Our Stand with
Trans support
group
facilitators!

We are so excited to introduce you to our support group facilitators!

Finn Asterión

Finn Asterión

Finn Asterión (he/they) is a queer, trans, nonbinary therapist who believes in providing a safe, affirming, healing environment for people who are hurting. Finn’s main passion is working with LGBTQIA+ clients, and making gender-affirming care more accessible. Finn believes therapy is about the relationship between therapist and client, founded on trust and connection. Finn’s therapeutic lens is shaped by both his lived experiences and his work in LGBTQIA+ education and advocacy, as well as youth residential mental health and community mental health.

 

Finn has extensive experience supporting teen and young adult clients through the difficult transition into adulthood. Finn works with people who are struggling with Gender Identity, Complex Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Suicidal Ideation, Domestic Violence, families that struggle with LGBTQIA+ acceptance, and many aspects of Neurodiversity.

 

As a lifelong artist himself, Finn believes creativity can play a role in a person’s healing process. He often uses art, music, writing, and other interests to engage clients in therapeutic practices. Finn consistently shows respect for the uniqueness of the client and their journey. Under the clinical supervision of Jack Klott, MSW

Finn co-facilitates the Grand Rapids teen group.
Janna Barkin

Janna Barkin

Janna Barkin (she/her) is an author, educator, parent coach, support group facilitator, and parent of a transgender child. She was a founding member of Stand with Trans’ Ally Parents network, acted as outreach coordinator, and continues to be an active member of the group.

Janna’s book He’s Always Been My Son: A Mother’s Story About Raising Her Transgender Son (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017) is an inspiring and moving story told from the heart. and recounts the emotional and uplifting journey of raising a transgender child. Written with warmth and humor, He’s Always Been My Son reminds us to accept others for who they are and provides support, education, and inspiration. Janna has a new book coming in July 2024 titled A Grand Love: Stories for Grandparents of Transgender Grandchildren (JKP 2024), and it is sure to be an uplifting and helpful resource.

Janna facilitates the 4th Thursday virtual parent group.

Joey Colby

Joey Colby

Joey (any pronouns) is a bigender MSW student at Oakland University. They are currently studying integrated health and working on numerous projects to improve the university. Joey enjoys longboarding, reading, writing, and volunteering at an urban poultry farm nearby. Joey currently works as the graduate assistant for Oakland University and has worked previously as a welder, chef, and legal assistant.

Joey facilitates the 2nd Thursday virtual teen group.

Gabriel DeLong

Gabriel DeLong

 

Gabriel DeLong (he/him/his) is a Black gay doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Wayne State University, a doctoral temporary limited licensed psychologist (DTLLP), and a part-time faculty at Wayne State University, teaching adolescent psychology. Gabriel has over 10 years of experience working with queer youth in community, education, and therapeutic settings. Therapeutically, Gabriel works primarily
with adolescents and young adults with a primary focus on LGBTQ+ identity development, ADHD, adolescent development, body image dissatisfaction, gender-affirming care, and racial identity development. Gabriel is committed to cultural humility, antiracist and feminist practices. His therapeutic style is informed from an intersectional, culturally responsive existentialist perspective where the emphasis is placed on the subjective experience of humanity, the uniqueness of individualism, and reclaiming the power of choice and identity within the context of existing systems. Gabriel incorporates mindfulness, cognitive behavior, and body movement in his therapy.

As a researcher, Gabriel is a mixed methods methodologist who operates from a participatory culture-specific intervention model (PCSIM), where studies are designed and executed with input from cultural brokers and community members. His research interests include body image dissatisfaction among diverse gender identities and gender orientations, eating disorders, perceived support systems of LGBTQ+ youth, investigating culture-specific measures, the experiences of intersectionality among racial/ethnic and LGBTQ+ individuals, and culture-specific program development, implementation, and evaluation.

 

Gabriel facilitates every 2nd and 4th Thursday Teen group.

 Eridian Dempsey

Eridian Dempsey

Eridian (they/them) is a Social Work student and will receive their bachelor’s this spring. They will then continue on to a master’s program at MSU. They’re currently an intern at Stand with Trans and enjoy supporting and empowering trans youth through their work here. Currently, they’re working on piloting a Youth Advisory Board, but they also lead support groups and assist with other happenings at Stand with Trans.

In their free time, Eridian loves to spend time with their spouse and their many animals. They’re incredibly adventurous, and being outside is one of their favourite things. If they happen to be inside, they’re probably making music, crafting, or engaging in some form of reading – both fiction and non-fiction. On top of all that, Eridian is an active member of their Jewish community and loves all things Jewish!”

