On her website, Ellie Krug describes herself as writer, lawyer, human. The founder and owner of her own consulting business, Human Inspiration, LLC, she travels across the country speaking, training and advising groups and organizations on topics of diversity and inclusion. In September, 2019, Ellie came to Bay Path and led workshops on Gray Area Thinking© as part of the University’s diversity and inclusion initiative. For many in the Bay Path community, it was a moving and eye-opening experience.
Ellie’s own journey to an authentic life is an example of perseverance and the search for truth. In 2009, Ellie left her former life—a life that was professionally successful, and, for all appearances, fit the model of a “typical” American family—and began transitioning to female. A former practicing lawyer, Ellie embraced a new mission as an advocate for human inclusivity, compassion and empathy. An admirer of Martin Luther King, she believes in the power of dialogue and once we begin to dig deeper and listen to one another we have much more in common than we believe. Her complete story is here from her website. The I Am Bay Path Story Project is honored that Ellie has agreed to be a guest profile, and we hope her words will be an inspiration for those struggling with the human condition.
“In my life, I have learned two things. First, I learned that in life there are some things that are not choices. I have a saying, “Human authenticity will not leave you alone until you listen to it.” Years ago, I did not understand what that truly meant. I thought I could choose who I am in terms of gender. If I only worked harder, got the right therapist, drank more, bought myself more toys, then I could suppress my true identity. Something to compensate or bargain with so I can choose. I so loved my wife. I knew I would lose my wife and all those things I accumulated as a man. I worked like heck to stay male, but in the end I learned human authenticity is real. Sometimes, we cannot choose.
The second thing I learned is about love. I grew up Catholic with a message from the Church that a person’s role in life is to sacrifice to others. It is not for you to prosper for yourself. That message was driven home to me in a variety of ways. It was a philosophy that said to me, ‘How dare you? How dare you think you could love yourself more than you can love them?’ Over time, I learned it is critical that we love ourselves first and foremost. If you hate yourself, you cannot have genuine love for another. The key to life is understanding that you need to believe you are worthy. Once I discovered I could love myself, then I could be myself. It was an incredible moment of self-discovery.”