I’m an LGBTQ+ mom & fierce ally. I’m a huge fan of drag, my kids & I watch RuPaul’s drag race religiously. Please forgive me if I sound stupid saying this, but I’ve always just been enamored with the queer community. The most energetic, fun loving, creative and unique people I’ve ever known, are part of the LGBTQ+ community! I remember growing up and seeing RuPaul for the first time and thinking WOW! That’s a man? He’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever laid eyes on! I mean look at those LEGS!
No, they weren’t kidding. I tried to talk with them, and that did not go well. Terms like “alternative lifestyle” were thrown around, along with being informed someone can’t sponsor or lead if they are living an “alternative lifestyle”.
Sadly, although I should have, I did not have much experience with the beliefs held by many “church folk” that it’s a sin to be gay. And unfortunately, that belief carries a lot of weight written into church policies, and the minds of “well-meaning Christians” - that it then becomes their full time job to come after you to correct or fix you. My friend was basically forced to step down from leadership and ended up leaving the church altogether. (Who can blame her!)
I was in the midst of my 12-step recovery process when this happened, so I decided to stay and see if there was going to be, long term, anything I could do to help remedy this terrible situation. I began reading and studying books on the “gays vs Christians” debate, along with listening to podcasts, talking to other people in the LGBTQ+ community, basically absorbing any material I could find to try and further understand - why is it like this?
PANDORA’S BOX WAS OPENED, MY EYES WERE OPENED, and all I can say is I had no idea how ignorant I was to what was going on. There were surely other opportunities for me to notice this atrocity prior to this timeframe, but I had never taken the time to look into it further until it struck so close to home.
There was, however, a few exceptions to this rule. Those exceptions being my parents, my brother, and a few of my cousins. AND of course, my brothers’ kids. The first time I was ever called “Aunt Candy” was by my brothers two adorable little daughters. My car pulled into the driveway, and they came running out of the house “Aunt Candy, Aunt Candy!” My heart absolutely melted. They were the cutest things I had ever seen, and their enthusiasm and love for me - absolutely warms my heart now and forever!
So when I considered a name change for my coaching business when I decided to focus on serving the LGBTQ+ community, I really wanted it to feel like FAMILY.
When I was in elementary school, I went by the name “Candy”. My parents, family, teachers, and friends, all called me “Candy”. By the time I endured relentless taunting in Middle School and was about to enter high school - I had enough of the jokes about my name. My bestie looked at me and said “Candace is a nice name”. And I began going by Candace through high school and presently into my adult life.
I began to ONLY go by Candace, and it would annoy me endlessly when I would make a call for work and I would say “this is Candace” and the voice on the other end would say “Hi Candi”. It was clear to all of my coworkers - it is NOT ok for you to call me Candy! If anyone did, they would be harshly corrected and informed of my boundary that I don’t associate or show any kindness to people who call me Candy.
Hi, my name is Candace and I’m “Coach Aunt Candy”. I have 25 years of corporate sales and marketing experience, which I am now using to serve the LGBTQ+ community. My goal is to spread a message of LOVE, hope, acceptance, and equality. I’m here to empower and encourage, while offering tools for healing & recovery from past hurts, rejection, or addiction. All my love.