Grief Talk w/ Vonne Solis

Ep. 55 Coming Out - How to Thrive!

September 20, 2023 Vonne Solis/Janae Borrego Season 3 Episode 55
Grief Talk w/ Vonne Solis
Ep. 55 Coming Out - How to Thrive!
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Identifying as Queer Latinx, listen to this fascinating and frank conversation as Janae shares her years long story coming out and set against the struggles she faced from her fear, uncertainty and the grief she felt losing her traditional familial relationships.

Today with her own private practice working as a Psychotherapist in California. A  Telehealth Provider serving Florida, and Virtual Coach serving clients nationwide, Janae helps young adults and individuals from the LGBTQ+, Latinx and BIPOC communities  learn to thrive by embracing their authenticity and overcoming all adversity as they chart and undertake their own coming out journey.

 0:00       Welcome
 1:08       Topics LGBTQ+, BIPOC, Latinx, Queer communities, trauma, grief
 2:52       Janae's story raised Mexican American
 6:28       Athletics funds college and shapes Janae
 12:27     ADHD, gender and breaking the ceiling
 20:00     Generational trauma, wounded warrior
 25:21     Coming out Latinx
 36:10     Grief, shame, fear and family support
 41:45     Growing into authenticity
 45:47     Community family
 50:22     LGBTQ Suicidality & losing out
 56:53     Different scares people
 58:56     Know your vulnerability
 1:01:51  Work with Janae
 1:04:40  Closing
Connect With Janae

Connect with Vonne

Dr. Patrick Lockwood

Subscribe to the podcast! Share your favourite episodes! Connect with Vonne on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Vonne Solis  0:00  
Welcome to another episode of Grief Talk. Everything you want to know about grief and more. I'm your host, Vonne Solis. As an author, mentor and bereaved mom since 2005, through guest interviews and coaching, here's where you'll always get great content that is inspiring and practical to help you heal after loss. 

Today's guest is Janae Borrego. Janae, a Southern California native, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist under the Board of Behavioural Sciences of California. She is also an out of state Telehealth provider, Marriage and Family therapist with the state of Florida Department of Health. Identifying as a Mexican American Queer Latin X provider with a private practice, Janae considers herself a wounded healer. She pulls from her toolkit, what she has learned professionally and utilized personally in her own recovery journey to help clients in the LGBTQ +, Latin X and BIPOC communities.

So Janae, welcome to the show. I am so excited that you are here.

Janae Borrego  1:08  
Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. 

Vonne Solis  1:10  
So audience we have lots to cover today. In the introduction, I introduced Janae know, with all her qualifications in coaching, consulting, mentoring. She offers workshops. We're gonna get into that a little bit more towards the end with your resources Janae. But I did want to basically start with acknowledging that you did have a focus in marriage, family therapy. You do work in trauma, correct?

Janae Borrego  1:42  
Yes. I do. Yeah.

Vonne Solis  1:43  
Yeah. And you do focus, I don't know if the focus is the right word. But a large part of your communities are in the LGBTQ, the BIPOC and Latin X. And I'm really eager to learn all about your work in those areas because a lot of what we're talking about today audience, is grief adversity. We're going to start a little bit with Janae's experience. her personal as much as she wants to share and what led her to her work. We're also going to be talking about resilience in terms of living versus surviving, where there is a huge difference. We're going to talk a little bit about transgenerational trauma, and anything that Janae can share professionally and personally about that. And we're also going to be touching on gender identity and how that impacts individuals. And this is again, going to focus a lot on Janae's personal and professional background, which I'll let her explain. So Janae, let's get right to it. And if you could just share with the audience, what you do, and basically, what led you to do it?

Janae Borrego  2:43  
Yes. Yeah, well we're just gonna be covering a few minor things today, right?

Vonne Solis  2:48  
Yeah, I know. I know. I know. But that's what this show is all about. Digging deep.

Janae Borrego  2:52  
And I'm here and I'm super excited to actually really kind of have conversations around these. I think we don't, you know, have them enough. Yeah, so a little bit about me. So I was, you know, born and raised in Southern California. I'm from a little town, I don't want to say little, it doesn't feel like it's little to me, but a smaller city, Oxnard, California. Coastal city in Ventura County. So about an hour north of LA. I came from a really big Mexican American family. So roughly around like third generation here, but very much grew up to what I thought was, you know, super strong American Mexican culture. But I, you know, I've now come to realize I had such a blended, growing up in regards to like, my ethnicity. Like it was very blended in that I got, like, probably equally amount as Mexican culture as I did American, but I didn't know it then.

So, but yeah, you know, I just, I'm the first one, you know, to go to college in my family. So that was a, you know, an interesting journey. A personal achievement of mine. I always knew that it was something that was on the horizon for myself. And I just really didn't know what I was going to do when I got there, you know, about being completely frank. You don't have to be like a roadmap or, you know, kind of a reference of people before you. It's kind of the best advice I got was just try all the classes and see what's gonna work for you, you know? 

So I really sort of kind of landed on psychology uniquely, you know. I took a class. It was a human sexuality class. And it was like, everybody wanted to take it on campus. I took it and it really, like opened my eyes and I was like, boom. This is it. This is what I'm going to do. I actually wanted to do sex therapy right away. And, you know, that was kind of something in the back of my mind. I pursued my education. I got into my undergrad program and a lot of my professors are like, Hey, you should, you should be a therapist. And I was like, really? You're really good at it. And I'm like, okay. Like, I'll just

Vonne Solis  4:16  

Janae Borrego  4:16  
I get out of graduating from my undergrad, and you know, I realize I'm lot going to make a lot of money with just a bachelor's, you know, and I'm self supporting, you know, at this time in my life. So I was with a partner, then who was in therapy training. So I took a year off, and then I jumped right into it. And I just really haven't looked back, you know? So when people are like, Hey, how did you choose this field? I guess it's always been your thing, I always laugh because I was like, I had no idea what I was going to do. But I think in many ways, for people who kind of have a little bit of a complex history, like myself, so I definitely would say come from complex trauma. I think it's kind of our way of really trying to understand our own world, without even like realizing that's what we're doing. So I think in many ways, it's easy to say like, oh, yeah, I chose this field, because people recommended it for me. But I think there was also an internal drive where I was really needing to make sense of my world. So that's kind of really like how I kind of came to be a therapist, like, you know, in a short, not so short answer.

Vonne Solis  6:01  
I did have a question, though, for you, which I'm always curious. So when you're the first in your generation, to pursue higher education, what was it about you? Or maybe somebody encouraged you that sort of went no. I'm not staying here that like, I don't really want to say break the cycle. But what even made you think that it was possible, given you didn't have anybody showing you that it was?

