What does it mean to live your life out loud, live without fear, to not have to live in the narrow places within society? As a Lesbian and a Psychologist, I often have a front-row seat to the toll that discrimination, homophobia, racism, and transphobia has on members of our community. As I have had the privilege to work and live in our community, I frequently asked myself, how can we harness the brilliance, vibrancy, knowledge, and capability of our community to both heal the trauma and prevent future generations from having to live through a traumatic experience that stems from the disparity that exists within our society. I wanted to do more than just be an observer, I wanted to create a positive change. As I pondered these thoughts I began talking to others and was fortunate to find a circle of gifted, motivated, and like-minded people from within the queer community who were brave enough to take this journey with me. That is how Aadya Rising came to be.
As a trauma therapist I often come in near the end of the trauma story, lack of access to gender-affirming, quality, respectful healthcare, bullying, lack of parental support, feelings of isolation, lack of legal protection, discrimination in the community and religious toxicity are just some of the occurrences we experience within the LGBTQA+ community. What does the future look like for the generations that are coming after us? Bullying in schools, family rejection, and homelessness, are only some of the issues facing our youth.
According to a survey conducted by the Human Right Campaign Fund “Growing up LGBT in America”, 42% of LGBT youth say the community in which they live is not accepting of LGBT people and they are twice as likely as their same-aged peers, to report they have been verbally harassed or physically assaulted at school. As a community, we can make things better for our own. There are huge gaps that exist and by working together we can identify and fill those gaps.
Imagine having access to financial resources to finally have the gender-affirming surgery you need, being able to participate in a peer support group and having access to quality mental health resources, or as a child having access to a mentor who can offer insight, support, respect and acceptance of you as you are. Through Scholarships, Support Groups and Mentorship Aadya Rising is working to start filling those gaps.