This is personal
There’s so much to say today but I’ll try to be succinct. My stomach is in knots and the week has been an emotional roller coaster of excitement and heartbreak. This blog post is personal, a departure from my more clinically aimed writings.
First, let’s talk about the progress and vision of Rainbow Family Wellness. Starting in 2021 with just a couple clients and blossoming into my full-time job has been a wonderful journey. Now we have Malika working in the practice and accepting new clients, and we are making arrangements for a student intern to join us in January! Word is spreading about what we do, and the plan is to create a safe space for non-traditional families. We want to help people heal and express themselves in an affirming environment. We yearn to create support groups and social gatherings in our space, in addition to providing professional counseling.
The growth is exciting, and the next step is to secure an office so we can physically manifest what we have been working so hard on over the past year and a half. Locals know that downtown St. Pete and Tampa offer the majority of the LGBTQIA+ resources and safe spaces in the area. Northern Pinellas County is sparse to say the least, and folks in Pasco County and beyond struggle to find support. This is where we step in, with a plan to plant roots in Clearwater, just a few minutes from Dunedin, Palm Harbor, and Countryside Mall.
We are networking and applying for grants and praying that the funds come before the office space gets scooped up by someone else.
And then, once again, tragedy strikes. 5 dead, 25 injured. In an LGBT Nightclub in Colorado. This is what Monday morning brought us as we prepare for Thanksgiving. How many families will spend the week in the hospital with their loved one? How many will make arrangements to bury a son, daughter, wife, husband, cousin, best friend?
We have come a long way, but we still have so far to go. I wish it weren’t political, but unfortunately everything is. Our recently re-elected governor has shown that he is not a friend to the LGBTQ+ community, stating that he thinks children should be removed from their parents if they are allowed to attend a drag show. If you haven’t seen what he has to say, check it out here: https://www.nbcnews.com/nbc-out/out-politics-and-policy/desantis-weighs-ordering-child-protective-services-parents-take-kids-d-rcna32757
So how does this impact us, the non-traditional families? For me, it creates intense sadness and worry. I know we are not safe. We are not safe to go out and dance in a club and we are not safe to raise our children the way we see fit.
The office space is not the full answer, but it’s one step in the right direction to creating more safe space, more community, more comradery. And at the end of the day, that’s what we are all looking for, whether gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, cisgender, non-binary, intersex, or questioning. We all need to belong.
If you are willing to help, there are a few easy options.
You can send a check to :
Rainbow Family Wellness
3629 Randall Court, Palm Harbor, FL 34684
You can give through Zelle: Elizabeth Wolfson- 315-350-8213
You can give via Venmo: @Elizabeth-Lizzi-Wolfson