What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Quick, write down what came into your mind?

Maybe there is more than one thing.

Maybe there’s a whole string of things you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail.

What if it didn’t matter if you failed or not? We have so much pressure on ourselves that we shouldn’t even bother trying something unless we are going to be perfect at it. After all, who wants to look stupid? Yet, it is always in the journey that we grow, the destination is only a part of the equation.

I like watching GLEE. Yes, I get that those kids are trained actors and singers. They are also role models, real life role models of young people who pursued their dreams of dancing, singing and acting and are DOING IT!

REAL LIFE KIDS who FOLLOWED THEIR HEARTS into the arts and they play kids who are doing the same-following their BIG DREAMS!

Imagine what your life would look like if you were following your BIG DREAM! Maybe you are already following your BIG DREAM, living your BIG DREAM.

I started following my big dreams and they got even BIGGER!

So what if you claimed an even BIGGER DREAM for your life and stood it in and were willing to take those small steps and the BIG LEAPS towards your destiny?

What if 5 years from now you looked back from the mountain top of those BIG DREAMS with a feeling of satisfaction and new desires moving through your heart and soul? How would that feel?

My big dream 12 years ago was to write a book. Since then I’ve published two non-fiction books, a short story, a memoir, a poem, and published several articles in LGBT and psychology magazines and journals. I’m proud of myself. Writing and publishing a book seemed so far away once.

Now, I’m ready to be a New York Times Best Selling Author of both fiction and non-fiction books. I’ve written two awesome novels that I’m ready to share with the world and I want to write and publish non-fiction books that support my readers in loving themselves even more, believing in themselves even more, and having the tools to get through tough times and courageously live the authentic lives they came here to live. So, I am claiming and standing in my BIG DREAM!

My work as a psychologist in a women’s prison for 13 years, my leadership within the marriage equality movement and my coaching people to design the lives they’ve dreamed of has all boiled down to one clear message: we must claim our power, be our true selves, and love ourselves unconditionally.

I want to support you in stepping into living your BIGGER dream, taking that leap of faith, and living your authentic life.

I have two FREE events coming up that I’ve designed to help you do just that. I want you to join me for one or both of these tele-seminars if they speak to you.

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“How to Come Out of the Closet and Into Your Power!”

FREE Tele-Seminar

May 28, 2012

7:00-8:00 PM PST

Click here to register!

 

This is for LGBTIQ people and straight allies who find themselves still hiding and holding back. Stop being apologetic for you are and start flaunting your truth! Start being the real you in all conversations and in all ways!!!

You are here to live out loud and love out loud. You will never be able to lead with your heart and live from your heart if you can’t live your truth out loud and if you can’t boldly trust who you are or who you love. Goodbye internalized homophobia, hello radical self-acceptance!!!

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“3 Secrets to Finding Your Voice and Sharing Your Message!”

FREE Tele-Seminar

May 30, 2012

4:00-5:00 PM PST

Click here to register now!

You have a message to share! You have a gift to give!

Find your voice and find out what you are wanting to give voice to and why your voice matters!

Come join in this prelude to also finding out if you have a book in you. I bet you do!

 

Remember as R. Kelly sang, “If I can see it, then I can do it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it. I believe I can fly!”

It’s time to BELIEVE!

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If you are unable to attend, sign up anyway, and you’ll receive a FREE recording of the tele-seminars.

You can check out the tele-classes and workshops I’m offering this summer.

Click Here for The 3 Month Come Out Courage Coaching Program!

Click Here for The Manifest Your Manuscript Summer Program!

Come feed your soul with the Seduce Your Muse Writing Workshop and Retreat in Venice Italy September 1-8th.

Click Here to Register Now!

Live, love, dream big and BELIEVE!

Davina

Did you hear about me and Oprah?

Did you hear about me and Oprah?

Usually, I’m the one following in Oprah’s footsteps. I’ve kept a gratitude journal, read Eckhart Tolle’s- “A New Earth,” etc.

Now, Oprah is finally following in my footsteps, by literally walking on hot coals.

I walked on fire my first time back in 1999 at Tony Robbins’ “Unleash the Power Within” Seminar. Hey, it only took Oprah 13 years to catch up with me on this one.

I’m proud of her and I got to re-live my fire-walk experience on Oprah’s “Next Chapter” TV show that she filmed with the man who introduced me to the power of coaching and transformed my life–Tony Robbins.