Janae Borrego  6:28  
Yeah. Well, you know what? I want to say, you know, not that I don't give a lot of value and appreciation to my mom. I will say, I think that kind of really came from my dad a little bit in the sense that like, I was an athlete. So being an athlete, by default, you had to be a student, right? And I just always, I think, looking up to athletes in my sport, I always knew, so I was a softball player. A lot of lesbians out there might giggle if they hear this because it's a very common thing, you know? Yeah, to be athletes. But I was. I was a softball player. So when I would look up to people like, there, there wasn't professional softball, you know, when I grew up, and they're barely at one now. So we were talking about gender disparity kind of issues here. But

Vonne Solis  7:15  
Are you talking at the college level?

Janae Borrego  7:18  
At the college level. So I think I knew that I wanted to go very far, athletically. So it was like, Well, the next thing is college, right? So, and if you go to college, great, you might get an education. And my dad kind of instilled education in me and my mom was more than a worker bee. So I just knew if I wanted to keep playing and realistically, at some point, I think when I became a teenager, I knew I wanted to get out of my town. So I was like, Look, I gotta stay in school. And that was the only thing I knew would be an option. Because I also grew up with like a family where the narrative was, hey, you got to work hard. You got to get a stable job, and you stay there your whole life, and you get your 401 K, and your retirement. So I think it kind of just seemed like the natural progression with being a student athlete you know? In many ways I felt very lost in that process, because my family didn't really know how to help me in that space.

Vonne Solis  8:12  
I never want to say anything negative about parents, because it is every parent's dream that our kids have a better life than we do.

Janae Borrego  8:21  
Totally, yeah.

Vonne Solis  8:22  
 In whatever way. But you see, I grew up in a family that we didn't have a lot of extra money. So out of four kids, there was only money to send one.

Janae Borrego  8:34  

Vonne Solis  8:35  
to university. And my brother got it. And deservedly so. He was almost like freaking genius level. But it took me until 30 years old, to realize I could be more than at that time the glass ceiling was allowing me to be. See, so I didn't have anyone showing me and encouraging me, like, you're really smart. You could do this. I left home just before my 16th birthday. So in many ways, I probably have similarities to what we're going to be talking about today in my own life, because it, I only had to rely on my own, you know, my own noggin here and make wise choices. And something always guided me. And that's what's so interesting for people that break, you know, go no, I can do this. They break the ceilings. They break the patterns. 

And so for you it was just some innate, it sounds like some innate understanding that you had to stay in school and it was the athletics that made that seem real to you. Whereas with me, it took me till 30 and basically having somebody. An employer at that time tell me, you need to go to university and you can do it. And I was a single mom. 

Janae Borrego  9:52  

Vonne Solis  9:53  
And I went! I listened and I went.

Janae Borrego  9:56  

Vonne Solis  9:57  
So anyway, did you have any mentors like that? Or was it really the athletics pushing you or did you have like teachers, like other people say you should go to university Janae. You're so smart.

Janae Borrego  10:07  
You know, it's funny, like, as you were reflecting on that, and you know, like me taking a moment to reflect as well. It wasn't so much like now that you say that, like, I was smart. I, I'm, I'd like to believe I'm an intelligent person. If you asked me a characteristic for myself, that's going to be one of them. But you know, it's funny, I felt like I got a lot more admiration for my athletic talent. And then that could project me, right? My family, in no way was ever going to afford my college. Never. So I knew it was a job that I had to take on myself. And the only way I could do that was, hey, I'm an athlete. And again, a lot of times in marginalized communities, that's the narrative. We don't have money to send you. So you got to really figure out like, if you're an athlete? You got to use that to get to the next level. So maybe subconsciously, I'm not, you know, there was a part of me that'd say like, Yeah, I'm great at this. And I loved it. I was, you know, I loved being an athlete. 

But there was such a necessity to having that be a part of my life to help me. Because it was the coaches that were like, you're good. You're gonna go to the next level. It was never like a teacher that was like, You're so freakin smart. You're gonna get an academic scholarship. I think, in general, because I came from a community where there was a lot of Mexicans. Mexican Americans, that I think the professors in some way, some of them would try to say, like, hey! Like keep doing this, you know? But it wasn't as loud as I think it would have been helpful. Because for me, I wasn't also like the best student. I gotta be honest. Now that I realized my life and I reflect, you know? I used to be the first grader where they would send me home with slips every day. I got the green. Or I got the yellow or the red, which was indicative of my behaviour. And I find that to be with a reflection of the stress that I was under. Again, I grew up in a very stressful environment. So it felt a little ADD to me. And I think it was very sort of stress induced. So I kind of had to, like, finesse my way through school. I wasn't always good at reading or like writing, but I could absorb information. I could verbally tell you, I was great at math, you know. And I actually had an older sister, she was like, our straight A student in the family. So I kind of felt like in her shadow a little bit. And

Vonne Solis  12:27  
Yeah. But you mentioned a really good point. Like saying it was sort of like ADD. I'm not sure what generation you are. They certainly weren't diagnosing it 40 years ago. 30 years ago. I'm not even sure maybe 20 years ago it started to kind of be a thing? And the spectrum and all that. I think that's kind of happened in the last maybe 20 years, would you say?

Janae Borrego  12:49  
Yeah, and predominantly for young boys, you know what I mean? They pathologize you know, boys' hyperactivity. So I was never diagnosed. I sometimes kind of figure I might have struggled with it. But you know, I'm an adult now. I function. Now I've learned to function with myself the way, with the way I operate. 

Vonne Solis  13:07  

Janae Borrego  13:08  
But yeah, predominantly, boys would get it. Because boys have a lot more energy. And girls, historically, with ADHD and ADD. So now it's just ADHD with specifiers. So you could have been the hyperactive type, or the destructible type. But if you're this non-hyperactive type, it would just could be girls, right? They don't have as much energy. And they were a lot of times not diagnosed. It was predominantly given to young boys in the beginning, unfortunately.

Vonne Solis  13:36  
I don't really want to turn this into a gender thing. But we have to. I always talk,  well not always, but often talk about gender with my guests. Because whether it's the glass ceiling, like in my case, looking back and just at, you know, a focus on athletics, in your case, and whatever they're dealing with today. Ladies, women, anybody non-binary, who's watching this. Anybody, even men. Depending on how you grew up, if you're not told, and you know that you're intelligent. And you're not respected. And you're not recognized for who you are in any given stage of your growth and development. Well, this is why we become a bunch of dysfunctional adults. And there's lots of jobs for therapists. Lots of clients for therapists, right? It's, we really need that. We really need to have those reinforcements. 

