Ricardo Martinez, CEO, Equality Texas
Ricardo (he/him) is a first generation immigrant from Mexico who grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was honored by the Obama Administration as an emerging LGBTQ Leader in 2012 and recently awarded the Stony Brook University’s 40 Under 40 award for the impact he has had in Civil Service and Activism. Ricardo has also received an award from One N Ten, a Phoenix-based organization that helps LGBTQ youth with self‐expression, self‐acceptance, leadership development, and healthy life choices, after dancing in the 2019 Dancing with One N Ten event. Ricardo amassed seventeen years of experience with organizations like PENCIL, Summer Search, GLSEN, and Stand for Children.
Hannah Wilson, LCPC, CST
Hannah (she/her) began her career working with underserved vulnerable clients in the heart of Seattle. Advocating for harm reduction approaches to addressing addiction, mental health and homelessness through housing first programming and assisted in research around the VAT (vulnerability assessment tool). After returning home to big sky country (Montana), she worked as a sex educator from the local Title X clinic. In 2016 began pursuing her clinical work at a Community Health Clinic with an integrative behavioral health model. For the last few years focusing on her private practice, Prickly Peach Sex Therapy, she is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Supervisor and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist and trained as a gender and trans affirming therapist with WPATH. Also a partner of Oh Hi Collective that is motivated to offer continuing education for organizations, community and individuals around sexual health. In conjunction, a teaching professor at Montana State University for the Psychology Department. Currently working on her PhD in Clinical Sexology, with a specialty in Kink Conscious Counseling at the International Institute of Clinical Sexology. In her down time you will find her enjoying cake, spending time with her other half, and laughing at her adorable rescue bulldog, Dax.
Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW
Edie (she/her) is a licensed Social Worker, psychotherapist, interfaith minister, journalist, author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming The Ordinary Into The Extraordinary, and speaker whose work focuses on relationships, sexuality, mental health, addiction, social justice, and spirituality. She is the PR and Outreach Coordinator for the film. www.opti-mystical.com
William Lyons, LCSW
William (he/him) is a licensed clinical social worker and clinical supervisor with experience across fields; including case management, clinical mental health services, community organizing, financial coaching, and non-profit management. Specific expertise includes trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, and critical time intervention. In his current role at Legacy Community Health, he primarily supports the professional development of student interns as emerging healthcare professionals across disciplines. In addition, he is a therapist providing services to youth (12 – 17) individually and a therapy group for Queer youth experiencing anxiety, depression, and gender dysphoria. Outside of Legacy, William acts co-founder of The Mahogany Project based in Austin, TX. He also a current board member of Contemporary Relationships (CRC). www.lyonsalicornconsulting.com
Jacqueline Plante, LMFT
Jacqueline (she/her) has a BA in Psychology and MS in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California, and has been in private practice for 9 years, specializing in relationship work, attachment patterns, and work with the LGBTQ+ community. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Gather and Grow OC, a group practice specializing in affirming and integrative wellness, where she supervises and trains new Associates in carrying the mission of Gather and Grow OC to the surrounding community. www.gatherandgrowoc.com
Rahim Thawer MSW, RSW, QTAP
Rahim (he/him) works as a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor, facilitator and public speaker, sessional lecturer, writer, and community organizer. Rahim loves all things mental health and is particularly interested in examining innovation in queer relationships. Whether in a classroom or therapy consulting room, he strives to operate from a harm reduction, sex-positive, anti-oppressive and trauma-informed approach. This is complemented by his vast public speaking portfolio, which is both thematically and regionally diverse spanning from Toronto to Ottawa, Winnipeg to Vancouver, and from New York to Austin to Atlanta.
Rahim also supervises graduate counselling students and has taught as a post-secondary lecturer at two colleges and three universities in Ontario, including the University of Toronto.