Oprah was just “going to watch” and do a story on Tony’s UPW Seminar. She ended up surprising herself, and Tony, with her courage when she walked on hot coals last month outside the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Today, I can boast that I’m a four-time fire-walker, including walking a 40 foot fire-walk in Hawaii at Tony’s “Life Mastery Workshop” in 2000.

There is nothing like fire-walking!!!

Our brains are designed to fear fire and our bodies learn early on not to touch to it. That’s why walking on fire is so powerful!

The fire-walk is a show of courage over circumstance, to not let fear stop you from moving forward in your life.

How often do you get stopped from taking action in your life because you are afraid?

We are afraid of failing, looking stupid, making a mistake. Our fear can keep us stuck, our fear can keep us from going after our dreams or from making positive changes in our life.

Not everyone needs to literally walk on hot coals to know that they can overcome their fears, but it sure feels awesome to do it! And if you don’t believe me, ask Oprah!

For some people, finding the courage to speak their truth is their fire-walk. I have several amazing clients who realized that the reason they never felt like they “fit in” was because they had been born into a body that did not reflect the energetic essence of who they really were. Because society places rigid expectations on people based on whether or not they are male-bodied or female-bodied, for these brave souls, their fire-walk was declaring to themselves, loved ones, and co-workers what their true essence was and dressing and expressing themselves in a way that was true to their authentic selves.

For others, their proverbial fire-walk, might be coming out about some other personal truth. For example, I was recently at a writing workshop where a woman “came out” as “psychic” and talked about how this gift had frightened her at times and that she feared that she would be judged or rejected for sharing her truth.

For some, a fire-walk might be leaving a professional career to pursue an artistic endeavor, ending a relationship, following a spiritual calling or traveling internationally.

Every one of us has some growth edge, some place where we are hiding or holding back and afraid to step forward into our authentic selves or a greater expression of who we are.

What is your fire-walk and will you take that first step?

If you are feeling called to make a change in your life, please contact me. I am here to help you take that first step and support you in your personal transformation!

Much love,

Davina

How to Come Out of the Closet and Into Your Power!

How To Come Out of the Closet and Into Your Power!!!

Come Out!

 

After two years in the making, I finally finished creating my newest program called “How to Come Out of the Closet and Into Your Power!”

Buy Now

This 6 CD set program and workbook is the first of its kind!!!

The program combines my more than fifteen years of experience as a clinical psychologist and leader in the LGBT community to empower LGBT people and their families to claim their truth and authentically express who they are in the world.

There are no other coming out programs like this!

The program consists of eight hours of recorded material; including coming out coaching and exercises, guided imagery, and empowering interviews.

You’ll learn the 5 Secrets to Coming Out with Confidence:

● How to Talk to People with CONFIDENCE About Who You Are So They’ll Want to Accept You!

● What to Say When Someone Tells You “It’s Just a Phase” or “You Can Change.”

How to Feel Great About Yourself Regardless of Other People’s Responses.

● How to BREAK THROUGH the Closet Door!

● The Most Important Secret to Coming Out!

PLUS four inspiring interviews:

“Saying Yes to Your Truth” with Rev. Deborah Johnson, Author of Sacred Yes and Your Deepest Intent

“How to Survive Being Outed!” with Dr. Isaac Namdar, Author of In This Day And Age: A Community at the Crossroads of Religion and Homosexuality

“How to Breakdown the Closet Door!” with former California Senator Roy Ashburn

“Don’t Get Bitter, Make It Better!” with Pastor Marcos Apolonio, Kinship International

For more information, go to:

www.comeoutintoyourpower.com

2012 is a Leap Year and the Year of the Dragon!

2012 is a Leap Year! 

It is also the year of the Dragon which means it is a great year to be bold! 

And what could be more bold than joyfully going after your dreams and listening to your heart’s desire?

Perhaps like me, you inherited the belief that to be successful meant working long hours and really pushing yourself towards success. Work first, play later, if at all. Following your heart, being playful and really enjoying your life was for losers or dreamers, or at the very least something you could look forward to after retirement–early retirement if you played your cards right! That model does not have to be true.

