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Jay Pryor Consulting to provide LGBTQIA+ training for Bert Nash Center staff

Jay Pryor at Henry's Upstairs. Thank you Henry's Upstairs for being a safe, inclusive space.

Jay Pryor has been pushing for transformative change since they came out in the 1980s.


“When I came out in the ‘80s, we had been told that 10 percent of people were gay, but the numbers just keep getting bigger,” Jay said. “We now know that 25 percent of people identify in that alphabet.”


The alphabet Jay referred to is LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual).


“And they’re coming into your workplace,” Jay said.


Jay, who has Jay Pryor Consulting and is a popular speaker and executive coach, will provide training and awareness of the LGBTQIA+ community to all Bert Nash Center staff during different time slots in April. Bert Nash Center board members have also been invited to participate. Funding for the training was generously provided by Douglas County Community Foundation.


“Our goal is to continue to create not only a safe inclusive place to heal, but for our team members to work. Taking this training with Jay will help us to create a space for our team to ask questions and engage in conversations with an out, queer, transgender, nonbinary human, and I am grateful for this opportunity Jay is providing,” said Robyn Wagner, Bert Nash Center IDEB (inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging) manager.


“Everything that goes along with supporting people in good mental health, which is what Bert Nash is all about, gets increased when we can honor these people just by saying their right name and pronoun,” Jay said. “With trans and nonbinary youth, if you just call them by the name they want to go by and the right pronoun, you decrease suicidal ideation by 50 percent, and we know that you decrease suicide attempts by 63 percent.”


Jay was a suicidal youth, and they don’t want others to struggle with the same challenges they did.


“Everything I do is based on making sure the kids who come behind me don’t have to deal with what I dealt with,” Jay said.


It can be extremely impactful when people are honored by using their right name and pronouns, Jay said.


“The younger generation is already doing that. At KU and at campuses all around the world, people are used to introducing themselves and saying their pronouns,” Jay said.


Last year, Jay provided LGBTQIA+ training to all Douglas County employees.


“I’m hoping that every nonprofit in town, that every company in town, will do this training, because we’re dealing with a population that already has enough to deal with,” Jay said. “I am grateful that companies like Bert Nash are interested in making a safe working environment not just for their employees but for their clients.”


If companies and organizations want a talented, diverse workforce, it makes good business sense to educate staff on how to create an atmosphere of belonging in that space, Jay said.


“Anti-trans slurs and rhetoric, that can create a hostile work environment. So that’s out what we’re out to do, to change that environment,” Jay said. “We want to create a culture of belonging. You can include me, but do I feel like I belong there? That’s what we’re out to create. Especially with this Gen Z generation, they want belonging.”


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