What Pride Means To Me From Your Favorite Art Therapist

Growing up in a family where nobody spoke on the topics that pertain to your life often led to a lonely existence. I grew up in a home where I felt completely alone and if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have denied my queerness for as long as I did.

I didn’t just jump into the role of an art therapist who specializes in BIPOC LGBTQ+ identities without giving my own personal life a deep dive first. My journey required me to navigate what queerness even was. For so long, the only depictions of queerness I had were ones shown in a negative light, as though we are a demographic of people that deserve to be degraded and dehumanized, never once getting the chance to see that there is so much more to queerness then what was reported on the news.

It wasn’t until I made it to my freshman year of undergraduate school that allowed me to open my eyes to the freedom of expression both artistically and personally. There, I experienced my first realization that I was not like others in my family. My whole life people talked about marriage and relationships between men and women, but here I was questioning all of that. You see, I didn’t even know how to identify. Was I bisexual? Pansexual? All of the terms I had ever heard regarding LGBTQ+ folx began to multiply and no longer was I just this straight black girl from Connecticut.

Through the remainder of my undergraduate and graduate experiences, I learned the ins and outs of the LGBTQ+ community and it was experiencing the safe spaces of my campus, being a part of organized community events, and dating that allowed me the privilege to claim the totality of my existence without fear or regret.

Now, let’s fast forward a bit shall we? Once I understood who I was, I made it my mission to center working in social spaces that fostered interpersonal connections with other LGBTQ people of color. I began working with Quality Counseling, where I have been able to make space for everyone to feel like they can acquire mental health services without judgment or guilt. 

My work continues to impact marginalized communities for the better. Even as I grow into new passions, live in new cities, and identify where the next 10 years of my life will take me, I know that I will move through each and every circumstance with grace and PRIDE.

So what does pride mean to me?

Prioritizing my mental health when nobody else will

Recognizing their power living in my truth

Intersectionality is where your story chapters meet

Discovering myself more and more everyday

Expanding my community one step at a time

Throughout Pride month, but more importantly every day, I will often utilize journal prompts to encourage my clients to have though provoking conversations or moments with themselves. Journaling often allows a client the space to explore the inner workings of their mind without the thoughts of others being imposed. Journaling is a safe space for many.

Here are a couple of prompts to get you started on your journey:

How has your understanding of gender, sexuality, and identity evolved over time, and how has it shaped your relationships and interactions with others?

Describe a moment where you found positive and relatable role models or media representations that have influenced your self acceptance and sense of belonging. How has this impacted your journey?

If you feel yourself wanting to learn more about who you are, explore a space where you can process through things like sexuality, racial identity, or the intersections of both, please reach out to info@qualitycounselingct.com or call us at 203-584-7971 to schedule a session with me.

Other resources to check out if you are apart of the LGBTQIA+ community in the state of Connecticut are listed below:

Hartford County -

The Health Collective - healthcollective.org or call at 860-278-4163

PFLAG- pflaghartford.org or call at 860-785-0909

New Haven County-

Anchor Health Hamden - anchorhealthct.org or 203-903-8308

New Haven Pride Center - newhavenpridecenter.org or call at 203-387-2252

Fairfield County -

Triangle Community Center - ctpridecenter.org or call 203-853-0600

Anchor Health Stamford- anchorhealthct.org or call 203-903-8308

Circle Care Center- circlecarecenter.org or call 203-852-9525