Virtual Interview with Sam Forbes

By Nicole Flynn, Associate Consultant

It had been a long time since I had spoken with Sam Forbes, a Community Living Toronto Influencer. We met virtually and had a wonderfully interesting conversation about what PRIDE means and how Sam would unlock inclusion in the community.

To Sam, “Pride means that people who fall under the LGBTQiA2+ community have rights and they can live freely and be accepted for who they are.”

Sam went on to say that “if I had a special key to unlock inclusion, I would use it to try and open people’s minds to people who are considered different. I would use the key to lift people up. We don’t need to be scared of people who are different, we should embrace them for who they are.”

The next topic I raised with Sam was about neurodivergence. Sam responded “Yes, I prefer neurodivergent to disability, because disability has dis and ability in it and I don’t like those together. I use neurodivergent to explain myself to people.”

I reminded Sam about some work he had been involved in with Community Living Toronto and People Minded Business. I wanted to know what it was that stood out to Sam about the WITHology process. Sam said, “I found it very interesting how PMB worked with the influencers to get the project going. I found the process fascinating. It was fascinating to me because of how everything came together, and how everything started to stick and how the project really kind of gained a lot of fuel from that. I really just enjoyed getting the different ideas and perspectives from the other influencers. I really got my creative juices flowing from the other influencers and was inspired by them and some of the stuff they were doing and with my advocacy, we kind of inspired each other.”

I wanted to dive further into the creativity. Sam informed me, “The creative ideas were really trying to understand each others creativity. I think it’s great and beautiful, all the creativity that we have as influencers. Really, our creativity is advocacy and what we advocate for and I consider that to be the creative part of everything. The part of advocacy that I am passionate about is LGBTQiA2+. I really want to open and change the minds of neurotypical people, who have interesting views of the LGBTQiA2+ community. I want to try to change their minds for the better.”

A dream of mine is to attend and speak at the United Nations. I was amazed by the achievements that Sam has conquered. I couldn’t wait to know what it is like to speak to the United Nations. Sam shared his experience with me, saying, “It was very interesting because, someone from CLTO, told me that I would be going to New York City to go to the UN. At the time, I didn’t know that I would be speaking at the UN. It wasn’t until we got there that I found out that I would be speaking. It was probably the biggest experience I’ve every had, probably the biggest stage I’ve ever had. It was amazing to get to speak about my advocacy to this size of audience.

I learned about going to the UN back in May, I didn’t know this was happening. My dad and I were planning stuff, we were very excited because we both love New York. It was the first time I was travelling in a very long time, because of covid. It was an interesting and exciting experience to plan this and have this opportunity.”

I asked Sam what his next steps in life were and he responded saying, “Next steps for me are to continue my advocacy, continue with the influencers, and continue with the current jobs that I have. I feel good in those roles and I am mentally in a good place right now.”
I hope Sam and I can cross paths and catch up with more interesting conversations, in the future. I am very supportive of Sam’s creativity in his advocacy work. I would like to see Sam holding the special key to unlock inclusion in the communities and embrace people for who they are.

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About Nicole

Nicole Flynn is from the rural area of Centre Hastings, Ontario. She is a graduate of the Loyalist College General Arts and Science diploma program (not modified). Nicole is an entrepreneur, an Associate Consultant with People Minded Business Inc. (PMB), and an international medalist in three sports. She is a global citizen who believes in freedom, power, and prosperity for everyone.

Nicole’s goal is to experience and learn more about what is happening around the world and to share her knowledge with others. It is her hope that by reading Nicole’s Notes, people will broaden their perspective, re-evaluate their assumptions and attitudes, and bring their creative ideas and inputs to the table.

Nicole's Notes

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