Photo of Dr. Shannon

I'm Dr. Shannon Wong Lerner

I'm a multicultural coach & personal brand storyteller who brings full-service, high-level communication courses to diverse clientele. I can help you speak your way to success.

Learn More

Coming Out, Going Within: Positive Masculinity & the Men in My Life Part III–Continue Gender Expression and the Pressure of “Beauty”​ for ALL Women / Womxn

This is the fifth article of the series: “Coming Out, Going Within.” Published with LinkedIn Articles and Medium. And the Third Article in the sub-series “Positive Masculinity and the Men in My Life.”

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.


“You’re starving yourself! You are eating under the minimum calorie count that you burn doing nothing, just sitting at home.”

The first time I met with my personal trainer and executive health and wellness coach, Zachary Raines, he told me my brilliant system I had used to lose 40 lbs the past two years was seriously flawed. Noom, a weight loss app had allowed me 1300 calories a day. And rewarded me when I was under this calorie count.

Zach told me that the reason why I craved saturated fats and refined sugars at times. Was because I was in fact starving myself. I read–my body was eating itself for energy, not the food I was taking in. I was moody, irritable, couldn’t focus on work, and low on energy. I felt like I was wasting away. 

I can’t blame Noom for all of this. But what I can blame is my prolonged belief in heteronormative status quo beauty standards. And basing my self-worth on whether I was “attractive” or not. Like many women who are or were heterosexual identified for a lot of their lives–I have had a complicated relationship with food. And body image. And I controlled and disciplined my body: Food intake. Exercise. In order to meet these standards of thinness. To be LESS. In order to SHOW UP to others. And to be visible in the public eye. Many times, at the detriment of my own health and wellness. And my relationships with other people.

Zachary Raines, M.S., Executive Health and Wellness Coach and me during a peer-coaching session

Now, I am on a macronutrient food plan. Starting at 1500 calories a day. And going up based on exercise. And never subtracting from this. I balance my food intake with complex carbs, lean proteins, healthy non-saturated fats, and lots of fruits and vegetables. And plenty of water. No refined sugars. No gluten. And no dairy. I don’t let myself go hungry. I am on a 30-day challenge of fitness and nutrition, based on Zach’s assessment. And after having conditioned and worked with me for a couple of months. And I am feeling better. Perhaps not with the ultra-thin image I had before. But it’s authentically me. I have energy to work to meet my goals. I’m happy. And I am healing my self-image and health from the inside out.


Lastly, I will write in my next article about my photo shoot with my photographer, Matthew Gordon. I write a bit about this in my first article on self-image as a newly out gay / queer woman. But I have worked some things out since then. In this last article of this sub-series on Positive Masculinity, I will share how I used self-care and somatic exercises such as meditation, chanting, and movement to help me prepare for this otherwise stressful event! I was able to get away from self-consciousness. And awkwardness. By making sure I came to the photo shoot as a whole person. And could leave behind how other people might think I appear. I use many of these self-care and somatic exercises to help my diverse clients holistically prepare for speaking engagements. And I think my readership will find many of my tips and the way I prepared for the photo shoot useful!

I will see you all next week!


Dr. Shannon


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 ConverseeFEMeral: 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.

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Photo of Dr. Shannon

I'm Dr. Shannon Wong Lerner

I'm a multicultural coach & personal brand storyteller who brings full-service, high-level communication courses to diverse clientele. I can help you speak your way to success.

Learn More

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