I’m Meghan Crutchley, a nonbinary, queer health coach, educator, speaker, and corporate consultant. My business is Habitqueer, and our mission is to help improve the health outcomes of the queer community, which are some of the worst of any group in the US. (Discrimination and shame are bad for your health, folks! ) And just to be clear, I’m not going to tell you what to do with your body! Instead, I help people who are struggling to make the changes they want to see in their lives, through structure, accountability, and compassion; compassion because I’m having my own messy, human experience, too!
In 2020, I had what you might call an existential crisis. During that time there were two homophobic incidents at the training studio I co-owned in Stamford with my then wife that left me with the familiar feeling I’d had thrust upon me since I was outed in 1997 (pre- Ellen) it was the mixture of anger and grief I’d felt as friends and family members turned their backs on a 17-year-old kid who was just trying to exist in the world.
As I sat and thought about the direction of my career and all the ways I’d compartmentalized parts of my identity (in my own business) being out as a lesbian but not being too queer, I felt the need to be surrounded by my community. I needed my community in the same way that my queer friends and elders had literally saved my life in the past when I didn’t see a way forward. I realized there was an incredible need for competent LGBTQ+ coaches and trainers, and I decided to dedicate my work then and there to coaching solely in the queer community. I like to say proudly, “I’m only in it for the queers,” and I mean that with all of my heart.
At that time, I considered the hundreds of people I’d coached over the years and asked myself, “what did those individuals who made significant lifestyle changes have in common?” The most successful clients I worked with all shared one common practice; they’d increased their levels of self-awareness as a result of our work. They’d increased their understanding of self and consistently returned to themselves when looking for answers, instead of looking for them in magazines, diets, or what their friends were doing.
And let’s be real, who has more practice in self-awareness, in finding their inner truth, in looking inward for answers to life’s questions, than queer people?
That’s why I consider queerness to be a superpower. Not in a fluffy way, not in a “woo woo” sense, but in the tangible experience of practicing the skill of self-awareness and living by our truth. In the face of exile, loss of community, and even death, queer people are revolutionary in their very existence! I’m talking about the experience we all share of being queer in a straight world. That daily practice gives us a superpower that we may not realize we have.
Now, imagine bringing that light, bringing that ability to be guided by your truth, to the practice of habit change. In my work with helping others and in my own experience, I’ve seen there’s no greater skill to have than self-awareness. As queer people, if we choose to use that skill we acquired by witnessing how expectations of gender and sexuality are constructed outside of how we know humans exist and apply it to our own lives, with compassion, we can see how our own behaviors are constructed and influenced by a whole host of other factors. Like those stories we tell each other about our past, connecting the dots of our queerness: our behaviors, habits, and inner dialogue have all been trying to solve a problem we needed help with at some point in our past, now it’s up to us to decide if they’ll also help us create our future.
I hope you’ll join me on this new journey with CT Voice, I don’t know what this column will be about yet but I’m excited to be on this ride with you!
Here’s to fully stepping into our uniqueness and using it to create a way forward for ourselves and our community.