I had the good fortune, the last year of the Dragon (2000), to attend Tony Robbins Life Mastery. I say good fortune, because I used my retirement funds to pay the $10,000 to attend. It seemed utterly insane at the time to almost everyone in my life, including me, so it took a huge leap of faith to make that investment at 30 years old. It was one of the best investments of my life. The things I learned by taking that leap paid me back ten fold, both literally–cash in pocket–and figuratively by showing me what is possible when I stopped playing small in my life, said “yes” to my dreams, and took action towards my highest vision.

Some actions can be simple like reading positive affirmations out loud every day, while others are bigger like signing up to run a marathon or taking Spanish Immersion in another country.

Many people have told me that they would like to write a book. They have a positive message or a life-changing story that they want to share with the world, however, they don’t know how to get started. They think writing a book has to be hard work. Again, that limiting belief shows up that the good stuff has to be hard.

I’ve found that I am more productive and creative when I am enjoying myself and letting the creativity flow through me. I’ve written four books that way. I remember hearing Tony Robbins talk about how he wrote his first book in 4 months. I was so inspired by this, that I set out to do the same. I actually wrote and published my first book “Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage” within 9 months of saying “yes” to the editor of Alyson Books.

People would ask me, “How many years did it take you to write your books?” I almost felt apologetic when I told them it only took me 4.5 months to write my first book and 3 months to write my second book. The publication process took the most time. It was beyond their conception of what was possible. They truly believed that writing had to include suffering or grueling bouts of writer’s block. Again, when I am enjoying myself, the creativity is unstoppable. It is like tapping in to a well that just continues to flow, all I have to do is make the time and space to receive it.

I wanted to share this truth with other writers and healers to support them in tapping into this joyful creative flow–and that’s why I created the Seduce Your Muse Workshop in Italy.

I wanted other writers, coaches, and healers to have the opportunity to enjoy the process of writing and to see the grace and ease that flows forward from the creative well, when you are in alignment with your self and your soul. Your muse needs play, beauty, relaxation,  and inspiration and then your cup runneth over. It is the “hardwork” of toiling that saps your creative juices. This is true whether or not you are writing a book, starting a new business, or creating a new program or product. Playfulness + vision + intent + action=inspired successful creation.

Here’s what  a few Seduce Your Muse participants said:

“Seduce Your Muse unleashed my creativity and refreshed my writing. Davina creates a safe space where you can explore the new realms that writing can take you into. She is a competent coach who encourages us to become whom we want to be and helps us to let go of what no longer serves us. I will recommend Seduce Your Muse to others and yes, I would love to do this again.”— Jacqueline B. Canada

“Top notch retreat. High value for price! I would recommend Seduce Your Muse to others. You relax more and can be even more of your true self. Intimate and safe. Vacation-feel away from it all in a really unique and distinctive location. Very inspiring, stimulating and helped me get unstuck and writing again.”– Yessica, Amsterdam

“I loved the variety of different types of writing and of the creativity and coaching exercises that brought out different dimensions of my self. It was very powerful! I loved the combination of being in a beautiful, magical, fascinating place – and awakening creativity and being creative is incredibly juicy and satisfying. Yummmm! Davina has a wonderful capacity to coach, to support and draw out essence and life force! I loved her playfulness and sense of drama – and our full moon walk night with masks.”–Laurie, California

“I would definitely do this again! I will be recommending this to other “kindred spirits” who would be able to receive and learn from Davina’s gifts. Davina is both inspirational and great fun. She clearly knows and loves this city. Seduce Your Muse was very well organized and Davina kept the pace moving in time. I loved Davina’s coaching for inspiration! Seduce Your Muse jump starts your writing: Venice awakens your soul.” –Sharon, Ottawa

I’ve included more information about Seduce Your Muse and an article from one of last year’s participants called “Should You Seduce Your Muse?” to help you figure out of this adventure is for you.

It is the year of the Dragon, I know you have something to unleash. I invite you to take a leap and join me in Italy. Come Seduce Your Muse in a  one-of-a-kind experience that you will always treasure.

Ciao,

Davina

Should you Seduce your Muse in Venice? by Sharon Irven

Should you Seduce your Muse in Venice?

by Sharon Irven

“Travel is like love: it cracks you open, and so pushes you over all the walls and low horizons that habits and defensiveness set up.” Pico Iyer

The answer to whether you should seduce your muse in Venice (or any other far away location) depends on why you would want to leave home and your cozy writing space in the first place. Are you feeling stuck in your work, forgotten why you launched such an ambitious writing project, in need of some new stimulation or just plain wanting to get away? For me, having the distinction of living in the second coldest capital city in the world, I felt that I had endured too many days of jaw dropping cold weather last January when I heard about Davina’s workshop.

