Hi, I'm Furness – a gay man of Afro-Caribbean descent with Chinese lineage! Raised in a working-class Catholic family in NYC, I know a thing or two about the challenges that come with intersecting identities. As one of the few Black students and the only Caribbean student in my elementary school, I felt I had to hide my accent in order to fit in. As I grew up, I continued to wrestle with the clash of my cultural upbringing and my authentic self. I had to learn to experience anger as healthy while navigating the fear of being perceived as an “angry Black man.” I had to unlearn hypervigilance as a normal part of daily life while feeling constant worry about potential homophobia from the Black American, Caribbean, and Catholic communities.
Over the years, I got more in touch with my cultural identity and began to feel a sense of pride in being Trinidadian, finally overcoming the 'different=bad' mindset. I still feel the need to be vigilant in public, afraid that I may be racially profiled as a Black man or harmed as a member of the gay community, but I no longer allow it to stop me from living my most authentic life. After seeing how hard it can be to find effective mental health support from a therapist who understood my experience, I gravitated toward working with clients who identify as both queer and BIPOC in NYC.
Today, I specialize in working with high achieving LGBTQ people of color who struggle with integrating different parts of their identities that have now manifested as confusion, fear, and inauthenticity. I believe learning self-compassion is one of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves, regardless of our specific background or the traumas we might have experienced. This is why I guide my clients to live authentically by challenging their negative self-talk and radically accepting difficult emotions without being hard on themselves when they mess up.
Ready to step into the most authentic version of yourself? Reach out today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
EDUCATION: BA in Psychology & MA in Mental Health Counseling, CUNY Brooklyn College
SPECIALTIES: racial trauma, religious trauma, anxiety, addiction, self-esteem, relationship conflict