Who we are
The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network (NQTTCN) is a healing justice organization that actively works to transform mental health for queer and trans people of color in North America. Together we build the capacity of QTBIPoC (queer and trans black, indigenous and people of color) mental health practitioners, increase access to healing justice resources and provide technical assistance to social justice movement organizations to integrate healing justice into their work.
We acknowledge that our community is expansive, diverse and divergent. We have a multitude of ways that we name and conceptualize our identities, and the communities from which we come from and are at times displaced from. We hold and honor all of these tensions. We honor our complex histories and lineage. We understand the limitations of language and know the ways we understand ourselves and the languages we use are constantly shifting.
Our community encompasses black, indigenous, latinx, arab, middle-eastern, asian, pacific islander, and mixed race, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, two-spirit, gender non-conforming, genderqueer, and non-binary people committed to healing justice for our people. We prioritize the unique needs of QTBIPoC mental health practitioners - social workers, psychologists, counselors, psychotherapists, case managers, substance abuse counselors, behavioral health workers, and peer support practitioners who provide emotional and spiritual care in a variety of contexts and settings both paid and unpaid.
NQTTCN was officially launched on May 23, 2016 as a call to organize mental health practitioners to establish a network where therapists can deepen their analysis of healing justice and QTBIPoC community can connect to care. The digital seeds for NQTTCN were planted in 2015 by founder Erica Woodland in an email to close colleagues and comrades. Deeply inspired by a grassroots group of Queer Therapists of Color, QTOC, which was founded in 2009 to provide support and leadership development to mental health practitioners in the San Francisco Bay Area, Erica combined his clinical experience with movement building experience to launch this vision.
Through his national movement building work as the Brown Boi Project’s Field Building Director between 2012-2016, Erica had witnessed the intense need for mental health support for QTBIPoC organizers and leaders in movement. His intention for building NQTTCN was firmly rooted in realities that QTBIPoC practitioners faced in their field: isolation, racism, queer and transphobia, poor supervision, and structural failures of the mental health industry.
In the months that followed NQTTCN’s May 2016 launch, the network quickly grew into a community of care, resource sharing, connection, and learning for QTBIPoC providing and seeking mental health resources. The inaugural group of volunteers and supporters, some who joined the staff and the Advisory Board, came from both direct service and clinical backgrounds, as well as organizing and movement building.
NQTTCN sits at the intersection of the mental health field and movements for social justice. We see healing justice as a critical framework essential to integrate in clinical and collective spaces. Increasing access to spiritual and emotional care resources, a foundation of healing justice, combined with seeing our community reflected in the therapeutic process is deeply transformative and groundbreaking. Care has been made even more accessible with the creation of NQTTCN’s QTPoC Mental Health Practitioner Directory and the Mental Health Fund which provides financial assistance to QTBIPoC seeking mental health support. Practitioner development and community building has continued to grow throughout local and regional meet ups and our first national gathering in 2018 at the Allied Media Conference.