Christmas was over and coincidentally, so was my marriage. I had spent the previous month talking to lawyers and other creatures from the dark side, so I desperately needed a change. Most of my friends had already escaped for warmer climes: Florida, Texas, even Goa, where can I go? It was too late to get reservations for a cheap trip to Cuba (half of Canada must already be there); a Caribbean escape felt way too decadent. Besides, I’m not much of a beach bunny, preferring to learn something new on holidays, and I don’t mean new places to shop. Now that I have more time on my hands, I wanted to get back to my writing.

I rounded up the usual suspects on-line, consulting trusted web sites and blogs for escape ideas. I knew about a writer’s retreat in Chile that is popular with Canadians (our winter is their summer, so handy) but the facilitator was a poet. Although I love poets and poetry, I don’t see myself writing it. In another blog, I found an intriguing reference to a ‘seduce your muse’ writers’ workshop. Following the links, the stunning pictures of Venice on Davina’s website seduced me, instantly. I had always thought of Venice as a tourist trap (it had not ranked high on my bucket list) but it did look gorgeous in those pictures. Besides, I had heard that Venice was sinking so it felt like I should experience it before it goes. And the price was right. The timing fit too – being in March allowed enough time to get my passport renewed.

I forwarded the url to three fellow scribes and there was a lot of interest; only Jacqueline could see her way clear to attend with me. OMG, cue the rockets; we are going to Venice! We did not realize then how useful this sojourn would be to support our writing aspirations.

Before we immersed ourselves into attracting our muses, we spent a day wandering about Venice acquainting ourselves with all its considerable charms.

We happily got lost amidst the narrow streets (some ending abruptly at canals with unprotected entrances: heads up!), we browsed in shops selling everything imaginable (shoes, gloves and handbags especially caught my eye) and noticed, on every street corner, a gelato shop. They are as popular as Tim Horton’s are back home in Ottawa.

The next day we checked into the comfortable apartment where our workshop was taking place. Did I mention spacious? It had a fully equipped kitchen, handy for making breakfasts (one of the participants created three lovely gourmet meals for us here), a living and dining room where most workshop sessions took place, two sparkling ceramic bathrooms and sleeping quarters for up to 5 people. A tiny balcony off the kitchen opened onto a canal: one day we watched a ‘near miss’ between two gondoliers heading in opposite directions around a tight corner. Thank goodness for skillful maneuvering! Compared to the cramped hotel rooms that one usually encounters in Europe, it felt like we were staying in the Taj Mahal. Jacqueline joked that one almost had time to eat lunch moving from the bedrooms to the living room.

As a way to launch the workshop, Davina guided us through the city on a full moon walk. Clearly she knows and loves this city: we loved seeing the full moon hovering over the centuries old buildings and shining on the canals. What a wonderful introduction to this magical kingdom. It was also an opportunity to invoke the spirits of other creative geniuses associated with Venice: Ezra Pound is buried at nearby San Michele Island; Browning wrote ‘O to be in England’ while living at the palatial Ca Rezzonico that overlooks the Grand Canal; Antonio Vivaldi was born and composed his fabulous music here, just to name a few. We invited our artistic muses to visit us here in this mystical city of shimmering canals and car-free streets.

So what did we do to nurture our writing muses during the seven days of the workshop? We shared our dreams as writers, responded to creative prompts, either from Davina’s imagination or from the majestic surroundings, we practiced writing different forms (I’m still not a poet) and, under Davina’s gentle prodding, set new writing intentions for ourselves. After we got home, Jacqueline successfully applied for (and secured) a spot in the coveted Banff Creative Writing Studio. She attributes her Venice experience for giving her the resolve to do so. I decided to break out a partially completed novel that was in hiding amongst the dust bunnies.

Davina had designed a workshop schedule that allowed for an agreeable mix of personal and group time. In between writing sessions, we toured the city, either as a group or alone, exploring all the traditional sights, like San Marco Basilica, the splendid museums and galleries, jewelers’ and artists studios. We went for two relaxing gondola rides, a bit like canoeing, only someone else is doing all the work (sometimes they sing too). We dined al fresco in the sunny campo; one evening we attended a classical music concert by candlelight at a lovely renaissance church filled with art. We had an amazing holiday.

