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About Connie Quayle

My name is Connie Amanita Quayle,
I'm a settler of Celtic and Baltic heritage, and third generation of my family on these west coast islands. I am a queer, transgender woman living with disability.

I work as a counselor and facilitator.

As a counsellor...

I'm not conventional.

I’m not an RCC, not a clinical counsellor. I’m not a cognitive behavioral therapist. My background is instead in conflict analysis, in learning and personal growth, in embodiment, in ceremony, in community, in conscious dance, in psychedelics and herbalism, in queerness, in transness, as a woman, as a parent, as a teacher and as a survivor. 


I see all of us as participants in the systems that hold us, recognizing the reality and impact of marginalization and privilege, and I see the expanding impact of the healing work that each one of us can be doing in this world. It is my privilege to support people to approach and move through transitions of queerness and gender within the context of life systems. I work with children, with youth, with adults and families. As people from within family systems (whether chosen or blood), transitions can be held in many different ways and all deserve to be honoured.


I love somatic work, I love deep listening, I love following conversations of discovery and sparks of curiosity. I find deep joy (do my happy dance) when someone I have supported steps into deeper authenticity. I love supporting personal planning for growth and development. And I am grateful for the ongoing conversations with people from many walks of life about how we experience the world and make sense of it. 

As a facilitator...

I bring over twenty years experience working in education systems with groups, families and individuals. How we learn and cultivate our best circumstances for learning, growth and development has been an area of fascination for me and I apply that learning in all the facilitation work I do whether running a workshop, teaching in a classroom or facilitating a conscious dance space. 

My belief is that we can expand our knowledge, capacity and insight when we feel seen and heard from a place of safety and belonging. I hold spaces for diversity of opinions and perspectives with compassion and acceptance for where each of our life journeys has brought us and where each voice, each person’s expression, matters. In my approach to learning, knowledge is not something that can be shoved into our brains if we only push hard enough, but instead is something that we pick and choose to integrate into our perceptions when we are inspired by curiosity, engagement and fun. 

My transition story

For myself as with many queer people, coming out isn't a one-time thing, it's not like you just step through that closet door and it's suddenly a different world on the other side. Nor are we static, unchanging people, labels that once fit nicely can feel tighter as we grow. 

As a transgender person growing up on Vancouver Island in the time that I did, born in the 70s, I did not see anyone else who struggled as I did with my gender nor was there anyone I could talk to for fear of being ridiculed and because I lacked the language to explain. Trans people were so effectively made invisible that I believed I was alone. I was bullied and hurt in school for being more femme than was permitted by the self-appointed police of gender norms. Over the years I came out many times, describing my experience of gender queerness, when it felt safer and s found from the reactions that I experienced, even from queer people, that it often felt safer and easier to just try to conform to cisgender expectations.

Except, over the long term, it wasn't safer or easier. The hiding of who I am drove me self destructive thinking and the pain and shame of thinking there was something wrong with me that I simply could not get past or get over settled deep in me. I have always had a knowing of myself as a woman no matter how much therapy, how many ceremonies, no matter how much I tried to numb or distract myself from this reality. By 2017, the year that trans people finally had human rights in Canada, I knew that I simply could not continue to fake it. So I changed. I chose myself, I chose self-love and to embrace who I really am. This is a choice I make again and again. To lean and to grow and to become more myself. 

I felt mostly unsupported in my early transition years without genderqueer community or supports who understood my experiences. Online groups I found were often confusing with unhelpful ideas of gender. I navigated ID changes, hormones, and many of the steps I chose to feel good in my body without many genderqueer people in my life, as years went by I discovered how common my experience was - not all of us are blessed to have vibrant or supportive queer community.

My early gender transition years were really hard, and transitioning in the ways that I needed was the best thing I have ever done for myself. I have found real happiness in who I am and people who love me for it. Since then I've walked beside many others in support and allyship sharing this beautiful journey of self love and acceptance. It's worth it to be real. It really is worth it to be true to our hearts. 

My Qualifications

I have an M.A. in Conflict Analysis and Management which includes mediation and facilitation, systems theory and exploring roots of conflict within ourselves, families, organizations and society.

I have a B.Ed. in Outdoor and Experiential Education with BC teacher certification and focus in Native Studies and Biology. 

I have a B.A. in "Cosmologies of Nature", an interdisciplinary exploration of how humans perceive our relationships with the natural world.

I have completed additional college and university coursework in counseling, social work, psychology, anti-racism, LGBTQ+ inclusion, trauma informed practices and in understanding Indigenous realities and perspectives.

I have worked in support of families and individuals, often from neurodiverse and marginalized backgrounds since 2003 to approach learning on their own terms and in their own ways through alternative schools and learning spaces and in home learning.

I am a parent of queer and neurodiverse children.

I have spent many years dedicated to my own healing, to recovering my nervous system from complex PTSD and learning how to move past cycles of dysfunction and trauma within myself. I have been a client of therapy for many years and in many modalities and know, from lived experience, that life really can get better and better and better.

The journey of learning and healing can be long and complex. I have walked, and continue to walk, this path for myself and because of this am able to guide others through the places I have been and seen. Learning happens. Healing happens.

It really does.  

Connie Quayle Counselor
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