Rahim has dedicated almost 10 years to community organizing with Salaam Canada, a national volunteer-run LGBTQ Muslim organization. He was also a co-editor and essay contributor in a local history anthology entitled Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Toronto Book Awards. He’s currently working on a book called Seeking: Stories from a gay therapist making sense of connection and relationships to be published by Thorntree Press. www.affectiveconsult.ca
Ty David Lerman, LPC-S, CST, QTAP
Ty (he/him) is a current PhD candidate in Clinical Sexology, with specialty in non-traditional (open, polyam, kink) relationships at the International Institute of Clinical Sexology. He began his clinical practice in 2009 after completing his master’s degree at University of Houston Clear Lake. With experience in both private practice and agency settings, he has an expansive clinical practice in numerous treatment topics, with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ issues and anxiety. Ty is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and is board certified as a Sex Therapist (CST), a Queer and Transgender Affirming Professional (QTAP), and as a clinical hypnotherapist (CHt). He serves on the Advisory Board for the QTAP certification program, the Contemporary Relationships Conference, and for Houston Group Psychotherapy Society (HGPS). His expertise has been sought out by publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Refinery29. Ty has been seen on TV on “Great Day Houston with Deborah Duncan”, and various news spots on ABC, NBC, and KHOU stations. He is honored to be recognized as the “Best Male Mental Health Therapist” by OutSmart Magazine, 2018-2021. Outside the clinical world, Ty is married and father to three Australian Shepherds.
Naomi Brown, MSW, LCSW
Naomi (she, they) is Vice Chair of the Center-Pride Center San Antonio and Director of Clinical Services and a therapist in private practice. A Licensed Clinical Social worker with years of experience working with marginalized and oppressed queer folx. Rev Naomi is Community Outreach Minister at Metropolitan Community Church (MCCSA.Ms. Brown and a member of the Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board and the Covid Response Equity Committee. She has recently presented at NASW on Abbreviated Grief and Covid 19 emphasizing how Covid effected the LGBTQ and Black Community. For the past three years she has paid for Extensive training in Anti Racism, she holds Certification as a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Professional from the University of Miami at South Florida. Naomi is a National Recognized Presenter and Trainer on “Creating Safe Zone’s for LGBTQI folx”. “Using Cis Privilege to be a Trans Ally’ and Trauma Informed Care for BIPOC folx who breathe Trauma. Naomi has taught Safe Zone training to over 3,000 participants including quarterly training with the San Antonio Police Department. Naomi’s worked at Nationally Recognized (SAGE) trainer and is a Alzheimer Caregiver Support Group Facilitator specializing in LGBTQ audiences. Naomi has a passion for Spoken Word she Co-facilitates and Co-Founded the Pride Center’s Queer Voices. She runs groups on Spoken Word as Therapy and has recently found a passion for “Hip Hop as a Healer” she is a published Poet married to her College sweetheart for over a million years. www.pridecentersa.org
Rodney (he/him) is the co-producer, camera, composer and editor of the documentary film: Angels and Saints-Eros and Awe. Rodney is an Emmy Award winning modern “renaissance man.” His interests and professional endeavors are broad ranging from full-length film production to music composition. He is fascinated in discovering what makes things tick and how to creatively intersect with them, whether it is the inner vision of his clients or new ways to use the latest technical advances. http://www.melodyvision.com/about_us.html
David Fawcett, PhD, LCSW
David (he/him) is a therapist and sex therapist in Ft. Lauderdale. He is VP for Clinical Programming at Seeking Integrity which develops and operates treatment programs for sex, porn and chemsex addiction. He is the author of the award-winning book "Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery." He is also the host of a weekly webinar called “Addiction Q&A” and a podcast series called “Sex, Love and Addiction: Healing Conversations for Men who have Sex with Men” at www.sexandrelationshiphealing.com. He is the recipient of numerous awards and is Executive Producer of "Crystal City," an award-winning documentary that follows the struggles and successes of eight gay men in recovery from crystal meth in New York. David is on the faculty of the IITAP’s Rainbow Advocate and Educator certificate program and the International Institute of Clinical Sexology.
