PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, GENDER & SEXUALITY STUDIES

Specializations:  modern & contemporary non-canonical Canadian, American, British, commonwealth, and post-colonial world literature.  women’s writing.   memoir & life-writing.  writing across the disciplines.  intersectionality: the writing and social, cultural, and political theories & movements that bridge gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and class.  experimental, avant-garde, and outsider/marginal narratives, art, and culture.  critical thinking, deconstruction, feminist theory, and queer theory.  women’s & gender studies.  feminist philosophy, culture, and practice.  LGBTQ studies.  diversity & inclusion.  subcultures.  spirituality & interfaith conversations.  experiential education.   empowerment & transformation.

Research interests in addition to the above: contemporary, intersectional writing, culture, and practice that births new, progressive conversations in the areas of equality, identity, acceptance & understanding, self-expression & freedom.  inclusion & belonging.  human rights & social justice.  women in society;  critical intersections of feminist philosophy, theory, and practice.  the relationship between culture, individuals, and group identity and behaviours. 

WRITING AND EDITING

Writer and wordsmith: all things print & media, personal & professional.  Teacher & mentor for students; writing coach for writers.

PROJECT / DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP

I work with universities, companies, and organizations to facilitate the achievement of their visions, projects & mandates.  I provide innovative direction, excellent analytical, problem-solving, and research skills, superior listening, communication, and inter-personal skills, a very high level of integrity, laser clarity, collaboratively-based, inclusive partnership & leadership, professionalism & discretion, and the knowledge, skills, and energy to produce new results.  My work often includes: vision & mission planning; developing & designing projects, strategic aims, and educational initiatives; building, managing, and/or maintaining diverse & highly effective teams; elevating company culture & engagement both internally & externally; creative direction; meeting project delivery and deadlines; creating & managing department accountability structures; writing & editing; facilitating & leading groups, workshop, meeting, and events; budgeting; confidential executive and diverse stakeholder communications; training, coaching & mentoring staff; company and team growth & awareness; inclusivity & diversity.

 

INDIVIDUAL, COUPLES, AND BUSINESS COACHING 

I facilitate individuals, couples, and groups expanding their knowledge and experiencing growth, empowerment, and lasting breakthroughs.  I use best practices, possibility-driven, and solution-based methods to allow for new results to show up in what’s important to you.  I combine intuitive and compassionate listening with decades of knowledge, training, and experience to foster your awareness, growth, and fulfillment.  I am committed to those I work with to experience themselves and their life newly and powerfully.   I offer laser clarity, new tools & practices, accountability structures, and the supportive framework needed for my clients to achieve their personal and professional best.  

Specialties include: identifying blindspots & blocks; achieving clarity & resolve in any issue you are “stuck” in; gaining clarity with your goals and what is authentically fulfilling;  establishing new beliefs, behaviours, actions, and patterns to produce new results that empower you and transform your life; building the solid foundations of purpose, confidence, integrity and self-esteem; establishing your values and core needs and laying the groundwork to meet and fulfill on them; accountability structures & coaching to enable your goals to become reality; teaching effective, non-violent communication; connection and alignment with your highest self & source.

Specialty topics include: gender & gender identity; sexuality; sex, desires & roles; values & needs; intimacy, trust, and commitment in relationships; effective communication; establishing new beliefs, patterns, habits & behaviours; healing past trauma, pain, and/or neglect/abuse (emotional, physical, or verbal); addiction; betrayal; patterns & systems of dysfunction; confidence & self-esteem; self-care & self-love; acceptance of the self and others; goal setting & accountability structures.

Sessions are in person, via skype, telephone, and/or email.  All sessions are confidential.

if you are ready to move to the next level and want new results in your life, please don’t be shy: contact me!

 

LEAD & FACILITATE WORKSHOPS / SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Engaging people, groups & organizations with writing and ideas that inspire, educate & enliven.

Some popular workshop topics have included:

Adult specific:  Gender, Sexuality, and Relationships:

 

  • playing with identity: celebrating gender variancy
  • switching: gender, sexuality, desires & roles
  • gender & sexual variancy: accepting and celebrating variancy
  • understanding LGBTQ gender and sexuality
  • effective communication: how to share and meet your needs & wants
  • relationship communication skills
  • commitment ceremonies & rituals
  • the dance of partnership: embracing your masculine / feminine energy
  • choosing, committing & communicating: practices for couples in building a life of loving partnership
  • the languages of love: how to have you and your partner win at the game of love
  • establishing and maintaining boundaries
  • in times of breakdown: healing & rebuilding intimacy with your partner
  • loving the goddess: how to have your lady/gal see stars
  • exploring and embracing roles
  • exploring desires: dominance and submission
  • safe sex & making safe sex fun

 

 

 

For women:

  • the red tent: empowering views & practices on menstruation and our moon cycles
  • embracing the divine feminine for modern, awake women
  • new mothers and mother blessing ceremonies
  • empowered women know their bodies: self-love and discovering yourself newly
  • how to be wonder woman and still let your man/partner lead

For young people and teens:

  • let’s talk about sex: what you need & want to know
  • grrrls get smart: from periods to parents
  • empowered teens: how to communicate your needs & powerfully deal with parents & adults
  • menarche and coming of age ceremonies & rituals

For parents:

  • when your child becomes a teen: embracing teen-hood & how to empower your teen
  • work/life balance: rekindling intimacy
  • the many roles of motherhood: an empowering workshop for new moms

 

Writing:

  • writing poetry: grade 1 – university level
  • research writing 
  • writing across the disciplines
  • notions of identity: (re)creating yourself
  • memoir: writing the self, writing your life
  • writing as healing: the path to self-love and discovery
  • novel & memoir writing: finding your voice
  • women’s writing 

New Results / Educational: 

  • from intentions to accomplishing new results: achieving your goals
  • creating new accountability structures
  • diversity & inclusion: bridging our differences
  • effective collaboration & communication
  • addiction/recovery: hitting bottom: moving from willingness to action
  • Letting go and making way for the new!