And I will just say a little nod to the female gender. Because over the decades, we have been predominantly the ones that have not been recognized for our smarts. But if that speaks to you, anyone in the audience, think about it. Because this is what we, well Janae I'm going to ask you from a therapeutic point of view. What will help us feel intelligent and smart? If you don't feel that way today, but you know, you are?

Janae Borrego  15:01  
Yeah. You know, and here's the thing. I felt, I want to be clear I felt smart. I felt like I didn't feel not smart. Let me say that. I didn't feel like I didn't grasp it. I felt challenges in subjects that weren't my bag, you know, my bag. You know? Obviously. I was great in math. I was, I was great in PE, right? A lot of the struggle where I struggled with, like, learning how to study and creating a structure. You know, my mom wasn't, I think in many ways, provided an opportunity to go to college because of her need to provide, you know? And she was a young mother. She got, you know, pregnant with my eldest sister as a teenager. So at that point, your goal is to make money, you know? So I don't think that my mom never had that goal. I honestly never asked her. Isn't that unique? I've never asked her because she just kind of jumped in and did what she had to do. 

My sisters are very intelligent. And I don't think that it wasn't that I wasn't intelligent. But you follow a sister who was a straight A treasure you know? On the A&B board. Like, my path was just different. But parents will often look at all their kids and go like, well, your sister's here, but you're, you know. They're, it's normal to kind of compare. 

But I think in general, I think it's important to acknowledge all aspects of people. Yeah, I was an athlete but that was just part of me, you know? I was very lucky because there are athletes who have a hard time walking away from the sport. I was not that person. And I was surprised that I was okay, because it was so much part of my life and my identity and my positive characteristics. I just, I dove into my education, my master's program. So I was able to kind of walk away from college like feeling like, okay, great, you know? But I think because if that's your whole identity, and then you no longer have it, or you haven't been reinforced in other areas of your life, like, it's important for people or just because you aren't super great at the flow of American school doesn't mean you're not intelligent. I just wasn't good with the structure of the way American schools operate. But I'll learn anything today and I absorb it and I find it helpful. So it's really about individuality and seeing people and knowing that like we're not all encompassing to one thing. You know, just because we're great at that one thing. I often question if it was something I always wanted to do, or if it was something like I happened to be really good at it and I knew it could get me far so I did it.

Vonne Solis  17:35  
But even that's very insightful. And even if it was the latter, so what. It got you where you needed to be.

Janae Borrego  17:42  
And I'm so grateful for it too, you know? Like it's a beautiful part of my life. It gave me privilege to educate myself and culture myself. I travelled. I went to Alabama. I've been to Florida. I've been to Texas. Like I was a collegiate athlete, you know? It cultured me. And I think more than anything. Not just getting an education, I was able to see things that were so necessary to allow me to grow beyond my culture ceiling.

Vonne Solis  18:07  
For sure. I just have a really quick aside here. What are the scholarships like for female collegiate athletes?

Janae Borrego  18:14  
Probably not what they are for men, if I'm being honest. But I don't even have like the statistics on that. But again, if you think about it. I was a softball player, and I played basketball too. Crazy reflection. I've gone to sporting events throughout my whole life. I came from a legitimate like sports fan family. I barely went to my first WNBA game on Friday. And I thought why. Why as a woman and this is the first time I'm supporting women's athletics? It's because it's not as open and out there, right? Like it's not marketed or advertised the way males are. But they're, I mean, I think they have a right to be just as much up there and be just as exciting, you know? But when I was going to school? Like, there really wasn't a professional league. So you either had to be like a really good softball player who made it to the Olympic American, like USA team.

Vonne Solis  19:10  

Janae Borrego  19:11  
So I think for me, and not like, again, I noticed this early. I think I was able to walk away from the sport because I knew I wasn't going to be an Olympian, first of all. 

Vonne Solis  19:21  

Janae Borrego  19:21  
And I was like, well, that's it. Like I'm retiring out of the sport, like unless I play recreationally, which I did for a little bit. But again, my career started to take a lot of time and I prioritized that. So even now, I think the the professional league is made up of six women's teams. Six only.

Vonne Solis  19:40  

Janae Borrego  19:41  
And the pay is never going to be where MLB players are getting paid that.

Vonne Solis  19:44  
Yeah. Thank you for sharing all that. We're gonna move now into, you described yourself as a wounded warrior. Can you describe a little bit for the audience what you mean by being a wounded warrior or what your story is around that?

Janae Borrego  20:00  
Yeah, absolutely. So I actually I got that term from a therapist I was seen historically. So I was already a licensed therapist. And I was seeing my personal therapist. No longer with her, but she kind of termed in with, like, you're kind of like a wounded healer is what she said. And I was like, oh, so what does that mean right? So just to give people perspective on what it could mean. So in my field, I predominantly do a lot of psychotherapy. That's my original career development. And in that field, there's everything about professional boundaries. Like you don't share about yourself. You know, it's really all about the client. And that's really instilled in you. 

Now, here's the unique caveat of that. There's, there's the mental health field that the whole umbrella as a whole, which I think everything falls under the Mental Health umbrella. But there's also like, substance abuse under that. Eating disorder, you know, etc, etc. So I worked in the recovery world. Substance abuse treatment quite a bit. I have a lot of experience with that. And in that field, you get a lot of people who end up in recovery, and then they become the therapists or the counsellors or the directors, right? So there's a lot of open sharing in that space, right? And realistically, people feel more comfortable connecting to someone who's been on the journey with them. Like I, there's nothing I could do to get around that. That's just the reality, I think of clients as a whole.

So I've always been less of like, oh, I don't just fit in the substance abuse bucket. I fit in mental health as a whole and how do I see it broadly? So for me, you know, the unique thing is like, though I didn't consider myself to be in recovery at the time, I was like, my stories are kind of just like them. You know, like, I grew up from very complex histories like them. And for the first time, I said, go, Hey, I had that problem, too. Or like, I've seen someone who had that problem, right? And what I've come to understand is like sharing stories are helpful to recovery. Like, we want to feel good knowing that we're not the only one in the struggle. So I kind of understood the value of what my experiences could do to the therapeutic process. 

So unlike what I learned in school, I do share a little bit about my journey, because I know what I felt like. I felt like I was the only one. I felt crazy. I felt like there was somebody wrong with me. And I mean, I was studying mental health, and I was still struggling. Like so, imagine people who don't study it like without any sense of knowledge around it. And a lot of the narrative of the world is like, what's wrong with you? Why can't you figure it out in this world versus like can we just maybe put into question that the world isn't doing good? And like, we're just trying to, like, figure ourselves out? Our survival?

Vonne Solis  22:47  
Yes, you're speaking my language. Yes.

