Originally from Southern Illinois, (Journalism degree from SIU Carbondale) I relocated to the St. Louis area in 1995 as part of a career move.
After 24 years in the corporate world, in key account management, brand management, sales management and sales training, in 2013 I felt the need to advocate and speak out for Trans and LGBTQIA+ issues. I became a volunteer, then board member, Board President, and Co-Executive Director of the Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) St. Louis, and still volunteer with MTUG.
Found that the skills of sales management, business management, presentation and public speaking, translate well to the nonprofit world and advocacy. Helped design and implement MTUG’s education program as part of its key mission requirements and worked on the Umbrella Center Project.
In 2016, aware of rapidly changing needs in the Trans community, I began consulting work as a Trans Cultural Competency Educator, including educational and training consulting under contract with Diversity Awareness Partnership (DAP).
This opportunity to focus on Trans and LGBTQIA+ cultural competency education, awareness, and visibility, as well as consulting on matters of policy and inclusion, helped me realize the need for full-time Trans and LGBTQIA+ focused advocacy.
My advocacy has led to speaking at conferences in plenaries, panel discussions, and workshops regarding the intersection of Trans identities, lived experiences, and human rights. I speak as an educator, an advocate, a Trans person, a woman, and as a lesbian.
In 2017, I formally founded the Trans Education Service LLC of St. Louis (TES LLC STL) in order to expand opportunities to educate about these critical issues, as well as advocate for diversity and inclusion in a multiplicity of spaces. TES is both a Trans and LGBTQIA+ cultural competency educational and training consultancy, and a consulting partner for diversity and inclusion policy, planning and implementation.
In addition to the training and education I've received while working with MTUG, I've sought out educational opportunities in order to further the work of TES. I am an Associate Member of WPATH (the World Professional Association of Transgender Health) and have received trainiing under their Global Education Initiative (GEI). I’m also a professional member of AASECT, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.
Advocacy and education regarding Trans and LGBTQIA+ people and their needs are challenging arenas in 2017, but I intend to forge ahead for all possible opportunity to reach new ears and to begin new conversations.