Julie Walsh, MSW, LSW
Founder, Executive Director
Julie Walsh is an educator, advocate, and community organizer who has served as an LGBT+ consultant and trainer throughout the U.S., Kenya, and South Africa. She is the founder and executive director of GenderNexus, an organization for the gender diverse community in Indianapolis. She received a bachelor’s degree in all-area music education from Butler University, a master of social work degree with a dual concentration in leadership and mental health/addictions from Indiana University (IU), and is completing her doctoral dissertation in social work with a certificate in nonprofit management from IU. Her research interests focus on the intersection of gender diversity, sexuality, and alternative relationship structures as well as organizational culture in nonprofit organizations. Her publications also include social policy frameworks and analysis, social work education, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and spirituality.
Julie facilitates graduate classes as associate faculty and field instructor for IU, serves on the Indiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers’ Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee, the Board of Directors of the IU School of Social Work Alumni Association, Secretary in the Graduate and Professional Student Government at IU, and is a member of numerous professional associations including the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), the Association for Community Organization & Social Administration (ACOSA), the Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), Influencing Social Policy, Inc. (ISP), the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR), the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity (APA Division 44), the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and Phi Alpha Honor Society.
Rae Andresen, BA
Rae earned his BA from Indiana University in Indianapolis with a concentration in sociology and is currently a master of social work student with a focus in mental health/addictions. Rae comes with experience in HIV care coordination and trans health case management. Much of his work focuses on addressing the intersections of gender, ability, chronic illness, multi-partner relationships, and the BDSM/kink communities.
Heidi Wieland, BFA
Heidi is an MSW student in the leadership concentration at Indiana University in Indianapolis. She received her bachelor’s degree in Painting and Art History from Indiana University in Bloomington. Her interests include the politics of aesthetics, membership, accessibility, and individual/group expression; racial justice, prison abolishment and equitable redistribution; grassroots organizing and community-led initiatives; youth advocacy and minor rights; and dismantling the white, cishet, capitalist patriarchy. Heidi founded and continues to manage an art space for QPOC with her partner, Bre Robinson.
Meli Barber, MSW, MA
Meli Barber earned a master’s degree in theology from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in social work from Indiana University. She currently works with foster youth and serves as a board member for the Westside Community Development Corporation and IndyCAN. She spent eight years working with children’s religious education and youth and young adult ministry.
She is passionate about empowering youth and adolescents and particularly interested in the intersection between sexuality, gender, and spirituality.
Brent Walsh, MDiv
Brent was raised in a conservative Christian family in central Illinois. He attended Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin, then later, Bryan College in Dayton, Tennesee. Brent identified as lesbian throughout most of his life and for years struggled with the religious ramifications that came with being gay in a faith tradition that considers homosexuality a sin. After several failed attempts to “go straight,” he did some deep soul-searching and realized that sexuality need not conflict with faith.
In 1998, Brent began writing essays explaining why being gay and Christian are not mutually exclusive. Eventually he acknowledged that he had always identified as male, even if not always on a conscious level, and in 2005 underwent his transition from female to male. Since that time he has helped others find confidence in their own decision to transition. This includes travel to several African countries where he had the opportunity to share his story.
Brent received his master of divinity Degree at Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana. He is a prolific writer and is sought-after to preach about transgender issues at churches nationwide, to serve as a guest speaker and panelist in discussion forums, and to offer advice and support to gender diverse individuals around the globe.