Janae Borrego  22:49  
I lived initially, I mean, I live in that view now right? Of like, how well am I kind of thriving in this world versus like, historically younger,  I was like, why am I not surviving well in this world, right?

So for me, I grew up with trauma in my environment, you know. And as I say, this too, and I love my family. I'm going to be clear. Like, I come from a very unhealthy enmeshed family, but we love each other. Like, you know, and through, regardless of our trauma like, or the trauma I've even had with my family? Like, I don't find my family to be the issue. I find it to be a transgenerational issue. So even with like my queerness, that was a transgenerational issue, because my mom was giving me a narrative that she thought was appropriate. Which was religiously-based. She was worried I was gonna go to hell. Simply put. So she told me that on a regular basis Like you're gonna go to hell. And then when you're someone who's receiving that, right, like, you pathologize it and you stigmatize and you shame yourself, right? And that's not my mom's fault. That's, that's our cultural narrative issue. Right? 

So, for someone who's a wounded healer, I grew up seeing domestic violence. I grew up seeing substance abuse in my home, you know? I grew up, you know, seeing, you know, very authoritative, disciplinary, you know, I was spanked. It was very common to be spanked on a regular basis the way that I was spanked. You know, I was not spoken to very well. Like, I wasn't given an opportunity to understand my emotions or develop emotional language. But nobody else in my family even knows how to do that, right? So

Vonne Solis  23:56  

Janae Borrego  24:20  
And then, you know, while you're dealing with the regular kind of issues, like shall I say that Latinx communities deal with or people of colour like communities deal with right? Like and then right, oppression and prejudice. And also Queer on top of that and an environment where I'm I'm a little older. So I didn't grow up where rainbows were everywhere. I kind of grew up on the cusp where we didn't talk about anything and then we started to talk about everything. And that was a culture shock to me because I preferred to be quieted at the time because of my religious background. So I dealt with like a little bit of like oppression, you know, in my home. I cared less about what happened in my external world, and more what was happening in my, in my family. So now I'm a little bit actually more immune to outside oppression because when you feel it at the core of like your roots, that's way more impactful than people I'm never going to talk to you again.

Vonne Solis  25:21  
That is so important. So just stopping for a moment and addressing your queerness. What age were you when you came out?

Janae Borrego  25:31  
So I could tell you, as far back as I can remember that attraction to women has always been there.  I believe I was born different, you know? And I say that because a lot of times, historically, I don't think this is always going to be so much the narrative now. But when there was a lot more ignorance in the world, they would say we chose this life. We're choosing this. I promise you, I never would have chosen it because I knew that it wasn't going to be okay with some of my family members, just by the way we grew up. And if I could choose to be normal, whatever the heck that looked like at that time, I would have chose that. I would have ultimately chose that. So.

Vonne Solis  26:11  
Interesting that you're saying that. Yeah.

Janae Borrego  26:14  
But I was actually 12 or 13. A friend of mine, we were talking. She was a friend that I had known for a while. We played sports together. And she basically asked me like, you're gay, right? And I was like, no. And she was like, It's okay. Like you are though, right? And I remember that was the first time I sort of was like, and I didn't, and I didn't know what I was going to be at all. But what I could accept in that moment is that I liked girls. Like I knew it wasn't that I liked boys only but I did like girls. I found them attractive in many ways. So I remember saying it out loud to my friend. And I was just bawling. Bawling at the fact that like I had said this to myself out loud for the first time as like a 12 - 13 year old kid. Yeah, it was crazy.

Vonne Solis  27:08  
Wow. That's, that's actually very insightful. And I think and very, very much in tune with who you really were as an authentic person. So publicly doing it, how long did it take you to come out to your parents then? Because I do want to just clarify. Was the religious background really the thing that made you hesitate maybe or feel that you were wrong to claim your true identity as Queer? Like, what was it rooted in do you think?

Janae Borrego  27:40  
Yeah, I think it was definitely rooted in religion. Because we were very religious as a family, you know. Not that we went every week, but like, we went pretty regularly and I didn't, there was obviously gaps, I wouldn't go. But and then my mom transition to Christianity, but God was a narrative in our life every day, And it's still a narrative to me, spiritually. I'm very connected, you know.

Vonne Solis  28:04  
Of course.

Janae Borrego  28:04  
It was every, it was God, this. We prayed, you know. We, everything's connected in our like, as a Latinx individual. 

Vonne Solis  28:13  

Janae Borrego  28:13  
But that religiosity is so connected to us culturally, you know? So it was very much the religion. And, obviously, the fear of like, how my family is gonna take this. And I didn't know, and also, like, I didn't want to bring shame to my family. You know, that's another issue. You know, you don't want to ever do that. So,

Vonne Solis  28:13  
So yeah. And so the reason I'm asking you, and only, you know, share what you want to share. The reason I'm asking this is for people who may be struggling with this right now and all the things you're talking about. That wasn't something I struggled with. But I'll say publicly, my first kiss was a girl. I just actually, I just remembered that not not long ago, but there was nothing about it. Just that it felt kind of weird and we were just experimenting around age, I don't know, maybe 11, 12. And just let's have a kiss and see what it's like. But you know, it didn't, it didn't go any further. And I didn't have a conversation. But this would have been in the 60s. Late 60's. 

Janae Borrego  29:18  

Vonne Solis  29:18  
We definitely weren't talking about this stuff back then. But in your case, were you in like your 20s when you came out to your parents?

Janae Borrego  29:26  
No. I was like a teenager.

Vonne Solis  29:28  
 Yeah. Oh, so teenager So what made you, what gave you the courage to do it?

Janae Borrego  29:32  
So around the age I came out actually I did kiss my first girl on a dare. It's a friend of mine I'm still friends with to this day. So

Vonne Solis  29:39  

Janae Borrego  29:40  
But a couple of my friends saw that. So you know, I remember having to have conversations with my friends for the first time of like, what was that? You know, and mind you, we're middle schoolers, right? So I mean, this is before you expect teenagers and before sexuality was so advanced the way it is today, right? So like, you wouldn't anticipate kind of getting into those conversations until you're in high school. So it was a lot for my friends to absorb. But what, so what happened was, this is my coming out process. I started to develop an attraction to a friend of mine who eventually became my first partner. And at this time I, I've already accepted, you know, that I like girls. So this is probably a couple of years into it now. I'm around 15, you know. So like, commonly, again, this is why I kind of laughed earlier. Like, a lot of the lesbians were the athletes, you know. So a lot of them would be on my teams, you know. So there was around this age, I started to have teammates that were attractive, you know. Not that they weren't before. But these are also people that weren't my friends. You know, I wasn't going to try to like, assert myself on friends that I had had for so long. So I developed an attraction to who would eventually become my first partner. And the funny thing is, I didn't even know. I just was flirting. I was a teenager. I was kind of going through the motions. 

