Real People - True Stories - Living Inspiring Lives - Creative Feature
Are you one of the crazy ones? Are you one of those people who think they can change the world?
Or are you a humble genius with ideas inside you bigger than you even you realize?
What happens when you have an inspired idea and you follow through on your inspiration? Even when it scares you? Even when you don't have a complete plan or know where all the resources you might need are going to come from? In fact, you might not be able to fathom the kind of resources you might need from where you are at right now....
You've just got this idea and a spark inside you.
Do you want to know what happens when you follow through on your inspiration and then your dream becomes bigger than just you?
You change the world with your idea, and thank God you did, because no one else has what you have inside you and....
NO one else had the guts to put it out there in the world.
Meet Victor Ongpin.
I met Victor some two years ago, at brunch, and we hit it off right away. My good friend Robin, invited me to a group brunch at one of my favorite places in Seattle, and granted I was the only female invited, and maybe the only straight person at the table that day, I was surrounded by gracious good looking men and interesting conversation and forevermore I looked forward to every single Gay Brunch that the Host arranged and I was gratefully invited to!
That first day we met, Victor and I connected because of our writing, I was blogging about my sad state of dating and ruined love life and he was writing about perhaps a slightly less sad state of dating, sex, and relationships in the Pacific Northwest. Though our dating pools were slightly different there was actually a lot of overlap and common experience and we made a date to get together over coffee and talk about our mad plans to become Master writers. (Ok maybe that was just my plan).
When Victor and I met for coffee, as it turns out, he had some BRILLIANT IDEAS brewing and his vision and inspiration stretched way beyond creating a popular blog platform for content rich dating and sex tips for men! I was impressed. As I listened to all of the brilliant thoughts and world changing concepts pour out of this man I knew he was on to something HUGE, but where does one begin with something this big?
When our coffees were long gone and the daylight had waned, we said our goodbyes and wished each other good luck on our mutual endeavors and we promised to meet again soon.
I'm not sure how much time went by, but by the next time Victor and I met for inspired coffee A LOT had transpired. I'll never forget that conversation and what Victor shared with me that day. It was a beautiful and private story (I'll let Victor tell it on his blog!), but trust, it was one filled with healing and a renewed hope for LOVE, life, personal fulfillment and freedom.
And guess what? By the next time I saw Victor his very inspired community project idea had grown into something way beyond what Victor could have even imagined when he began. I listened to the stories flow out of him describing how things came together in such a miraculous way and how people he didn't even know rallied around him and donated their services to the cause, so what started out as one person's idea for a community project had grown into a beautiful and professionally orchestrated world changing EVENT!
You’ve heard of TED talks. Victor, with the help and support of community and friends created JAKE talks.
"Inspired by the online series of "TED Talks", JAKE (Joyfully Awaken to Knowledge and Empowerment) was conceived to spotlight the voices of speakers and thought-leaders who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) that can intimately speak to the unique cultural experiences we celebrate as a community alongside our allies in an entertaining yet inspiring and accessible format."
See some of the JAKE talks HERE.
JAKE's MISSION is to create a platform for diverse voices in the LGBT community to share relevant, engaging and thought provoking content that inspires a call to action; influences our culture and impacts the lives of our audience as well as their communities.
JAKE began as a community-project in response to the need for a free web-based destination for learning and inspiration within LGBTQ digital culture. Since launching in May 2014, JAKE has developed as a non-profit organization with tremendous community-support garnering recognition as a place where powerful queer voices and brilliant queer artists can come together to be found on the web and at live-events.
Though JAKE began as a community-based project to facilitate learning and empowerment on a variety of topics of interest to gay men and the LGBT community and allies,
JAKE is so much more.
Jake is an Explorer (no wonder why I love him!): modern, digitally connected, a lifelong learner. A seeker of knowledge and continually asking questions about the brilliance of community • sex & relationships • technology + digital culture • the advancement of LGBT rights/equality • breakthroughs in health sciences • artistic expression (film + TV + music + internet) • pop culture • philanthropy • gender norms (masculinity + femininity).
Perhaps he (or she) is looking for more purpose and intentionality in how he lives and incorporating spirituality into his daily practice. He may even desire to grow in his capacity to love and discover what that fully means for himself. He is curious about ever evolving gay life. But he wants perspectives he can trust from the community and thought-leaders in their respective fields with whom he can connect and engage with.
We invite you to Joyfully Awaken to Knowledge and Empowerment!
Seattle Residents please join the upcoming LIVE event this Thursday
September 25th, 2014:
The Language of Gender: a mini JAKE event
Within the LGBTQ community, gender identity and gender expression are distinct constructs that individuals must define for themselves with regard to how they live and operate in society. Quite often, however, trans* & gender non-conforming peoples find themselves existing in the blurred lines of well-defined categories.
The Language of Gender is an evening dedicated to showcasing the brilliance of individuals contributing to the overall cultural discourse in this arena.
Speakers use their talents, giftings and life experiences in a TED-inspired format to inform, impact and inspire the queer community; the result of which are profound conversations shaping Gender Identity and Expression.
Featured speakers share compelling insights and experiences including:
- Rediscovering Masculinity: Confronting Men's Notions of Gender & Sexuality after Surviving Cancer
- Using Art As a Vehicle for Expression and Gender Presentation
- Visibility and Accessibility of Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming Peoples in Healthcare