I know from experience that this is challenging, complex work that’s often driven by people with a passion for creating change and who wish that change would happen faster because they care so deeply about it. Doing this kind of work has taught me that process matters; I’ve learned to calibrate fast and slow, breadth and depth, big and small in ways that make sense for the context we’re in and the problem we’re trying to solve.
I’m a change-enabler and a system-shifter who facilitates movement from where we are to where we want to be. My approach integrates research evidence, stories and an invitation to tap into your own experiential wisdom. My intention is to connect the head with the heart, because we need a diverse toolkit of knowledge and experiences to grapple with the complex challenges we face today. I believe that we each have the power and responsibility to create change, and that we don’t have to do it alone.
This work has taken many forms over the years, from editing anthologies of queer and trans stories to teaching medical students and health care providers about LGBTQ+ health to figuring out how to embed equity, diversity and inclusion into organizational strategies and grantmaking practices. I also know how to throw an awesome queer dance party, but I retired from that after I got tired of sweeping up glitter and feathers at 2:00am!
I’m based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. I’m grateful to live and work on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.
My pronouns are she/her.
Want to know more about me and what i do? Read on!
I’m a writer and I’ve edited two books that explore identity and enable social change through stories: the Lambda Literary Award winning anthology The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Health Care and the Lambda Literary Award nominated anthology Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme (co-edited with Ivan Coyote).
I’m a sought-after speaker who’s given 50+ keynotes, guest lectures, presentations and invited talks to diverse audiences in Canada, the US and internationally.
I’ve been working in progressively senior strategic leadership roles in national and provincial health research and funding organizations since 2008. I spent 7 years as the assistant director of Canada’s national gender and health research funding agency and am currently the Director, Strategy at the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. I’m a skilled strategist, leader and facilitator who is passionate about building purposeful, data-driven organizations that are courageous, creative and learning-oriented in their quest for impact.
My LGBTQ+ health advocacy work has taken many forms, including editing The Remedy, speaking, teaching and community service. I co-chair the board of the Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre, a low-barrier wellness centre for trans and gender-diverse people in Vancouver, BC, and am a former board member of the Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health.
I have a PhD in interdisciplinary studies (or, as I prefer to call it, a choose-your-own-adventure PhD) and a Master’s degree in communication. My qualitative research focused on the intersections of gender, power and care work in the health system, and how organizational structures and policies have the potential to shape people’s lives for better and for worse. It taught me a lot about using research-informed stories to change systems.
My resume also includes campus radio DJ, cabaret host and go-go dancer for a queer punk band. Now that I’m almost 40 and co-parenting a one year-old you’re more likely to find me going to bed at 9:00pm and waking up early to a grinning baby and a strong cup of coffee. I’m very much a morning person (and with mornings like those, who wouldn’t be?).