Eridian facilitates the 3rd Wednesday virtual non-binary young adult group.

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Rainbow E., LLMSW-C

Rainbow E., LLMSW-C

Rainbow (they/them) is a trans, nonbinary, neurodivergent human. They grew up in a rural area and remember how it felt to be the only openly trans person they knew. These experiences sparked a passion for building a sense of community and safety for marginalized people, particularly trans youth. Rainbow completed their MSW at Northern Michigan University in 2023, and they now practice psychotherapy at Vibrant Health Company in Marquette, MI. They also volunteer for a nonprofit, facilitating support groups for adults with trauma-related dissociation.

Outside of work, Rainbow’s interests include visual and performance art, sustainability, gaming, and getting very excited every time they see a cat.

Facilitates Every 4th Friday, Marquette Teen Group.

Krystina Edwards

Krystina Edwards

Krystina Edwards, CNP (she/her) is a Detroit, MI native working as the Community Engagement Manager for the Ruth Ellis Center. She has a Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. Krystina has spent the past 9 years working for LGBTQ organizations with an emphasis in HIV/STI case management, event coordination, and training providers to be more affirming to LGBTQ+ issues. She is passionate about the advancement of the lives of LGBTQ+ young people, especially trans identified folks.

Facilitates the 1st Wed Trans Women’s Group.

Nicole Ellefson

Nicole Ellefson

Nicole Ellefson (she/her) was born and raised in the heart of Chicago. She moved to Michigan in 1993. She works in the field of education. Her eldest child was assigned female at birth and came out as a gay trans guy in 2012. She has been engaged in LGBTQ advocacy ever since. She leads the Lansing chapter of SwT which meets monthly at the Salus Center in downtown Lansing.

Nicole co-facilitates the Lansing parent group.

Amanda Erhardt

Amanda Erhardt

Amanda Erhardt, LLPC, NCC (she/her) is a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Michigan. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2021 and began her journey in the field of counseling working closely with the LGBTQIA+ community and primarily with teens/tweens. She believes that support groups and therapeutic experiences provide individuals with the opportunity to grow into the most authentic version of themselves. Amanda has been working as a facilitator at Stand with Trans since 2020 and loves the opportunity to work with such wonderful kids! 

Amanda facilitates the virtual Tween 2nd & 4th Monday group. 

Lisa Goyette

Lisa Goyette

Lisa (she/her) has been running a support group for parents of transgender and non binary kids since 2017 in the Lake Orion, MI, area. She has a degree in Social Work and is certified in Emotional & Social Intelligence and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Lisa takes great pride in creating a safe and non-judgmental environment where parents are met where they are at in their journey with their children. Lisa is passionate about providing moms and dads support and care along with helpful information to allow them to better assist not only their kids but also themselves.

Al Gray

Al Gray

Al Gray (they/them) is a trans non-binary, LLMSW-C that provides mental health services out of Suunta Integrative Health in Marquette, MI. Al’s specialties and areas of experience include the LGBTQIA+ population, gender affirming care, sexual health and well-being, anxiety, depression, substance use recovery, and grief and loss. They received their Master of Social Work degree from Northern Michigan University in 2023. They hope to continue to advocate for better resources and support for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and beyond. They received their Bachelor’s degree in 2018 from NMU with majors in Philosophy and Sociology. Al’s life philosophy is that everyone is different and everyone belongs. In their free time they enjoy hanging out with their wife and dachshund and remaining curious about what life has to offer.

Al co-facilitates the 4th Thursday Teen Group – Marquette, MI.
Erin Hartley

Erin Hartley

Erin Hartley (she/her) lives in the Pacific Northwest with her non-binary partner and their 4 cats, 2 dogs and an undetermined number of chicken. She has three children, two of who came out as non-binary as adults. She has been an Ally Parent since 2018.

Erin co-facilitates our new support group for parents who have adult children who have transitioned. 

Erin facilitates the 3rd Sunday group for Parents of Adult Trans Children.

 

Axel Hettinger

Axel Hettinger

Axel (he/him) is a transgender two-spirit man from the Florida Keys who is currently completing his master’s in social work at Grand Valley State University. Currently working at the Grand Rapids Pride Center, Axel helps to provide essential services, care, and counseling to members of the LGBTQIA+ community. His work often branches over into the arts, and he specializes in using visual art and media integration in practice. While he works with all ages, Axel’s work primarily centers around helping adolescents and young adults in the community. Axel received his undergraduate degree in History and is an alumnus of Interlochen Arts Academy.

