Are You Struggling to Feel Accepted, Safe and Whole?
Do you identify as multi-racial or a person of color? Are you questioning your sexuality or gender identity?
Maybe you feel sure of who you are on the inside, but feel unable to express your true self on the outside, especially if you fear the rejection of your family, community, peers and loved ones. Or, you may feel alone and lack the support you need to truly love and accept yourself. Perhaps it seems that no one fully understands what it means for you to identify as a queer/trans person of color (QTPOC), and you often find yourself trying to explain your experience, only to hear that you are being dramatic or imaging things. Are you wondering how much your identity impacts the way people treat you and struggling to respond to insults, bullying, erasure, exotification, dehumanization and microaggressions? Are you facing racism in the queer community and heterosexism in communities of color and want a space that is aware of the intersectionality of oppression? Do you wish you could feel understood, find a supportive community, live as your true self and develop greater self-love and self-compassion?
Living as a queer and/or trans person of color can be a challenging, isolating and painful experience, especially if you are not surrounded by people who you trust to understand and support you. Many QTPOC struggle with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks, trauma, relationship issues and more. You may feel as though you will risk relationships if you assert your true self. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by self-doubt and self-hatred, and a part of you wishes you could just be “normal.” Perhaps you have faced abuse because of who you are or maybe you grew up in a violent or chaotic household that never really felt like home. These experiences can contribute to feeling unsafe or hyper-vigilant. Or, maybe those around you invalidate you or make you feel invisible without even realizing that they are hurting or diminishing you. It can feel as though they just don’t see you for who you really are. While some people say the world is more accepting today, you might still feel as though your identity is belittled or erased each and every day.
If You Are QTPOC, You Are Not Alone
It can be incredibly difficult to feel as though you are different or that you don’t belong. And, even if you feel more and more comfortable with yourself, it can sometimes seem as though the world is lagging behind. It can be deeply hurtful to know that people out there judge you or even hate you because of who you authentically are. Hate crimes, bigotry, unfair laws and unjust systems of power are just some of things that can make QTPOC people feel worn down, fearful and defeated. It can be especially painful to hear people who you once considered allies make an ignorant, hurtful joke or comment.
Thankfully, we are seeing a great deal of change in our world today. There is a growing undercurrent of traditionally marginalized people gaining widespread attention and political power. As the younger generations grow more and more accepting, the bigots are becoming older and more obsolete. While things certainly aren’t perfect, this is, for many, an era of hope. So many traditional notions of normalcy – too often equated with whiteness and heteronormativey – are being gradually pushed out the door. While you may feel alone today, the QTPOC communities exist. And, many QTPOC feel empowered by the idea that “existence is resistance.” Just by living as who you are, you are resisting the power of white heteronormativity and bringing about change. Regardless of your background or your questions about yourself and the world, there are safe spaces for you to speak and be heard. With the help and support of a therapist who understands these experiences, you can develop your true voice and experience being seen in your entirety.
Counseling for QTPOC Can Help You Come Fully Alive
As a therapist and a woman of color who identifies as queer, I understand many of the things you might be going though. While every person is unique, and I would never presume to know your exact experience, I am confident that you are a lovable, worthwhile and valuable person. I offer counseling for QTPOC issues so that you can have a safe, confidential, supportive space to express all of your thoughts, fears, hopes and feelings without fear of rejection or judgment. In sessions, you can find peace, relief and the confidence you need to live as your most honest self.
Because I believe that each client in an expert in his or her own life, my approach is person-centered. I will draw on a variety of modalities and techniques so that you can find the therapeutic experience that most fully resonates with you. I specialize in transpersonal psychology, which means that I can help you pay attention to the transcendent and spiritual parts of yourself, without religious overtones. We can also work though any traumas you may have experienced, with the knowledge that life as a QTPOC can be traumatic in many ways. If you are struggling in your relationships, we can look at all the pieces of your family, friendship and/or romantic relationships to help you discover greater connection with people who will nurture you. And, I can also help you cultivate mindfulness so that you can feel more rooted in the present moment, more in tune with your body and better able to offer yourself care and compassion.
In sessions, you can feel empowered to allow all parts of your identity to co-exist, without hiding anything. Depression and anxiety are often a part of life, but, through counseling, you can begin to feel greater agency over your life and acceptance of the challenges innate in living.
All people have an inherent dignity, and with help, you can begin to believe in your human worth, even when the outside world throws challenges your way. You are deserving of love and care. Counseling for QTPOC issues can help you begin to discover your community and your capacity for self-love. By exploring yourself and embracing your identity, you can discover healing and enjoy a rich, raw aliveness.
You may believe that counseling for QTPOC can help you feel more whole, but still have questions or concerns…
I can’t afford counseling.
Therapy is an investment in your long-term well-being. While counseling itself is not life-long, it can be deeply life-changing. You are worth this investment. In addition, I offer sliding scale options for those who are struggling financially. If monetary concerns make therapy very difficult for you, I still encourage you to reach out and share your situation. I can help you discover free resources and support in your community.
I feel ashamed of who I am. How can I talk about myself?
Counseling is a safe, compassionate space for you to share all of your doubts, confusion and fears. So many QTPOC and people question their identities do not have the language they need to discuss their thoughts and feelings. In therapy, I will help you develop that vocabulary so you can begin to put your experience into words. And, you have nothing to be ashamed of – your feelings are valid. Especially if you grew up in a traditional setting, it can be very difficult to accept that you are different from the dominant culture. But, what you are going through is very normal. And, you don’t have to live with self-hate and shame. There is another, lighter way.
No one understands me. How will you?
You’re right – at the moment, I don’t understand you. So, I invite you to tell me more about yourself. While your experience is unique, I do have some understanding of what it is like to grow up feeling very different from your family and parts of your community. So many people feel out of place and “wrong,” and I embrace those who feel like the “black sheep” of the herd. I encourage you to believe that you can be understood and find healing. I am here to listen.
If you are ready to live more fully, I invite you to call me at (720) 429-3047 to set up a free in-person consultation. I am happy to answer any questions you have about QTPOC counseling and my practice.