My Give ’em Hope brother, David Weekley, has written a second book and I have had the great honour of writing the Foreword. This book is valuable to those who are transgender and to those who wish to gain an understanding into how gender identity and faith can be reconciled. This conversation is needed and this book is a great introduction to the topic because faith and spirituality are needs, desires and a right for all.
Category Archives: NBI FAMILY
NEVER BLEND IN is an accessible book about achieving personal authenticity, a groundbreaking and vital book of exclusive celebrity and deeply personal non-celebrity interviews, which is aimed primarily at a young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning audience. The book, however, is also of value to educators, parents, family and mental health professionals seeking insight into the LGBTQ experience.
Role models from education, entertainment, law enforcement, medical and emergency services, politics, religion and sports have participated in this much needed discourse to illuminate the reader’s journey of self-discovery and to illustrate that living a life unlimited by labels will lead to personal, professional and spiritual fulfilment.
These candid stories and wise words are a powerful toolkit to encourage, inspire, uplift and give hope to those who need it most; those who may feel disenfranchised or who may lack self-belief.
Inspired by the life of Harvey Milk and with a foreword by his nephew Stuart Milk, this book includes original and insightful interviews with actors Alan Cumming OBE (Cabaret, Spy Kids, The Good Wife), Stephen Fry (Peter’s Friends, Wilde), Anthony Rapp (Rent), Colton Ford (The Lair), Marcus Patrick (My Wife & Kids, CSI: Miami, Passions and Dancing With The Stars), Scotch Ellis Loring (Frasier, Malcolm in the Middle, 24, Alias, Touched by An Angel) and Adele Anderson (Fascinating Aida); key equality advocates, educators and influencers of policy Sue Sanders (Schools Out), Charles Robbins(CEO, The Trevor Project), Stephen Williams MP,Jack MacKenroth (Project Runway, Queens of Drag: NYC), Rabbi Denise Eger, Lt. Dan Choi and veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell; filmmakerParvez Sharma (A Jihad for Love); musicians Darren Hayes (Savage Garden) and Levi Kreis (Tony Award winner for “Best Featured Actor in a Musical” for his role as Jerry Lee Lewis in the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet) ; sporting greats, NBA star, John Amaechi (author of Man in the Middle) and Olympic swimmer Bruce Hayes; transgender trailblazers Calpernia Addams, the Rev David E. Weekley (author of In from the Wilderness) and Jamison Green (author of Becoming a Visible Man); Mental Health professionals, Gladeana McMahon, Antoine Spiteri and Dr. John Shafer; writers Tom Robb Smith (Child 44, The Secret Speech), Leslea Newman (A Letter to Harvey Milk),Linda Goldman (Coming Out, Coming In), Michael Musto (The Village Voice); Del Shores (Sordid Lives) and Stephanie Silberstein (Shades of Gay); representatives from organizations including The Trevor Project, The Harvey Milk Foundation,PFLAG, FireFLAG, The Gay Police Association andSchools Out and colleagues of Harvey Milk; Anne Kronenberg, Daniel Nicoletta and Tom Ammiano.
These stories of living authentically, with dignity and unlimited by labels will help readers to understand how self esteem determines the path they choose and that life need not be a self fulfilling prophecy when they improve self-concept, drive out fear and embrace new challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, eliminate self imposed limitations and cease dependence on others to provide validity.
Harvey Milk’s legacy is the growing number of proud lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals who refuse to live their lives limited by the judgment of others.
The various voices in this book candidly and sincerely share their wisdom and belief that we can be an important part of society without blending in; that we can live with 100% authenticity, unlimited by labels; that we shouldn’t be expected to compromise our identity to find acceptance and everyone, regardless of sexuality or gender identity, has a right to fully live.
There is practical advice and guidance from the LGBT community on how life need not be a self-fulfilling prophecy and that by recognizing that our “truth” has been shaped through our relationships, our environment and our experiences, we can begin to change our perceptions, heighten our self-esteem and move toward our personal and professional goals with clear vision and purpose….