My mom came to me and was like, Do you like her? And I remember being so scared of her asking me that question. And I was like, no. Like, that's the craziest question. Like, that's gross. Like, that was my legitimate response because I had internalized shame, you know. And

Vonne Solis  31:27  
yeah, yeah

Janae Borrego  31:28  
No, it's okay. Like, it's normal. And I was like, that's not normal. What are you talking about? And she's like, I liked girls when I was younger. And I was like, well, that's your story. Like, I was so defensive, you know. Long story short. I do end up getting with this girl. It feels amazing, you know, as a first timer in this process, but I was hiding it. I was so afraid. I was hiding it. And eventually, like, my mom just knew. She was catching on. And then like, my sisters kind of caught us, you know, the moment. And I'm assuming they told my mom because we're very emeshed and there's no boundaries. So she just knew. So at that point, like, I gotta be honest, that became the beginning of a time in my life that was very stressful, because I didn't stop dating that person. My mom wanted me to. And that person didn't go to school with me. So I was sneaking around a lot. My mom was in my business a lot. She just wanted to know where I was. And again, not to shame my mother. That's not what this is about.

Vonne Solis  32:31  
No. No.

Janae Borrego  32:31  
I mean she's concerned. She wants to know where I'm at. She's, she's not micromanaging me. She's just wants to know  why I came home a little late, you know. Like, you know, it was really like a lot of fear. And she knew though. She knew what I was doing. And there were moments she accused me when I really wasn't doing it. But I was maintaining a relationship with her. So the reality is that she knew and it was very stressful. She was not happy. She would make that known. And it's funny because it legitimately took me, and that was when I was 15 years old. I don't think I started to out loud, say, I'm gay to my family, or that I have a significant other who's a woman until I graduated college. They knew I was with women. It was, it wasn't like I'm out. I was dating that same partner for, the first partner for a long time. And I had female friends, and we put the air quotes on. They never really like sort of genuinely talked about it. And one day, my mom, I was probably like, 19 now. And they like you need to tell me you're gay. And I couldn't. I literally could not get the words out of my mouth to her. And I just started crying, crying. And she was like, It's okay, if you want to tell me things that you think I don't want to hear. And I still couldn't. It wasn't until I was in a relationship where I was ready to, you know, at that adult age to start saying like. Tell my family, like, hey, my significant other is going to be at my graduation and I just don't want you to be blindsided. And then I, and I didn't even say I was gay. They just kind of knew. And it wasn't until later into my 20s even more where I would say out loud, I'm gay in front of them just to sort of like, be okay with it.

Vonne Solis  34:18  
Wouldn't you agree Janae that the moment you say something out loud that you don't quite believe yourself yet or you're looking for affirmation, it feels very freeing. And we can do that about I mean, something that that's, that's a huge life event. We can do that about something that you're going to change in your life. You know, like you're going to write a book or you're going to move or whatever it is. I'm talking a little bit smaller here at the moment, but just but just to say that, that having that courage to finally say it out loud, it's like whewf. And you might have to still practice it a few times and keep repeating it.

Janae Borrego  34:59  
And just to reinforce that too, like, when I said it, I still didn't feel like free. I feel like I was saying it, like you said I was giving it life.

Vonne Solis  35:10  
Yes, yeah, thank you. Yeah, you're giving it life.

Janae Borrego  35:14  
I still don't feel like just for the sake of listeners, too in their journey, because a lot of what I get from people. So I work with LGBT community. A lot of what I get from them is like, I should have came out sooner. No, no no. There is no timeframe with this. There is no known timeframe with this, because I'm now in my 30s and really accessing that freedom That authenticity I'm really looking for. So there is no timeframe on feeling safe enough to be out. Because that's what this is. It's a safety issue. When I set it out loud, I didn't know what I was gonna receive. I was scared of what I was gonna receive you know? It wasn't that I didn't know I was gay. I had known for years. It was more of like, you're the people who mean the most to me. So when I say this, I might have to grieve. We're talking about grief right? I might have to know that that is gone. That connection we had is gone when I say that out loud, you know? And it's gonna change everything that I knew by saying that, you know?

Vonne Solis  36:10  
Let's talk a moment, though about we were talking, you know, before we even did this interview about grief adversity, and experiencing grief from different things. And specifically, we're talking in this episode about you coming out. Other people coming out. What that does to people. The, you know, we talked a little bit about having lack or fear of lack of parent support, you know? They can, they can probably feel very much the same, you know? Because maybe you can build a story in your head. And speaking to the audience here, that you have no support, and all along, you would have had it from the very beginning. And this, you see, this creates other pressures.

So I lost a daughter to suicide. So this is why I do the work I do. And trust me, she was 22 when she died. And you know, I found out that she believed certain things that just simply weren't true. 

Janae Borrego  37:04  

Vonne Solis  37:05  
In other words, that we, she was a burden to us because she was having a little bit more difficult time. So whatever you're struggling with, as I've said earlier, we're talking here with you today Janae, about marginalized communities. But it doesn't matter what pushes you into feeling different, isolated, scared, shamed, and start making assumptions and stories in your head. And these things can lead to death. They really can. And I think you've seen that in your community that you have served over the years. But with you, did you, we're going to move a little bit into a little bit of the trauma. The grief adversity. So one thing that's really important here, so why don't you if you can just address a little bit here about this fear of parent support and what somebody could do. I mean, you can't, you can't force yourself to do something you're not ready for. So it's how they could manage these fears and assumptions and stories. And then I did just want to touch briefly, after you address that a little bit, on the last opportunities that not only living this way can manifest in your life, but maybe from other things, too. And you did it for years, like a lot of people have to do for years. 

Janae Borrego  38:24  
Yeah. Well you know, unfortunately, a lot of queer individuals or people within the community, you know, really struggle with this. Like, it's hard not to. If you, I mean, I'm from America. So I know, like, we've said you're in Canada. Beautiful. 

Vonne Solis  38:39  

Janae Borrego  38:40  
You know, the culture out here, you know, and look. I'm from California, you know. So let me say this to you because one thing I always want to say is, like I understand my privilege. Like, part of my work is is really acknowledging that as an English speaking, you know, and a fairly well spoken, light skinned individual, like. And being previously identified, like, as a lesbian, where people I think, I've gotta be honest, find my outward appearance attractive. And there is some sense of acceptability that I'm getting that other communities aren't going to get. So like, African American. Lesbians or trans women, you know. Those folks like they have a lot more oppression that they're dealing with. But my story is genuine also, but I do want to acknowledge, like, the levels of privilege in my journey, you know? I think it is important to understand. It was important for me to know that. To feel good about myself too, you know? 

