The 12 year-old child of basketball star Duane Wade came out this week as transgender.  Some would say she came out, however what she really did was to invite the world in.  Zion Wade was born male, and has come to identify as female.  Zion is now known as Zaya and is receiving unconditional love and family support from dad, Duane Wade and step mom, Gabrielle Union.  One of the kindest things we can do is to use Zaya’s preferred pronouns, she/her/hers.  Words matter, pronouns matter.

People don’t choose to be transgender or non-binary. More than half of transgender and non-binary youth have seriously considered suicide.  My hope from this post is that we use this as a learning opportunity.  If you only take-away one thing from this post, it may astonish you.  If just one adult is supportive to a transgender or non-binary youth, the suicide rate drops by 40%!  Being kind and supportive does indeed save lives!

Have you ever considered becoming a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist? 

Denver Family Institute (DFI) is one of the leading programs in the country.  Applications for the Fall of 2020 is Now Open!!!!  If you know anyone who might be interested in joining us please have them contact Susan Terkhorn for more information or a tour of DFI.  The first round closes on February 21.



Dr. Joe Kort (December 16, 2019)

“This week I talk all things Kink with my guest, sex therapist Dr. Neil Cannon. Neil has been researching, writing about and treating members of the kink community for nearly fifteen years. He believes kink is nothing to feel any shame about. “In sex therapy all roads lead to shame, but clinicians should be there to help clients create a clear understanding of their sexual desires, without shame, says Neil. ‘We need to give people permission to be themselves sexually – that’s what most people want. To be free…and accepted!'”

30 Minute Podcast

Why do I donate my money and so much time to Denver Family Institute?  Because as the volunteer Board Chair, I know how every penny is spent.  DFI has been helping individuals, families and couples since 1982.   Most of DFI clients desperately need the community mental health services that our student clinicians provide.  When you give to DFI, you are also contributing to the development of the next generation of therapists.  DFI is a 501-c-3 Non-Profit.  DFI provides mental health care to good folks in the Denver community who need low cost mental health services.  (Sliding scale starting at $15 per session).  Every dollar makes a difference.  Please click here and then click on donate.



As you may know, I graduated from Denver Family Institute’s Marriage and Family Therapy program many years ago. I wanted to share that DFI is currently accepting student applications for their MFT program for the Fall 2019 cohort. The deadline to apply is coming soon, but applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the cohort is filled.

Please spread the word about DFI to anyone you can think of who is considering a career transition or is already in the field but looking to deepen their clinical skills. 

The price, flexibility, and structure of this 2-year program is a perfect fit for many working professionals.  The supervision and coursework at DFI is second to none and perfect for anyone who wants to work behind the glass start seeing clients right away.

For more information, feel free to contact me or the Director of Student Services, Susan Terkhorn.



Dr. Emily Nagoski Coming to Denver

On December 22, 2018, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1

The Colorado Section for AASECT is very excited for Emily Nagoski’s workshop on Monday, October 7, 2019.  Emily is the author of “Come As You Are.” If you are a therapist of any type, a mental health professional, educator, medical professional, or counselor, you are welcome to attend.  If you click on the link below, you will find all the details and have the ability to buy tickets.  Each participant will receive 6.5 AASECT CE hours.


Colorado Gives Day: You can make a difference

On December 4, 2018, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1



You can make a difference today by supporting Denver Family Institute. We are a 501c3 non profit that has been serving the community with strength based counseling services for almost 40 years for folks who could otherwise not afford therapy. I am privileged to be serving as the Interim Board Chair.


I have been treating gender variant and queer clients since the days of the Harry Benjamin Society, now called WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health).  I can’t recall anything as disturbing to support transgender health as a nation than what occurred this week.  Here is the WPATH position statement:

For Immediate Release

East Dundee, IL: October 23, 2018

WPATH Board Responds to Federal Effort to Redefine Gender

The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Board of Directors expresses its strongest disagreement with the intention of the Trump administration to define human gender as the sex recorded at birth based on visible genital formation and to restrict changes, all via regulation. It has been known for decades that sex and gender cannot be determined solely by birth anatomy or chromosomes. More recently, the durable biological underpinnings for gender identity have become better understood within the mainstream medical and scientific communities. Further, the targeting of individuals or groups to deny medically-indicated care represents a violation of the professional oaths taken by us in the medical provider community.

The Trump administration’s past efforts to erase transgender people from American society indicate that its officials believe that XX or XY chromosomal testing to be definitive and definitional. However, this testing is insufficient to measure the known factors that affect the actual sex or gender of a sentient human being.

To acknowledge the diversity of sex and/or gender present in all human beings gives life and potential to those millions of people whose characteristics are not simply defined by sex chromosomes. Over the past 30 years, litigation throughout all levels of the US judicial system has proven time and again that human beings who are not reducible to chromosomes do deserve full equality, including access to employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and health care, along with all rights conferred by the US Constitution.

WPATH member physicians and researchers stand ready to testify before Congress to protect and defend the health and well-being of all transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

Another Child Suicide for Being Different

On August 29, 2018, in Uncategorized, by drneilcannon1

Jamel Myles tragically killed himself yesterday.  Jamel was 9 years old.  I have driven past his Denver elementary school countless times.  The school where he was bullied for being different, for being gay.

How you can help?

Actively support young people in your sphere who are different.  Be actively kind.  Ask direct questions. Does the kiddo like going to school?  Who are his or her friends?  Is there anyone who he or she her is afraid of or who bullies them?

Do you have a bully in your family?  Do you see bullying in your household that you right off as sibling rivalry?  Do you feel bullied in your marriage that your children see and may emulate at school?  Do you actively teach your children to be kind to those who are different?  Do you teach your children about the deadly harm and long term that bullying can result in?  Do you teach your children to love everyone?

Jamel’s grandmother said, “The statement that it takes a village to raise a child is true,” she said. “And the village is broken.”

Suicide rates are rising, and members of the LGBTQ population is at the highest risk.  If you or someone you know is at risk, pease call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Let’s be kind to everyone!  Different is part of the colorful tapestry of America.  Different is not dangerous!