June 29, 2022

Pride & the Freedom to be Yourself

Let's spread love and acceptance! Explore how vulnerability and authenticity can positively impact lives and how you can live a more authentic life.

I am forever grateful to my son, Jason Turner, 20, the youngest of my three children, for bravely stepping forward into the world as his fullest and most authentic self.

Three years ago, my wife, Denise, and I had no idea that Jason was suffocating on the inside. He was so productive, passionate, and seemingly happy, and we just could not see the turmoil quietly overwhelming him internally. Jason longed to be free of having to deny his true self but was terrified that we wouldn’t love him the same if we knew the FULL truth. While Jason wasn’t sure about how we would react, he knew that God loved him, and with this knowledge, he was able to keep his faith and hope alive.

I thank God that Jason is a writer because he was able to express his deepest innermost feelings, heartache, and desires on paper. Amongst his many dimensions, Jason is gay. He came out to Denise and me by reading us some deeply personal excerpts from his journal. This was one of the most transformational moments of my life.

Witnessing the vulnerability of my son, a young Black, gay male in America, profoundly changed me for the better and forever. Now, when it comes to my story about his story… my story as a parent ally, my heart has expanded immensely, and I’ve grown in ways I cannot fully explain. Jason might not realize the power of his actions, but he has inspired me to also be vulnerable and authentic by sharing his… our story with family, friends, peers, and anyone else whose eyes come across this blog post!

Thanks to Jason, I know that vulnerability is not a weakness. It takes the utmost strength and courage to be truly authentic and stand up for yourself in a world that doesn’t always welcome the audacity of doing so.

Jason is positively changing the world, starting with individual people like his mother and myself, through his words, his vulnerability, and his authenticity. I hope that this unique THCQ Consulting Health Care Quality Insights blog post offers you hope and pride. I hope that it encourages deeper empathy for others no matter what their story may be.

I hope we have inspired you to share your stories of courage, stories of revealing moments that transformed you. Like Jason, one day you will no longer have to remain in the discomfort that comes with hiding the truest aspects of who you are in the name of “professionalism” or out of fear that your most human experiences may be criticized as internal failures. My hope – and I know it is Jason’s as well – is that we can all remove the masks that conceal the people we are meant to be in this world.

Jason's Story

Jason courageously told his story in a powerful article he wrote for the Bucks County Courier Times in 2019. You can check it out here:


Make a Difference

This Pride month, THCQ donated $150 to The Trevor Project and we are challenging our readers, YOU, to donate $25-$100 if you are willing/able to!

The Trevor Project is the leading and only accredited national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under the age of 25.

Thanks for reading, interested in hearing your thoughts!

Norris Turner, PharmD, PhD

President & CEO, THCQ Consulting, Inc.

Let's Connect


  1. How are we helping set a good example for the next generation to care about people who are different from them?
  2. What steps can you take towards living a more authentic life, both personally and professionally?
  3. We are here to love one another! When was the last time you showed a loved one grace and unconditional love? How did this experience impact you?

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