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Paula Stone Williams    

Pastor, Counselor, LGBTQ Ambassador & Gender Equity Advocate

The Reverend Dr. Paula Stone Williams knows the truth will set you free, but only after it upends your carefully constructed narrative. Her devotion to authenticity caused her to leave her comfort zone as a nationally known religious leader and follow her heart to transition from Paul to Paula. She lost all of her jobs and most of her friends. Williams also discovered the massive differences between life as a male and as a female in America.

Williams is the pastor of preaching and worship at Left Hand Church in Longmont, Colorado, a pastoral counselor with RLT Pathways and a sought-after speaker to corporations, government agencies, universities and religious institutions on issues of gender equity and LGBTQ advocacy. She has been featured in the New York Times, the Denver Post, New Scientist, Radio New Zealand, Colorado Public Radio and The Huffington Post. Her TEDxMileHigh talk on gender equity has had more than one million views.

Speech Topics


Is Life Really Easier for Men?

Based on her TED talk (over 1.7 million views), Dr. Paula Stone Williams speaks about her experience living as a male and as a female. Are men privileged in ways they do not understand? Do women have to work harder to be seen as leaders? Do men empower each other more than women empower each other?

With humor and insight, Paula Williams answer these questions and more, using both empirical data and her experience in both genders to explore the difference between equality and equity.

Attendees will hear Paula's narrative of her journey, as well as be invited to examine their own lives for subtle and not so subtle ways in which we take in the messages of our culture and live them out in every area of our lives.

Men will depart with a greater understanding of their own privilege, and the opportunities to make a difference that come along with that privilege. Women will understand the importance of standing up for themselves and working together to bring about change. Both genders will be asked to examine how we bring our privilege with us in all of our interactions.

LGBT Inclusion and American Religion

Over half of those who identify as LGBTQ identify with a specific religion, most as Christian. Eighty-three percent of non-religious Americans are supportive of LGBTQ equality, but only 36 percent of evangelicals are supportive. Why such a disparity between the two groups?

Dr. Paula Stone Williams will explain the origins of the animosity toward the LGBTQ population, and why she is convinced that positive change is coming soon. She will talk about the three major shifts taking place that will usher in this change, as well as the ongoing challenges that remain. Those who attend the workshop will leave with a greater understanding of the religious landscape, and suggestions of what they can do to bring about greater acceptance toward the LGBTQ population in America.

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Being Transgender, But Were Afraid to Ask

Dr. Paula Stone Williams will talk about all things related to gender dysphoria, the technical name for what it means to be transgender. The talk will begin by looking at what gender dysphoria is not, describing the differences between crossdressers, drag queens, and transgender people. The talk then explores causation of gender dysphoria, medical procedures of transition, and the reason for high levels of suicidal ideation among transgender people.

Those attending will learn how to be allies of the transgender population and will leave with practical suggestions of how they can help make their work, home, and social environments welcoming places for LGBTQ people.

This workshop includes a long period of Q&A, in which Paula does not shy away from answering any and all questions about her experience of life as a transgender woman.

Who Is Afraid of Postmodernism?

This workshop, developed for evangelical and post-evangelical leaders, looks at the shift from the modern age to the postmodern age and the affect it has had on evangelical Christianity. It focuses on the three major shifts taking place within American Christianity, the likes of which have not been seen in five centuries.

Attendees will leave with a simple, but not simplistic, understanding of why the Millennial generation and Generation Z are so indifferent to organized religion, and what type of spiritual community it will take to meet their evolving spiritual needs.

Becoming a Better Work Team

Dr. Paula Stone Williams did both her second Master's degree and her Doctoral degree with a focus on the DiSC test, one of the most popular and accurate predictors of workplace behavior.

After taking the test together, Paula will talk in a completely non-threatening way, about why you prefer to interact with others as you do, and what role you can play in your work team that will utilize the best of your gifts. The DiSC test helps identify the areas in which you are likely to be most affirmed, as well as the areas in which you need the assistance of others.

Paula has interpreted thousands of DiSC tests and has a unique ability to help you see the subtleties in your personality that help you do your best work in all group environments.

The Two Major Passages of Life

Early in adult life we are busy slaying dragons, amassing fortunes and building résumé virtues. Later we begin to shift our focus. We have fewer friends, but deeper friendships. We no longer look outside ourselves for our sense of affirmation, but deep inside our souls. We are more interested in being in relationship than being right, and we are more interested in building eulogy virtues than we are in résumé virtues.

In this talk, Paula will explore the liminal space between the two passages, and how we can gracefully move from one to the other. She will talk about the development of emotional intelligence (EQ) and how we tend to change our definition of success as we navigate through life.

Attendees will better understand the shifts in motivation, goals, and outcomes that may be taking place in their own lives as they move from one passage to another.

Leadership Lessons from An Ancient Story

The seventh-century epic poem, Beowulf, will be told in modern day language and mined for its leadership lessons. The first is that the biggest problem is not the monster you fear, but that which gave birth to the monster you fear. The second is that courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to move forward in the face of fear. The third is that the tools you take into battle are not the ones needed to slay the dragon. It is only the tools found in the midst of the battle that slay the dragon. The fourth is that what sets great leaders apart from others is a willingness to go alone where no one else will go. And the fifth is that it takes a long time to kill a monster.

Attendees will leave with new insights about the kind of leadership necessary in difficult times. They will better understand the fears beneath their anxiety, and the route to confident leadership.

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