Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

“Getting Up” From a Life of Hiding and Deception

The joy of “getting up” to live an honest and authentic life clearly shows in Jim Manchester’s brilliant smile.

This is now my seventh monthly “Get Up” blog based on US Figure Skating’s popular “Get Up” campaign which shares the message that life, like the ice, is hard, and we can certainly fall on it. But the more times we get up and persevere, the stronger we become.

So often we can fall down in our lives by living in a web of hiding and deception where we are not totally honest with ourselves and others. Getting up and moving into a life of integrity and honesty can be so empowering and fulfilling. I would like to share the story of a close friend, Jim Manchester, who actually created and maintains my business website.

Jim shares, “After trying to live 45 years of my life pretending to be a straight married man for 15+ years and making huge mistakes along the way, that double life simply caught up with me in a disastrous way. I had been afraid that I would lose my 4 close friends if they knew I was gay. In fact, I did lose 3 of them and the other one moved away.

“But after much therapy and recovery counseling, I started living a fully-integrated life and found appropriate role models in the gay community – one of whom was Stan Kimer. They all became close friends and confidants. I intentionally changed my old decision-making habits and undertook a new journey in life. They helped me realize that my purpose in life was to help build and encourage close LGBTQA communities that would allow others like me to thrive. I redirected my business efforts – along with everything else I do in life – toward that model.

“One very important step was taking full responsibility for my past actions and decisions and realizing that I need to take the steps to change my direction. So now at almost age 65, I have so much business in my web design, social media promotion, and smartphone app development business (IYI Creative – link) that I must schedule new clients into my available time. And instead of just 4 close friends, I now have hundreds of them.

Jim delivering a toast at a wedding among several dozen friends he made while rebuilding his life.

“In addition, I offer my professional services to many Community organizations who supported me in my new journey such as the LGBT Center of Raleigh, St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church, the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina, Crape Myrtle Festival, and the Raleigh Business and Professional Network – Raleigh’s LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

“I owe all of that to the hard work it took to change old patterns of secrecy and deception, and to the people who helped guide me through my own process of ‘Getting Up.’”

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To read my 6 other “Get Up” blogs, link to my figure skating blog page.

Celebrate LGBT Pride 2017 with a new book: “Beyond the Rainbow” by Jenn T. Grace

Jenn T. Grace, author of “Beyond the Rainbow” and three other LGBT-themed business marketing books

Check out Jenn’s Amazon.com page and order her book after reading this blog!

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This month, one of the world’s leading LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) marketing experts, who I have known for over 5 years, has released her fourth book, “Beyond the Rainbow,” which ties together much of her previous knowledge to present a holistic approach to maximizing effectiveness within the LGBT market place.

After reading an early version, I provided this short summary review, “From being IBM’s Global Corporate LGBT Diversity Manager to now running my own boutique diversity consulting firm, I get the importance of understanding both the LGBTQ marketplace and workplace. Jenn T. Grace’s latest book, “Beyond the Rainbow,” which uniquely combines practical business strategies and poignant personal stories, is the ideal read for business leaders from small entrepreneurships up to Fortune 500 global mega-companies for launching or growing their LGBTQ marketing efforts.”

What is so special about this book is that it is quite interesting and fascinating. Instead of presenting a bunch of dry facts and strategies, Jenn shares much of her journey as an LGBT professional and marketing guru with interspersed stories and experiences that make you want to turn to the next page.

Celebrate LGBT Pride Month by buying and reading Jenn T. Grace’s latest book!


Some of the key principles in the book (and do buy it so you can read all the details) include:

• The importance of assuring that your motivation for reaching out to the LGBT market are good and that you back up your sales efforts with personal actions and business strategies that are sincere and authentic.

• The importance of allies, and that allies too can lead efforts to sell to and engage the LGBT market.

• There is a respectful way in which to engage the fast growing transgender community. The book provides a good primer on terms and definitions within the trans area.

• The importance of all people in an organization being trained and knowing how to respectfully interact with LGBT people. (My recent blog “Three Key Lessons from a Diversity Mishap” reinforces this key point.)

• Finally, with the recent sting of the killings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Jenn addresses dealing with adversity and the importance of supporting a community in times of tragedy.

So get your copy today! Link to Jenn’s page on Amazon.

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