Okay… I’ve been keeping a secret. No, not THAT secret – that’s not a secret anymore anyway, silly! A secret secret, all because, I didn’t want anything to scare it away. But it happened!
I was asked by Google to participate in their “Author’s Presentations” last week. Last Friday, I read from my book to a crowd of 20 or so employees in their auditorium, while over 100 watched the live stream on their in-house system! So, 2015…. So… well, Google! (The video is available in the videos section of this site.)
I have to start by saying that my dear generous and completely supportive big brother and friend Bradley opened his arms and Google’s doors to welcome me. His Chief of Staff, Monica, also a dear, dear friend was the Guardian Angel, coordinating and instructing me on Google’s ways and means on Bradley’s behalf. But both Bradley and Monica had only heard of my, ahem, life changes, so this was more than just a professional presentation at one of the world’s foremost and influential corporations on the planet… it was also a, homecoming of sorts.
Like all of my book signings have been revealed to be. I can say that I didn’t plan on that being the case when I conceived of this signing tour… and for those of you who’ve started to read my book… it should be no surprise. But there it is. A joyful, heartwarming life-affirming little ol presentation inside the magic kingdom of hope known as a Google...
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My dear friends Rick & and Nancy documenting on video and photo the highlights, of which there were many – Google, I realized as I walked to podium after a warm and funny introduction by Bradley, is truly a place that changes the world a little bit each day. In quiet, smooth and respectful ways, so gracefully that we may not even know the change has occurred… we’re just doing things better than we did the day before… and there was my point of connection for my author’s presentation. By being so open about my journey and the love that has supported me along the way, Mylove & I are an example of the small, graceful and loving change that this world is capable of. Love does conquer even our deepest fears.
To bring that point around, full circle, I knew that large number of those attending on the live stream (and in the room) were from the LGBTQ community, and those that weren’t had family or friends who were, (called Gayglers by the Googlers, which are members of the Google culture/workforce). So I read from Chapter Five – “What Nothing Sounds Like” which describes being caught as a child by my father for trying to be the girl that I am. It is a poignant example of the misunderstanding between parents and a transgender or different child that can lead to the lifetime of… well needing to reconcile an identity. Something that Gayglers, we all could relate to, but also as those who are reading my book are discovering... something we all go thru, gay or straight, cis or trans, queer, questioning and ALL variations in between. In short... my book is for everyone!
After the reading Bradley lead the Q&A sessions and I was asked who had inspired me to finally “come out” and finally live my life as a woman. I think I surprised everyone by saying, my wife, Marcy. She inspires me everyday to be the best me I can, and her example to face even her deepest fears of losing her knight, her king, her romance with love and strength and compassion. Bradley brought Mylove up to the podium so everyone could meet this amazing woman.
After a few more questions the session conclude with me signing more books. And then Monica gave the entire entourage a tour of the sprawling campus. This is where the giants of the computer industry have forged a new American and International business paradigm and culture that not only breaks down the barriers of ignorance and arrogance of the traditional corporate cultures, it doesn’t even acknowledge their existence. While the business world was stepping over dollars to pick up pennies, Google was creating a reality out of a dream. And we were witnessing it first hand.
We came on the giant letters “and proud” in the colors of the rainbow flag still standing on the campus as a monument to the Supreme Courts decision on same-sex marriage. It was the perfect place for a photo-op and tho’ I still need some media training (like what to do with one’s purse when you’re trying to “look cool” whatever that is) it was fun playful and… historic!
The video link of my talk will be available this week so stay tuned! This is a HUGE week for us, with our next stop the Del Mar Library on Wednesday, December 9th, and then next Saturday we’re back in Silicon Valley for the second even sponsored by Google (I know, right? How generous can they be?) at the Savana-Channelle Winery. This event will be our first fund-raiser! We’re proud to announce that proceeds from on-site book sales and the silent auction will go to benefit the LGBTQ Youthspace of San Jose. So… stay tuned!