This article focuses on the reflexivity process associated with studying Queer, Transgender, Black, and Indigenous People of Colors’ experiences in substance use disorder counseling. Specifically, this article explores the authors’ experience working with QTBIPOC in substance use disorder counseling, studying QTBIPOC counseling research, researching QTBIPOC lived experiences in substance use disorder counseling, and utilizing QTBIPOC affirming research methods in understanding QTBIPOC lived experiences. This article is especially important as it interrogates what it means to identify as a Queer researcher while studying the lived experiences of QTBIPOC. This article also includes implications for conducting counseling research in studying QTBIPOC lived experiences with culturally responsive frameworks.


critical participatory action research, QTBIPOC, PhotoVoice

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Frank Gorritz Fitz Simons is a licensed professional counselor, as well as a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC), Counselors for Social Justice (CSJ), Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and the Florida Counseling Association (FCA). He has presented nationally on topics including providing affirmative counseling care to queer and transgender communities of color, providing multicultural supervision, utilizing diverse approaches to counseling work, as well as addressing and disrupting white supremacy in counselor education. Please direct correspondence to fgorritz@fgcu.edu.

Logan Riddle is a second-year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Georgia. Logan identifies as a White/Queer person specializing in working with QTBIPOC in community mental health. Please direct correspondence to lmriddle@uga.edu.

Jay McCalla is a first-year doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at The University of Georgia. Jay identifies as a trans person of color who specializes in working with QTBIPOC across various mental health issues in clinical work. Please direct correspondence to jasiah.mccalla@uga.edu.

Jacklyn Byrd holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Jacklyn works across the ASAM continuum of care, providing individual, family, and group therapy to substance users across the lifespan. In terms of lived experience, they are a White transfeminine Queer person committed to training in diversity, equity, and inclusion, focusing on anti-racism. Please direct correspondence to jacklynjbyrd@gmail.com.

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