Robin Coach Charlie Trotman is a powerful and dynamic speaker and educator who specializes in cultivating holistic and trauma-informed spaces for youth and the people who support them. He has facilitated classroom discussions with middle school and high school students on the topic of LGBTQIA+ identified people and anti-bullying tactics throughout NYC.
What is the single most important life skill or lesson we can teach our children and teens?
It’s important to create a safe and understanding environment for young people to learn and explore.
Can you tell us a little about the anti-bullying work you’ve done? What’s the most rewarding part of facilitating these conversations?
I have spent over 10 years speaking to students about my experience as a Black, Queer and Transgender person, what I have learned, and how I have been inspired to be resilient. I have found that open dialogue, comprehensive sex education that is inclusive and curiosity support the decrease of bullying in schools because people get to be seen and heard. I have found that bullying often happens when there’s bullying happening at home, misinformation, and unprocessed grief and/or trauma and no one is talking about it. When I experience a student, staff member, or parent sharing that they have learned something new, feel inspired, and feel a sense of clarity and liberation from my story, that’s the most rewarding part. Love is contagious.
Why do you think it is important for K-12 LGBTQ+ students in particular to talk about their mental health and learn how to embrace, accept and empower themselves?
My vision for the world involves all young people feeling safe, empowered, and having a sense of belonging in the world just as they are. Since we spend much of our youth in school, it is just as vital that students feel comfortable being themselves, protected, and valued. We all deserve that.
What mantra do you live by?
“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde