My work life
I have been working as a counsellor/facilitator/trainer in the LGBTTQ community for over 30 years (in private practice since 1994). Between 1987 and 1993 (when death from AIDS-related illnesses was at its height) I was a counsellor and program director at the AIDS Committee of Toronto.
In addition to working with and supporting many people with HIV/AIDS, I am a cancer survivor myself. I have also been successfully working a personal recovery program since 1985. As a result, I offer clients a profound understanding and insight into the issues of addiction, grief and anger.
Over the years, I have also designed and facilitated a wide variety of workshops. My topics include Building Healthy Relationships, Grief & Bereavement, Communicating With Dying People, Sexuality, Codependency, Anger Management, Healing Our Shame, Successful Aging, and Homophobia & Heterosexism.
My personal life
I am an outspoken lipstick lesbian who has been a community activist for over 40 years. (I started very young!) In 1994, I was awarded the Canadian Lambda Award for Excellence in Human Rights. During the presentation ceremony in Ottawa I was referred to as a ‘pioneer of the gay movement in Canada’ and ‘Ontario’s first lady of queer liberation.’ I wear both titles with pride.
In September of 2002, my portrait was inducted into the National Portrait Collection of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. This program recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the queer community. And in 2013, I was inducted into the Canadian Q Hall of Fame.
I currently live in Ottawa where I keep myself busy with my private practice, a part-time contract as a support group facilitator with Parkinson’s Canada, and volunteer work with the Ottawa Senior Pride Network.
I believe that life is a wonderful adventure. Both the good and bad moments contribute to who we are in this world. Through my own personal therapy over the years I discovered how to make myself happy and how to cope with the challenges that come along. I know that every person has the ability to change and create a more fulfilling life.