Note: BeitAni uses the gender-neutral pronouns xe, xyr, xem. Accordingly, the piece below uses xe, xyr, xem in place of she/he, her/his, her/him.
Originally from rural Wisconsin, in 1997 BeitAni hitched a ride to Colorado as a young adult in search of a supportive community. Xe was relieved to find that community in Denver, learning that xe wasn’t alone and could build a chosen family after xyr own had disowned xem.
BeitAni identifies as queer and third gender, and reflects on the positive aspects of being LGBTQ: “I’ve had to really plumb the depths of my gender identity and sexuality, which provides me with a very rich interpersonal (and intrapersonal) life.”
Currently finishing a graduate degree in Somatic Counseling Psychology at Naropa University,
BeitAni says that xe realized early on that LGBTQ people have unique needs when seeking therapy, and also that despite those needs, there is a shortage of transgender therapists serving the community. “So it is important to me to, in addition to typical training and career development, pursue specialized training and clinical experience that focus on those specific needs,” xe says. “I’ve also prioritized training other clinicians in the clinical basics for trans clients by offering free professional workshops as well as lecturing at Argosy University.”
BeitAni now lives in Boulder with xyr partner and son. In xyr spare time, BeitAni is proud to volunteer with Out Boulder, hikes and roller skates with friends, and enjoys weekly Urban Adult Hide & Seek on the Pearl Street Mall.
When asked which LGBTQ issue is most important to xem, BeitAni says social justice. “We are in a unique position to cultivate compassion in the larger society through the self-authorship that is often required to find our path,” xe explains. “I’m excited about where our community is headed as we continue to explore the intersections of our various identities and experiences and create spaces where all participants are safe to move and live and love as their authentic selves.”