Being Queer and a POC: Coping with the Challenges

by | Relational/Couples Counseling

We’re living in the 21st century, but there’s no denying that certain groups are still marginalized and face challenges on a daily basis. Those in the LGBTQIA+ community have made huge strides in the last decade in terms of equality and rights. But, there’s still a long way to go. 

Additionally, while we don’t like to think about it, people of color also face challenges on a regular basis. Things like discrimination and racism are alive and well, especially in certain parts of the country. 

So, what about POCs who also identify as queer? How can you cope with the everyday challenges when the deck seems stacked against you? 

Take a deep breath. You might not be able to change society overnight. But, you can change the way you handle these challenges. Let’s cover a few effective ways to cope. 

Find Allies

One of the best things you can do if you’re feeling discriminated against and frustrated with the state of society is to find allies in your community. Lean into friends and family members as often as possible. If they aren’t supportive, seek outside support. 

Even if you can’t find any local allies, don’t give up hope. They can be more difficult to find in small, rural areas. Thankfully, we live in a tech-forward world. While it’s best to interact with allies in person, finding people to connect with online can help. You’ll realize that you aren’t alone, and that there are people on your side willing to support you. 

Sometimes, a listening ear and someone’s willingness to stand by your side can make all the difference in the world. 

Take Care of Yourself

It’s easy to get down on yourself when it seems like so much of the world is against you. You might be tempted to “give up” on the challenges you regularly have to face. 

That’s why self-care is so essential for queer POC. Prioritize your well-being by getting enough sleep, staying physically active, eating well, and maintaining your mental health. When you recognize that you’re worthy enough for self-care, you’ll boost your self-esteem and confidence. That can make it easier to conquer the challenges in front of you, rather than trying to hide from them. 

Continue to Fight

Finding your voice and feeling confident to use it can help you join the fight for equal treatment. Join local LGBTQIA+ organizations or groups dedicated to putting a stop to racism and discrimination. When you show that kind of confidence, you could end up influencing others in your position to use their voices, too. Even if you don’t want to speak publicly, you can get involved by attending events or donating your time or money to groups that are trying to make things better. 

Again, if there aren’t any organizations or events nearby, do your part by getting involved online. Sometimes, sharing your voice behind the safety of a keyboard can help to boost your confidence even further, helping you find who you really are and what you want to say, so you’ll eventually be more prepared for in-person events. 

Reach Out for Help

The most important thing to realize is that you’re not alone. No matter how isolated and defeated you might feel, help is out there. The challenges of being a queer POC aren’t likely to go away any time soon. But, knowing how to overcome those challenges while maintaining your mental health will make them easier to handle. 

If you’re struggling with the hurdles that arise from being a double minority, don’t hesitate to reach out for help and set up an appointment soon. No one should be punished or discriminated against simply for being themselves. 

Contact Valued Living Therapy to schedule a brief and free consultation to find the right therapist for you.

Valued Living Therapy

We are a dynamic, trauma-informed, multi-specialty group practice of mental health professionals offering therapy in the heart of Edina, MN and online throughout Minnesota.

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