This is the ninth article of the series: “Coming Out, Going Within.” Published with LinkedIn Articles and Medium. This article is to promote The Intersection: Diverse Folx Converse, a podcast made by and for queer people of color and gender non-conforming people.
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 sat down with Scott Turner Schofield last week on The Intersection: Diverse Folx Converse podcast. I had seen Scott in the news speaking about J.K. Rowling and trans-hate from this once-beloved author of Harry Potter. And when I heard his voice in film and on social media not just as one of trans and transmasculine representation. But also as a deep thinker and a healer and mentor for trans youth. I knew I had to also bring his work and thoughts to the “Coming Out, Going Within” series.
I’ve included directly above one of the first times I felt moved by Scott’s interactions with a trans youth. Following up to Scott’s responsibility to trans community, I see him here taking his role seriously as one of the most visible and longstanding transmasculine public figures in US queer culture. This is not visibility that was given to Scott. He had to earn it. When I interviewed Scott, he spoke about how he started his 10+-year running performance, that has now become a film, Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps. Because there were no roles for transgender actors. See memes below.
Alongside Scott working on his career and to gain visibility as an actor, he speaks about his inner work as well. And how both the outer striving for success, visibility, and power works alongside his work on the self, his self-acceptance, and self-love. When I decided to turn over this week’s “Coming Out, Going Within” article over to Scott’s interview, I thought about how with this focus on the inner and outer being, he can, in turn shed light. And bring healing to those of us queer and trans people reading.
Having this conversation with Scott made me think about the “Coming Out, Going Within” narratives to not only unite ourselves with our inner truth. But also to unite each other by thinking about how as queer and trans people. To a certain degree, we all share the “transition” experience. As I have come out recently, I have tried to stay self-aware, enough to allow for this transition from my closeted self to my out self to really happen. And self-aware so I could tell these stories. And let go of any privileges I gained when I was closeted and had identified as a heterosexual woman. With Scott, I learned about what this means when you go beyond just fitting in the gender binary in relationships. And instead, waking up each morning to work on how the gender binary can be challenged. And this happening each and every day. And it becomes a good effort to use this self-awareness for yourself and your self-growth. But also to aid those in your community.
I asked Scott a question I wasn’t sure about midway through the interview and we spoke about him “loving the woman he had been.” And trans people getting to the point of self-acceptance and self-love with the past, present, and future self. To which he answered, “you’d hope so.” And said that, the first step to transness is transition. And then after that is integration. And part of that involves holding a sacred space for your past self. And learning to love all parts of yourself.
If you are interested in viewing or listening to my interview on The Intersection with Scott Turner Schofield, feel free to check it out HERE as a YouTube premiere
Or an Anchor podcast, where it is available on all of your podcast platforms HERE
Dr. Shannon Wong Lerner portrait, Taken by Matthew Gordon
BIO: As a longstanding multicultural coach & thought leader 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.
Dr. Shannon also works as a keynote speaker and provides trainings on a variety of different subjects between DEI and communication.
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.