There were tears when we said our good-byes at the vaporetto stop, en route to the train station. We were sad to see our group go our separate ways to Canada, California and Amsterdam. Hope we meet again, preferably near a canal and under Davina’s inspiring leadership.

To attend Seduce Your Muse or to learn more go to http://www.seduceyourmuse.com

Begging for Equality!

Glenn Schmoll met his husband, Lowell Houser, in 1961 at a friend’s home in Los Angeles to watch a televised panel on homosexuality, something that was radical on two accounts, one homosexuality was illegal and having a television was a rarity. The couple were together for 45 years and were officially married on July 25, 2008 in Ft. Bragg, California before Propisition 8 passed. Like many of our LGBT seniors, Glenn has been denied benefits that would be granted to an opposite-sex spouse. The financial hardships on him have been immeasurable.

How many LGBT widows and widowers will face homelessness because they are denied the federal benefits associated with marriage? Every day the DOMA law goes unchallenged LGBT seniors and LGBT widows and widowers face injustices and unnecessary cruelties. We must repeal DOMA. We must not allow laws to exist that keep American citizens from having full access to equality. DOMA continues to deny same-sex couples 1,138 federal rights.

This election year we must seriously consider where we will put our resources and who we will vote for. Will we support a candidate that has already repealed an unfair ban against LGBT people serving in the military or a candidate, like Newt Gingrich, who has had multiple opportunities to exercise his freedom to marry, yet does not feel that his own sister should have that right? Nor would he feel that Glenn Schmoll and Lowell Houser deserved that right even though if they had had full marriage rights Glenn would not been in the unfortunate position of petitioning the Masons, where Lowell was a Brother, for financial assistance typically afforded other spouses of brothers.

In my over ten years as a marriage equality advocate, it breaks my heart to continue to receive stories from LGBT people who have to beg unions, politicians, judges, and other organizations to recognize them as the spouses they are or have been. LGBT people should not have to beg for equality.

Occupy an Open Heart in the Ozarks

Last week I received a facebook message from a woman who lives in Arkansas. Her story touched me deeply and showed me how important it is for us to continue to work towards equality, not only on the coasts, but in the heartland and the South too.

She wrote “My wife and I, along with a few other couples wanted to get some advice. My wife and I went to Iowa and got married in September of 2010. I have 3 children from a previous marriage to a man. My divorce decree states that I cannot have anyone stay the night in the home who I am romantically involved with unless we are married. Because we live in Arkansas and Arkansas does not recognize our marriage, my wife cannot stay the night in our home when the kids are home. For a long time we rented 2 places, but because of financial reasons (we have been in the middle of a custody case over the kids for a year and a half. We have spent $20,000 so far) can no longer do that. She now spends the night with my parents or grandparents on the nights when the kids are home. At this point, we are in the middle of the appeal process for custody of my kids and I am a little scared about making it too public.”

Imagine what it would be like to be legally married and yet have to ask your spouse to leave the home because your marriage isn’t recognized in the state you live in, thus making it a crime. It made me think of the 2003 Lawrence V. Texas Decision and how these custody cases are just another way to criminalize same-sex relationships.

And if her situation wasn’t heart-wrenching enough, she shared some experiences of others couples she knew that were also hoping I had some advice for them. She said, “I know that one of the other couples were living together and she was taken to court by her ex husband over it (in this case an unmarried female partner staying in the house when the kids were visiting) and the judge ordered her girlfriend out of the home. They now rent the house across the street from the one they are buying, so when the kids are home at night, she goes across the street to sleep. Another one of the couples lost the kids to the ex husband because of their relationship and the fact they were living together. The ex husband moved the kids to Texas. They are now in the middle of a custody case trying to get the kids back. They are engaged, but not married yet.”

I racked my brain for advice for these couples. I asked her if they could approach one of the big LGBT legal groups, but she said that they didn’t have anything substantial they could do to help.