So yeah, I mean, there you know, with my folks and my struggle, like yeah, there's moments of grief. You know, I had to have moments where I had to kind of acknowledge, like, my relationships were going to be different. Or what I had hoped to have in life was going to be a little different than, you know, the average. Where you know, my queerness impacted my relationship with some family members to some degree. And again, I'm not blaming them, but that was just the reality of our story. So I will say a lot of times parents aren't going to react the way that we think they are going to react. And I mean that in a good and a bad way. Like you just don't know how it's gonna be. And it could be good, or it could be bad, you know? So I think in many ways, there's no timeframe on when this happens because when you do make the decision and I think this is just personal philosophies of like, you have to kind of prepare yourself for maybe a loss. You know, you're kind of going in wondering, Am I going to get to keep this, you know, homeostasis? This immediate family dynamic? Or how's this going to, for me, it was less of like, how is this going to change my life? Like, it wasn't a question of if. It was how, you know? So, to prepare yourself, you know. Like, and I was a young, I was a teenager, you know? 

Like, I had known this at a young age and in a family dynamic, where we weren't already open to communicating. Like, we didn't sit down and talk about our feelings. We didn't have love circles. Like, my mom was a hard working single woman who didn't always have the emotional energy outside of all the work she was doing, you know what I mean? So it's not like, I want to say, Oh, she's a bad mother, like. No, she mothered the way she knew, you know? And simply that. She mothered the way she knew. And it took me time to understand that process. Like, and she probably had to grieve herself. We had moments where we didn't really communicate that well. And that grief probably impacted how she interacted with me, and vice versa, you know? And

Vonne Solis  41:44  
For sure, yeah. For sure. 

Janae Borrego  41:45  
There's just really no timeframe on when you're gonna feel safe enough to do that, you know? Like, I didn't feel safe. I knew who I was. But I didn't feel safe to do that. And even into my later adulthood, it's barely now that I'm in my 30s, going like, Okay, now I'm safe to really present as myself. Dress, how I want. Speak how I want. There are years in body I wasn't my authentic self, you know? And I'm not mad at it, you know? But I think I get a little space to go like, gosh, if I had 10 more years to be the person that I'm capable of being, what I would have done, you know like.

Vonne Solis  42:21  
Janae, let me just say this. I believe that, I'm in my mid 60s, so listen. You know, looking back, none of us claim our authenticity, like in one fell swoop and then that's it. We grow into it, and it evolves. And it evolves. So for anybody out there, and I know the word authentic is, it's been around for a few years. And there isn't another word to describe authenticity. It is being absolutely true to who we are at the core of our being the more we understand who that is. And it changes. It changes. But if you're in tune, usually, like aligned with yourself, usually it just keeps making you more experienced. More knowledgeable until you feel ready to claim your wisdom. 

Janae Borrego  43:16  

Vonne Solis  43:16  
And that is another topic for another day. But it can take quite a long time to call yourself wise. And it may come from experiences. It may come through age. So authenticity is always evolving. And I really respect your story and what you're sharing here. I also want to acknowledge there is an impact that resides within us when we're carrying stuff from childhood, adolescence, teen, early 20s. All of this stuff, it builds and builds and builds. So for the people who aren't yet ready to share. To claim their authenticity as whatever they want to claim it to be. And are dealing with fear. I love how you pointed it out to safety, you know. A safety issue. Because the number one thing our brain wants is to keep us safe, right?

Janae Borrego  44:09  
Yes absolutely.

Vonne Solis  44:10  
So if we're looking for safety through connection, which is what our basically our family represents to us. And we're afraid that by expressing and claiming who we really are is going to sever that right? So rather than let it eat away at people till they are ready to we'll just say come out air quotes. What can they do? I know this is packed, a packed. A loaded question. But for the people that you know, can't afford therapy, is there just one or two things that you could get them to think about today that could just really help them process who they really are and accept who they really are and sort of deal with the shame and the fear?

Janae Borrego  44:54  
So yes. I appreciate what you say about authenticity. That's a beautiful way to describe it. And I'm really aligned with what you say because like, there's really you're right. Like, it's hard to find like a synonym for authenticity that feels appropriate in this space. But for me, my queerness is my authenticity. And when I cannot drive myself from that, I put myself on, on hold in some ways, you know? And I don't I grieve it, but it doesn't ruin my life you know what I mean? Like, I've turned into who I am because this is part of my journey, you know. And my life was designed to be this, and I grew up in a time when they're and in an environment where there wasn't room for that. So I think if you're asking me one thing. We're a little bit more progressed, in our society with these things. So I'm very excited, you know, for the older generations too. Like, it doesn't matter what age you are, like.

Vonne Solis  45:46  

Janae Borrego  45:47  
We think just because we've gone through it for decades that like, okay, you know, now we are open in our authentic self. We could just move forward. No, you need, we all need to, like heal you know. Like n America, you know, where I grew up, there wasn't room right? So what I want to say a little bit is, someone who maybe doesn't grow up within the queer spectrum. Just a cisgender, teenager, you know, who's exploring themselves, they have room to do that in their teenage years. So I think it's important for the listeners is to understand that that comes for us a little later. We almost have to get that experience when we're like in our 20s sometimes. Because our parents don't know how to create that for us sometimes. You know, our support system don't know how to do that. 

So Dr. Patrick Lockwood, he works out of Callao. He did a study about how the late adolescence for the LGBT community. So in other words, we don't get to date normally, like other kids do, because we're closeted, or we're afraid of it, or we or we don't get to talk to our friends about it. Right? Like for, like teenagers can tell their boyfriends like the boys can tell boys. Oh, I was just with Sarah. We don't have that, right? So I think when you're looking at, like, how do we help people like in this moment is you kind of have to find your family and your community. 

So what I mean by that is, I have my blood family, and I'm very fortunate for them, but I created a family, too. And I'm not saying that they're all queer individuals. They're also allies. So it was about like, who are my people where I can show up safely as who I want to try to be? Because you're right. It took me time to feel safe to then go, Okay, now I'm gonna try this on for size. I'm gonna try this clothing or this expression or this date, or that, you know what I mean? Like, 

Vonne Solis  47:38  
I do know what you mean. So you're basically saying community, and that is so key. And I'm working a lot with community lately, and just started building my own. And, you know, so when we want to move, and I'll just speak to the bereaved audience. We're talking about grief. Bereavement is when you've lost someone. Grief is, you know, basically, what you're feeling in terms of pain related to a loss. And then I just say, well, we're all in grief, because we've all lost something, if not someone. 

