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275: LGBTQ Acceptance Work Is Never Done – Amy McDonald

Sure gay marriage is a constitutional right…at least for now. And if you monitor pop culture, you might think that LGBTQ folks are just a standard presence, so why are we still having this conversation. The truth is, 42 percent of LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender — adults experience workplace discrimination. 85 percent of LGBT teens say they are bullied at school and 40 percent of those teens end up having to leave home. And at least 30 percent of LGBT teens admit to a suicide attempt. This work is far from done. So what do you do when you realize the work must continue? You bring the work to the community.

Amy McDonald, Outpatient Therapist at Family and Children’s Services in Midland Michigan is taking a stand and ensuring that LGBTQ kids and adults receive the tools that they need to stand proud to be themselves. But she’s also impacting the community by ensuring that The group offers support, addresses risky behavior and promotes mental and physical well-being as well as creating safe and private place where Everyone can feel comfortable discussing these topics.

Show Highlights

* Learn ways to create safe spaces for LGBTQ people to be themselves
* Discover the one thought that all LGBTQ people often have that is so not true
* What are some of the most risky behaviors that LGBTQ youth participate in? Listen and Learn
* Discover what awful travesty of humanity Michigan is known for
* What boy band helped Amy find herself?

About Amy

Amy McDonald, is a licensed professional counselor at Family and Children’s Services in Midland, Michigan. She offers services to a wide range of clientele and specializes in LGBT, sexual orientation and gender identity and sexuality issues. She began the first psychoeducational LGBT groups in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Amy has served the area LGBT community as an advocate, educator, therapist, clinician, and friend. She developed a curriculum for teens and adults that focuses on the coming-out process, self-esteem, and healthy relationships among other related topics. Amy has worked closely with school administrators and teachers in cultivating Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) student groups in Midland Public and Bullock Creek school districts.

She also supports Perceptions, Inc., an organization that works to provide inclusive sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGIE) education, advocacy, networking, and resources to individuals and organizations in the Great Lakes Bay Region. She is an advisor to the Perceptions Board and also works for the organization as its Director of Counseling & Facilitated Services.

Amy received a Master’s in Counseling degree from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Michigan. She completed a post-grad certification in Sexual Health and Sex Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in March 2017.
When not working, Amy enjoys being active in her church, United Church of Christ in Midland. One of her passions within the church is teaching the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program. Our Whole Lives is collaboration of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the United Church of Christ.

Amy is currently developing her own podcast titled, Awkward Pillow Talk. She hopes to launch in 2018. Amy has been married to her high school sweetheart, Shawn for the past 17 years. They both enjoy music, traveling, and supporting her local community.

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