Shannon and Cheryl met on Social Media and we had an instant friend chemistry. We love being queer, meditating and nursing our ADHD brains. We had long conversations about our queer histories and Asian mixed heritage journeys. We came to a point in our friendship where we wanted to explore the roots of our resilient survival. And we both came to a single conclusion–it was LOVE.
Radical, openhearted, unapologetic love.
For the planet.
This is the story of how this program came together…
Dr. Shannon is a DEI-focused communication coach, thought leader, and podcaster.
Cheryl is a queer Asian advocate and consults leaders to develop inclusive cultures of psychological safety, global citizenship & equity.
Dr. Shannon: When I first started working with Cheryl, I recognized parts of their story in mine.
But being a biracial Chinese American woman who had less experience within my own Asian culture, I had always felt that something was incomplete.
I realized after speaking more with Cheryl and learning more about my ancestral ties to my narrative, dating back to what I knew from the mid-19th century settler town that my great great grandfather and then the small agricultural town where my great grandmother lived. That the rage I felt inside came from one of being mislabeled. Being alone. And feeling unheard. And being close to nature but being unable to enjoy its beauty.
Cheryl: I realized after speaking more with Shannon that so many of us are placed in situations where we become queer activists so young in our lives. The experiences of this sort of leadership is not guided by school or current power structures. Yet as young tender teens we emerge and creatively survive, thrive and push the envelope.
Dr. Shannon: I came out not long ago as gay / queer and have been able to tie my own intergenerational trauma to centuries of silence that has been passed down from the first moment the Wongs stepped foot on North American soil. And much later, came to my authentic self. Not only voicing my own thoughts. Feelings. And desires. But also trying to tap into what I feel my ancestors would have wanted for me.
Cheryl: I had been out since 1997 as a very proud Singaporean queer human and have fought to dismantle the pieces of psychological oppression that hold us back from full self acceptance or to come home. Home- meaning the wholeness within and with others.
Dr. Shannon: I was told once by another DEI practitioner that my ancestors were proud of me for having come out, and held me in their love and joy for having found my authentic voice. Self. And a partner whom loves me. And this reclamation of self. Of my mixed Asian heritage. And my identification and orientation as queer / gay. Has helped me turn my life’s work. Which has always been focused on love. To show others how they might do the same.
Cheryl said, that they had been told by a teacher to be a thorn amongst the roses as an activist. And over time, they have become the entire flower. I love that!
If you’re looking for two fantastic Asian queer speakers for PRIDE, June 2021. And you want people who are thoughtful, good communicators, and plugged into the current issues that matter. BOOK US for 2 30-minute back-to-back talks. We would be happy to facilitate an interactive, participatory experience for your team and organization. CONTACT US ON LINKEDIN TO BOOK US. Or message us at email@example.com 📢👩🏼🎤👩🏻✊🏼
Cheryl is a 20-year LGBTQIA+ & API mental health advocate over 2 continents, an immigrant from Singapore and is unapologetically open-hearted. They are founder of leadership-DEI Leading With Consciousness, host of the podcast Global Citizenship and Equity, Licensed Therapist and passionate expressive artist. Their higher purpose is to facilitate personal to collective development.
Dr. Shannon is a DEI-focused communication coach and thought leader. She hosts the podcast, The Intersection: Diverse Folx Converse, made by and for Queer People of Color and Gender Non-Conforming People. Her background in performance, speech, and voice adds interaction and somatics to her presentation style. She has studied in Paris with the only thinker who has written a complete philosophy of love, Luce Irigaray. And writes on love and queerness in her own work.