Waking Up from Victim Consciousness – From Being a Scared Gay Activist to Waking Up Into Empowerment

I woke up from victim consciousness. It was one of the most liberating transformations I’ve ever encountered. Here’s how it happened:

In the 90s I considered myself a gay activist. I wasn’t marching out in the streets in a lot in gay pride parades, but I was certainly in the mindset of fierce activism and had very strong viewpoints about the entire subject matter. I had no problem sharing those viewpoints. I thought of the white middle to upper class straight community as the enemy, the oppressor, the ignorant fools who were making my life and the lives of my gay, lesbian, and transgender brothers and sisters hell on earth.

It seemed like, around every corner, we were fighting a new fight – including finding ways to protect our community from gay-bashing and other violence, challenging the sodomy laws that made it illegal for gay people to have sex in many states up until the late 90s, to fighting for equal rights in the workplace and housing, to the fight for gay marriage.

It was no wonder I was angry and afraid. Everyday after grade school I would have to hide from gay-bashers whose source of entertainment was to corner me after school, physically attack me and then chase me home. My anger also came from the deficiency story instilled in me at a young age as I watched anti-gay protests on TV telling me that God hates me because I’m a fag and that I’m destined to burn in hell. I spent years working in the restaurant business being harassed by management everyday for being gay. I would go to parties and inevitably would have to leave once some drunk guy or group of people decided it would be fun to sit and call me names all night until I left.

I knew that these homophobic people were just ignorant and scared. But I wasn’t going to let their ignorance and fear trample over my rights as a US citizen – the right to be left alone…

I even went so far as to write a letter to the US Supreme Court begging the court to allow gay marriage. Three years later the court did just that. The activism by so many gay, lesbian and transgendered people has certainly made great strides.

But in the meantime, during all my activism something started to feel “off.” I had begun to explore non-dual awakening and self inquiry and it was changing the way I saw myself and the world. I saw that my activism was not coming from a place of empowerment. On the surface many activists portray power in their activist movements. But quite often the activism is coming from a collective trauma forced upon the LGBTQIA community. The trauma comes from growing up in a world that either hates you or wishes you weren’t here on earth. On top of trauma being a motivating force for much of my activism I was also motivated by my own deficiency stories. The message a young gay man or woman received from the world prior to recent years is “there is something fundamentally wrong with you.”

That didn’t make sense to me. I was a good kid with a kind heart who cared about people deeply. But society seemed to want to overlook that and reduce the entire value of me as a person down to who I sleep with or chose to love. So I fought the powers that be. But what I found along the way is that fighting when you are motivated by trauma and low self-esteem is much less effective than coming from confidence, peace, clarity, wisdom, fearlessness, and a true sense of who you really are. These attributes are infinitely more powerful because they do not come from victimhood.

You see, victim consciousness is disempowering. It comes from a false perception.

We cannot be made to feel like victims unless we allow others to define us in that way. Victimhood is a deficiency story, whether it feels real or not.

That is not intended to condone the atrocities that have been perpetrated by dominant majorities against minorities. But victim consciousness is an identity. It is not what we we truly are. It’s the identity we picked up along the way as we faced oppression. Victims are often beggars, believing on some level that they are in fact less valuable than other humans. The entire stance is ineffective. Many activists do not have a high enough sense of self or sense of empowerment to break out of victim consciousness and move into a more empowering way of addressing inequalities. Without breaking free of victim consciousness victims often self sabotage their attempts at fighting the perpetrators or oppressors. The victim consciousness is so deeply embedded into ego that it fights to stay alive, desperately clinging to the victim identity which disempowers them precisely because victims automatically give their power away and and play the underdog instead of moving through the victim mentality and finding a more mature and powerful voice that calls for action from a true and authentic place of empowerment.

The reason victimhood doesn’t always work well is that when people hold themselves out as victims they are often then treated by others that way, thereby perpetuating the power imbalance between oppressor and minority victims. It’s easy for oppressors to dismiss victims because the oppressors cannot see that the victimhood has resulted from years of oppression.

And so the oppressors often miss the fundamental message being put forth by activists. Victims are easily dismissed in our culture, which has this prevailing view that everyone should be able to make it in this world without “whining”: “Just pull up your boot straps and get over it,” we hear so often.

There is a disconnect, a misunderstanding, and an imbalance in the power dynamics between the oppressors and the victims of the oppressors.

Now these groups can still continue fighting. But what we resist persists. Fighting has a way of solidifying each sides’ argument… that’s how the ego works. It just wants to be right and to argue and therefore nothing new can come into that debate. It defends its position because it is defending the self. And so people cannot truly hear each other in civil rights debates such as Black Lives Matter, the fight for rights for women and the LGBTQIA community.