My introduction into it happened to be losing my child. So it was very, very life changing for me. And I lost my identity. And so I had to struggle to find who I was with that experience. And I struggled. So what you said was very key for me You identify as queer, and that is a huge identifier for you. I'm paraphrasing a bit. And what struck me is lately, after 18 years being bereaved, as a mother, I'm questioning do I want that to continue to be my identifier? But I see I can't change it. But I also am trying to make room in my life to have something else that also becomes an equally important identifier. 

And the reason I'm bringing that up is because again, for the audience, whatever you're struggling with that has robbed you of identity, and robbed you of opportunities. And you're right, when you're saying when you were describing being a teen and having to hide your dates and your partners and the excitement you feel, you know, of a first kiss or I don't know, the next step in the relationship, that's living in secrecy and shame. And it's not that much different than living with bereavement from a loss that other people don't get, because they don't want to talk about it. So you feel basically shunned and isolated, and culturally silenced just because other people don't want to hear and talk about it. 

Everything that you're talking about, can also be applied to what we feel when we're living with a loss such as you know, or a type of loss. So it could be the relationship. Me? A child so people don't want to touch it. Suicide for millions, and we still don't really want to talk about that. And, then all of the other things, but they cross into so many different groups. So looking for community is proving to be so important. So going to a little bit about lost opportunities, what could people be on the lookout for, in terms of not letting themselves lose out?

Janae Borrego  50:22  
Let me just say broadly and in general too. So you talked about suicide. Like, we have to be aware that in the LGBTQ community, the prevalent rate for suicidality is so high. I was I was an individual who struggled myself because I, I didn't feel good about myself, you know, in the in the world that I was in. And what I mean is like my hub. It feels like your world growing up. In my world like, I was different. I was I was almost it felt like the leper you know, like, in a metaphorical sense. So I think, yes, I had had those ideations. I would never particularly do it, because I valued my family even more than my own emotional needs. But what that in turn did, too, is so let's talk about lost opportunities in the sense that, like, it impacted my self-esteem. It impacted what I believed I was capable of right? Or I might have sold myself short as a result of it right? Or, can I even be here? Because are you going to be comfortable? And if I am here, how do I acquiesced or become a chameleon, so you never find out about me, right? 

So again, safety, even in my workplaces, or in my opportunities. And I'm just, again, me, a privileged person who always felt safe to kind of be in the community, you know? There are people in my community that don't want to go outside. They're afraid to talk to people, because, you know, like, the trans community. And I'm here with them. Like, I know what it's like when I was in a relationship I had with the same sex partner and what that did to me. And if I don't do that, that that look kind of goes away sometimes, right? People aren't really sure how to gauge me. But sometimes when you're a trans person that look doesn't go away. And people nowadays with media believe they have the right to express themselves outwardly, regardless of your feelings, because of like, the political climate and things right now. And it's like, we're just human beings. Like we're missing an opportunity at like, any sense of normal life that all we're striving for. Like, we deserve to be out and at a table, but like, let us say our piece. We miss opportunities. We have to grieve our piece sometimes. You know, or the fact that you feel that people have an ability to know about my gender and sexuality and ask me and ask questions, like, I'm open to answering them for education. But like, those are things we had to adjust our lives to, for people who can go pick up a book and just educate themselves. Yeah. You know what I mean?

Yeah. Because I would, I would imagine there can be lost opportunities in terms of being hired for jobs if you're noticeably different?

Yes. There are laws against it, you know what I mean? Yeah, if you presented differently. Like, I always worried that I looked too gay. Or if I look too butchy. What sort of attention with that bring to me? You know, what I mean? Or it would let people know for sure I was gay, you know? And that was always something that was in the back of my mind. It still is today. It's literally sad that you have to deconstruct that, you know? And I work on it every day to this day. Especially again with the reintroduction of like the political climate on you know. Obviously I've been supportive, my trans brothers and sisters and, and, you know, the drag community and I'm gonna be outwardly expressive about that you know. But then it's like, Oh, I'm just being too out and loud and this and that. It's like, I'm just kind of demanding for equity. Like you need to respect that. My parents who I love, I'm trying to wake. Fill up. Live a good life. Do my job. Pay my bills, and build something for myself, like everybody else.

Vonne Solis  54:01  
Yeah, yeah, literally how we fit into society and into our various communities. I will tell you when you feel marginalized, such as I have in my bereavement. Because, as I said, nobody wants to talk about it. I's really tricky claiming your authenticity, right? And, you know, feeling that we can be free to be who we need to be and who we really are. You know? You're queer. I'm a bereaved mom. Things that people don't want to really talk about, but we can't change because it's a fact. And so it's a journey and it's a sad one that I too, lived in secrecy. And I just want to point out as did my son from thirteen who had to hide that his sister you know, died by suicide. So it's impacting you know, whenever we're quote different. I don't even think there is a normal anymore. But I do, I do know there are marginalized communities for sure. And we need to respect that there are marginalized communities but society has to open up to allow us to not feel marginalized. And even in the work I do, try and find a podcast category for grief, bereavement, loss, death. No, there isn't one. And so the point being, you know, when it feels like we're still having to chop down trees to make a path, it gets tiring. Especially when you're years and years and years and years into it. And it would just be so simple if we all just respected each other. And in spiritual philosophy, and I've had a spiritual practice since I was 25 years old, you don't think about gender. You don't think about anything. You just respect it all and just love each other for who you are.

Janae Borrego  55:42  
Human issues. Let me tell you what I notice is when gender ethnicity comes my way like and again, I'm from a marginalized community. I'm good. Like, but I'm a human more than I am anything else. And as a, you know, a Cis Caucasian female who's in grief, like that's a human experience that I've experienced grief. Why can't we connect. Just because we're from different. Just like, as much as I have honour in where I come from because I really believe I have to know where I'm coming from and who I am to know where I'm going. 

Vonne Solis  56:14  

Janae Borrego  56:14  
I also know like, there's so much more of me I have to explore. Like, just as a human in this experience. But it is important for me to bring light, you know to the topics that are prevalent to the community

Vonne Solis  56:25  

Janae Borrego  56:26  
because they're struggling in those issues. And to be open to talking about grief would really create a conversation. And we have to create a conversation around the fact that things aren't working. And people really aren't ready to grieve and change, you know what I mean? Like, we have to agree to change. We have to be comfortable and know that this is, there should be a category. A podcast, like on Spotify.

