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Igniting Change Podcast Season 3: Episode 13

Michael Edmonson, Co-Founder & CEO of Worthy Mentoring, joins us to discuss his non-profit that connects mentors and mentees in the LGBTQ+ communities to deliver help and guidance.


S3 blogpost episode 13

The Ipsos LGBT+ Pride 2023 survey finds that an average of 9% of adults in 30 countries identify as LGBT+. That means there are millions of other people to find common ground with when coming out, so no one has to do it alone.

We were thrilled to sit down with Michael Edmonson and find out more about the Worthy Mentoring app, which aims to help LGBTQ adults with coming out.

Michael’s story is incredibly inspiring, let’s get to know him!

Meet Michael

For Michael, the day he came out as a gay man is one he will never forget.

He was terrified of how others would react, how his family would react, and how his friendships might change. Living in Louisiana, Michael didn’t have a lot of friends in the LGBTQ+ Community and didn’t know a lot about what it meant to be gay. After hours upon hours of emotional conversations with his mentors and closest friends, he decided he was ready to live his life as an open and unapologetic gay man.

In the weeks afterward, it was an emotional roller coaster as he navigated difficult conversations with extended family and struggled to find his place and his voice in the LGBTQ+ Community. However, during those weeks something happened that he truly never anticipated. His coming out story spread around the college town, but instead of getting negative comments, Michael began to receive tons of messages from individuals asking questions like:

“How did you come out?” “I’m struggling, should I tell my mom or dad first?” — “Are there others I can talk to about this?” “Is it safe to be out at work?” “Do you know of any LGBTQ+ friendly doctors?” “Can I still be religious and be gay?”

He realized at that moment, that there were not enough resources or outlets for individuals within the LGBTQ+ community to get connected for support, guidance, and friendship during difficult times. As he explored avenues and platforms to meet this critical need, he stumbled across two incredible LGBTQ+ activists Rex Woodbury and his partner, Ian Spear. Rex and Ian’s blogs, social media posts, and activism were rooted in empowering, uplifting, and connecting the LGBTQ+ community. Rex, Ian, and Michael joined forces to create what is now the Worthy Mentoring App so that individuals within the LGBTQ+ community who are struggling to find their place and identity never again have to go through that journey alone.

No matter your gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, profession, etc., Worthy Mentoring is committed to being a safe platform that empowers each and every diverse member of the LGBTQ+ Community.


Our focus is finding you someone that allows you to come out and live in your authenticity and be happy with who you are and love what you are and accept who you are.

Michael Edmonson, Co-Founder & CEO, Worthy Mentoring

About Worthy Mentoring

No matter your gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, profession, etc., Worthy Mentoring is committed to being a safe platform that empowers each and every diverse member of the LGBTQ+ Community.

To protect mentees, since they might not be in a safe environment to come out, the app allows them to be anonymous while using it. The goal is not to find dates or romance, or even friendship (although that can be an option). It’s instead about finding a space to answer questions without the constant need to come out.

“The reality is, there is someone like you who has struggled through what you’re struggling with,” Edmonson said. “We should allow those individuals to have the opportunity, the voice, the platform to support you because so many of us want to give back.”

To help keep the app secure, all app mentors undergo a verification process and background check after applying. They also need to answer a few questions about their interest in the app, like why they’re signing up to be a mentor and what drove them to join Worthy Mentoring’s community. For some, the app can be a space to make a new friend and lifelong mentor that they can speak with regularly. Others can use it to answer a specific question or two about health, wellness, or medication if they cannot turn to anyone else. Either way, the aim is that Worthy Mentoring can become synonymous with coming out over the next few years.

As Worthy Mentoring grows, they intend to keep it operating as a nonprofit instead of turning it into a for-profit tech startup. This status lets them focus on the mission of support, guidance, and friendship, which they never want to lose sight of.


Listen to the full episode here

To hear more of the incredible conversation with Michael listen now using the links below!

For more things tech for good, stay tuned to our blog or shout us a holla to get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you 💚

Published on June 5, 2023, last updated on June 5, 2023

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