Axel co-facilitates the 2nd Thursday Grand Rapids in-person teen group.

Karen Ketola

Karen Ketola

Karen (she/her) is a Volunteer Coordinator at a non-profit hospice. She supports the families of Stand With Trans and chose to become a support group facilitator because of her daughter, Holly.

Karen co-facilitates the 3rd Monday Lansing Parent group.

Stephanie Lange

Stephanie Lange

Stephanie Lange (she/her) is a high energy human services professional with over 25 years of experience including therapy, training, implementing evidence-based practices, supervision, and more in settings like public schools, community mental health, universities, and non-profits across Michigan. Stephanie completed her MSW from the University of Michigan in 1995 and never looked back, knowing that social work is her calling and passion. At-risk youth have been her main focus for the last couple of decades and she hopes to help you find the best resources, assist with problem solving, and building on your strengths to provide the best care and support you can to your loved ones!

Stephanie facilitates the trans teen 2nd Monday group.

Finn L.

Finn L.

Finn is a young adult transgender man who resides in the Metro Detroit area. He is a recent graduate from Michigan State University, where he studied filmmaking and graphic design. Early on in his transition, he struggled to find a transgender support group that was able to meet his needs. Now, he strives to provide the support he wished he was able to find when he needed it. On any given day you can find Finn listening to music and attending live shows, playing video games, watching films, reading nonfiction books, and playing the guitar.

Finn co-facilitates the trans male support group. If you have any questions or potential support group discussion topics, contact him at finn@standwithtrans.org.

Emily Malloy, JD, LMSW

Emily Malloy, JD, LMSW

Emily (she/her/hers) is an attorney, mediator, divorce coach and licensed master social worker in New York City, and is also a parent to a transgender and neurodiverse child, as well as a cisgender and neurotypical child. She is passionate about helping young people of any age be understood, appreciated and nurtured for who they are. She believes that one of the best ways to do this is by providing a separate, safe and non-judgmental space for their parents to ask questions, learn about themselves and their child, and be supported.

Emily facilitates the 2nd Thursday virtual parent group.

Ashton N.

Ashton N.

.Ashton (he/him) is a trans man who began his transition in 2015. He has been involved in community building, group facilitation, and Transgender education for 15 years, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work at Wayne State University.

Ashton co-facilitates the trans man group, every 1st & 3rd Thursday.

Rachel Nixon

Rachel Nixon

Rachel Nixon (she/her/hers) is a Family Medicine physician in the Metro Detroit area where she does gender affirming care for transgender folks – both adults and adolescents. She is also the mother to three amazing children – one who identifies as transgender and two who identify as cisgender.

She is passionate about supporting not only the transgender person in their journey of self discovery and actualization, but also their families. She also has been serving as an Ally Parent since 2023. 

Rachel co-facilitates the 4th Thursday Virtual Parent Support Group

Shay Reynolds

Shay Reynolds

Shay Reynolds is a nonbinary mental health counselor from the Pacific Northwest. They work in private practice with adults, teens, and tweens and specialize in working with complex trauma and helping LGBTQIA2S+ individuals find their fullest expression of Self. They are passionate about community, nature, and learning from kiddos. They are a parent of two small kids, one cis and one trans, and you will usually find them lifting weights or tending their garden.

They facilitate the virtual Tween 2nd & 4th Monday group.

Danette Tritch

Danette Tritch

Danette Tritch (she/her) lives in Colorado Springs where she advocates with Inside Out Youth Services as the facilitator of TransParenting, a parent support group. Danette serves on the Board of PFLAG Colorado Springs. She is mom to an adult trans child and has been an Ally Parent since 2015.

Danette co-facilitates our new support group for parents who have adult children who have transitioned. The 3rd Sunday, Parents of Adult Trans Children.

Jonelle Tunney, MA

Jonelle Tunney, MA

Jonelle Tunney (she/her) gained a wealth of experience in helping young people achieve meaningful growth and a greater sense of well-being in a career as a school counselor. As a transgender female, she is a strong advocate and ally for all those within the LGBTQIA+ community. Jonelle is genuinely interested in learning about others and has a deep empathy for the way life looks and feels from their point of view. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education (Psychology, English), from Central Michigan University in 1998 and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Western Michigan University in 2007. She is now working on attaining her counseling license.

Jonelle co-facilitates the Grand Rapids in-person teen group, every 2nd Thursday.

To attend a support group use this link to sign up. All groups are FREE

but pre-registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

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Mailing Address

23332 Farmington Rd #84
Farmington, MI 48336

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248.907.4853