ND born, NY reborn, CA all grown up - this is the tag line I have used on varying social media sites for a few years. I feel it captures many of my life stories while leaving plenty of space to fill in the details.
I was raised on a farm on the prairies of North Dakota and learned about hard work and struggle at an early age. My parents had an interracial marriage (Mother is Native American (Poarch Creek), Father is White) and raised me to respect and understand both of my cultural backgrounds. Though I experienced many challenges growing up with a biracial and bicultural identity, I have learned to embrace those challenges for helping me understand the complexity of the human experience.
I value pursuing and prioritizing my goals and dreams. This value led me to leave North Dakota and move to New York City and eventually to San Francisco. This value inspires me to travel to urban and remote parts of the world for a sense of adventure. This value ignites my desire to explore my passion for creating music, art, and dance. This value inspired me to pursue education and complete my doctoral degree. This value also led me to work as a therapist, a goal and dream I have held since childhood.
So what led me to pursue a career in therapy and sexuality? I identify as Two-Spirit. For those who are unaware, Two-Spirit is a term that was created to describe Native American (USA) and First Nations (Canada) people who experience gender variance and/or sexual orientation variance. I identify as Two-Spirit and gay and have experienced both racism and homophobia on multiple occurrences in my life (even as recent as 2020). Despite the vitriol that I have experienced, I have always known that there is nothing wrong with me, that I am a kind and empathetic person, and that I am loved deeply by my friends and family. Yet, even with knowing all of those things to be true, it still hurt to be called names and to be threatened with physical violence just because of who I am. I decided to dedicate my life to those who are also challenged by sexuality in some way - either with their own gender and/or sexual orientation, or with any mental/emotional, relational, or physiological challenge they may be experiencing. I strongly believe that pleasure heals. It is an honor to help others feel the liberation that it is possible through the expression of their authentic sexual self.
In addition to my work in psychotherapy and academia, I am also a community organizer of the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAITS) powwow, a Board Member of the American Indian Cultural Center of San Francisco, and serve as an LGBTQ+ Advisory Member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
I live in San Francisco, CA and Guerneville, CA.