I often joke with my friends that my whole life has led me here to becoming a gender doula and ADHD/Neurodivergent support coach. In fact, this was work I have done in many different settings previously: in my own community, through non-profit institutions, and as a k-12 educator. Rainbow Chrysalis Coaching is my own unique way of bringing my offerings forward.
So, you may be wondering more about who I am, what I care about, and what brought me here. This blog post is my attempt to explain that!
I identify as non-binary, leftist, queer, trans, Autistic, ADHD, animistic, and polyamorous. None of these labels fully explain who I am, but they are pointers towards what I value.
I was raised in a conservative Catholic community in Kentucky. In that space, binary gender roles were strictly enforced and our value was tied up in individualized productivity and social aptitude. I often felt out of place and like there was something wrong with me. I didn't yet know that my "weirdness" contained a magic that the world needed.
When I was in middle school, I was diagnosed with ADHD. For me, the diagnostic process felt forced and stigmatizing, leaving me feeling defective. At the same time, I am grateful to have been given a language to describe my experience. I later spent years researching ADHD, Neurodivergence, and transgender needs: this was a the focus of my work in grad school. I would also consider these topics special interests of mine, especially because learning helps me to understand my own needs and experience.
The journey of learning to accept my queerness was also a bumpy one. In hindsight, I realize I have always been me, even if I was trying to fit in and cover up my true self. In undergrad, I started to question my sexual orientation after seeing a friend come out. It was a challenging experience, I had a small community of support while facing many internal and external barriers. I wrestled with my religious beliefs and internalized shame. At the same time I found queerness irresistible and I started to play with my gender expression. Even though it was scary to express more authentically, I also loved the gender euphoria I experienced.
Later in life I started my medical trans journey, in Washington DC in 2013 I started meeting trans people and learned that it was possible to live a full life as a trans person (which was mind blowing to me at the time!). I went on hormones and started to use he/him pronouns. I noticed myself gaining confidence and coming more into myself everyday. Not everyone understood what I was doing, but I knew in my body that this was the right decision for me.
After 6 years on hormones, I felt satisfied with some of my physical changes and also longed to embrace androgyny, so I went through my second medical transition by going off testosterone. Embracing more androgyny has been beautiful and challenging. Being visibly androgynous feels so affirming, but it also opens me up to more comments, confusion, and potential violence. (I also acknowledge that being a white trans person impacts my experience. I always recommend listening to the stories of various BIPOC trans folks as well.*)
Throughout this decade of living openly as trans, I have been so blessed to come into contact with many different trans people from all walks of life. I've had opportunities to be deeply involved in trans community through hosting events, drag performances, mutual aid, teaching, and even working as a professional social worker. While working in the social work profession, I did a lot of advocacy and education for myself and other trans, queer, and Neurodivergent people. It's challenging to try and change big systems, I feel proud of the work I did but eventually decided to take the path of working for myself through starting Rainbow Chrysalis Coaching.
Most recently in my identity evolution, I have learned that I am Autistic through support from my therapist and community. I can't separate my gender from my Neurodivergence. In all of it I have learned to challenge socially constructed concepts of normal. Embracing Autism has helped me to validate that my sensory needs are important. I have also learned how to ask for what I need and I have more tools to clarify miscommunications. My lifestyle has shifted into being more accommodating to my own Neurodivergence.
In every stage, my process of self discovery has been non-linear. I am grateful for the queer, trans, and disabled elders and ancestors who paved the way for me to live as freely as I do. Many tools have been essential for my process: queer and trans theory, disability wisdom, communication and mediation skills, somatic practices, nervous system soothing, sensory healing, intentional movement, inner child work, working with herbs, divination, my ancestral alter, and more.
I trust that my spiral-y evolution will never be complete. Life always challenges me to step into the next level of authenticity. That said, I've collected a lot of beautiful tools and skills along the way that I feel can benefit others who are stepping into a deeper level of embracing their true selves.
If you are interested in working with me, email me to set up a free consultation so we can see if we will be a good fit for each other.