Becoming more myself with #IAmRemarkable - Zoe Boyd's story
Zoe Boyd is a seasoned #IAmRemarkable facilitator and runs a marketing agency with her partner. In her work, she plays an active role in training companies, teams and individuals to take bold strides forward in their approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. Her unique personal journey has strengthened her belief in the positive impact of empowerment coaching for marginalised groups.
Several years ago, Zoe experienced a life-changing breakthrough; she realised she is a trans woman. Alongside therapy, self reflection and support from her community, being part of #IAmRemarkable contributed to Zoe’s journey of self discovery.
When she attended her first #IAmRemarkable workshop, Zoe was male-presenting. She was experiencing aspects of privilege in her workplace but hadn’t yet realised she herself was part of a marginalised community. “I got promoted off the back of being seen as male. Meanwhile, I would never speak highly of myself. I’d consider it bragging. In that first workshop I realised I was worried about ‘boasting’. It struck me that, in feeling like a woman in that respect, there was something I was repressing. That day was part of a wider, ongoing realisation for me—I was trans.”
Many of us talk about having an egg shell around us before we come out. When we realise we’re trans, the egg ‘cracks’.
Zoe shares more about that pivotal moment in her journey of self discovery: “In the transgender lingo, many of us talk about having an egg shell around us before we come out. When we realise we’re trans, the egg ‘cracks’. Those little cracks connect up over time and we become more and more free to be ourselves.”
Thinking back to the first #IAmRemarkable workshop she attended and reflecting on how far she’s come, Zoe says at first she struggled to think of anything she felt made her remarkable. “Then I thought, “You know what? You’ve been very severely depressed, but you’re still here. During that #IAmRemarkable workshop, I found the courage to share that with the people in the room – and that courage has now become confidence.”
I was trans and I was finally able to speak as myself. It gave me confidence.
The process of coming out was both transformational and tough. “I lost two clients straight away,” says Zoe. By the time she became an #IAmRemarkable facilitator and hosted her first workshop, Zoe had come out—strengthened by the self belief the earlier workshops, therapy, her community, and her queer elders all helped her build. “I was trans and I was finally able to speak as myself. It gave me confidence—I could start putting that back into my life.”
For Zoe, the community #IAmRemarkable offers is crucial. “I know what it’s like to feel alone. You have to find your community. In my sessions, that group is my community. That’s the energy I want to bring.” Today, Zoe empowers others to succeed, inspiring self confidence through her workshops. #IAmRemarkable is all about celebrating your achievements, big and small, so Zoe encourages others to honour their everyday wins. “It's very hard to recognise the large things if you can't also recognise the little things. Given the big picture of everyday health, everything is an achievement.”
You’ll be surprised by how much #IAmRemarkable will have an impact on your life.
Feeling a greater sense of purpose than ever, Zoe sees a strong business case for fostering inclusiveness in the workplace. Diversity should never be a tick box exercise—Zoe stresses the importance of genuine celebration. “Marginalised individuals need to be celebrated as something to be really, really proud of.”
Zoe is constantly driven to make a difference. She’s aiming to make her business a co-op, so the profits are shared. In the midst of her busy schedule, Zoe finds the time and energy to bring #IAmRemarkable further into her personal life and her cherished communities.
Zoe’s advice to anyone contemplating attending an #IAmRemarkable workshop, or becoming a facilitator? “Go for it and throw your whole self into it. You’ll be surprised by how much it will have an impact on your life.”