About the Author
Since graduating from The Institute of Education, University of London, David has gone on to train with LEAP, as a mediator, and is a qualified facilitator for The Pacific Institute.
He is a writer and speaker on social inequality issues and is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK.
David is currently promoting a youtube campaign “Give ‘em Hope” and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity.
As Director of NBI Associates, David devises and delivers engaging, enjoyable and interactive workshops utilizing Cognitive Behavioural and Performing Arts strategies for individual, corporate and academic clients.
He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out and The Harvey Milk Foundation.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT Never Blend In: The Legacy of Harvey Milk
Anthony Spiteri, BS, MSc, PhD (Psychology)
Role models are described as those individuals who we ‘aspire to’ and who provide strong and achievable targets that we can emulate in pursuit of our career or personal aims. This book breaks down the common stereotypes of gay people and unveils a more realistic perspective, chronicling the success of many gay role models that others aspire to.
In “Never Blend In” David Watters has brought together a number of role models in one publication featuring successful gay artists, scientists and entrepreneurs, who share their experiences and take you on their journey. These are men and women with whom you can relate, whose stories will inspire and motivate you and leave you ready to move forward, both personally and professionally.
Be inspired by the successful members of the gay community; real men and women. Read about the challenges they faced along the way, what helped to keep them going, and what it takes to make a small business, a life, a success.
This book illustrates the breadth and creativity of gays everywhere. It is a pioneering work and the success stories of inspirational gay role models from a wide variety of backgrounds should be made available in every library, every school. These are men and women you can aspire to but who have all shown just what it takes to become a role model – determination, courage and an unwavering desire to succeed.
“Never Blend In” brings you some amazing candidates all of whom have succeeded in very different ways. They each have inspiring stories to tell about their achievements and future ambitions, yet I noticed they all had one thing in common they were passionate about what they did.
So in reality gays are still struggling for acceptance and to reach the top of the ladder. However, I think for the gay who enters the celebrity arena or who decides to do his/her own thing – they no longer have to do it at the expense of their happiness- they can do things on their own terms. For many it will provide them with the work/ life balance that wasn’t available for them in the past. It’s vital we have gays in big business and we need more gays to be there. I think companies need to realise they can’t operate without gays. But they do need to provide the very thing we all tend to take for granted – the basic right of being given the same opportunities and earning power as str8 men. We are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, lovers, friends. We are like you.
DR JOHN R. SHAFER, Director of the Counseling Center and Professor at Franklin College of Indiana, President, Shafer Consulting Services
The book NEVER BLEND IN is a provocative look into the lives of successful people who live in a world where the odds are stacked against us. It is important to give hope to the younger generation with diverse sexual orientations to see that we can be happy, healthy, and successful players in this game we call life. I hope by telling my story in this book, I can, in some small way, make life easier for those who march to the beat of a different drum. I am a rebel with a cause…you can either march with me, or step out of my way.
I am excited to order several copies of your book and share them with friends and family as gifts. Any idea when it might be published? I may try to use it with one of my classes that I teach at my college on the psychology of diversity.
I am excited about using your book in several ways…in my college classes…my volunteer work with The Indianapolis Youth Group…a support group for GLBTQ kids…many of whom have attempted suicide…and with patients in my private practice.
Gladeana McMahon, As one of the leading personal development and transformational coaches in the UK, Gladeana was instrumental in founding the Association for Coachingfor which she now holds the positions of Life Fellow and Vice President. She is also a Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, The Institute of Management Studies and The Royal Society of Arts. Gladeana is widely published with some 17 popular and academic books on Coaching and Counselling.
The Book that David Watters is proposing is long overdue as there is little written on the topic of LGBT issues. Positive role models are important to individuals whether they be LGBT individuals talking about their experiences or the family and friends of such individuals who can model acceptance and positive affirmation. Therapists are likely to be interested in such a book in a bid to understand the specific needs of those who identify as LGBT considering the best ways to work with such individuals and/or their families. Academics are likely to find the book useful in considering issues around diversity and, of course, the general public will also benefit as a book of this sort educates the reader. This book will also help LGBT individuals to understand their situation and consider how to develop a deep and meaningful sense of self-worth. It will also help such individuals understand how best to help those around them to understand their situation as much as it will educate family and friends.
