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.
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. I’ve learned many life lessons that apply far beyond grappling with being a transgender person. As I tell audiences, I’m simply a survivor of the Human Condition–it’s just that my survivorship is far more public than for most.
And yes, this survivorship has involved both loss and gain: I lost some key people as I transitioned genders and went from a position of privilege (white educated high-earning male) to a different, more marginalized status (female, transgender, paycheck-to-paycheck earner). In doing so, I also entered a society where transgender persons have legal rights in only 20 states and Washington, D.C.
But the gains have absolutely outweighed the losses. I have me, Ellie Krug, a woman who can live and breathe as her authentic self. Not even once have I ever regretted giving myself permission to be authentic. Indeed, I try to live every day with gratitude for the many good people and things that invariably come my way.
I’ve also learned important lessons about how connected we are as humans. Without even knowing you, dear reader, I am certain that we have at least four things in common, what I call “The Four Commonalities”: (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; (3) we each seek twenty minutes of personal peace; and (4) each of us wants to love and be loved.
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 aware of the tremendous diversity and inclusivity issues that challenge all of us, I’ve been asked to speak on various topics. (I have presented on 500+ occasions to clients across the country.)
My trainings and products include:
“Gray Area Thinking”™, a general inclusivity training which provides a toolset to better understand and welcome diverse humans. (See talk description here.) Audiences love my Gray Area Thinking™ presentation!
“Workplace Inclusivity and Allyship 101”, which covers the various degrees of workplace inclusivity and demonstrates the difference between simply being an “ally” (a status) and “allyship” (taking action to protect or promote a marginalized person). (See talk description here.)
“Jumping the Gender Fence”, about the life lessons learned from transitioning genders–including the lesson that really, the deck is quite stacked against women. (That talk description is coming soon.)
“Getting to Ellen: Gleaning Authenticity from a Moment of Truth” is part personal story, part motivational talk about the need to listen 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 shared that my words had touched her profoundly and who asked if she could hug me. (Of course she could!)(See talk description here.)
Talking Circles, which are designed to foster better awareness of the real landscape within an organization or business relative to inclusivity. As some know, Talking Circles originated with indigenous peoples as a way of giving every tribe member space to share their views. With the Talking Circles I conduct, the goal is to provide a safe space where team members can honestly share their inclusivity experiences and perceptions.
Team Member Gender Transition Consulting. For employers seeking help with team members or employees who have announced they seek to transition genders, I’m a resource.
D&I Plans and Consulting. I also create on-site diversity and compassionate inclusion plans to help make an organization more welcoming for all diverse team members and allies who value diversity and inclusion. In today’s business and nonprofit climate, D&I plans are mandatory: clients and donors demand it, team members need it, and society at large is measuring employers/organizations by their degrees of diversity and inclusivity.
To formalize my work, I’ve created Human Inspiration Works, LLC. “Human” and “inspiration” in the corporate name are highly intentional: I believe the only way for things to “stick” is to motivate humans from within; to do that, they need to be inspired. I’ve been told that I’m darn good at inspiring others.
You can read more about the work and products I offer (and as well see some scenes of me in action) at http://www.humaninspirationworks.com.
Finally, 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 formerly serving as the executive director of a small legal access nonprofit, I believe I have much to offer.
And much to inspire about!
Thank you for your consideration.
encouraging open hearts and thriving human spirits