Denise Ajeto earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2008 from Seattle University. Her dissertation, From wounded child to empathic mother: A heuristic inquiry into the experience of parenting sexual minority children, was an examination into the meaning of her experience coming to accept her children’s sexual and gender identities. Her research into empathic parenting explored the relationship between parental empathy and secure attachment and the role these concepts play in healthy identity development in children, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children. Dr. Ajeto also holds a Master of Arts degree in Existential Phenomenological Psychology from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Psychology from City University.
Dr. Ajeto currently works as a Diversity manager for the Boeing Company, where she has been employed since 1985. She is regarded as an advocate for transgender and LGBT employees at Boeing and has been invited to present her story at various Boeing sites across the country. She was honored with a 2003 Boeing Diversity Change Agent award. She has also presented at a number of conferences, including Out & Equal, the Society of Intercultural Educators, Trainers, and Researchers (SIETAR), and the National Association of Multicultural Educators (NAME). She has also been invited to speak at various other community organizations.
Dr. Ajeto’s book, A Soul Has No Gender: Lessons on love and acceptance through the eyes of a mother of sexual and gender minority children, was published in 2009 through Sense Publishers.
Dr. Ajeto resides in Arlington, WA with her husband, Renato. They are the proud parents and stepparents of five grown children and doting grandparents to seven grandchildren.