NEVER BLEND IN, and the efforts of writer David Watters, is a brilliant collection and resource of openly LGBT and successful role models across the globe. The value to all, especially for the younger generation, is paramount. The presentation of individuals who are successful, determined, active and visible in our communities will undoubtedly inspire all who read this collection, to do better, become a better person, and strive for greatness in their lives and that of others.
The LGBT community has often been portrayed in a less than favorable light – NEVER BLEND IN rips that inaccurate veil off, and offers a face and portrait of today’s LGBT community, its leaders, history, accomplishments and potential.
– Herb Sosa, Editor|Publisher – Ambiente Magazine
President – Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida
Can you tell me why this book is important?
People in the GLBT community come in all walks of life from all around the world. This book demonstrates the GLBT community is becoming more visible and will continue to live and grow in society. We will not turn our backs or run away from making our world brighter for many generations in the GLBT to come.
Who might buy it?
This is an outstanding book for ALL people, not just for the GLBT folks. It’s a great way to get a personal view of each person within these pages and see how they live and handle issues common in the GLBT community. We exist in all occupations and are a part of regular society, so what better way to get to know us and see for yourself that we aren’t as different as some would like to think.
What difference it might make?
It will show other GLBT folks that you can go into any profession you desire and not be ashamed of following your dreams because of your sexuality. Also, it has the ability to open the eyes for those who are not too familiar with the GLBT community and see firsthand that we can all live together harmoniously doing what is right for each of us.
This book could simply be the difference between life and death to someone coming to terms with their sexuality. At it’s most basic level it’s a chronological record of how society has used and abused the LGB community throughout the years. Yet it has so much more to offer, the genuine highs and lows which could be an inspiration to anyone struggling to come to terms with themselves, be it chronic illness or sexuality.
Being able to use role models and have them as blueprints of what our lives may produce is a great gift. Having extraordinary individuals who may be recognized by their celebrity status or inspiring lives of ordinary people who could not simply blend in exposed on the pages of this work is a valuable tool, mainly to those of young age. I do believe that anyone who looks for inspiring life experiences as well as educators and parents could benefit from this book by realizing that each of us possess unmeasurable potential to flourish to the best of our abilities when not undermined by prejudices.
“The biggest misconception I had in my youth was that everyone thought like me, success comes in many flavors”
James Michael McCracken
That one chap in a secluded town or a bloke living in the midst of a megacity who feels different from everyone around him and one day he stumbles upon a book that he can’t put down, that’s who could benefit
John Allen Bethea
DAVID E. WATTERS
AVAILABLE FREELANCE OR PERMANENT WITH THE RIGHT COMPANY
Specialist in Equality and Diversity and Culture Change, providing Engaging, Enjoyable and Interactive Workshops and Motivational Speaking events.
Currently, a teacher and Equality Officer within Further Education, delivering staff CPD on the Equality Act 2010 to Academic and Business staff. Freelance, I deliver similar training in a workshop setting or as a speaker and have a reputation for providing academic and corporate organisations with the tools to achieve meaningful and lasting cultural change.
Key Roles include work as an Associate with The Pacific Institute (www.pacificinstitute.co.uk), personal coach, freelance writer and as a founding member of the Specialist E & D and Transformational Change company, NBI Associates (www.nbiassociates.co.uk).
A passionate and driven writer on social equality issues and equality advocate; evidenced in my work on the Equal Love Campaign UK, development of the RESPECT Campaign for Andover college and as author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN, which features key voices including Stephen Fry, Alan Cumming, John Amaechi, amongst others.
Additionally, I am currently promoting the inclusive and internationally acclaimed Give ’em Hope Campaign (http://www.nbiassociates.co.uk/Give–em-Hope-Campaign.html) which was designed to encourage and uplift those who may feel limited by labels.
