“Empowerment through Authenticity”
Guided by this philosophy and the lifelong belief that words have immense power, I use critical essays and public speaking as my tools for exposing & confronting injustice. I work to raise awareness & incite social progress with the goal of affirming that every person can live authentically to who they are, without shame or conditions.
This intention is clear in my vocal advocacy for the Childfree Choice. I use my personal experiences (including resisting social pressure & medical paternalism during my quest to obtain surgical sterilization) as a conduit for demonstrating society’s deeply-rooted gender roles; all the while, encouraging personal reflection upon the multitudinous roles (of all origins) imposed upon each of us (due to gender, race, family structure, culture, region, socioeconomic status, and more), and the ways in which roles have the capacity to limit our opportunities in life.
Women’s rights activism influences much of my work. I aim to denounce rape-culture by exposing the means that perpetuate its existence (from institutionalized oppression to subtle microaggressions)—calling for the empowerment of women, through such themes as sex-positivity and self-definition.
Gender equality is not my only cause that I am passionate about; I also write about denouncing & exposing racism, LGBTQIA+ discrimination, and the stigmatization of mental health disorders.
Influenced by my training in clinical mental health counseling, my work often connects individual wellness with societal implications, using an empathetic lens that I hope reminds readers of the immense potential we each have to create change (exponentially so, when we are united in community.)
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Presently, I continue to give academic & community presentations—raising awareness and prompting dialogues about the Childfree Choice, the implications of unassessed societal roles, and the institutional & societal obstacles hindering medical freedom & patient autonomy under our current systems. — All the while, promoting the philosophy that beneath all these obstacles, there exists a strong, compassionate community that is capable of recognizing our systemic shortfalls and instituting change that prioritizes promoting the rights and well-being of each of us.
Essays I have written have been published online on Huffington Post and Offbeat Home & Life. I was a featured guest interviewed live on-air on a January 2018 episode of WNPR’s ‘Where We Live’ entitled ‘No Kids, No Problem: An Exploration Of The Childfree Choice.’ However, I am best known for my worldwide-watched (over 2 million views, to date!) TEDxTalk: “My Choice to Live Child-Free,” presented at TEDxMileHighWomen: ‘It’s About Time’ in October 2016—that was subsequently featured by TED.com in 2017, reintroduced as “I Don’t Want Children—Stop Telling Me I’ll Change My Mind.”
Originally born and raised in the Texas panhandle, I now happily reside in beautiful Colorado with my partner and our three cats, (Navi, Mewzer, & Mojave), where I am working to finish my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from University of Northern Colorado.
Back in Texas, I previously earned Associate’s degrees from Amarillo College in General Studies (2010, cum laude) and Psychology (2011, summa cum laude) and a Bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M University in Sociology (2013, magna cum laude). During my studies in Sociology, I interned at a small outpatient counseling program that treated alcohol & substance addiction, during which I had experiences that inspired my determination to become a professional psychotherapist.
In my youth, I was an active member of a local writer’s organization, Panhandle Professional Writers, winning multiple awards for poetry and short story in the contest held at their annual ‘Frontiers in Writing’ conference. I was a staff editor on my high school’s first literary magazine publication.
Primarily, though, I devoted my time & talents to the craft of performance poetry—traveling across the country to feature at various artistic events and competing in poetry slams, including the 2008 Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in Washington, D.C., as seen in the documentary series: ‘HBO Presents: Brave New Voices.’
My hobbies (outside of studying mental health diagnostics & treatments, or researching intercultural childfree information & resources) include…
reading voraciously, listening to music (at obscene volumes) (and singing along, only occasionally on-key), attending concerts (from classical recitals to heavy metal mosh-pits), and [way less often than I should…] weightlifting & kickboxing.
To learn more, read my Speaker Q & A for TEDxMileHighWomen