About Darren Stehle

About Darren Stehle

Discover Effective and Joyful Ways to Pursue Your Mission and Make a Difference as an LGBTQ+ Person

For much of my early life, I struggled to different degrees with being a completely self-accepting gay man.

Like many, I was conditioned by society to act normal and be like everyone else. That affected how I perceived the world, and as a result, how I felt about myself. By trying to fit in and not draw attention to myself as a gay man, I hid away the most authentic parts of who I am. Gay shame reared its ugly head later in life when I realized I was afraid of success — I was afraid of being visible.

As LGBTQ+ people, we’ve had to learn to show up in the world and love ourselves even when parents, society, religion, and governments didn’t make us feel seen, worthy, or safe.

Much of my adult life has been about understanding the unique and vital role that LGBTQ+ people play in society, and how we already belong without needing permission.

This is why we seek others like us whom we can trust. My lived experience helps me coach other LGBTQ+ people in a unique way that no one else can — because we each have unique insights that our heterosexual counterparts do not possess.

If you identify as LGBTQ+ in any way, I’m sure you can relate to my story through your life experience.


At a young age, I was diagnosed as dyslexic and having ADHD.

I believe these early learning challenges led me to pursue higher education and a need to prove to myself that I was smart enough. This started with a year of Chef School, followed by University where I pursued my Master’s in German Language and Linguistics, spending several summers and a year abroad in Germany.

Following university in 1993, I worked at Pink Triangle Press, a Canadian Gay & Lesbian print-media non-profit, moving quickly into a top leadership position. From 2004 to 2018, I worked as an independent Fitness & Nutrition Coach.

In February 2022, I became certified as a MindMap Mastery Neuro-Coach.

This certification qualifies me to conduct threat and behavioural assessment and transformational coaching. The program was created by one of the top coaches in the world, Dax Moy, and is grounded in the neuroscience of creating lasting and effective behavioural change.

Learning and practicing strategies to improve my well-being, creative production, and personal leadership are my core passions. I have attended more conferences and enrolled in more courses covering various subjects over the last 20 years than I can remember — to the tune of a small fortune spent on my personal development!

In late 2023, I moved to Montréal with my partner of 12 years, Christiaan.

Beach? Yes, please!

Fun fact: my last name, "Stehle" is pronounced, "steel". When my father and grandparents immigrated to Canada from Germany in 1956, they were advised to "Anglicize" the pronunciation of the family name.

In 2018, I shifted my focus to writing and podcasting about LGBTQ+ advocacy, and I became a personal coach.

I'm the creator of Think Queerly, a podcast that explores LGBTQ+ history, social change, and political issues.

As a writer, I've published over 600 articles and counting since 2014. I've written about fitness and wellness before I moved into personal development. I have published content about practical personal transformation based on neuroscience, productivity, LGBTQ2+ social justice issues, leadership, critical thinking, personal responsibility, insights from the Tao Te Ching, and morality.

My top article of all time, "The Internalized Homophobia Of 'Straight-Acting' Gay Men" has received over 43,000 views. My second most-read article, "The Good Old Days of Meeting Men for Sex at a Gay Bar," has had over 20,000 views.

Empowering LGBTQ+ creators in self-mastery to lead with integrity, make an impact, and enjoy greater happiness and freedom.

Professionally, I’m a certified MindMap Mastery Neuro-Coach — fancy words for lifestyle and transformational coaching grounded in the areas of behavioural and change science. I support queer and trans people with the insight that comes through self-mastery, and the ideation that leads to efficiently accomplishing goals, creating a life they love, and making a difference in the process.

Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of LGBTQ+ individuals, creators, and change-makers who were essentially all seeking the same thing for themselves and others: acceptance and belonging. 

My clients have included,

  • A drag performer teaching diversity and inclusion through their art
  • A trans person teaching somatic body awareness and gendering
  • A visionary leader who created the first-ever LGBTQ+ Cricket Club
  • A gay Christian cultivating the union of queer sexuality with spirituality
  • A compassionate community builder developing an organization to support LGBTQ+ health & well-being in their community

As a queer-identified gay man, I feel an affinity and connection with other queer creators who want to make the world less contentious, more understanding, and accepting.

I understand the fear, doubt, over-thinking, and overwhelm of being a creative entrepreneur and social change advocate. I have lived this life for the last 30 years. If you'd like to find out what my clients have to say about working with me as a Thinking Partnership Coach, read and watch their testimonials here.

Do you share my passion for transformation, self-mastery, and LGBTQ+ advocacy?

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~ Darren