Our co-founder Nick Fager recently sat down with Out Magazine to discuss holistic care for the LGBTQ community. Check out the full story on Out.com.

OUT: What was the impetus for Lighthouse? What did you encounter in your personal and professional life that prompted you to form the startup?

Nick Fager: In my personal life, I experienced a lot of discrimination in healthcare settings growing up and into my adult life. One doctor stopped shaking my hand when he found out I was gay. One of my therapists told me I was going through a phase. Their words and actions held such power over me given the positions they were in, and I ended up going through a very long period of suffering that could have been avoided if I was affirmed and normalized. These experiences made me realize the crucial role that doctors and therapists play in our community, as they are often the first people that we’re truly honest with. Their reactions and decisions in the wake of those honest moments can drastically alter the course of our lives. I became an LGBTQ specialized psychotherapist because I wanted to have the privilege of sitting across from people in those moments. Once I started gaining a following with @gaytherapy, I realized there was a much bigger need here than one I could address alone. People were constantly reaching out to me looking for queer-friendly therapists, doctors, dentists, surgeons, personal trainers, and more. So I started calling all the top LGBTQ health and wellness professionals in the city and pitched them my idea, and almost every one them said something like, “Why doesn’t this exist yet? Sign me up.”

OUT: If you had to choose one thing to say to prospective Lighthouse clients, what would it be?

Nick Fager: No matter what is happening in your life right now, you need to be getting the right care. If our physical and mental health are in the right hands, we can handle whatever might be going on in our external world. Maybe there is that thought in the back of your mind that you’ve been meaning to find a new doctor or you’ve been wanting to start therapy for the first time, and maybe one of your reasons or not doing is that you think it’s hard to find the right person, and you don’t want to go through that vulnerable process. Lighthouse solves that problem—it lets queer people have one less barrier to taking control of their health.

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