sharing with gratitude

Welcome.

You’ve either heard about me as a speaker or writer, or alternatively, as a trainer and consultant on diversity and compassionate inclusion. Maybe you simply stumbled onto this site.

Regardless of the methodology or reason, I’ll repeat.

Welcome. 

You’ve found someone who embraces the challenges that life has to offer. I spent a great deal of my existence struggling with the idea that I could “choose” certain things–like my gender. What I learned after many years of personal suffering is that some things in life (like gender, sexuality, artistic or musical bend, even whom we love) just “are.”

As humans we ask ourselves, “How did I get here?” “Where am I going?” “How long can I sustain this?”

And, most importantly,  Is this who I am?”

My story in part has been about figuring out who I am.  It’s a direct extension of where am I going?  I’ve learned many life lessons that apply far beyond grappling with being a transgender person.  In other words, I know what it means to make decisions that involve both loss and gain. And too, I’ve gone from a position of privilege (white educated high-earning male) to a different, more marginalized status (female, transgender, paycheck-to-paycheck earner). (Consider also that transgender persons have legal rights in only 18 states and Washington, D.C.)

In the process, I’ve learned important lessons about how connected we are as humans. Without even knowing you, dear reader, I am certain that we have at least three things in common: (1) we want our children or nieces and nephews to succeed; (2) we want ourselves and loved ones to be free of violence and intentionally-inflicted emotional distress; and (3) we seek a degree personal peace.

It’s our commonalities that I focus on in my speaking, training and consulting. Indeed, a basic element of “inclusivity” is that we’ll include someone in our life because we have things in common or we at least are willing to explore for commonality.

Thus, as we become more willing to learn as a society, I’ve been asked to speak on various topics. I have a wonderful “Transgender 101” presentation. (See talk description here.) I’ve also developed a diversity and inclusivity training entitled “Gray Area Thinking” which provides tools for understanding diverse humans. (See talk description here.)I even have a presentation about the life lessons learned from transitioning genders–including the lesson that really, the deck is quite stacked against women.

My newest presentation, “Getting to Ellen: Gleaning Authenticity from a Moment of Truth,” is part personal story, part motivational talk. The key is listening to ourselves when we encounter our moments of truth. Audience members come away with better self-awareness and a greater willingness to engage in self-examination. As one male college student put it after hearing this talk, “That was savage!”; standing behind him was female student with tears in her eyes who said that my words had touched her profoundly and who asked if she could hug me. (Of course she could!)(See talk description here.)

For employers searching for help with team members or employees who have announced they seek to transition genders, I’m a resource. I have a tried and true protocol to assist with employee gender transitions. (I can also provide references.)

For businesses and organizations, I consult to create on-site diversity and compassionate inclusion plans to help make the workplace more welcoming for diverse team members and the team member allies who value diversity and inclusion. In today’s business climate, D&I plans are mandatory: clients demand it, team members need it, and society at large is measuring employers and organizations by their degrees of diversity and inclusivity.

Please explore this website. You can find everything you need to know about my passion for connecting with people, including my approach and the “takeaways” that are specific to the personal experiences that I share. You’ll find that I have great gratitude about finally figuring out some core issues, which led to me being able to live as my true self, genuinely and authentically.

I’m very lucky to be able to do that, to live as the real me. 

As you will also see, I’m very open to collaborating with individuals and organizations to best tailor a presentation that is both engaging and authentic. Drawing from thirty-three years of legal experience, in addition to serving as the executive director of a small nonprofit dedicated to ensuring legal access for low-income communities, I believe I have much to offer.

And much to inspire about.

Thank you for your consideration.

ellie

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