I’m Susan Berland and I’m a safe harbor coach for the LGBTQ community, providing the support and acceptance of a parent they wish they had.
I provide one-to-one coaching services and group coaching to the LGBTQ community nationally and internationally, instilling pride in my clients, loving and accepting them for who they are.
I provide groups in San Rafael and San Francisco where people can get support, encouragement and love from those who have similar experiences as well as that of a loving mom, something that is often lacking in their lives.
I’m a wife, a mother, a grandmother. I have two sons, one gay and one straight.
My son came out to me when he was 20. While I was not surprised, it took me a while to adjust. Never did I consider disowning or rejecting him. I just needed a little time to readjust MY expectations for his life. That was in January of 1989. In June of that year I marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade with PFLAG. I was struck by the number of people on the street with tears running down their faces seeing so many parents in support of their LGBTQ children. I wondered if they had the love and support of their own parents.
In 2008, I volunteered for the No on 8 campaign. I had a strong passion for marriage equality. I have two sons and my straight son had no problem getting married. He just went to the court house, got a license and got married. My son and son-in-law weren’t able to do that. And even if they did marry, their marriage would not be recognized outside of the state in which they were married and they did not have the many federal rights and protections afforded any straight couple who married. The injustice angered me and I had to do something. We lost that fight but I didn’t give up. Together with a friend I formed a non-profit, The All Family Project, to help educate the public about gay and lesbian families.
Over the course of these years since my son came out, I’ve met many people who have told me their stories of rejection and it breaks my heart. Each time I hear a story like that, my response is “I’ll be your mom.” My son-in-law is one of those and I’ve loved him like a son for 20 years. I’ve seen the hurt and how it has impacted his life. As a loving Jewish mother and a Certified Life Coach, I realize I have a unique gift to offer – the skills of a professional coach and the love of a mother.
Susan was certified as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, also known as a Life Coach, in 1996.