By Kelly McDonnell
This article was first published March 16, 2021 in Tagg Magazine here.
Alane Freund has always noticed injustice. Equipped with her intersecting identities as a nonbinary lesbian and highly sensitive person—which she sees as her superpower—Freund uses her psychotherapy practice to teach young people how to be themselves and be powerful.
Freund grew up in a conservative community in Oklahoma, but she says her mother was a confident, influential role model who encouraged her to become an activist. Many women in her family also identified as lesbian, so she felt comfortable with and close to the queer community. This combination led her to activism, like joining ACT UP in the 1980s to provide AIDS education to others.
For 35 years, Freund has advocated for LGBTQ people and young people struggling with their highly sensitive emotions. Freund says her psychotherapy practice, which includes equine therapy, is activism in itself.
“Every moment has been driven by youth, especially in this era,” Freund says. “The drive to change their identity and the identity of the world—that’s beautiful. We need to give them space to do that.”
In fact, Freund says that talking to young patients who were questioning their gender helped her understand her own identity as nonbinary.
Freund’s goal as an enterprising woman is simple: “I want to show people how their insides and their outsides can match.”