As a motivational speaker, I have shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell , have spoken on Achieving Authenticity at London Metropolitan Archives, on Living Unlimited at the LGBTQGA, and, as a supporter of 17-24-30, I have spoken at NO TO HATE in Trafalgar Square, London.
A background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Equality Legislation and Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, enhance every aspect of my work as a personal and professional development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer.
Leadership and Management
Embedding Equality and Diversity
Curriculum Development and Quality
Personal and Professional Development
Did you know that a lot of the contributors to the book have also made a video for the sister campaign, Give ’em Hope? See some here and maybe you’ll feel inspired to make a video too. All details are in the video description. http://youtu.be/A28skAO0AQ8
Later today, I will be publishing an incredibly powerful article by a wonderful writer, Rachel Norwood, but for now It gives me great pleasure to introduce you someone I am proud to say is a long term and respected friend.
Rachel Norwood is a Three Principles Practitioner and author of “The Gentle Path to Definitive Weight Loss” and the forthcoming book “The Gentle Path to Fulfilment”, the French version, “Le Chemin Doux vers l’Epanouissement”
She works with individuals and groups, both in English and French, helping them understand their relationship to their thoughts and how their thinking shapes their reality and perception. She aids her clients in a variety of areas; weight loss, relationships, personal accomplishment, overcoming stress and performance anxiety, creativity and accompanies them in a life-changing experience that does not require techniques or hard work, nor motivation and will power but rather in assisting her clients in accessing their own wisdom, resilience and innate well being.
Rachel has been practicing and working with the Three Principles specifically for over a year with extraordinary results both for herself and for her clients. She first came across the Principles and the Inside-Out understanding of the human experience on joining Michael Neill’s “Living from the Inside-Out” program. Recognizing the power of this understanding, she pursued her learning with Michael Neill’s “Coaching from the Inside-Out” program, and the recent 2013 “Living from the Inside-Out” program, deepening her knowledge further through the teachings at Tikun London (Innate health Conferences 2011 and 2012) and with the recorded and written teachings of Sydney Banks, the founder of this new approach in psychology, along with materials provided by other eminent Practitioners in the field.
She lives near the French town of Nantes with her two children Alistair and Colleen, two kitties Harry and Ron and a baby girl due to be born in October 2013.
Three Principles Practicioner
Author of “The Gentle Path to Definitive Weight Loss”
and the forthcoming “Le Chemin Doux Vers L’Epanouissement”
During a particularly loquacious and prolific time a couple years ago, I wrote this little essay after Gay Pride. I’d heard a rather alarmingly large amount of the LGBT Community complain that Pride was a time of shame for them because of the debauchery of the weekend. Yes, I was a little pissed off. In fact, I can honestly say that the attitude still, indeed, sticks in my craw and I can’t believe that folks don’t want to be a part of the weekend when it commemorates some incredible steps toward equality. I was told, once, that if one wants to affect change, one must become a part not stand apart, (Tymm Conner paraphrase, and I like it better!! 😛 ). I share this with you, the Give ‘Em Hope Campaign, now because we are just a few short weeks from the time that Pride festivals the world over will begin. I share with you the history of Pride and the great history of the last forty years. Young people, this is why you are able to come out MUCH earlier than many of us in our forties, fifties, and sixties. These are only a few high, and low, points in history that led to eleven states and many nations to have marriage equality. Know that you are the inheritors of a grand legacy, even with the periodic debauchery. Remember, Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras are replete with debauchery as well.
Coming out of Gay Pride Month, I have some observations. I just finished watching “Milk”, again. Of course, I cried. I always do. Do I cry because an explosive powerhouse for the Gay Community was shot down, senselessly, by a jealous politician, before his time? Yes. Do I cry because while we have come so far since 1978 yet have so far to go? Again, yes. Do I cry because it was SO well written and acted? DUH!!!
However, there is SO much more to cry about.
I think of those who have gone before me and the crap they went through to give me and my peers, as well as the younger generation, the freedom to walk hand in hand down the street without fear of being arrested.
