For All Those Who Are Different —And Are Done Living by Someone Else’s Rules



About the Book

I’ve been writing about Otherness since the George W. years. Not that he prompted my writings, necessarily; but the times seemed to reflect a general sense of feeling outcast that wasn’t changing. Living in Texas was discouraging in many ways. Yet, connecting with people from diverse backgrounds there and through my university– whose online community spanned the globe– brought a sense of solidarity, communion.

Social and political landscapes changed, then changed again. I moved, then moved again. The spirit of my writing was changing, too…from a place of acknowledging and collecting the experiences of humiliation and isolation that repeated themselves over and again in the telling of Otherness, to a new place of hope and direction.

My writing was changing me and I was changing it.

The book that I began almost 10 years ago is still in the making. It wasn’t daily writing. I put it away for months and even years while I was experiencing life, working on different projects (sometimes work, sometimes the house), and frankly, I just got tired and needed to clear my own mindspace.

So this 2019 chapter in my life, like a good memoir, is an experience of renewed investment in the story of Otherness and how to transform it. Stories like these below remind me of why I’m a counselor; why I write, speak, and teach on these things:

  • Kathy, an impeccably dressed 37 year-old executive who’s never let anyone, including her husband, see her cry again after the shaming she received for the hand-me-down clothes and shoes that were the best her parents could afford on her first day of school in the 4th grade;
  • Ramon, a 23 year-old college student whose wit and feigned confidence are his method of distracting himself and keeping others from recognizing the pain of rejection he experienced upon coming out as gay in his teens;
  • Sierra, a 45 year-old stay-at-home mom who was heavyset as a child and called “Jabba” by other children in her middle school. Even her aunts and sister scolded her to “stop eating!” She is still riddled with self-doubt and body shame.

We all see ourselves in Kathy, Ramon, and Sierra. We can only imagine what’s possible when we break free of these old scripts. Yet when we do, when we find our creativity, our gratitude, and darlings, our sass…well, the world changes for us because we realize that we can change our world. We see ourselves as the decision-makers who won’t be ruled by fear any longer.

So stay tuned. This book’s coming soon.