Vonne Solis  56:53  
But you know, here's the thing I wanted to just say. Things that are different can scare people, and I get it. But you don't have to experience exactly, even close what someone's going in, to respect them, you know? To respect them. You know, look at you and I connected and I'm not in your world, and you're not really in my world, but we have a lot in common. And if we would just sit and listen to each other, and not be so quick to judge and ostracize and have these righteous sort of views about what somebody else is going through without the experience yourself. And I've met enough people to know that they've changed their tune and their story, after becoming a bereaved parent, for example. And in some cases, they were a psychotherapist. And like they completely changed their practice after they became bereaved, I just want to say. So think about walking in somebody else's shoes audience and being open to learning about their stories because that is how we learn and I believe heal. Is when we share our stories and realize we're really not so isolated and alone, after all. So if you're not yet in a place where you can be totally free to claim all of who you are today, just keep working on it and do claim it as and when you can. Would you sort of agree with that Janae?

Janae Borrego  58:13  
Yeah. Community is big. I only say that first because even in my work as a as a coach, as a psychotherapist. Like, my clients who come from the same places, they want to know, is this normal? Is this? Because we don't have that available to us. So that's where I really had to acknowledge that my vulnerability was going to be valuable, whether I liked it or not, you know? Because there's just not enough healthy voices out there for people who really, and I'm not saying I'm all encompassing of health, you know, but really getting us in the right direction to recreate new generational narratives and health for everyone really. Like realistically, it's got to be everyone change in my perspective.

Vonne Solis  58:56  
But one of the things I'm just going to say. Know how vulnerable to be in any given situation because our vulnerability can create, I'm sure you'd agree with this Janae. It can create some defences within us that make us want to act a little bit more aggressively sometimes or in anger and all these negative emotions because being vulnerable is scary. But when we can claim that vulnerability and kind of use it like you were just talking about, as a way to advocate. As a way to educate. As a way to bring awareness. And not minding to share our story, there are more of us that do not share stories than those of us who do. And the ones who are willing to do can be thought leaders, you know. Can create change and also encourage others to, you know, think about sharing a little bit about their own experience too. You're never alone people. No matter what you're going through, I can guarantee you are not alone.

We're coming to the top of the hour here Janae and it has been absolutely delightful. Do you have any last thoughts that you want to leave with the the audience?

Janae Borrego  59:57  
I just want to kind of touch on topic of what we discussed. Grief is so vital for our life, you know? It's a part of our human experience. It should be talked about more. And just because I'm vulnerable in my grief doesn't mean you know, it becomes a part of my forever story. I think by claiming it and taking ownership of it and giving it a safe space has ultimately allowed me to say like, thank you for that experience. And this is who I am as, as a result of that. 

My story is is ever blowing ever ongoing journey. Like I don't have it all figured out you know? I definitely, I mean like you said, authenticity, I think is a lifelong journey. You know, I think it's just important to to value our adversities and our struggles. And, again, we're not alone. If we could just take ownership with them and find community with them, we can really learn to kind of, again, find our thriving life versus like our survival life. I was very stuck with that for a majority of my life, you know? And really, because you sit alone. You sit in silence with your grief and your shame and your struggle, you know? And that's not necessary. There are resources. There are people who will see you, you know. Hear you. Validate you. And know that like, everybody's so, so different. And that's a beautiful, beautiful thing. We are not designed to be Tiki tacks, and a one size fits all. So just because like you haven't got it right the first time or got the information you needed, it does not mean that there's not some that are meant for you out there. You just kind of have to keep looking, you know? So you know, I'm just a wounded healer here just really trying to spread the hope. And even such a challenging process, it really is a beautiful process, if we could just all acknowledge we go through them. And that we're all here to resource each other through this. So

Vonne Solis  1:01:51  
Yeah. That's really beautifully said. And even just on a last note, and I'm going to then invite you to talk about your resources. As we're searching for our identity, which some may find faster than others, great. But if you happen to have had any adversity, any loss, anything in your life that's causing you to sort of not know who you are? Just, you know, don't force yourself to try figure it out. Just basically take the time to go with your feelings. I think it's, it's absolutely essential we acknowledge what we're feeling and what we're thinking, and how we're expressing. And be really, really accepting of that. The more you get in tune with yourself and search for who you really are and who you want to become, the more you know, the way is shown to you.

Turning to your resources Janae, as I said earlier, you do have your own private practice, right? And can you just let the audience know who you're welcoming as clients and how they can contact you even though I will have the links below?

Janae Borrego  1:02:58  
So yeah. So I do psychotherapy services in California and Florida, but virtually, but I also do coaching services. So I'm not limited, you know, to States in that sense. So like I obviously offer virtual coaching services, nationally. My particular populations in which I serve are like young adults, the LGBTQ + communities, Latinx communities, as well as like the BIPOC communities. I do have, like, obviously, my background in trauma, but my real focus is like really helping those people thrive. Like how do we get to a place in helping those communities access, you know, their roots? You know, in some degrees and really start to find their way, you know? So that's a lot of my work and what I'm doing. And workshop development for those communities as well. So I don't have them fully rolled out, but I'm in the midst of creating those for those communities as well.

Vonne Solis  1:03:53  
So what is the name of your website and any socials that you have?

Janae Borrego  1:03:56  
Yeah, absolutely. So you can find me at And then also on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. You know, basically just janaeborregolmft is where you can find me.

Vonne Solis  1:04:12  
Okay, that's perfect. So I'll have the link to your website. Can they connect with you on your socials from your website? 

Janae Borrego  1:04:19  
Yes. If you go on my website, you'll find access to my socials. So they're all very connected.

Vonne Solis  1:04:23  
So I will have the link to the website below. I really, really want to thank you for being here Janae and for sharing your story. Your expertise. You're just a wonderful human being and I really do thank you for what you're contributing to your community. It's awesome.

Janae Borrego  1:04:40  
And just thank you, you know, thank you for the space and the forum and in the the safe space that you're creating for people. I think that it's very much so if you're asking like a tip for the community, it's really just safe spaces for people to express themselves. So whether that's in coaching. If it's in psychotherapy services. It's in your art room, your dance room, it's in your classroom, it is so important for someone to really just be able to find themselves and share themselves with others. So I just really appreciate your vulnerability and what you're doing. You know, to all the folks who are really making change. So I appreciate you. You're an amazing human being as well.

Vonne Solis  1:05:19  
Okay, well, thanks so much Janae for that. I'm sure we'll stay in touch. Yeah.

Janae Borrego  1:05:24  
Absolutely. Thank you Vonne.

Topics LGBTQ+, BIPOC, Latinx, Queer communities, trauma, grief
Janae raised Mexican American
Athletics funds college/shapes Janae
ADHD, gender, breaking the ceiling
Generational trauma, wounded warrior
Coming out Latinx
Grief, shame, fear & family support
Growing into authenticity
Community family
LGBTQ Suicidality & losing out
Different scares people
Know your vulnerability
Work with Janae