PRIDE Month Grantee Highlight: Celebrating Queer Asterisk

June 22, 2021

Queer Asterisk thrives on person-to-person connections. This 501c3 nonprofit organization provides queer-informed counseling services, educational trainings, and community programs such as writing groups, art studios, and role-playing games. With offices in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, and Longmont, Queer Asterisk focuses on innovative mental health treatment through a contemplative, social justice counseling lens that centers queer, transgender, and BIPOC experiences.

Last spring, when the pandemic forced its programs online, Executive Director Sorin Thomas was worried. March, April, and May are the busiest months for both counseling and educational trainings, the organization’s two major sources of income. Would clients embrace a move to telehealth? What about those who were, understandably, concerned about spending money during an economic slowdown?

12 13 Grantee Impact Queer Asterisk
Self-portrait by Freeda Be, creative director and counselor at Queer Asterisk.

Initially, Thomas’ concerns were borne out, as the caseload lightened considerably. Training stopped altogether. Eventually, though, Queer Asterisk found a groove on Simple Practice and Zoom. These flexible, mobile-friendly platforms led to an increase in both clients and the kind and number of community programs. A $15,000 grant from The Denver Foundation’s Critical Needs Fund helped Queer Asterisk keep the doors open during a period of transition, even if those doors were virtual.

Queer Asterisk’s programming will continue online through the summer, although the group hopes to offer some in-person services beginning in the fall. Though it is virtual, it is robust and varied, with something for everyone including teens and families.

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