So what gives? I could not step out of that activist world until I had a non-dual awakening and began the process of inquiry. Inquiry showed me that although being gay is an extension of my expression on earth it is not who or what I am. This was a major realization for me. Once that realization dawned, I instantly let go of the fight for gay rights. I didn’t drop that fight because I stopped caring. I stopped because the deficiency story, self-esteem issues and trauma were resolved through our Kiloby Inquiries.

Now I’m not a typical activist at all. I simply live my life as a gay man. I am happy! I don’t have anything to prove. I don’t mind speaking up when I hear ignorance or homophobia. But the most important thing is that I am eternally at peace with who I am. I don’t have an identity crisis. As such I can simply live my life as a gay man without making a bunch of hoopla about it. I don’t have to be driven by trauma and pain anymore.

These days I call myself gay but that part of my experience is just one aspect. I still watch my brothers and sisters fighting so hard for justice. And I commend them. But I also invite each of them to do the inner work around all these subjects.

Try our Kiloby Inquiries and move from victimhood to empowerment! When you have worked through your deficiency stories (eg “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not as valuable as straight people”) the world looks very different. Now I change minds about these important issues not by being an activist but rather by being completely transparent and open, letting people into my world so that they can see I am no different than them in many ways. That’s what transforms the world, one relationship at a time. The fear, insecurity and feelings of deficiency are gone. And from that new sense of empowerment the world can be changed.

Real change comes from clarity, not just anger and fear.

If you lead your activist movements with anger and fear you merely solidify the anger and fear on the other side of the debate. It’s time to speak from clarity. If our homophobic counterparts cannot come from clarity that should not deter our efforts. Clarity wins out in the end. Anger, hatred and violence from either side might get people’s attention but clear, open communication is the real key. And to be able to speak and act from that level some work needs to be done. Think of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harvey Milk. They found that empowerment within and did not operate on sheer victimhood. We can learn a lot from them!

Join the mindful revolution as it applies to civil rights: visit www.kiloby.com

"Working with Dan has been nothing short of transformational. His open heart, honesty about his personal experience and permission to be real and not hide have helped me unlock those qualities in myself. And that has been a total game changer. I've been truly blessed, not only to have him as my KI Facilitator, but also as my mentor. Without a doubt, working with him has helped me to show up authentically, helped sharpen my tools and made me a better facilitator than I would've been on my own. I can't recommend him enough."
Darby Totten
Certified KI Facilitator

Dan McLintock is a Certified Facilitator, Trainer and the Co-Developer of the Kiloby Inquiries method/approach the New Model of Recovery along w Scott Kiloby. 

A Jacksonville, Florida native, Dan graduated Flagler College in 2004 with B.A. in Theatre Arts and English Literature and has played music professionally in bands for over 20 years. But his true passion lies in sharing the context, possibility and practicality of healing, awakening and release. 

Dan has worked one-on-one with clients in and out of the Kiloby Center since 2017 and has an unconditionally loving and earnest approach to healing trauma, dissolving the drivers of addiction/suffering and unhooking long-held toxic beliefs about ourselves, others and the world at large. 

He’s also worked intensively, side-by-side with Scott Kiloby for the past three years to develop the transformative tools of the Kiloby Inquiries as well as the principles and approach of the “New Model of Recovery” rooted in unconditional love and non-judgment. Much of this approach was borne out of Scott and Dan’s work with each other on their own personal traumas as well as their work with clients at the Kiloby Center. 

Scott and Dan have simplified, demystified and condensed some of the principles and practices of eastern/non-dual spirituality into an easily accessible set of tools most anyone can understand, learn and utilize to free themselves from their own suffering. 

What is a Clarity Call?

What is a Clarity Call?

A clarity call is a free 30-minute introductory call with a Certified KI Facilitator. During a clarity call, you can ask any questions you have about KI and see whether a particular facilitator is a good fit for you.

To book a clarity call, select your preferred facilitator (hover over their picture and click the “Meet” button). Then, enter your email and click “Book Your Call.” From there, you’ll be able to select your preferred date and time and schedule your clarity call (please double-check your time zone before booking).

Valerie Vinger is a thriving survivor of life’s painful challenges and growth opportunities. She has worked with 12-step programs and is currently a 13-year stage-III cancer survivor. Her cancer recovery journey started with the traditional “cut, poison, burn” approach but eventually led her down a natural path to healing her body, her pain and suffering, and her buried emotions.

Valerie first stumbled upon Scott Kiloby at a workshop of his in Boulder, Colorado in 2012, which she says is one of the most transformative experiences she’s ever had. She is filled with gratitude for the person she has become through her journey with cancer recovery and with the Inquiries, which she describes as “coming home to myself.” She loves working with people who are ready for relief from their pain and suffering.

