Be Your Truth presented by Kim Ramsey-Winkler
Friday, February 23
Many people struggle with accepting themselves and their truths. In life, people are often confronted with others who tell them they’re wrong to be who they are, and they should change to be more “normal” or to fit in with others’ expectations. This causes stress and unhappiness, and sometimes affects our work and our family lives. Living in a way that’s true to who we are isn’t always easy, since we’re taught to listen to others rather than our own hearts and minds, but we can overcome that conditioning and learn to live our most authentic lives.
In Kim Ramsey-Winkler’s young adult novel Nail Polish and Feathers, published under the pen name Jo Ramsey, sixteen-year-old Evan Granger is fighting to be himself despite the obstacles posed by family, friends, and others. Evan is gay and very effeminate, to the extent of sometimes wearing women’s clothes and makeup to school. He is severely bullied by classmates and by his own father. Even those who accept him frequently tell him to tone himself down and stop making himself a target for the bullies.
But Evan is determined to continue living his truth, including pursuing his dream of becoming a professional drag queen. Through the book, he learns how to find the line between staying true to himself and respecting those who want to protect him. Even though it’s difficult, he chooses to be who he truly is. All of us have the power within ourselves to do this. Even when others stand in our way, or throw obstacles into our path, it’s our choice whether to allow them to stop us.
Bio: Kim Ramsey-Winkler is a former teacher who believes that everyone has the power to be a hero in their own lives as well as the lives of others. Through her young adult novels, written as Jo Ramsey, she encourages teens and adults to live their best lives and become that hero. She is the mother of two adults, and lives in Lynn, Massachusetts with her husband and three cats.