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Claudia Cumes

She / Her / Hers  
Licensed psychologist, Parent

Claudia was raised in a family of psychologists and has been thinking about mental health for most of her life. For many years she worked as a psychologist at a community mental health center in Western MA, specializing in helping people who were overcoming trauma or were dealing with substance use problems.


Since 2014 she has been focusing that work in a forensic psychology setting and conducting evaluations for the courts. Before becoming a psychologist, she taught high school humanities in Brooklyn and also taught in Hong Kong. Through living in different places including South Africa, Hawaii, Washington State, Hong Kong and Massachusetts, she has seen how people from varied places share similar experiences but also view the world differently.


Whether as a teacher or psychologist, she has found herself in the privileged role of being able to offer support to a person journeying toward their truest and strongest self. In 2014 that journey became a very personal one. Her five year old child began to express an intense feeling of gender dysphoria.

He consistently explained that he did not feel like a girl, which is what he had seemingly been assigned at birth, but like a boy. He was the first openly transgender child at his school, and needed an advocate as he transitioned.

Since then, Claudia has been learning about gender identity and her own child’s gender journey, being careful to stay at his side, trying not to fall behind and certainly not get ahead of him as he figures this out. At times it has been challenging to know exactly how best to support him, advocating in different ways and navigating medical decisions.

Claudia has found it extremely helpful to talk with other parents who have transgender or gender diverse children. Her hope is to literally, “share the love,” so that GIVS can offer the kinds of supports that have made her child’s journey, and those of other transgender and non-binary people she knows, a little easier. 

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