One of the things I do as a Life Coach at the Ali Forney Center is help to put together seminars, or what they call Life Retreats, so the clients we work with can learn about topics that can help them in the real world. Some of the retreats I’ve participated in since I’ve been a coach include team building, conflict resolution, a cultural outing to the Harlem Studio Museum and a discussion on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.
Over the past couple months I’ve been working with fellow coach Anthony to put together a panel on queer professionals. Our goal was to show a diverse cross section of the LGBTQ community who are young and successful in their careers. We pulled together a dean of school culture at a charter elementary school in Brooklyn, an assistant editor at DC Comics, an event planner, a sex educator, an a VP at the Women’s Media Center. Everyone had great stories about getting into the jobs they had, they jobs they’d had before and what their lives in general were like as they got to where they were. One of the panelists had even been through what many of the clients have: disowned for being gay and becoming homeless.
The clients seem to engage on the topic and I have to say I did as well. The panelists were excellent and were each inspiring with their stories. They’re young, all aged right around 30, and, as I said, successful in their own right. For many of them they are also doing exactly what they want to be doing. I’m thankful the panelists gave up a part of their Saturday to speak to the clients about their experiences and I’m glad I got to hear it too.