FUN FACT. I have 10 national and regional medals with USARS (USA Roller Sports) in Artistic Roller Skating. During this era, I was named Michigan Skater of the Year. For those of you who don't know, artistic roller skating is figure skating, can take the form of tracing figures, leaps, and ballroom dance.
Now! I'm retired from the competitive world! But have a hard time taking my skates off. I especially enjoy teaching beginners and roller skating for music videos and performance. If you ask me to do any project with my indoor roller skates, I will probably say YES
And speaking of gliding, weight shifting, and balance, I also trained in Contact Improvisation at the very place it started in Oberlin, Ohio with Ann Cooper Albright. I have curated and co-directed several performances and an international tour centering domestic violence survivors using the form. I have since continued to play with it in Budapest and NYC. It's very dear to me!!! To my body, my healing, and the ways I store memory.
Never in a million years did I think "public speaking" would be a thing for me! But here we are. A whole lil section on my website.
My most recent event was in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference (MBLGTACC), the oldest and largest LGBTQIA+ college conference in the United States. I will speak alongside fellow organizers and contributors to my latest anthology, Written on the Body. The next event will take place at University of Wisconsin in LaCrosse this April for Social Justice Week.
I got my start on this when a professor wrote a book about dancer Isadora Duncan and asked me to read a piece by Gertrude Stein. When my first anthology came out in 2012, I began developing a storytelling workshop. This eventually became a tour of workshops to domestic violence shelters, transition homes, rehab centers, and universities through Canada and the Midwest. That became another tour through the UK, then another focused on sexual abuse survivors, at event at MitSprache, the world's largest conference of childhood sexual abuse survivors in all contexts. Now, with representation by Creativewell, I travel regularly to colleges, universities, and conferences around the United States.
You can see below for more information on our panel and workshop. Stay tuned for more on events and workshops I will lead inspired by themes of my debut novel,The Ship We Bulit.
TRANSPARENCY: SPEAKING OUR TRUTHS
A Panel & Conversation with Trans Survivors of Domestic and Cultural Assault Featuring Contributors of the Book:
Written on the Body: Letters from Trans and Non-Binary Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Edited by Lexie Bean — Selected as one of the"50 Best LGBT Books of 2018" by Autostraddle.com and a 2019 Lambda Literary Award ("Lammy") finalist.
ABOUT THE PANEL:
In a panel that shares a range of personal experiences from the transgender community, audiences have the opportunity to get acquainted with the people too often dehumanized in society and interpersonal relationships. They speak on trans people’s struggle to find safety at home, in the body, and other unwelcoming places. Panelists are all contributors to the book, Written On The Body: Letters from Trans and Non-Binary Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, edited by Lexie Bean, (2019 Lambda Literary Award finalist).
The program begins with each panelist presenting short readings of their letters from the book and/or their personal essays. It then transitions into a conversation among the panelists about issues faced by themselves and other transgender people, which includes access to basic health care, counseling, community support, experiences with law enforcement, why trans people are so vulnerable to assault and how justice for a trans person experiencing violence can be illusive, thereby leaving them vulnerable to repeated violence and assault. The conversation shifts to the deeply personal as panelists address relationships with their own transitions, and everyday life changes which take many forms, such as: taking hormones, changing one’s name, choosing their pronouns, expressions in clothing, physical and emotional changes, access to healthy relationships, and more. At the core is maintaining autonomy over their own bodies and stories. A lively Q & A and extended conversation follows with the audience.
ABOUT THE WRITING WORKSHOP:
CREATING FROM PAIN: A WRITING WORKSHOP ON STORYTELLING AND OUR BODIES.
Thisan interactive, experimental writing experience is led by our panelists. The workshop uses storytelling, visual art and light-movement to access new ways to explore and write about our unique experiences in our own bodies, especially for survivors and trans people who often struggle to find safety within themselves. Participants will also have the space to acknowledge who they are outside of their relationships and labels, nurtured by mutual time for individual and group listening, self reflection and sharing. We are open to all gender expressions; there would also be a peer advocate available on site.
HI! My work has ranged from indie short films to a national ad featured in Times Square. I like to be challenged! Explosive feelings! Intimate, messy, complex queer content! Good snacks behind the scenes :) Lately, I've been especially interested in storytelling dealing with addiction, mental health, binaries, and navigating abusive histories and relationships.
I've been in training for several years with Robert Russell and THE STUDIO with Brad Calcaterra, most recently featured in Forbes Magazine as an "LGBTQ Star Factory."