Coming out as a family, with Riley + Candace Quick
Hello and Welcome to This Little Light Of Mine, my name is James Powell and I’m really glad that you are able to join me for today’s interview episode.
On today’s episode I’m joined with the incredible mother and son team, Candace & Riley. Candace and Riley are going to share part of their journey of unconditional love, acceptance, courage, strength & hope and how they made a decision to come out as a family in the middle of the pandemic.
As a bit of a background, I grew up in the same town and went to the same church, and as you’ll hear, was in the same Sunday School class as Candace. Back when I was in high school and university I also had the pleasure of working with Candace’s husband and Riley’s father, Dan. It’s now been over 25 years since I had the opportunity to come out to Dan during a one-on-one meeting while at work. I still cringe a little bit thinking of those awkward coming out conversations with Dan and others on my team at work. As awkward as those conversations were they were some of my first steps of being seen for who I really am.
Fast forward a generation and I’m blown away to be able to have this conversation with Dan’s wife Candice and their son Riley. Candace is now an elementary school educator and mother of two boys. Riley, is currently in grade 11 and he made the courageous decision to came out as a transgender man as our world started going into Covid 19 lockdown in 2020. Riley is going to share some of his journey of what it was like to come out as a transgender man during the pandemic and what it’s like for him returning to in-person learning as a grade 11 student.
And with that, let’s jump into my conversation with Riley and Candace.
I want to start by giving a huge thank you to both Riley and Candace for sharing part of their journey with us.
It is conversations like this and humans like Riley and Candace that give me hope and help to build a vision of the world that I want to live in.
Riley and Candace are living examples of who we can become, the spaces we can create, and the relationships that we can foster when we embrace all of who God designed us to be.
Instead of living in spaces defined by control, separation, exclusion, and fear; Riley and Candace are charting a different way forward. What type of world will you choose to be part of?
The world I choose to be part of is one where we encourage, applaud, and provide all we can to support educators and parents like Candace. A world where we provide the tools, resources, and space for Candace to help ALL children know how loved and important they actually are.
The world I choose to be part of is one where we encourage, applaud, and provide all we can to support humans like Riley. A world where surround people like Riley with unconditional love, affirmation, and encouragement to be exactly who they were created to be.
The world I choose to be part of is one where we encourage, applaud, and provide all we can to support safe spaces similar to the environment that Dan, Candace, and Riley are creating in their own home. A world where all people have a space, community, and safe haven where they can receive the love, encouragement, help, and hugs that are their birthright.
The space that Dan, Candace, and Riley have created in their home is ‘the church’ or more accurately ‘the community’ that Jesus instructed us to build with each other.
What would it be like for you to live in that world? Who might you be today if you grew up in that world? What can you do today to create that world where you are right now?
As you grow, I encourage you to gradually and safely let go of what is no longer serving you. As you do this, start to open yourself up to the possibility of co-creating new safe spaces where you can safely share your individuality, your uniqueness, and your distinctiveness. Allow these new spaces to be your family, your community, or even your new definition of church.
You are accepted and loved unconditionally by God who made you exactly as you are. You, your heart, your mind, your body, your spirit, your gender expression, your sexuality and the way you love, are created perfectly in God’s image.
You are created on purpose and your purpose is to fully love yourself, connect deeply with others and share your love with the rest of the world.