On Falling Back in Love With Being Human
Public Programs

On Falling Back in Love With Being Human

A Conversation With Kai Cheng Thom and Jenna Robinson

Online Conversation, Books Available to Add-On at Checkout

Kai Cheng Thom grew up a Chinese Canadian transgender girl in a hostile world. As an activist, psychotherapist, conflict mediator, and spiritual healer, she's always pursued the same deeply personal mission: to embrace the revolutionary belief that every human being, no matter how hateful or horrible, is intrinsically sacred.

Through her work and life experience she has both witnessed and celebrated the beauty of humanity but has also been overwhelmed by the viciousness between people. Faced with these realities, her work and writing has turned to navigating a looming crisis of faith. How can anyone cling to the values and ideals of justice, hope, love, and healing? What might happen if we imagine loving the people—and the parts of ourselves—that we do not believe are worthy of love?

Her latest book, Falling Back in Love with Being Human, is a transformative collection of intimate and lyrical love letters that offer a path toward compassion, forgiveness, and self-acceptance. Whether prayers or spells or poems—and whether there’s a difference—she writes to affirm the outcasts and runaways she calls her kin. She writes to flawed but nonetheless lovable men, to people with good intentions who harm their own, and to racists and transphobes seemingly beyond saving. What emerges is a blueprint for falling back in love with being human.

Join Kai Cheng and QWOC, expressive arts therapist, and CIIS Counseling Psychology programs professor Jenna Robinson in a conversation about love, and what it means to truly embrace the beauty of being human. 

Kai Cheng Thom color portrait. Kai Cheng is in part profile and is looking off to the left, to what appears to be a light source, maybe a window. They are wearing a silk top with pleats and gold design.

Kai Cheng Thom is an award-winning writer, performance artist, and community healer in Toronto. She was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and won the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers for her surrealist novel, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir. She is also the author of several other books, including a poetry collection, an essay collection, and two children’s picture books. Kai Cheng writes the advice column “Ask Kai: Advice for the Apocalypse” for Xtra.

Jenna Robinson color portrait. Jenna is a Queer Woman of Color and is posed in from of her bookshelf filled with books and plants. She is smiling and has her brown hair tied into a bun on top of her head.

Jenna Robinson, MA, LMFT, is a QWOC, expressive arts therapist, and performance poet located in the Bay Area. Jenna is a steadfast advocate for empowering people at the margins to author their stories of resistance and resilience using written and oral traditions. She has been performing and teaching spoken word workshops to youth and adults since 2011. She is a two-time grand slam champion of Hawaii Slam and placed second in the nation at the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, CA. She received her MA in Expressive Arts Therapy from CIIS, where she developed an approach melding narrative therapy, expressive arts and spoken word poetry. Jenna has piloted and facilitated trauma-informed writing workshops with individuals, youth, and families throughout the Bay Area and Hawai'i, primarily with survivors of intimate partner violence and system impacted youth. She currently runs an intergenerational therapeutic writing program for youth, families and intergenerational community groups through Bay Area Creative. Her clinical practice has focused on supporting families experiencing violence and relational trauma. She currently teaches in the Masters of Counseling Psychology programs at CIIS at the Wright Institute.

We are grateful to our Bookstore Partner

Marcus Books is the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore celebrating its 60th year. Marcus Books’ mission is to provide opportunities for Black folks and their allies to celebrate and learn about Black people everywhere. Learn more about Marcus Books.



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Recording Policy

This event will be recorded on our YouTube channel to view any time after the livestream and the link will be sent to all registered attendees. We encourage you to register even if you cannot attend live. Portions of the audio will be released on our podcast. Only those watching live can participate in the chat and Q&A.

Refunding Policy

All tickets and donations for this event are nonrefundable.

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