Resource Group Insights is a new campaign dedicated to providing individuals with a platform to share their thoughts and experiences with behavioral healthcare.
Submitted By: Natarsha Malone
I am a proud queer black member of the rainbow mafia and I have struggled with my mental health most of my life.
Growing up black, queer, and fat was a journey that was winding and isolating. The first therapist I had told me that eventually my feelings for the same sex would just fade away. That made me feel like something was truly wrong with me and I needed to be fixed. This woman branded my soul in an instant. She planted the seed of doubt and worthlessness into my spirit. With one sentence my world unraveled. From that moment on I avoided therapy or any help for a very long time. This was detrimental for my mental health and life.
One day I woke up and chose freedom. I was burdened by the darkness and pressures that were put upon me. I was a full-time undergrad student and working full-time. I had this pressure on my chest to live up to the expectations others put on me and grappling with the loss of the life I planned for myself.
Thankfully, I eventually found a LGBTQIA-affirming therapist and was able to unpack all of my trauma around my sexuality and identity. She made me feel safe and with the strength she helped me find, I was able to come out to my family and live my truth. And when my world changed, she was right there helping me through it all.
I will say this: I was beyond blessed that I did not lose my family when I came out. They were my biggest support and my mother said “maybe this will make you happy.” So, the weight of the words from my first therapist were lifted. Hope, which I once did not allow myself to feel, radiated through my spirit, encouraging me to seek help that could heal the invisible wounds.
Someone listening to you is not enough. The person has to try to understand you. Many people in my community shun help because of the stigma and shame that will come with it. We are already battling our inner demons, and we need all the help we can get.
So, when seeking help within the community look for drop-in centers or LGBTQIA spaces. One resource I always recommend is Chase Brexton. They are LGBTQIA-affirming, not just with mental health but all-around health. The local PRIDE Center also helps you to connect to others like yourself so you can build your tribe. Another resource would be Star Track. This is geared towards adolescents and young adults.
Other resources that are needed are transgender services. Trans youth and adults have a hard time accessing proper housing and health care. One resource I will recommend would be Hearts and Ears in Baltimore and Your Trans Care. These are safe places for trans and non-binary people to have a place to lay their burdens down.
By searching out resources like these you can learn to not just exist, but thrive and actively participate in the healing you deserve.
The Resource Group strives to provide compassionate, competent care to all our clients. Our skilled LGBTQIA-affirming therapists and behavioral health providers are ready to help you. Call us at 410-337-7772 to start your journey of healing today.