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Podcast Episode 2

Surviving and Thriving

With Elaina Martin and Joanne Vannicola

Surviving and Thriving

With Elaina Martin and Joanne Vannicola
Elaina Martin
Joanne Vannicola

Join us for a podcast on identity, trauma and perseverance featuring Elaina Martin in conversation with Natasha Coldeven, and  Joanne Vannicola in conversation with Farzana Doctor.


Event producer, music director and community organizer Elaina Martin is the author of Dyke: A Memoir . In this soulful narrative, she shares how she grew into these roles, and what she learned along the way. Her descriptions of the eras, personalities, and local cultures she has known so intimately convey not only the life of one butch, queer musician and writer, but explore the meanings of tragedy, resilience, queer life, contention, forgiveness, and family. From being abused and eventually outed in her northern Ontario town, to singing and partying her way through the best and worst of Ottawa’s gay venues at the height of 1990s decadence, to ultimately finding harmony and love, her story will break your heart and ignite your spirit.


Emmy Award–winning actor Joanne Vannicola grew up in a violent home with a physically abusive father and a mother who had no sexual boundaries. After being pressured to leave home at fourteen, and after fifteen years of estrangement, Joanne learns that her mother is dying. Compelled to reconnect, she visits with her, unearthing a trove of devastating secrets. In her acclaimed memoir, All We Knew But Couldn’t Say , Joanne relates her journey from child performer to Emmy Award–winning actor, from hiding in the closet to embracing her own sexuality, from conflicted daughter and sibling to independent woman. It is a testament to survival, love, and the belief that it is possible to love the broken, and to love fully, even with a broken heart.


A limited number of signed books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.


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