This is me in a nutshell.
I am a writer, speaker, facilitator and performer. I have spoken nationally at the Walrus Talks, TEDx, Parliament Hill and numerous conferences, engaging diverse audiences through personal storytelling and spoken word.
I speak on several topics, including being LGBTQ+ and Christian, diversity and inclusion, and empowering people to express their stories and truths. I invite audiences to see and embrace their multiple identities. My personal and academic experiences enable me to hold these complex conversations in an authentic, approachable and nuanced way for corporate, youth and cultural-based audiences.
But I wasn’t always able to share my story in front of large audiences, let alone to myself.
Growing up queer, Christian and Chinese-Jamaican, I didn’t have any role models who looked like me or had similar lived experiences. I lived in silence and shame for a very long time. I had no idea it was possible to live an authentic and integrated life as a queer-Christian woman of colour until I learned the power that came from speaking my story.
Believe me, it wasn't easy.
Sharing my story was terrifying and overwhelming, but I was reminded of "little Jenna" – the one who felt voiceless and powerless for most of her life. The one who needed to know she wasn't alone and was worth being loved. That reminder gave me the courage to live and speak my truths, and help others who needed to know their worth, value and power.
A little more about me.
I am a graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, which has given me the tools to listen deeply, ask good questions and tell nuanced stories. My passion for storytelling led me to numerous stages across Ottawa’s spoken word scene, as well as founding and running a poetry show for two years. I went on to complete a master’s degree in gender studies from the University of Ottawa, where I lectured on spoken word and activism.
I have written for several publications, including the Huffington Post and the Ottawa Citizen, and have been featured on CBC and CTV. I was a 2014 Vancouver Biennale artist-in-residence and have given keynote talks on LGBTQ+ inclusion at Catholic high schools across Ontario, including the first conference keynotes with the Toronto and Windsor Catholic boards. I have also performed at dozens of conferences as a conference storyteller, writing summative pieces to unite audiences in a common vision and call to action.
I believe in the power of storytelling to break silences, connect people and change the world around us. I can speak, perform and facilitate workshops for corporate, youth and cultural-based audiences. I currently work as a writing coach with Firefly Creative Writing in Toronto, Canada.