Intersectionality:

  • building bridges across our differences
  • intersecting conversations of gender, race, ethnicity, class, economics, sexuality, ability & religion
  • the F word: everything you want to know about feminism and were afraid to ask
  • women’s spaces & trans inclusion
  • creating the spaces for progressive growth, awareness & mindfulness 

 

TESTIMONIALS 

Lesley is a very dynamic and engaging speaker. She has the ability to assist folks in looking at complicated, difficult and personal issues in a way that expands their comfort zone (without inciting any level of upset) but instead stretched their realm of what was possible. Lesley got them to engage in the difficult discussions and consider expanding their entrenched thoughts. Lesley’s workshop was a welcome opportunity to expand my thinking.
Treat

Workshop Participant , Colorado, USA

My experience working with Lesley has brought such amazing changes to my life, and as well to my partner Chris’s. She helped us ignite our love and appreciation for each other again. I found Lesley to be very knowledgeable. By little practices and new ideas she pointed out just how special and lucky we are to have a partner that cares so much about us. She brought a fresh perspective to how we can be in our relationship and in our individual lives. She provided great recommendations for general well-being and practices to incorporate into our daily lives.

Her approach is gentle, open-hearted, and non-judgemental; while still talking about the serious matters and addressing them head on and asking us the difficult questions. I found it very helpful when my partner and I were in a session together, speaking to each other or explaining our thoughts, she would stop and coach us if we said something in a hurtful manner, and show us how we could explain what was going on for us in a more compassionate and constructive way. She never took sides and was not afraid to stop and realign  us when weren’t being supportive. I never realised how helpful it would be to have a mediator in my relationship, that guides me through, and makes me feel both feel empowered and valued. After every session, we would leave feeling open, understood, and happy. I remember saying once “let’s just go see Lesley, she always helps and we feel so great after seeing her.”

Lesley definitely was an essential part of us getting our life, and our love, back on track. The positivity that she brings when you sit down with her flows into your life. You can’t help it. I will be forever grateful to her for the advice, compassion, and positivity that she brought into my life.

Hailey

Client, Vancouver, BC

Lesley organized and publicized our series of professional development workshops for a diverse faculty at NYCT, City University of New York. She did this extraordinarily well, while performing with equal aplomb her primary function as communication consultant to professors in various academic departments. Her enthusiasm, energy and efficiency helped our program attract more and more workshop participants over time, and improved relations with, among others, the Career Education and African American Studies departments. During her time as a Writing Fellow, Lesley also wrote for Writing Across the Curriculum publications while producing other critical and creative work.

Lesley’s best quality, however, is her boundless compassion and generosity. As both a colleague and a friend, I know how deeply committed to the work of social justice and consciousness-raising she is; how constantly willing she is to assume extra work for the good of her co-workers, program, and community. She is simply a hard worker, a fine thinker, and wonderful human being.

If you hire or work with her, you will add a star. I cannot recommend Lesley more highly.

George Guida

Colleague and Professor in English, Director of Coordinated Undergraduate Education, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York, NY

In a word, Lesley’s performance is outstanding. Dr. Graydon is, first and foremost, an excellent writing teacher, who is also conscientious, well-prepared, and assiduous. She provides outstanding contribution and instruction in the craft of writing. Her workshops are marked by clear, effective, and highly interesting content. Lesley makes writing interesting and imparts a sense of urgency and importance to the critically important academic skill of writing. She uses humor, topical references, and sharp insights to make her points. All students and participants have responded most positively to her instruction and have expressed their appreciation for her significant efforts on their behalf. The feedback that Lesley provides, both in writing and in oral conferences, is most valuable to people’s development. Lesley strives to make each student better according to their needs and is always successful. Lesley makes herself available in a generous manner with her time and support. With Lesley’s excellent command of good writing content, she has, in her positive, professional, and interesting manner, not only made each student better but also developed an appreciation within the students for what outstanding writing is.

As a colleague, Lesley is first rate. She is energetic, personable, and relates very well with all levels of our organization. It is clear to me that Lesley’s greatest gift, among her many gifts, is that of a true teacher, in every sense of the word. She is a first rate contributor to the success of any organization that she belongs to. Her significant academic achievements, coupled with her truly excellent teaching and interpersonal skills, make her an outstanding contribution.

Thomas Wilkin

Colleague and Assistant Professor, Career and Technology Teacher Education Department, City University of New York, NY

Through Lesley’s loving, compassionate, and understanding nature she has listened and created the space to really help me understand and love myself for all that I am (and all that I’m not). Prior to speaking with Lesley, for years, I was having difficulties in accepting my sexuality. This created a lot of resentment and loathing for myself. After speaking to Lesley over a period of time, I really got that I can begin to heal and accept myself for who I am.

This has positively impacted many areas of my life: my confidence, my relationships with family and friends, and my experience of myself. I no longer have to hide, I can just be free. I really got that there is nothing wrong with me or who I am. I am embracing my sexuality and who I am.

G.L.

Client, Vancouver, BC