The reason behind our Pride celebrations dates back to 1969 in a little bar in New York. Stonewall was a wonderful little hole-in-the-wall where drag queens performed and drank; businessmen went to find a trick or simply to hang out and have a cocktail; hustlers even plied their trade, (c’mon! You DON’T think THAT didn’t happen, do you?); and everyday, common queers went to be free to be themselves without fear of retribution. Yet, there was retribution. The police raided Stonewall regularly. Then one warm evening in June, the drag queens had enough. The police raided ONE too many times. AND WIGS WERE FLOWN!!!!!
Yes…National attention on a little dive bar in New York. But the spark began the flame that burns brightly to this day. And, every year, we honor those queens and the others in the bar who said, “THAT’S ENOUGH!!!”
Then…we have Arthur Ashe and Rock Hudson. Heroes in my book. Too lately honored and not nearly honored enough. One great athelete infected through a transfusion and one gay man, who had to stay closeted, until it was discovered they had “The Gay Cancer”. Two men, who in the prime, when they should have enjoyed life, FOUGHT for life. They, mournfully, lost the fight. But, their strength lives. Again…NOT honored enough.
Harvey Milk was a man who, at 40, decided he didn’t want to die without having “done something”. Politics literally fell into his lap. Why? He was confronted with some horrible hate-filled homophobia in his own neighborhood. But, he fought. He ran for City Supervisor three times…losing…and for a State Senate seat…again, losing. But won when the political climate was correct and the districts in San Francisco shifted so that the votes were his.
He pushed for, and won, equal rights for homosexuals in San Francisco. At the same time, many of us remember, Anita Bryant and her group were taking rights away from gays faster than an oversexed whore on the docks. (How’s that for an analogy?) Prop 6 was on the ballot in California, threatening to take jobs away from teachers who were gay. The Governor, Jerry Brown, Former Governor, Ronald Reagan, and even the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, were against Prop 6. Harvey Milk, and others, pushed for the defeat…AND WON!!!
Today, state by state and VERY slowly, we are winning our right to marry the one we love, whether or not they are opposite gender. But the fight is difficult. The climb is uphill. But, if we remember those who have gone before us, we will realize that we CAN win.
I am weary of the ones who say that Gay Pride is foolishness. I am weary of those who say that during that time they are ashamed. I am saddened they seem to think they are “above it all”. Gay Pride is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to celebrate. Mardi Gras has a tendency to be VERY vulgar and “In-Your-Face”. It is a time to party and let one’s hair down. The same for Gay Pride Weekend, whichever weekend it may be in June for your area.
We struggle through the year. We fight for rights. We battle the homophobes at our workplace and within our families. We hear the religious rhetoric from pulpits and, yes, even legislature. So…our ONE weekend where even the MOST conservative among us appear in public in ass-less chaps or in a dress and wig SHOULD be celebrated. It is a time when politics, fun, history, present-day, and personalities come together in a conglomeration of spaghetti noodles and make for a delicious treat.
If you have spent the time to read this entire rambling, I thank you. If you have, I also ask that you take a step forward with your thinking and a step back with your cynicism and remember those drag queens of Stonewall and Arthur Ashe, Rock Hudson, and, especially, Harvey Milk, and do something for our community. I don’t know what I will do. I only know that I am contemplating ALL of my options and will do what I can, when I can, where I can, to make our country what it was built to be…FREE!!!!
I’m hoping that you’ll share your inspiring and positive energy with the world through my Give ‘em Hope Campaign; an inspirational online video initiative to inspire and uplift those who feel marginalised or isolated. We exist to bring hope to those who need it most.
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage the benefits of living authentically. We should not be limited by labels that are imposed by others, if these labels are negative and wrong; especially when it comes to stereotyping and when the result may be lowered self-esteem and a possible impact upon an individuals ability to fulfil their personal potential.
Make us a video or write about this. Your story or your video can have such an impact and would be a welcomed addition to this campaign. Here is a link to the fb group for more info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GiveEmHope/
Please Check our UPDATED WEBSITE HERE for INCREDIBLE VIDEOS OF HOPE AND INSPIRATION: http://www.nbiassociates.co.uk/Give–em-Hope-Campaign.html