* consent culture – embodied spirituality – words and story *
I am a writer, storyteller, and teacher who lives with my family on Catawba lands in what is now part of the southeastern United States. My work brings together my research interests of gender, sexuality, consent, relationships, trauma, healing, spirituality, theology, ritual, storytelling, social justice, and energy work. I appreciate working within each of these foci; the areas of overlap are where my heart opens most and loving brilliance pours out. In my free time, I spin fire.
consent culture and sexuality
For over a decade, I’ve worked in rape crisis – answering hotlines, providing in-person hospital and police accompaniment, and facilitating support groups to help survivors reconnect with their bodies and explore safe, consensual, healthy sexuality after sexual assault or childhood sexual abuse. Before that, I worked as a childbirth educator and doula, and I currently work in sexual violence policy, prevention, and response at the statewide level. I enjoy working with people to tease out and build upon the areas they can find safety in their bodies in ways that allow newly discovered and developed communication strengths, boundary-setting, and experiences of sensual pleasure to radiate outward to other areas of life and sexuality. In this vein, I independently teach workshops on sexuality, consent and boundaries, and community accountability, and consult with organizations, festivals, and communities on building practices and policies that foster safety and accountability. I also coach parents on how to talk about sexuality in open, candid, and healthy ways with their children; facilitate discussions about gender identity and sexual orientation with children; and work with parents to foster trust and security for their gender non-conforming children.
My spiritual path is shaped by a wide variety of experiences – from living in an Episcopalian convent to studying neo-Druidic women’s mysteries, from conversations with rivers to ecstatic ritual, and from meditation and guided imagery to embodied approaches that include dance, chanting, and elaborate liturgy. I’ve worked in full-time ministry in a church that embraced mind-action philosophies, and left after feeling spirit’s sweet pull into nuance, deeper into the mystery. I am a mystic and a theologian, a heart-follower and an academic, a theorist and an activist, and I find the tension between these seeming opposites to be the place where my most powerful magic happens, my keenest insights come, and my greatest growth emerges. I enjoy facilitating rites of passage, holding space for birth and death, tending grief, sharing joy, and performing weddings, baby blessing and coming of age ceremonies, and funerals. I read Tarot, do energy work, hoop dance, ecstatic dance, spin fire, and teach and lead guided imagery sessions. I enjoy building community as well as working with people to develop personal rituals for growth, self-knowledge, and healing.
words and story
I didn’t always call myself a writer. It’s the kind of thing that has to grow on you, sneaking into your self-understanding in tiny flashes of confidence until you somehow realize it’s what you have been all along. In the years since I first began playing with words in earnest, I’ve brought them to a number of settings. I’ve been published in academic journals, university bulletins, and professional training manuals. I’ve written prose poetry, self-reflection, and theological reflection for popular websites. I’ve conducted professional trainings fora variety of sexual health, anti-violence, and educational professionals, and have presented at state and national conferences. I have told live, true stories on stages including SHIFT-NC’s Sex Ed Storytelling and Smut Slam DC, and am the producer, host, and sometimes-storyteller at Outfluenced: An Evening of Queer Storytelling. I love words, imperfect medium that they are, and strive to loop them together in ways that inspire, inform, and create experiences.