Julianne Eanniello is a Certified Trainer and Facilitator of both the Kiloby Inquiries and the Unfindability Inquiries (formerly called the Living Inquiries). She is also a Certified TRE Practitioner, and the developer of the somatic movement process called Natural Flow Movement. She works with clients all over the world on virtually any topic, including spiritual seeking, stress, anxiety, depression, pain and health related issues, traumatic experiences, repression, relationship issues, and general unhappiness with ourselves and our lives. She does this through online sessions, deepening courses, workshops and facilitator certification training.

About Julianne:

For most of my life I’ve wondered who I am and why I am here. As I was growing up, no one else seemed to be talking about these things, or even thinking about them, so I buried it deep inside and tried my best to fit in the way I was “supposed” to, all the while feeling like there was something desperately wrong with me and that I needed to fix it.

In my early thirties, the death of a young relative left me feeling hopeless and helpless, wondering what is the point of life if we’re all just going to die anyway? This launched me on a search. I didn’t even know what I was looking for, I just knew that there was a longing – a desperate longing for something that actually made sense about life. I learned several alternative spiritual and healing techniques. I meditated. I read books and watched videos. I eventually learned of non-duality teachings, and I read more books, watched more videos, and even sat with several ‘awakened’ teachers. Yet I was still searching, something still felt missing. I was looking for the key that would unlock the mystery of me and of life.

In my early forties, I developed a chronic health condition that left me unable to work for several years, and most days barely able to get out of bed due to extreme fatigue, brain fog and pain. I lost my banking job, and eventually lost my home. I saw a multitude of doctors to try to find out what was wrong with me, and used every tool in my metaphysical and alternative medicine toolkit to try to heal myself. My seeking became even more intense, and I was looking for a way to escape my pain.

In 2009, I met Scott Kiloby. Since I started working with him and doing the Living Inquiries, the seeking for enlightenment has stopped, and the question of ‘who am I’ is no longer relevant. My victim stories around my health started falling away. Once I started looking at my experience through inquiry, everything changed. I stopped chasing something ‘out there.’ I no longer seek some future state of happiness or peace. This is not to say that I don’t have problems, or ever experience pain. Quite the contrary. I still use the inquiries regularly, and now there is much less avoidance or resistance to what I’m experiencing. I experience more and more freedom in the present moment, exactly as it appears.

Having trained with Scott, I was one of the first to be certified as a Senior Living Inquiries Facilitator and Trainer in early 2012. In 2014, I moved to CA and became a business partner with Scott at The Kiloby Center for Recovery, where we worked with people suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression and more for the next 8 years.

I can’t imagine my life without these inquiries. They saved me from myself. If you are still suffering, searching, longing… I encourage you to give this a try.

As a young child I saw a picture of Jesus gazing lovingly at some children around his feet. I immediately longed for the unconditional love I saw in his gaze. At the same time, I was being read fairy tales, like Cinderella, and came to believe that romantic love would satisfy that longing for love.

So, I married my handsome prince at age 19. But then, by age 29, I found myself alone, as a single mother, with four young children. I was devastated and convinced that something was terribly wrong with me, to have ended up in such a predicament. 

I had learned to love and please others, but not how to love and respect myself. I was a “good girl,” and repressed my urges to have my own needs acknowledged and met. A wise teacher later told me, “We need to love everyone, including ourselves.” This was an amazing revelation for me!

Learning to meditate helped immensely to bring moments of peace, while I was sitting still, though I was still being triggered regularly in my relationships. Finally, the Kiloby Inquiries taught me how to turn my attention inside in daily life – towards the trapped thoughts and emotions I’d been running from – so that I could face and release them. It was like some tender, lost children began coming home, to take their rightful place in my inner world. 

I am honored and excited to be able to facilitate these wonderful inquiries for others.

Sumitra lives on the Hawaiian island of Kauai with some of her family. She has four grown children and six grandchildren. For many years she lived and worked in a yoga retreat community in California, and has taught yoga, meditation and Compassionate Communication in addition to facilitating the tools of the Kiloby Inquiries (since 2013).

Sumitra also loves working with couples and others with relationship challenges in a simple (though not always easy) deep listening practice that allows each person to be truly heard and acknowledged.

Alina is a certified KI facilitator & a founder of Presence Alchemy – An advance mindfulness platform dedicated to liberating suffering & limiting core beliefs through Kiloby Inquiries & non-dual awareness. Presence Alchemy was born eight years into Alina’s embodiment journey of an inner shift from ego to wakefulness. Alina works one-on-one with clients, hosts online intensives and training, and organizes local retreats & workshops.
Alec Rodrigues has been certified to facilitate inquiry since 2015 and brings a keen sense of intuition to his work. He believes that in connection, the deepest healing takes place, that the mirror of relationship is the best crucible for transformation. Through rest and inquiry, Alec has found the empowerment to meet others authentically and stop running so damn fast from the seeming “ordinariness” of life.

He currently lives in Washington state with his girlfriend and works as a training assistant for the KI Personal Mentorship Program, where he empowers enrollees by teaching them the KI tools.