Dillan DiGiovanni

Why I stay on social media

General, InspirationDillan DiGiovanniComment

I'm relieved that more and more people I respect and admire are calling out the BULLSHIT that is social media. 

But I'm not quitting and here's why. Because I have a business that depends on people being able to see and access me for coaching support, I don't have the privilege to just put my head in the sand and pretend I don't approve of or like what I see happening out in the world. I mean, I DO have that privilege but I'm not exercising it. People need me (or at least I like to think or hope they do) and they can't find me to get help if I'm hiding in my transman cave with a sign hanging outside that says, "I just couldn't. Even."

It doesn't mean that I don't feel that way but if I can't even then why am I in the business of helping move society along another notch on the evolution spectrum? That's why I'm here and that's the work I've chosen (do we really choose it if it's a calling?) so I can't stand in integrity and simultaneously bury my head in the sand.

Social media is just our reality reflected back to us and if we can't face it that's the real problem to address. Acknowledging what we like or dislike about what we see is the real work of life. It's called adulting. It's called maturity.

What's even better? Acknowledging we don't like something while also realizing and respecting that the world doesn't revolve around our likes and dislikes. And even better than that?? Realizing that our likes and dislikes are all just our attempt to feel more control so we can avoid feeling like crap so we don't have to be responsible for doing anything to change.

Still with me?

Listen, there are plenty of reasons why I tried (more than once) to turn and run from social media. I wasn't raised with this shit and struggle to manage the adjustment to the tsunami of information. Most of what I see makes me question the lease I signed to belong to the human race. But not wanting to face or deal with it doesn't change it from existing. It also doesn't change the reality that it's all been going on for centuries. 

It sucks to realize that we won't fix it in this generation or the next. There's no app for that.

But what if we used social media and all it offers us to focus on how we feel about what we see and what we want to do about it. What if we courageously faced the black mirror and chose to deal with it in better ways? What if we decided to be the change we want to see in the world and didn't post a goddamn meme about it but actually LIVED OUR LIVES from that place? I stay on social media for that reason. It reminds me how far I've come and how far I still have to go. It reminds me to stay humble. It reminds me that my bubble is small and the world is wide and my pinprick of significance matters to mostly no one but it does matter.

Yes, like my pal Paul Jarvis, the positivity/inspiration memes drive me a little nuts. I still post them, despite, because my clients and followers "like" them and I try to think that a few nice words help them through a challenging moment. But I worry that they too often live vicariously through my inspiration and don't take action to change anything in their lives. 

And action, my friends, is what creates change. But sometimes feeling positive and inspired is what precedes action, and so I keep posting those memes. I post and hope that more people will take action so we can stop wanting the world to change and start seeing and experiencing it ourselves.

And, I mean, come on. Some of the shit people make is funny. 


I feel a sense of obligation to stay on social because I like to think my presence matters especially because I stand for two things that society continues to struggle with: health and self-acceptance. If my visibility helps one person make a move in one of those two areas, then it's worth it. Best-case scenario is we all use our presence to make each others' lives better but we can all see from comment threads and trolls just how far we are from that goal. One day at a time. 

For better or worse, society has evolved in this way and it's teaching us a lot about ourselves--more than we were learning before the Pony Express and then telegraphy and then chat rooms and so on.

Like I said, I have the privilege to delete my apps and accounts in a fit of "I quit this place" but it would really mean I'm trying to quit the reality of life as it is. And that's not an option for me, despite the thoughts that tempt me from time to time. And it's the smiling faces of my friends and those goddamn inspiring memes that positively override the negative thoughts and I try to pass that inspiration along as best I can.

Dealing with life, becoming more patient and tolerant and trying to make a difference are some reasons why I stay on social. What about you?

Tofu Breakfast Scramble (with something better than Nutella)

Recipes, GeneralDillan DiGiovanniComment

Ever get tired of eggs?

Or maybe you're vegan or you don't eat them for other reasons like maybe allergies? Or maybe you just don't LIKE them.

Well, have you ever tried tofu scramble? When spiced nicely and cooked well, mashed tofu can simulate the egg experience or just be its own protein-packed nutritious breakfast all on its own without trying to be like anything else. ;) 

Here's a simple recipe that takes just a few minutes and leaves you feeling satisfied for hours. I suggest matching it with a small side salad and/or multigrain toast with a full fat spread and/or natural sweetener. When you eat a tasty breakfast like this, shitty donuts will have no power over you mid-morning.