This is a seemingly impossible situation, yet I know that even the strongest wall can be dismantled one brick at a time. I know to “win this case” a change of heart and consciousness is needed. That means first letting people know this situation exists, that there are real people out there who are suffering because of antiquated notions of family and the allowance of discrimination to exist. So I ask you to begin sharing these women’s stories with the people you know. To change a situation we must first shine light on it

Secondly, if you are someone who prays or believes in the power of thought, please send positive thoughts and prayers for these couples, please send positive thoughts and prayers for the judges to open their hearts, and  please send positive thoughts and prayers that the people of Arkansas will recognize these couples’ marriages as fulfilling the custody requirements.

Another thing you can do is to raise your voice to repeal the Denial of Marriage Act (DOMA 1996) which keeps same-sex couples’ marriages from being legally recognized in states that have banned same-sex marriage. It is one thing not to allow same-sex couples the right to marry in their state, (which of course I believe is government-sanctioned discrimination), but quite another to deny legally married couples the rights of marriage in their home state.

There are many things you can do to begin working to dismantle DOMA. I have a whole list of things in my book Love Warriors, including a sample letter you can send to all of your senators and congressional leaders.

We must also speak out for the injustices against others on their behalf. I feel very grateful that I can speak out for others. When I asked her if she’d be willing to talk to the media about her situation, this woman wrote, “I do not want to risk anything while I am trying to get my kids back.” She agreed that once the custody battle was over she would be more comfortable being an open advocate. I understand her fear.

So, I invite us all to speak out on behalf of those who are silenced because of the threat of losing their children. Please let people know about this injustice, please send your positive thoughts and prayers out for these families, and please get involved and help repeal DOMA through letter writing, or the many other ways I outline in Love Warriors, and through your own creative efforts to occupy equality and an open heart and create a world that works for everyone.

Moving Toward Equality for LGBT Servicemembers

There are 93 spousal benefits that LGBT veterans are denied and 275 provisions related to marriage benefits for federal civilian and military service benefits that LGBT servicemembers are denied, and those are just the ones tallied by the GAO in 2005 of the 1,138 federal rights that come with marriage. This number does not include the random benefits that married servicemembers get (e.g. phone cards or time to call a spouse while deployed).

So, it is nothing short of awesome that this week the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network filed a lawsuit in federal court to secure spousal benefits for legally married gay and lesbian troops. According to the Gay Politics Report, “the suit takes aim at the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the Pentagon and other federal agencies from offering the same benefits that are available to married heterosexual service members to families of openly gay troops.”

If you are curious about these rights, you can read more about them in my book Love Warriors or Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage. They include things like the right to be buried with your spouse in a veterans’ cemetery, the right to shop at the commissary, health benefits, student and housing loans, and pension benefits.

Aubrey Sarvis, Executive Director of SLDN, who has worked tirelessly for many years advocating the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, says that these men and women are “rendering the same military service, making the same sacrifices and taking the same risks to keep our nation secure at home and abroad.” So it is “plain and simple. It’s about justice for gay and lesbian service members and their families.”

Let’s recognize Veterans’ Day this year by speaking out for full and equal employment benefits for our LGBT servicemembers. 

 

Straight Southern Methodist Minister Defrocked For Marrying Same-Sex Couples

Jimmy Creech is about the nicest guy you could expect to meet. He’s like John Boy all grown-up. He’s sweet, gentle, and has an easy on the ears Southern drawl. I met him in 2004 when I was on book tour in Raleigh, North Carolina for Why You Should Give A Damn About Gay Marriage. Jimmy Creech

I’d been introduced to Rev. Jimmy Creech by Mel White, Soulforce Founder. Mel was so proud to tell me about this Straight Methodist Minister who’d been defrocked for marrying same-sex couples. “You must interview him,” Mel insisted. After our interview, I was equally smitten by his courageous actions before same-sex marriage was legal anywhere.

Rev. Jimmy Creech began performing blessings of same-sex unions in 1990. He believed he was answering to a higher calling by supporting and affirming the love of same-sex couples. Although this was at odds with the politics of the United States Methodist Church, he continued to bless same-sex couples’ unions even after he was told by Methodist church officials to stop. Soon he was told he was “no longer welcome to serve churches in North Carolina.” However, in 1996, he was invited to serve as the senior pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Omaha, Nebraska.

In 1997, Rev. Creech blessed the union of a lesbian couple who attended that church. When church administrators heard of the news they brought charges against him. Luckily Rev. Creech was acquitted because, at the time, there was no clear law prohibiting ministers from celebrating same-sex holy unions. Rev. Creech was willing to sacrifice his career in order to stand as a straight ally and religious voice to end discrimination. But when he blessed the union of two men in April 1999, the Methodist Church had an official policy that prohibited gay unions and Rev. Creech was defrocked.

