About Your Coach

Congratulations and welcome!

I am Coach Suzy and I just want you to know that it takes a lot of courage to start the process of looking for answers.  If you have made it to this page, I can confidently say that you can feel good about where you have landed.  I grew up with a gay dad.  I have been on a self discovery path with some similarities to your journey and have found how to shift my own energy from one where I felt as though I was different and, therefore, worse off than my peers, to a more confident stance.  I am now sure of my identity and can comfortably stand up for myself and speak my truth without fear.

I grew up with fighting parents who divorced when I was five years old.  I found out when I was about six that my Dad is gay.   This rocked me and my older brother’s world and was the start of me retreating into my own “closet”.  My Dad asked me to keep his sexuality a secret from my peers for fear that he would lose his job.  As I grew older, I started to worry more about what others thought, and felt guilty and confused for wanting a ‘normal’ life.  When I made friends, I would censure what I told them, and rarely reveal this “secret” about my  family.

I used to feel confused about who I was in relation to my Dad, and rarely felt comfortable with his sexuality.   In the formative teen high school years, I listened to the boys call each other “fags” and “homos” which pushed the secret deeper. I dated the same guy throughout high school and never once told him my Dad was gay.  This continued through my adult dating life and created layers of a wall that I would place between myself and any real intimacy.  The ability to hide this secret over and over did not just stop with talking about my Dad.  I also started to bend the truth in other areas to protect myself and others.

Years of therapy and talking with friends helped me finally come to terms with the fact that my gay Dad is an important part of me.  Problem was, the voice inside which instructed me to feel ashamed of who I was, to tell white lies to protect others feelings and not to allow anyone close to the real me, was still alive and kicking.  Then I found a coach who helped me learn about myself and how I was living an old, outdated story.  I flourished when I realized that I could decide how I wanted to show up and found the tools to help me get there.

Suzanne Phare, “Coach Suzy” is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and holds an Energy Leadership Index™ Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) designation by the prestigious Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching, as well as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resource Certification Institute.   Coach Suzy has over 15 years experience in coaching and human resource management.  She grew up in Seattle and studied at the University of Washington (go Dawgs!) where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal Communication.


If you like this page, please forward it to those you know who may benefit from working with Coach Suzy!


One thought on “About Your Coach

  1. Robert@65 says:

    Suzanne, as I read your story it was like a mirror held up. You knew your dad was gay and he entrusted you to keep his secret and when I read that my heart went “uh uh” and as you went on with your truth I could see that your knowing and not feeling OK to share or to talk about your dad and all the confusions and conflicting messages coming at you as you grew up from 6 to college and holding this promise as fiercely as only that child part of us can…. feels familiar and while our conditions and relationships with our dads was very different we were both raised in an atmosphere of secrecy, shame, and fear/anxiety.

    I thought I’d heard your name and as the impulse to write came when my wallet and your card are in the garage I googled you and saw that you and I are colleagues if you will of Durango Learns.

    Yes, I would like to get together when the time is good. I’m getting ready to return home to visit sister and mom and will be gone till the 13th of November – maybe sometime after that and before Thanksgiving?

    It might behoove me to send you a note giving you my email to your email – I’ll do that when I have my wallet in my pocket.


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