Especially if you have a trauma history. Unfortunately the truth is that many of us have some form of trauma in our history. If you have a trauma history and things went very badly when you were out of control in the past, it's understandable that you would feel afraid when you feel out of control and powerless. This is where the healing work can happen.
Building your emotional immunity is as important as building your physical immunity.
Hypnosis can really help because in a hypnotic trance we tap into the subconscious mind to find the programs that get triggered when you're feeling out of control. It's like building new programs for emotional immunity in our subconscious mind. Other therapies can also be of enormous help, modalities such as EFT, Tapping and other Somatic therapies and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Even Acupuncture can help calm your emotional response to trauma memories.
Working through past trauma means that when uncertain times strike your limbic system doesn't panic as much. You become more resilient and can ride the waves of life's inevitable uncertainty.
Because the reality is that you're never in control. Not really.
We like to cling to the illusion of control, but it's merely that; an illusion. The more we treat and clear our traumas, the more emotional immunity we develop. Fear can then take its rightful place in your emotional repertoire as an early signal of intuition. This intuition is important and it definitely helps to keep you safe. The other advantage of working on past trauma is that your nervous system generally settles down more, and you can more easily fight off infections such as COVID-19 and recover quickly if you do catch them.
Keep in mind that unchecked fear itself is a health risk, so this is a time to get help if you need it and use spiritual practices to calm yourself. Daily exercise and a healthy diet are also still important and should not be sacrificed due to fear. Eating survival rations and staying indoors and not moving your body is not helping you to fight a possible infection.
Another huge health risk - especially in "at risk" populations, is isolating from society. Loneliness has a similar affect on your long-term health as smoking or heart disease. Killing at much higher rates than this current (and any virus).
So as much as your limbic mind is telling you to stay home and avoid all contact with other humans, this is not the healthy thing to do. The best thing is still to connect with other human beings inside your communities. During Physical Distancing this can be done online, or by just picking up a phone and making a call.
Especially at times like this community is our greatest defense.
Going forward remember to limit your exposure to the "news", wash your hands, eat well with plenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise daily and build your emotional immunity through connection with others and by working through past traumas or programs so that you are better able to keep calm.
I had a boyfriend in High School - let's call him Cain. Cain was different to my other boyfriends because we never
had sex. This was unusual for me because I had/have
a lot of sex. I was sex positive before that was even
a term I suppose. My Dad didn't much like any of the boys
I knew but surprisingly he quite liked Cain. Except for that one awkward incident when I stayed out with him after curfew, they got on great. They shared a love of Boy George and Indonesian food. We would meet at the bus stop before school, went to every school dance together and we would talk about music for hours on end. I always knew that he wasn't like the other guys our age but
I never really thought too much about it. I wasn't
much like the other girls I knew either.
We were a good pair of misfits.
After high school my family moved away to the Netherlands and Cain and I wrote each other letters constantly. I missed Australia so much - but mainly I missed Cain. A year later I returned to Australia to start University and Cain was at the airport to meet me. I'd never been so glad to see anyone in all my life. We organized a dinner to catch up; he told me that he had something important to tell me, something he felt funny putting in a letter.
Long story short he told me he was Gay.
Without consciously knowing it, this was something I always knew.
I told him that.
We hugged and cried and laughed.
He was so relieved.
Coming Out is hard, especially with the people you love the most. In coming out Cain had unpacked some parts of himself that he was used to hiding. He was getting real.
Almost immediately he asked if I would come out to Oxford Street with him. He was keen to explore and needed
an ally. In Sydney, Australia Oxford Street was the heart of the Queer Community. It's where all the bars and clubs were, the gay-owned businesses set up shop and where every March they would hold the Gay Mardi Gras Parade.
Knowing that Cain needed a friend and because I knew we always had a great time together I did not even hesitate and we were out exploring it all together in the wink of an eye.
Honestly the two of us never looked back.
From those beginnings the people we met on Oxford Street and in Sydney's Queer scene became my real family.
It was 1986 and AIDS had gripped the community. The hysteria around it meant that Gay bashings were a real and present danger. I've lost count of how many friends were stalked and bashed. Even the cops were in on it.
People we knew started to die and before I knew it I was often at a bed side of a dying man dealing with the shit that families would throw at us. I had more than one friend whose family swooped in when they were sick and removed them from us and our love and support. Flat mates and partners were tossed out and made homeless because they didn't appear on the lease. Men died alone with no-one at their side. The nurses at the AIDS ward became my heroes and, eventually I became one of them.
In some ways it was a terrible time, but it has made me the person I am today.....
The person that has organized and marched in protest for equitable access to HIV medications and against conservative religious zealots. I've also marched in celebration of Queer Pride. I've been the back-stage dresser for the Drag performers that went on to inspire the writer of the movie Priscilla Queen of the Desert; I've door bitched at Queer clubs and bars up and down Oxford Street, in London and in San Francisco; I was the lead Nurse on countless Clinical Research Studies bringing much needed HIV drugs to market, I've counseled and held space for literally hundreds of people as they were told they have HIV (and/or Herpes or one of the other less deadly but not less stigmatized STI's), I've worked closely with folks as they transitioned and have witnessed so many fabulous revelations; I have also witnessed (too) much death.
The Language of the Queer Community is my Language.
The Culture is my Culture.
The Community is my Community.
Cain once called me a Fag-Hag. I was mortified and we had a tiff. Looking back on that it now seems silly because honestly if I'm not a Fag-Hag I don't know who is. I mean my "matron of honor" at my wedding was a gay man and we wore matching blue gingham outfits. Cain and I still laugh all the time about how the life I live is all his fault. Funny thing is that I love it and my community so much that I wouldn't change it for the world. I really owe him a debt of gratitude for choosing me as the person he first came out to.
I am thankful for every coming out I am witness to. I look forward to working with you, I'd be honored to do so.
Read more about me here if you're up for it.
Or just go ahead and book that Free Curiosity Call today!