(PS you can also eat this for lunch or dinner)

Give this a try and let me know what you think in the comment below!


1 package extra firm tofu, rinsed, drained and cut into quarters

1/8 tsp each curry powder, garam masala, garlic powder, all-purpose seasoning 

1/8 tsp coconut oil or olive oil

Warm oil in a small pan on the stovetop. Place 1 or 2 quarters of tofu into pan. Mash with a fork. Bring heat to low or medium low. Add spices and mix well. Cook over low heat for 2-5 minutes until tofu is lightly browned.


These are better (for your body) than Nutella. With cleaner ingredients they taste just as good!

These are better (for your body) than Nutella. With cleaner ingredients they taste just as good!

Five things you can do during LGBTQI Pride Season to make an actual difference.

LGBTQ, GeneralDillan DiGiovanniComment

It's June! Which means it's my birthday and also Pride season, at least on the upper east coast of the United States. When is Pride season near you?

If you're hetero/cis (heterosexual and cisgender) and I lost you at Pride season, let me back up. 

Pride season is a term that (I made up and/or) is loosely used to refer to annual celebrations of LGBTQI Pride, i.e. parades, film festivals, parties, etc. If you suddenly see hundreds of rainbow flags flying all around, you know it's Pride season. It's a time of year where folks host events to honor the progress the LGBTQI communities (PLURAL, FOLKS. We aren't one big goddamn group) have made over the years to get more of the same legal and social rights and privileges that straight, cisgender people have been getting for decades. 

If you're not sure what rights and privileges you have been taking for granted, click here

And here.

And here

And here.

And you thought it was just about gay marriage! Well, you're not alone. GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) published their 'Accelerating Acceptance' report in January 2016 which "reveals a startling level of complacency and ambivalence among Americans on LGBT issues. The survey – fielded online from October 5-7, 2015 among 2,032 adults ages 18 and older – also shows growing levels of acceptance among non-LGBT Americans."

But maybe you're someone who isn't LGBTQI and you don't have to really think about things related to your sexual orientation or gender identity, but you DO want to know more or show your support for folks you know and love during Pride season. 

GREAT! Because... 

Complacency is the enemy of social progress.
— Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD CEO & President

AMEN. I actually think complacency is the enemy of ALL progress but especially if we're trying to get all human beings in all countries the same basic human and legal rights. Now, you might think you're one small person and you can't really impact the cultural shift we need to make a real difference. Trust me, I give over to cynicism and resignation about this stuff all the time. I came out for the first time as "queer" in 2001 and then again as trans* in 2012 and NOW AGAIN (surprise!) as demisexual in 2017. My sexuality is one ongoing, lifelong adventure and it's pretty awesome. What ISN'T awesome is how hetero/cis folks behave around me as someone who lives my life on the margins of what's considered "normal". People don't say or do unkind things but instead they infantilize or patronize or tokenize me. Please click on those words so you know what I'm talking about.

Many well-intentioned folks certainly don't mean any harm, of that I'm sure. But with all the videos and resources and websites and movies and tv shows and books and trainings available, folks still keep themselves pretty clueless and lean on people like me to help them catch up. I have to be 100% honest, it gets old. It's 2017 and there is a lot of information available and when you're someone who gets asked the same questions over and over, you get tired. And that fatigue leads to frustration which leads to anger and often deep depression. And depression is killing many LGBTQI folks for this reason and many other reasons (like all the rights and privileges we don't have). 

So, if you're someone who identifies as mostly straight and cisgender and truly want to help, here are five things you can do during Pride season to make an actual difference: 

1) Cease asking your LGBTQI friends and family to explain everything to you.

We know you're curious. We know you mean well. And we are tired of talking about it. Some of us make a living talking about our sexuality for a living. Most don't really want to. How many heterosexual/cisgender people do? 

Imagine yourself doing the same thing, day in and day out. For example, if you're a woman and believe sexism is real and pretty annoying and bad, imagine constantly explaining it to clueless men or non-feminist women, all day, every day. Imagine doing that for years. Imagine doing it for years and being tired and when you express being tired, people say, "well, sorry! I was just curious. This is new to me. We need YOU to explain it," and having to hear that over and over.

It's 2017 and we have the internet (yay!) and there are so many resources available and yes they say different, conflicting things and it's hard to know the "real" answer to things.

That's because there is NOT ONE answer for anything about anything regarding human beings.

