LGBTQ people seeking wellness and community in Longmont have a new resource.
At a somewhat late ribbon cutting event on Friday, Prideful Wellness, a wellness coaching and massage company geared to serving LGBTQ people, and Queer Asterisk Therapeutic Services, a nonprofit therapy organization. LGBTQ, showcased their new shared brick-and-mortar location which opened in September. .
âPrideful Wellness is about inclusion, education, community and safety,â said owner KJ Whitney, who uses them / their pronouns and has been running the business since 2013, first in Lyon, then out of home. them. âWe do this by providing a safe space for LGBTQ people to take care of themselves. “
The company allows LGBTQ people to step away from the judgment of the outside world, Whitney said.
âWhen you take care of yourself, you then present the best version, the most authentic version of yourself,â Whitney said. âAnd especially for marginalized communities, it’s important.
Queer Asterisk, which has offices across the Front Range including in Boulder, also tries to provide some sort of comfortable and free place for LGBTQ people to talk to counselors and each other. Freeda Be, one of the founders of Queer Asterisk, said that when the opportunity arose for Prideful Wellness and Queer Asterisk to share a building, it seemed like a great solution.
Be, who uses them / their pronouns, said the organization is looking to collaborate and support Longmont’s LGBTQ community.
RP Whitmore-Bard, program manager at Queer Asterisk, said the nonprofit also provides a helping hand to LGBTQ people seeking advice, an often intimidating process.
âFirst of all, it can be scary for anyone to go to a therapist, and especially if you’re going through, say, gender identity issues,â Whitmore-Bard said. “Seeing someone who already knows something about it, and it’s personal, it’s a lot easier.”
Community and group events are also part of what the nonprofit does. A casual event in Boulder that Queer Asterisk hosts in concert with Buffalo Exchange, an upscale thrift store, allows LGBTQ people to shop without paying attention to normal gender lines and sections that guide shoppers.
âSo we’re actually mixing the racks, and anyone can just buy whatever they want,â said Whitmore-Bard, who uses them / their pronouns.
Queer Asterisk also offers addiction groups, conversation groups, and group therapy sessions. Much of what he does is influenced by staff members’ experience with mindfulness, with the practice woven into their offerings.
The association is also looking for other businesses and organizations that it can partner with to spread its message and bring the LGBTQ community closer, Whitmore-Bard said.
â(We’re) open to partnerships, I think it creates a lot of security for people and just more visibility, which is so important,â they said.
Prideful Wellness and Queer Asterisk’s new Longmont location is at 1823 Sunset Place, Suite F. For more information, visit pridefulwellness.com and queerasterisk.com.