Kirsten Bunch and I had our first conversation when she interviewed me as a part of the research she’s doing for her coming book about being an LGBTQ+ professional. It was a given that I’d later ask her to join me for an AUII conversation, eager as I was to hear what she was learning in the midst of a variety of personal and professional transitions.

Check out our 30-minute conversation; show notes are below!

Some key moments in our conversation:

  • Kirsten is a life and career coach for the LGBTQ+ community; she’s also single after an 18-year relationship ended in a way that has inspired her to explore how all of her identities intersect and her true, inherent worth as a human
  • She helps individuals heal and self-actualize so they can do the systems work
  • She’s learning while helping people navigate relational trauma ie healing from toxic relationships whether professional or personal
  • The expanded focus on/awareness of trans and non-binary people has some people treating these identities as new despite the reality of trans and non-binary humans always having existed
  • The ways social narratives can adversely impact individuals in a domino effect
  • Kirsten’s study of relational trauma was spurred by her career coaching work and then coincided serendipitously with her tough break-up
  • Learn/share/learn and omg/cool! cycles
  • The shaky ground where Kirsten is finding freedom during this time of change; and it’s also excruciating depending on the moment
  • Embracing the no-knowing and the opportunity to learn who she is now
  • Her surprise at discovering she’s liking her new life in the South including living near cows and discovering queer community in small town living
  • Her tools include her whole coaching toolkit, writing, intentionally navigating distracting/self-soothing and sitting with the feelings, movement
  • Kirsten reflected on giving herself space to distract during a post-break-up time when she couldn’t process until she noticed that she had the bandwidth for processing and being elsewhere in her life

Organization spotlight: The Trevor Project, an organization whose mission is to end suicide among LGBTQ+ young people via crisis and community services.

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