Yes, there are some stereotypes and generalizations, much like the ones we can make for any group but the LGBTQI communities are made of millions of unique people with different stories. Each person you meet has a different life experience to share. Meet people and develop relationships with them and you will learn what life is like for LGBTQI individuals over the course of your life. 

2) Change your Facebook profile picture AND invite other heterosexual, cisgender people to have a conversation AND change your language.

Thanks for showing other people that you support LGBTQI individuals! Now, strike up a conversation or demonstrate why you're changing your picture. Engage people in a dialogue to change their minds (or open them)! Speak up on Facebook and in the checkout line when people are thumbing through a magazine and call Caitlyn Jenner by her former name. Three people did this at dinner the other night. I corrected each of them three times each in a span of three minutes. Be brave and vulnerable with your advocacy because while it's scary, it's less risky for you than it is for us to be alive sometimes. Ask questions of other heterosexual, cisgender people to question why things are still the way they are and ask what people commit to changing or doing to change things. Changing your picture is a nice gesture but to create real cultural change, we also need you to take action to actually move our culture forward a notch. Engage people in compassionate conversation and make them just a little uncomfortable. That's how we move people out of complacency. 

Another major thing you can do is change your language. If you see someone and aren't sure about that person's gender identity or sexual orientation, you can do what I just did. First, don't worry about it. Second, refer to that person as a person. For example: "hey, see that person over there? I like that person's haircut" or "yes, I asked for directions from that person standing over there in the blue shirt" or "I wonder if that person needs help, should we find out?" or "that person seems really cool. I wonder if that person would be interested in dating me!"

See? If you don't know, just refer to that person as a PERSON until you find out. Super easy. 

3) Donate to local or federal organizations working to support LGBTQI rights.

You are one person making a difference with your presence on the planet. It's not a small thing and in fact:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead

There are also MANY large organizations doing amazing work each and every day to help change things at a cultural level. Here is a big list.

Pick one or ten and donate to them. Or better yet, contact them and ask how you can get involved and help. Your actual beautiful face can make a bigger difference than your dollars can. But both are awesome. :)

4) Commit to openly supporting LGBTQI people all year, every year.

It's so easy to get in the spirit when something is in focus. It's fun to grab a flag or paint a rainbow on your face and say you did your part. But the need for LGBTQI pride and visibility is a year-round thing, especially in countries or even US states where folks face discrimination and harassment on a daily basis. And that is what most folks actually deal with, every day, in some form or fashion. Commit to educating yourself and attending events and showing your support or speaking up in whatever ways you can throughout the year. Interrupt homophobia. Correct people commenting about transgender people. Show up and be seen, mostly to bring more hetero/cis people on board to be more active and vocal. The biggest threat we have to make real change is the ignorance of other people. Many hetero/cis people actually think all LGBTQI issues are already solved. I know, it's pretty crazy that they don't know what they don't even know. It's ok. Help them learn by talking about things and engaging in activism (eek! now you're one of "us") on the regular. 

5) Experiment with your own sexuality.

Sexuality encompasses who you love or want to hook up with (sexual orientation) and how you present yourself to the world (gender identity and presentation). Explore your own sexual attraction and gender identity. Express different gender presentations and roles. Explicitly share what you come to learn and know about yourself. I'm not kidding. In my opinion, the biggest help you can provide to LGBTQI folks is overcoming your own fear and ignorance about your own sexuality. When you're aware of the full range of identities and experiences available (and there are many!) and you can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that you're comfortable and not at all unclear about what you like and what you don't, you help us all. Why? Because then sexuality becomes normalized. It becomes obvious. It becomes a non-issue. It becomes a no-brainer by virtue of it being no big freaking deal. Much of the violence LGBTQI folks face may come from folks who repress their own sexuality and act out from fear. And then there are well-intentioned folks who think they might be something of the LGBTQI variety but don't know and ask tons of questions instead of just jumping in and sampling things for themselves. Just try. Explore. Experiment. All of dating and loving is constant experiment anyway--I mean, isn't LIFE just one big experiment?!

Put yourself out there and help normalize the experience of evolving sexuality so we gradually move away from certain things being socially acceptable and others not. 

This short list contains just a few ideas to help you do something with your daily life that will actually help move us forward as a human race. If every person committed to doing one of these things, it would have a tremendous impact. Which one sounds most exciting or interesting for you? Leave a comment below and please share this article to inspire others toward doing something truly innovative this Pride season. 

Thank you!