Top left to right: Brett Adamek, Erin Ross, Grace Ballard, Luca Pax; Bottom left to right: Atlas Tann, Nora Ahmed-Kamal, Sorin Thomas, Yen Nguyen
Naropa alumni are providing life-changing and potentially life-saving therapeutic services to LGBTQPIA+ communities and allies in the Front Range. Specializing in Somatic Psychotherapy, Wilderness Therapy, and Canine/Equine Therapy, Queer Asterisk Therapeutic Services (QA) offers individual and group therapy, community gatherings, and customized diversity and inclusivity trainings. Prices are kept affordable, a core issue for a community that is often under-served and under-resourced.
“Our clinical and administrative teams are made up of multiple queer and trans professional educators and therapists who are deeply committed to supporting LGBTQPIA+ individuals in their own wellbeing and transformation, each in a unique and personal way,” explains Director of Community Relations Luca Pax (BA Peace Studies and Early Childhood Education, 2016).
“My Naropa education was a pursuit of knowledge and skill, sure, but it was also a journey of self-exploration and … a glimpse into liberation from suffering,” says Executive Director and Clinical Director Sorin Thomas (MA Somatic Counseling Psychology, 2014). “Learning how to stay near to myself, especially when I’m hurting, has enabled me to witness, really see the roots and vines and binds of suffering.… I think that’s what people are looking for—a witness to their journey of self-exploration.”
“Creating safer spaces for LGBTQPIA+ youth, adults, elders, families, couples, and community is revolutionary socio-culturally,” adds Luca. “Instead of shying away from the suffering and oppression that members of our communities face, Queer Asterisk’s service providers and educators turn directly to the heart of our pain, work to co-create trust and resiliency with everyone involved in our interconnected healing, while centering the needs and voices of the most marginalized.”
For those not seeking therapy, but wanting to connect socially, QA curates a vibrant community event calendar and online media content. “As the director of programming, I am focused on bringing queer people into contact with themselves through groups and events to uncover what is alive just beyond heteronormativity, just beyond the known, and to see ourselves in each other as we truly are,” says Brett Adamek (MA Transpersonal Counseling, 2014).
One of QA’s most popular events is Queer Conversation, an ongoing discussion group open to all. Other events include Queer Current (focused on current events), Queer Shopping, Queer Writing Groups, Queer Book & Film Club, Queer Yoga & Tea, and Queer Socials. Most events are by donation or sliding scale. There are also plans afoot for a peer mentorship program, a recovery support group, a zine, app, and blog.
To get involved in a Queer Asterisk event or find out about becoming a client or scheduling a training, check out www.queerasterisk.com. Interested volunteers, practicum students/interns, and board members are always welcome to submit an application.