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Women You Should Meet (W.Y.S.M.): Dr. Shannon Wong Lerner, Ph.D.

Dr. Shannon Wong Lerner

Dr. Shannon Wong Lerner (Photo: Matthew Gordon)

Name: Dr. Shannon Wong Lerner, Ph.D. (she/they)
City, State: Sacramento / Berkeley, California
Profession: Podcast Host of The Intersection and Public Speaking & Voice Coach

In a few words, how would you describe yourself?
I am a humanist and forever teacher who thrives on helping others cultivate their wholeness and healing through storytelling, speech, and voice.

Your favorite hangout spots.

Finding mask-accessible hangout spots these days is rare. But for fun, I make music, go to outdoor shows or films, bike, and eat healthy-ish foods.

Favorite guilty pleasure.
I like to watch trashy or sentimental films while eating tarot and red bean boba!

Favorite quote.
“All you need is already within you.” —Nisargadatta Maharaj

Who is your biggest influence? And why?
My mother. Her kindness, compassion, and free-spirited nature knows no bounds. She taught me not to succumb to comfort or complacency as I advanced my career. But to always remain humble, compassionate, and community oriented.

Favorite event.
I haven’t gone to many events for entertainment the last few years. I’ve been going to a BIPOC, AAPI, and queer and trans-positive self-defense series with Tuff Love Self-Defense in Oakland, California. When I finish, I plan to lead a self-awareness and body-awareness class for Sacramento’s LGBTQ community to help us regain our confidence in public spaces.

Do you have any regrets in life?
I don’t! Some people ask me if I regret coming out as gay/queer/gender non-conforming later in life. But I like my blend of wisdom and openness as an “old and new queer.”

Favorite lesbian/queer celebrity.
Josephine Baker was a bi-racial vocalist like me who moved to Paris in the 1920s to become a legendary chanteuse. I love her aesthetic and gender expression as a bisexual between opulent glamor and androgyny.

Any fun facts or anything else you want our readers to know?
I am a creative at heart, and at nineteen, I moved across the country to New Orleans to sing jazz and write. I was nurtured by the warmest community I’ve ever met and earned a music degree. This early experience taught me the value of taking risks and pursuing one’s dreams. Here, I learned how to use my voice for artistic expression and to speak to empower myself and others.




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