If you’ve ever felt that your mere existence is wrong, that your culture should be watered down in order to be accepted, and that the hate you experience is somehow your fault, it is only valid to feel that your struggles don’t matter. We want to take this moment to say: You deserve to exist in spaces that don’t make you feel like you have to wear a mask or present your feelings differently than how they truly are. The person that you are without those “socially acceptable” filters is someone worth loving. You deserve to be truly seen and heard. And we will continue to fight alongside you to create a reality where outside voices do not have the power to create a narrative that says otherwise.
Community pain needs community healing. Your resilience is evident, and that cannot be questioned. We are all stronger still when belonging, love, and respect lay the foundation for vulnerability and recovery. We know that a great place to start healing is with honesty. But the willingness to be honest is not enough—you deserve true freedom to have that honesty heard and respected. Spaces that offer no judgment, listening ears that are willing to learn, and room for heavy feelings to just be. When was the last time you were able to answer the question, “How do you really feel?” without worrying how someone might respond, misunderstand, or use your words against you? Your emotions are not things to be hidden away, and you should have the space and access to resources in order to acknowledge what you’re dealing with.
Your work to break the cycle of generational trauma is not a burden to those around you. Communal healing is a journey we go on together and this dedication to moving forward honors those who came before you. You are living proof of their stories still going. Of their legacies continued. Let the roots that ground you be the foundation that allows you to grow. Let your love of where you come from light the path to where you’re going.
You deserve to do more than just survive.
The generational pain that affects communities of color is as vast and diverse as the communities themselves. The history of oppression and hate in the United States, and the way this oppression and hate still manifests today, only begins to cover how individuals and their families have been affected. There is a direct connection to this pain from the past, and it is being compounded with the pain felt today. Focusing on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) mental health means focusing on lived experiences. Hearing the voices of generations that came before and sitting with the ways that trauma is still being inflicted today. You are allowed to give voice to your pain.
We stand alongside you. We are rooting for you. We believe that your future is worth fighting for. You are more than the pain and trauma you may be carrying—whether inherited or directly experienced. To the young Black woman speaking up in a conference room of white co-workers, to the child of first-generation immigrants, to the Asian-American mother keeping her family’s culture alive, to the Brown boys growing up with fear, and to every Indigenous community still asking to be heard: You are living proof of generational hope and resilience, of strength and community carried through the years. This world can be heavy, but your safety, joy, and hope are sacred. You are not in this alone.
You’re more than your pain, more than what happened. You are strong enough to heal from the heavy you carry. We encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool to locate professional help and to read more stories like this one here. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. If it’s encouragement or a listening ear that you need, email our team at [email protected].