Yes kittens, it has been a while since I have posted much online anywhere. I have been busily working away, and now is a good chance to sit down and tell you what’s been happening.
The book signings are ongoing for Brainstorm Revolution. (Available from Chapters in Canada, Amazon US and Amazon UK.) After an amazing launch last November in Barrie, the calendar is starting to show book signings happening throughout the province. Yes, I know, I do hear all of you who have been filling my Messenger inbox and e-mail inbox, and I promise we will get something in Toronto soon … conversations are ongoing at a few locations, downtown, midtown, uptown. As soon as there are confirmed bookings, I’ll share the event with you. Not every author is at every signing, I know I will be missing a number of them for the next while, and you’ll find out why as you read on.
As well, the first stage production from the stories in the book is coming up on Valentine’s Day in Barrie. Unconventional Love Stories will be the first of a number of events to happen throughout the province in various venues, with a mix of authors and themes for each event (If you went to each and every one, you would hear from all of the inspirational contributors in the book!). If you are looking for a fun night out in the theatre that will leave you touched, moved, and inspired, don’t miss out, buy your tickets now ($18 per person), and join us for the evening.
Katherine and I will be back in the classroom again in the coming semesters. Currently pencilled in are Humber College Lakeshore, University of Guelph-Humber, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, and more conversations that are taking place. Everyone is anxious to see the new lecture series on Victimization, Trauma, and Mental Health, along with bits of the previous series on the LGBTQ community and policing. We will be adding and subtracting from each series as we go, there’s always room for tweaking the materials, and, sometimes we are totally surprised by what content a professor will ask to have included in our lecture. As well, we have ongoing work with first responder organizations outside of Toronto, and educational work with TBTB and Serving With Pride.
While all this is happening, my sister-bestie-sidekick and I will be taping an hour for our favourite radio show on CIUT 89.5 FM, Rainbow Country. We will be talking about Katherine’s work as the National Program Administrator for Wings of Change Peer Support, my work as a Director and LGBTQ2S Liaison for the National Women in Law Enforcement Association, our education work with organizations and post-secondary institutions, and if there is time remaining in the hour, we will be discussing Brainstorm Revolution as well. We have been planning this conversation since early last fall, and finally found time in everyone’s schedules at the same time that we could make it happen.
Katherine and I have been working diligently on a new project since last fall. All I can tell you is that we are partnering with the top experts in the field, and once we have completed this project and are ready to roll it out, it will be the first of it’s kind ever. It’s quite exciting really, we do so enjoy the people we are working with, and we cannot wait until it is ready for beta testing and then a full rollout. It will be a complete game-changer in the fields we are targeting this for. Yes, I am being a total tease, but you will just have to sit and wait patiently and you will all find out at the same time when we announce it.
In the interim, things are really picking up with the National Women in Law Enforcement Association. Many new projects are being worked on currently, and we will be rolling them out as they are ready. I am keeping my fingers crossed for one big project, as it will definitely get conversations happening when it gets the green light. I must admit, it did seem odd the very first time I saw my title with the organization in print, “Director and LGBTQ2S Liaison”. Takes me a bit of time to get accustomed to these things, I’ve spent decades out of sight working behind the scenes, and it is still new for me to be out there more than before.
At the start of the new year, I did agree to take on an Advisor role for a mental health organization that continues to get the conversations happening to end the stigma around mental health. Yes, my dance card is starting to fill up nicely.
I’ve been working on my Professor Kitty look as there are a number of bigger events coming this year. (I still think it’s the glasses). It may prove useful for a webinar tentatively pencilled in for a group of facilitators this year.
Tentatively scheduled for the end of March, our trio of women with big hearts are going to be presenting a half-day seminar for Toronto Beyond The Blue. Our working title is “Everything you always wanted to know about transgender, but were afraid to ask.” Trust me, it will be a lot shorter title when the actual seminar is ready to roll. Four hours of information, personal stories, questions and answers, a lot of education and eye-opening facts. Giselle, Katherine, and I will be leading this program, for parents of trans kids, allies, and other service organizations and providers. Looking at the mounds of reference materials and updated knowledge we have, we are working to get it down to a four hour seminar, we think we could easily fill a full day. We will be sure to share how it went after the event happens, maybe with a photo or two of the presenters in action. The feedback should be fascinating, as there is so much misinformation, claptrap, and twaddle online, this may be the first time many are hearing from people who live it daily, along with the fierce allies who make life easier.
Coming up in the month of April, I have a tentative booking to deliver a full-day program for The Centre for Abuse and Trauma Therapy in Kingston, Ontario. Similar material to what we will be delivering in March, only this time, I’ll be flying solo, as my SBS is busy with another program at that time (we still do things solo, it’s just exponentially more fun when we work together). There will be sections on Trans 101-501, Victimization and Mental Health as specifically applicable to LGBTQ persons, and other topics yet to be decided. That should be an interesting experience, I’ve been so used to being solely Toronto-based for most of this work … but a change of scenery is always good! (That’s what Nat tells me she enjoys when she is travelling the world delivering talks.)
Taking on another new experience in June of this year, delivering two back to back breakout session workshops at a large conference in Toronto. The topic/title is Motivation and Mental Health. And, the best part will be having my SBS back again as part of the event. We’re one of the afternoon breakout session selections after lunch, and I’m sure there are bound to be a few photos posted from it (although, I still crack lenses easily, so photographers do so at their own risk). More to come about this one, it will be my first time as part of a large conference, so I’m sure there will be stories to be shared afterward.
I will be back into writing soon, once more of the coursework is complete for upcoming lectures and presentations/seminars this year. I typically shut down near the end of the year, and if you know me well enough, you know why, I don’t need to spell it out here. I have had a laugh to myself when some folks ask why there are not more posts or more regular posts on my blog or elsewhere. Simple, really. When I have a teachable moment or something worth sharing, I’ll write it up and post it on the blog. Don’t expect daily posts (some blogs I follow regularly post four and five times every day of the week … I could never keep that schedule!), or regularly scheduled posts. When I have something of value, you’ll see it go up on the site. If I did anything more than that, it would end up being a transcript of my internal dialogue with myself. Yes, I do talk to myself constantly … and kittens, it’s not all that interesting, trust me! At some point I will put pen to paper, and then fingers to keyboard, and publish the Year In Review post for 2018.
Work on the book/memoirs came to a screeching halt. I will pick it up again at some point, but it is that constant battle against that yappy little asshole in the back of my mind who just will not shut up some days. The one who takes great pleasure in pointing out, “You don’t belong here … you don’t fit in … nobody is interested … you’re not good enough … you’re an outsider … etc.” It’s one flavour of Impostor Syndrome, and I’ve fought it for decades. Throw it into the mix with PTSD, and you get an idea why some days it is difficult to string a sentence together. That’s why there are times I may know all kinds of fascinating information about a topic being discussed, but will go totally mute and shut down. Some people feed it, some take away from it. When it’s quiet I get things done … when it’s chattering away non-stop, things come to a total standstill. I’m still tempted to write the book, call it complete, and shove it in a drawer and not publish it. Things may change, it’s fluid, but it’s why I am at my most effective behind the scenes and out of sight.
I think that brings you up to speed with all that’s happening here.
Hugs and love to all!