This is the eighth article of the series: “Coming Out, Going Within.” Published with LinkedIn Articles and Medium.
Learn More about “Coming Out, Going Within”: I think we can all agree that the queer / LGBTQIA+ community needs more resources for our self-healing and spirituality. And ways to communicate our lived experiences and truth. Coming Out, Going Within chronicles my journey toward self-love as a newly out bi-racial gay / queer woman. I share my day-to-day life not just as a personal journey, but also as a communication coach and cultural storyteller. I hope with this series, I can hold open a space for the LGBTQIA+ community–and all of my intersections as BIPoC, API, womxn, Jewish, and neurodivergent–to grow toward wholeness and success. Please join me in my storytelling, and feel free to share your own story in comments.
I only heard about Alok after my photoshoot. And Elliot Page’s landmark Time article came out the week after, too. When I look at my photos now and really take in who I am and more importantly, who I am becoming. Part of my healing from my closeted self. And healing from the toxic masculinity I exposed myself to at this time. And participated in supporting. Is when I am able to get present enough to ask myself–WHAT IS QUEER BEAUTY? And I think it HAS TO BE both the brazen and confrontative images and performances of Alok. Who plays with and yet also smashes gender expressions. Refusing to shave and pairing chest hair and beard with floral prints and dresses and blouses. And wearing lipstick. It’s a beautiful example of queer beauty to me.
In turn, Elliot Page’s raw and vulnerable portraits and voice in the Time spread. Shows the process and the authenticity through being an available and emotionally present person going through a transition. Page goes right to our hearts because we can feel his hurt and healing from his past experiences. When he was standing and living within someone else’s truth of who he was. And who he knows himself to be, fully.
I love both representations and voices. From Alok’s brazen creativity and GNC-femme-diva vibe. To Elliot Page’s courageousness to be so open, vulnerable, and emotional with us. When he describes his experience before when he was closeted and in the public eye and now that he is out.
I want to take a moment to thank all of the positively masculine men and people in my life who made this sub-series possible. And who have helped me become self-reflective and to turn around my relationship with my gender expression, myself, and masculine people. You know who you are! Including Mirah Lucas, Matthew Gordon, and Zachary Raines.
Dr. Shannon Wong Lerner portrait, Taken by Matthew Gordon
BIO: As a longstanding multicultural coach & personal brand storyteller who brings full-service, high-level communication courses to diverse clientele – Dr. Wong Lerner is a 🦄!
She has 20+ years of academic and industry experience.
Across several Fortune 500 companies, engineering and Ivy League universities, non-profit organizations, and U.S. and international government entities.
Her clients have remarkably high success rates as professionals, entrepreneurs, public speakers, and presenters.
As a queer API coach, she meets you from your unique starting place. To better support you as women, BIPOC, WOC, non-native speakers, nontraditional learners, allies, & LGBTQIA+ talent. Inclusive of genderqueer, non-binary, & trans individuals. Dr. Shannon specializes in helping her clients tell their coming out stories at their place of work and as business owners or public figures. She curates her content not just as an expert in her field. But as vulnerable and intimately bound to her topics, to open up spaces for others to speak as their authentic selves.
Dr. Shannon uses a whole-person, holistic method for all and any speaking situation that considers:
WHO you are
WHERE you come from
HOW you orient and identify
HOW you process information
and HOW you sound as a communicator.
So you don’t sound like a version of someone else. But you sound like a better version of yourself.
To help others with their personal brand storytelling to host your own podcast and write your own content to level up, attract new employers and clientele — she enjoys hosting: The Intersection: Diverse Folx Converse, eFEMeral: Voice Matters, and Queer Home Meditation.
**”Coming Out. Going Within” started as the LGBTQIA+ meditation project, Queer Home Meditation, as a private Facebook group airing on Facebook Live. Intermittently, QHM videos are shared to LinkedIn Events and YouTube.
Services: If you are interested in working with a communication coach who values and understands your lived experience, feel free to reach out on LinkedIn through DM. Speak Your Way to Success is Dr. Wong Lerner’s signature program that includes everything you need to become a better communicator in just 3 months. Learn public speaking, personal brand storytelling, intercultural communication, rhetoric and critical thinking, and gain many personal resources. The program is catered to your needs and individualized with supplementary materials and group support. We have spots available and are taking on new clients now.