He responded by saying that “it’s just clear evidence of the heterosexism and prejudice within the church, that even the highest court of the church would decide that one little sentence out of a whole document of material would be law when everything else is guidance. The church wants to use its power and all of its resources to persecute gay people and to deny them full equality.”

Since then, he has made equality for LGBT people his life’s work. He has received the Flagbearer Award from PFLAG National; the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award; the Saint Alive Award presented by Metropolitan Community Church, San Francisco; the North Carolina Pride, Inc. Award; and the Lee and Mae Ball Award, presented by The Methodist Federation for Social Action. He was selected as one of OUT magazine’s “Out 100” in 1998 and 1999.

Jimmy was a featured guest at the Washington, DC Marriage Equality Rally I organized on October 11, 2004 and has been speaking around the country this year about equality for LGBT people in conjunction with the release of his new memoir about his moral journey of rejecting the church’s teaching on homosexuality, his revelation that same-sex love was of equal value in the eyes of God to the love of a man and a woman, his decision to bless those unions, and the ensuing censure from his job and spiritual home. The book is called Adam’s Gift.

Adam’s Gift honors the relationship of mentor and student and how the student is sometimes the one who teaches and expands the mind of the mentor. You’re going to love this book and Jimmy’s Southern cadence.

Click here to get your copy of  Adam’s Gift

or for information on Jimmy’s book tour and upcoming speaking engagements.

Jimmy is the epitome of a Love Warrior which is why you can also read about his thoughts on marriage equality in Chapter 16 of Love Warriors: The Rise of the Marriage Equality Movement and Why It Will Prevail 

I highly recommend it.

October 11th is National “Coming Out” Day

 

The day where we all get to declare who we are and who we love. Sometimes coming out is more than just revealing our sexual orientation. Sometimes we need to come out about other aspects of who we are that others may not agree with. But as Rev. Deborah Johnson, Author of Sacred Yes and Your Deepest Intent, told me in a recent interview I did with her, she learned early on from a PFLAG mom that if we share our truth and people turn away from us, then they never really loved us in the first place.

My friend, Pastor Marcos Apolonio, experienced a devastating loss in his own life when he came out to his church community. In fact, he thought he had lost it all. At the time he was a married man with children living in Brazil and leading a congregation of 3,000 7th Day Adventists. He had been living a closeted life and finally the closet door could no longer hold his authentic self in. Marcos has had a powerful “hero’s journey” in the words of Joseph Campbell.

After coming out, Marcos chose to leave Brazil and immigrated to the U.S. where he applied for asylum twice before being granted it. He has built his new life out in the open with his same-sex partner, Obed. Marcos has since graduated with a Master’s degree in Social Work and leads Kinship, an international ministry of former and practicing 7th Day Adventists who are LGBTIQ and straight allies. He will be featured in an upcoming movie called 7th Day Gay Adventist.

In recognition of National Coming Out Day, and to acknowledge all of us who struggle to live our truth out loud and be our authentic selves, I’m doing two FREE tele-seminars Coming Out.

Please join me on Thursday October 6, 2011 at 7:00 PM PST/ 9:00 PM CST/ 10:00 PM EST for an interview with 7th Day Adventist Kinship Pastor Marcos Apolonio as he shares his story, strength, and hope with others in this unique interview.

 

REGISTER NOW: https://www.davinakotulski.com/workshopinfo.php?w=27

 

I am also offering a FREE Coming Out tele-seminar called “3 Steps to Come Out of the Closet and Into Your Power!” This tele-seminar is based on my experience as a coach, psychologist, and LGBT rights activist to support LGBTIQ people and their family members in the coming out process.

Join me for: “Three Steps to Come Out of the Closet and Into Your Power!” Tele-Seminar– October 20, at 6:00 PM PST   

 You’ll Learn How To:

  • Feel Confident Speaking Your Truth!
  • Influence People’s Responses To Your Coming Out.
  • Avoid Painful Mistakes Many People Make When Talking About Being LGBTIQ.

In the words of Martina Navratilova–“Just by being out you’re doing your part. You’re doing your part for the environment if you recycle; you’re doing your part for the gay movement if you’re out.”