Author Talk: Catherine Tuerk

Mt. Pleasant Library

Author Talk: Catherine Tuerk

'Mom Knows: Reflections on Love, Gay Pride, and Taking Action'

Mom Knows: Reflections on Love, Gay Pride, and Taking Action is a series of essays from the loving mother of a gay son to other parents who might be struggling with their children’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Covering two decades of her work as an advocate for LGBT people in the D.C. area with organizations such as the Jewish Social Service Agency, the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the Children’s National Medical Center, and as president of the D.C. chapter of PFLAG, these essays dispel homophobia and promote advocacy with love and compassion.

Join us Tuesday, June 9 at 7 p.m. in the large meeting room on the main floor for a discussion with Mt. Pleasant's own Catherine Tuerk. Copies of the book will be available for purchase after the talk.

Catherine has been a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric and mental health nursing, authoring several professional journal articles and making presentations at many conferences, including those of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Federación Mexicana de Educación Sexual y Sexología.

An advocate for LGBT people in her Jewish community, Catherine worked with the D.C.-area Jewish Social Service Agency to establish ongoing staff education to ensure that their services and programs would be gay-knowledgeable and welcoming. She has worked with rabbis and others to foster welcoming synagogues, and has done outreach to Jewish families with HIV-positive members.

Catherine has served as a volunteer with numerous LGBT organizations, most notably the Metro D.C. chapter of PFLAG. Under her leadership the chapter won a national award for advocacy. She has been a volunteer therapist at the Whitman-Walker Clinic and has served on advisory boards for several groups. In 1997, she spoke at the first Youth Pride Day in Washington, D.C..

In her collaboration with Dr. Edgardo Menvielle at the Children’s National Medical Center, Catherine’s work in support of gender-nonconforming children and their families has gained recognition. In 2005, the Skylight Project in San Francisco bestowed on them its Ma Vie en Rose Children’s Advocate Award. In 2006, their work was honored by Youth Pride Alliance in Washington, D.C. In 2008, the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists gave them its Stuart Nichols Award for outstanding achievement in support of LGBT mental health.