Andrew Bourke

Co-founder

He / Him / His  
Licensed psychologist, Parent

Andrew is a licensed psychologist with more than 20 years experience in psychological assessment with a specialization in forensic (court-related) practice. Over the years he has also taught classes and given presentations in forensic psychology as well as intellectual disabilities, and trained many psychologists and psychiatrists in forensic work. Prior to becoming a psychologist, Andrew trained and worked as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.

 

With years of formal education and training, Andrew, as with most parents, learned the most from his children. At age 16 his older daughter Ariel came out as transgender and expressed the need to live her true self. Following her lead, Andrew and his wife helped connect Ariel to a gender clinic and endocrinologist for hormone treatment, and navigate the often-challenging process of obtaining insurance coverage for medical and surgical treatments.

 

One common hurdle they encountered was the insurer’s requirement of letters of support by two mental health providers for gender affirming surgery. Andrew educated himself about the assessment criteria in order to help Ariel advocate for herself and obtain the necessary letter from her provider.

 

Inspired by Ariel’s journey, in 2019 Andrew began discussions with his colleague and fellow parent Claudia Cumes about ways to use what they had each learned from their own children’s experiences to support other trans and gender-diverse people and their families. To this end, Andrew attended continuing education programs to develop a specialization in LGBTQ+ issues with an eye towards assessments for letters of support for hormone treatment and surgery.

 

Sadly, Ariel died by suicide on April 14, 2020. Her In Memoriam page can be found here.

 

Andrew lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with his wife Miriam, who is an attorney and GIVS Legal coordinator, and their younger daughter Ilana, who is a college student and GIVS social media coordinator.