How mother and business owner Amy Wasvick supports safety and inclusivity – InForum

It’s often the unexpected things in life that have the most impact in showing us how strong we really are. For Amy Wasvick, owner of The Healing Arts Revolution, it happened when her youngest of two children was 1.5 years old.

“We started noticing that he had a strong preference for clothes aimed at girls,” she said. “Because he was so young, we didn’t think about it.”

But over time, she and her husband noticed that conversations between her son and older sister revealed that he was indeed not resonating with being a man. The more they listened, the more they worried.

“I found myself confused and worried about how such a young child would want to harm his body and feel that way about his gender,” she said. “I didn’t know who to talk to, so I contacted our pediatrician.”

Amy remembers waiting in the doctor’s office, hysterically not knowing how to start “this” conversation. She shared her worries, shed a lot of tears and accepted the facts. Her son suffers from gender dysphoria.

Parenting a child comes with its own set of fears (though sometimes irrational), but raising a child with dysphoria comes with its own set of fears backed up by solid statistics.

“I learned that people who suffer from gender dysphoria have an extremely high suicide rate. All I could think about was how one day I might lose my child without the proper support,” Amy said. .

Amy and her family are shown with their rescue dog, Bruno, who has become an unofficial therapy dog ​​for Leif when she is having a bad day.

Special in the minds of moms

It started with weekly counseling, not only giving her child a place to open up and feel understood, but also a place where Amy herself could find understanding so she could be a supportive parent. But she still felt there was more to do.

So she and her husband invested all of their savings into building a safe space for families like them.

“I envisioned a place free from judgment regardless of gender identity, expression, sexual orientation, race, religion or ability,” she said.

Today, The Healing Arts Revolution continues to be that inclusive and safe space where people of all ages in our community can access healing services, such as massage therapy, as well as come together and learn through classes. and workshops. For Amy, it’s that connection to LGBTQ+ resources that it took her and her family years to find.

How have you seen your business impact people?

The messages I get from people tell me that we have made an impact since building our space. This is a huge start in how our community can keep our LGBTQ children safe, by supporting organizations that support human rights. The more we crowd out negativity, the more safe spaces we will create for everyone.

What do you think is the most important role of being a parent?

My most important role as a parent has been to lead by example. I do this by showing compassion, acceptance, and kindness with every step I take.

How about the most rewarding?

Most rewarding was seeing how our children mirrored these exact things when we rescued our dog. I’m not saying a 100 pound dog is right for every household, but Bruno was the magic bullet for us.

What has been the hardest part of parenthood so far?

Realizing that even when showing my maximum support, my child still needs outside support. Even with all the guidance we provided, it still took our child three years to feel safe using different pronouns.

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For Amy and her family, The Healing Arts Revolution is a connection to LGBTQ+ resources that she and her family have taken years to find.

Special in the minds of moms

How did your customers react when you launched your new business?

Some of the funniest and most beautiful moments of my 14 years as a Registered Massage Therapist were when I shared with my clients why I was starting my new business and moving. Most of them were a little nervous and said, “I’m straight and married and I fully support what you’re doing; can I still see you for a massage? My answer was still “Absolutely” and they breathed the deepest sigh of relief. I lost customers, but I gained so much. I was more than okay with that because I pride myself on my practice and studio being inclusive for allies and the LGBTQ community.

What impact has this openness with customers had on you and your business?

Sharing our family’s story with my clients has deepened my relationship with them in the most unexpected way. It was like a door was opened because now they know they can share anything with me without judgment and vice versa.

What is the most important thing you hope your kids will learn from you?

I want my children to know that I am proud and that I love them unconditionally. For me, this journey has been about finding my own strength and accepting things I may not understand and finding the tools to help our family and others. Above all, we thank our family, friends and community for their incredible support.

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