L’Tomay’s Story

L’Tomay is an educator, social worker, substance abuse counselor, consultant, coach, and survivor of child sexual abuse.

L’Tomay first disclosed her abuse in a restorative justice circle for healing. She was nervous at first since her own family members didn’t believe her. She felt validated in the circle for the first time in her life since she always looked at herself as if she was missing something, and at times, not feeling like she fit in.

In that healing circle space, L’Tomay says, “I felt supported. I felt heard. I felt seen. I felt normal.”

L’Tomay shared her story in this group space and shared how it affected her healing journey and what it was like to speak through the media about healing after child sexual abuse.

“On a personal level, I had some phone calls after a few family members viewed the article. Some family members apologized that they didn’t listen, that they didn’t notice, and that they were too caught up in their lives to even care. I think for me, the most impactful, was my dad and my mom. It really impacted them, and they were crying and their voices were shaking. They were really showing up in that way. I really appreciated it, even though my disclosure was years later.”

L’Tomay is now the owner and founder of Brand Me Beautiful. Brand Me Beautiful was created “to see communities woke, healed, leading with love, serving and learning through listening, and embracing all beautiful truth.”

L’Tomay shared how her company came to fruition: “I always had this vision of helping people and helping women to see their beauty no matter what they have experienced….I wanted to help women that were hiding their pain behind a smile because I know what that is like. I wanted it to be like a universal call, the brand me beautiful initiative because we are often labeled as survivors or as the woman who was raped or labeled as the girl who was raped as a child. However, if you are going to label me anything, just brand me beautiful because that’s who I am and that’s the message I want women and girls to know; they are beautiful despite whatever they experienced.”

Through Brand Me Beautiful, L’Tomay offers online group programs on awakening your beauty as well as coaching programs. She also holds a conference called Survivors Soar.

L’Tomay has worked with survivors in various capacities and has inspired many toward healing and hope. L’Tomay shared what she would say to someone who is experiencing abuse and may be weighing the decision of whether or not to come forward: “There’s a song that I play when I moderate circles, which is a program for 12 weeks. At the beginning of my circle, I play a song called Strong Enough and the singer is basically saying in the song that when you’re strong enough, then show me where the lights went out. That is the tension that happens when you are ready to come forward, step up, and share your story. The song portrays the tension between I want to share but then I withdraw. I want people to know but I’m ashamed. I would say to honor the power of your voice. If no one else honors your voice, the most important person is you. You are the one that matters most. Also, if you are not ready to, that does not mean that you are weak.”

L’Tomay shared what has been most helpful in her healing journey: “Centering myself in the process has been helpful…This is me and I need to heal. What actually caused me to lean more into healing was when my daughter experienced sexual abuse. That kicked up all kinds of things for me. It was triggering and I was like okay I need to be fully in this so I can fully support her and be her champion. She is doing so well in life. I offered myself compassion and grace. One week, I might feel like I’m on top of the world and the next week I may feel alone or may not feel like I want to engage with people. Establishing boundaries helped me a lot.”