My name is Gabrielle Davis. I am the owner and counselor for Equitable Counseling and Consulting based in Boise.
When I came here, I was looking for a way to serve my community. So I started to volunteer at ALPHA Idaho, which is a clinic, then I also volunteer at Youth Alliance for Diversity, which is a local LGBT youth social support group here in Boise.
When I was at that youth group, I heard so many horror stories from some of the kids that were there about times they attempted to get counseling and couldn't find anybody with at least one part of their identity.
And even for me, you know, it was difficult attempting to find a Black female counselor.
If I have barriers where other people with less means or less privileges that I have, what are they running into when they are attempting to receive help?
I started Equitable Counseling and Consulting because I wanted to be able to serve minority communities in a way that allowed me to come into the room authentic and the client to be authentic as well.
A lot of inquiries that have been coming in have been from people that were happy to see somebody outwardly advertising a goal of serving the queer community and the Black community.
The mental health realm is already stigmatized even when we don't include race, gender identity and sexual orientation. Counseling work and therapy work overall is based in whiteness.
And while it may be that Idaho is predominantly White, it's not so White where Black and Brown people don't need the same services. So this is my goal to show that, hey, there are ways we can serve other communities.
It's important to have identity representation in the clinician, because it may be easier to build rapport and to feel seen. It may be less of you explaining your culture and explaining certain words you used to the clinician. You know, you never want a client to be providing the clinician with service and then the clinician gets to provide the client the invoice.
It's important that queer, Black and Brown people know that I see you and I want you to be well.
I just want to encourage Black or Brown queer youth to look into all fields that they find interesting. Please don't be discouraged that you don't see anybody that looks like you, loves like you, believes like you in a field that you might be interested in. You can do it. Find people that you can talk to and pursue your dreams.
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