Nicholas Maio-Aether, MAMFT, MSPSY, BCBA, LBA
Nicholas (he/him) owns Empowered: A Center for Sexuality in St Louis, where he and his occasional teams of partnered Universities' students work to assist humans with and without disabilities achieve sexual access, sexual freedom, gender affirmation, and self-control of compulsive behaviors. Nicholas and his team have worked throughout the US training BCBAs/Behavior Analysts so persons in Individualized Supportive Living (ISL) programs gain access to applicable and generalizable comprehensive sex ed and sexual opportunities. Nicholas provides Sexual Behavior Analysis, and has assisted polycules, kinksters, gay couples, trans and nonbinary humans, among others, on their journeys. Trained by GLSEN in 2003, Nicholas started Gay-Straight Alliances across Alaska while in high school, and provided them sex ed materials and trainings. Nicholas spent five years managing Hustler Hollywood in St Louis before moving into Behavior Analysis, and joined AASECT, where he currently sits on two committees. He then completed a Sex Therapy practicum under Linda Weiner, LMSW, CSTS, in 2019 before getting a second Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy, and meeting those hour requirements under Angela Skurtu, LMFT, CST, along with his LGBTQIA+ Family Systems Specialist certificate in 2021. He is now a PhD candidate in Clinical Sexology at Modern Sex Therapy Institute. www.empoweredcenter.com
Eli Lawrence, LCSW
Eli (they/them), is a non-binary Queer Leather switch. Professionally they are a licensed therapist specializing in LGBTQIA+ counseling and sexual health and wellness. Currently they are the Clinical Supervisor for Behavioral Health for Waterloo Counseling Center. For the last decade they have volunteered as an educator, public speaker, emcee, and passionate advocate for wholehearted living in alternative sexuality communities across the country.
Lydia Hamel, MSW
Lydia (she/her) holds a Masters’ in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelors in Anthropology and Interdisciplinary from Concordia University in Montreal. She has completed the Advanced Couple and Family Therapy Certificate as well as the Intensive Sex Therapy Program from Guelph University. Her work in community began as a street outreach worker in Montreal, taking part in harm reduction initiatives and supporting youth placed at-risk. She has also been a sexual educator, facilitating workshops on sexual “health” including STI’s, HIV, “safer” drug use, “safer” sex and consent. In Vancouver, she worked in low barrier housing and at Canada’s first safe injection site, Insite. She was also involved in research through the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity, exploring barriers to social and health care for Sex Workers in the Downtown Eastside. Lydia is currently in private practice in Winnipeg, Manitoba always aiming to work from trauma responsive, harm-reduction and sex affirming lens. http://lydiahamel.com
Jeff Lutes, LPC, QTAP
Jeff (he/him) has been in private practice for 33 years and is the Executive Director of The Conference on Contemporary Relationships, which hosts the annual conference and the Queer and Trans Affirming Professional (QTAP) certification program. He is the co-author of two chapters in Affirmative Counseling with LGBTQI+ People (American Counseling Association, 2017), a chapter in the Handbook of LGBT-Affirmative Couple and Family Therapy (Routledge 2012), and author of Okin the Panda Bear Finds His Family - a children's book about family diversity (Creative House Press, 2011). His articles about LGBTQ relationships and families have appeared on The Bilerico Project and Therapy Matters. He has presented at the conferences of the American Family Therapy Academy, the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, the American Counseling Association, and the Texas Psychological Association. The former Executive Director of Soulforce; Jeff has spoken at universities, churches, and rallies around the country, and his social justice efforts have been covered by numerous media outlets, including NPR and CNN. His new book, Trailblazers In Love, is set for publication later this year and will feature conversations with queer couples together 20+ years. jefflutespsychotherapy.com