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Peer Support:

Generational Trauma, the Imposter Syndrome, and Gender Identity

Intergenerational Trauma

An Interview with Kells Perry

Generational trauma, imposter syndrome, and challenges around gender identity can have a significant impact on a person’s wellbeing. Often, the underlying message from a dominant culture can leave the person feeling like damaged goods or that something is fundamentally wrong with them. As Kells states in this episode, “Systems of oppression, such as racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism may tell us there is something deviant and inherently wrong about who we are based on the identities we hold.”

This episode relates to Peer Support Services in a MHOTRS clinic because the peer role puts peers at the heart of this discussion. A healthy identity is a central part of wellness and, as Kells shares, “As peers we already know there is no one right way to be and there never has been, and since there is no standard human experience, how can any of us be doing it wrong?”.

Discussion around these issues is important and can feel uncomfortable. Kells addresses this beautifully when she shares that, “Intention matters, but impact is important too.” We need to embrace these discussions and this episode is filled with valuable information on how to do so in a respectful and empowering way. 

Meet Kells Perry

Kells is a Keynote Speaker and Peer Support Specialist who boldly and vulnerably shares her personal story about generational trauma, imposter syndrome, gender identity, and how she is thriving. She is the Director of Peer Services at New Narrative, which is an organization that provides peer support, clinical care, and housing for individuals in Portland, Oregon. 

What is in this episode:

  • A narrative of Kells Perry’s keynote address in Lori Ashcroft’s blog
  • Addressing the Imposter Complex
  • The sneakiness of Generational Trauma
  • Insights into discussing gender
  • Connecting with people outside of your circle of familiarity
  • What do you do when you don’t know what to do in discussions on gender identity

To end, I leave you with the final quote from Kells keynote: “Your voice is the gift you give the world, and your story is a reverberation of hope you give to others. Let’s be imposters together.”

Watch the video, read the blog, be inspired!

© Crestwood Recovery Resilience Solutions. All rights reserved.
Viva La Evolution #013. Interview by Lori Ashcraft. Used with permission.
Summary by Stephen Nawotniak, Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly NYAPRS). 

Relevant Links:

about Viva La Evolution and Crestwood

Developed by Crestwood Behavioral Health
With Contributions by the Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services)
For PeerTAC
Funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health