Building LGBTQ+ Communities with The Aces on Going There with Dr. Mike

The quartet talks about coping with anti-LGBTQ+ bias and discrimination

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The Aces close out Pride Month on the Going There podcast by joining host Dr. Mike in a discussion about building community to battle anti-LGBTQ+ bias and discrimination.

The indie pop quartet — Cristal and Alisa Ramirez, Katie Henderson, and McKenna Petty — talk about their own experiences coming out as gay in an industry that met them with powerful and damaging bias and discrimination. In order to cope, they needed to live a “double life in their head.” One part understood that they were gay, and the other had to be careful not to let those natural feelings come through for fear of damaging their career or leading to other forms of bias.

The Aces explain that this technique can be a very useful initial coping strategy for individuals who realize they are gay but have not yet come out. It can preserve one’s sense of authenticity and identity, but also protects people from emotional, social, and even physical harm. However, the band says that over time, this approach can ultimately limit one’s ability to fully embrace their identity and sexuality, leading to incredible stress.

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The Under My Influence artists explain how they were able to build a supportive and accepting community so that they could lead authentic, openly gay lives. As artists and advocates, they strive to build on existing progress in making the world a safer and more accepting place for members of the LGBTQ+ community — a world where we celebrate diversity rather than attempt to suppress it.

Listen to The Aces discuss building LGBTQ+ communities above, or wherever you get your podcasts. Then make sure to like, review, and subscribe to Going There with Dr. Mike.

Going There is an interview series in which clinical psychologist and life coach Dr. Mike Friedman talks with musicians about the crossroads where music and mental health meet. The series tackles the tough questions and conversations so that we can put an end to the stigma of mental illness and get the care we need.

Season 3 of Going There is brought to you by the fine folks at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, who never stop working to create a future where disease is a thing of the past.

To coincide with Pride Month, June 2022’s episodes focused on LGBTQ+ mental health are specially presented by imi, created by Hopelab. imi guide is a free, research-backed, mental health tool built for and with LGBTQ+ teens looking for support and help in affirming their identity and learning practical ways to cope with stress that is helpful, relevant, inclusive, and joyful. Find it at


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