Colt Keo-Meier, PhD. will serve as grand marshal of the Beaumont Pride Festival and will speak at the 2016 Coming Out Ball, June 4.
“We had a lot of potential grand marshals,” Shawn Hare, Pride chair, said. “Dr. Keo-Meier really embodies the spirit of Pride. We are very lucky to have him — we are proud of the strides he’s made for our community and doubly so because he is from Beaumont.”
Keo-Meier said he was honored to be selected as grand marshal.
“Beaumont was where I grew up and went to school,” he said. “It is where I spent the first 18 years of my life.
“When I was coming out as transgender, I could not have imagined that Beaumont would be a welcoming place for me to return to.”
Keo-Meier was reared in Beaumont, attending Saint Anne Catholic School and Monsignor Kelly High School — as a “straight A student,” his father, Robert Meier, a clinical psychologist in the area, boasts.
“He was an alter server from fourth grade all the way through senior year, and attended mass four times a week while attending Rice University,” Meier said.
Keo-Meier said he is thrilled to learn about the development of several new queer positive organizations’ growth in the Golden Triangle.
“We all need a place where we feel like we belong,” he said. “I have been fortunate to have loving and accepting parents who have worked hard to educate their friends, patients, and colleagues about the lives of LGBT people — my dad even became the president of Beaumont PFLAG and I am so proud to be his son.”
Meier affirmed his son is a gifted man, who began his transition approximately 10 years ago.
“He never changed from when he five years old and had the John Denver haircut,” Meier said. “He stayed the same person – the same religious person, the same caring person, the same kind person, the same academically gifted person.”
Keo-Meier went on to Rice University to earn his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and later earned his Master of Arts and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree from the University of Houston. He is a licensed psychologist specializing in working with sexual and gender health concerns in children, adolescents, families and adults.
Keo-Meier is a clinician, researcher, consultant and educator in the area of LGBT Health. He has been an instructor at the University of Houston, is the co-chair of the Student Initiative Taskforce of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, and teaches at Southern Methodist University, at Baylor College of Medicine and at the University of Houston.
Keo-Meier is working on a book on the Gender Affirmative Model to be published by the American Psychological Association.
He has authored numerous papers, consults and lectures all over the U.S. and sometimes overseas, and has co-created Gender Infinity, an annual conference that aims to “create affirming spaces for families, learners, advocates, and providers to advance relationships, knowledge, and resources that empower gender diverse individuals.”
Keo-Meier said he continues with the Gender Infinity program because of his “desire to keep transgender children and teenagers alive.”
Hare said he has attended Keo-Meier’s lectures and finds him to be thorough and interesting, making gender identity clear for everyone.
“He also is very thorough at explaining the disparities that different sexual orientations and different gender identities face and why we face those disparities, and how those affect our health outcomes, our education outcomes, economic outcomes and our relationships,” Hare said. “He doesn’t jump into queer language for an audience that doesn’t necessarily understand it.”
Hare said access to Keo-Meier’s work is exactly what Beaumont needs.
“We have been working to educate the general public and the LGBTQ population about queer issues. How Pride specifically does that is we provide a safe space for residents of all gender identities and sexualities to come together.
“We commend Dr. Keo-Meier for his bravery for reaching beyond this small community and being visible and sharing his research on a much larger scale,” Hare said. “We are honored to have him serve as grand marshal.”