We are a collective
of trained professionals who know what it's like...
to wonder if the color of your skin will affect your care.
to question whether God can hold your many questions.
to shy away from talking about faith because you're LGBTQ+.
to believe therapy is only for White people and not for persons of color.
to be told that all you need to do is pray "IT" away.
to know that "this can't be all there is..."
We are here to listen, support, and care, always!
Accessible, Affirming, and Affordable
We are another set of footprints journeying with you towards spiritual and mental wholeness. Our services are intentionally curated for the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ experience and community.
To accompany and resource the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities with accessible and low-to-no-cost Spiritual Direction and Licensed Mental Health Services. We collaborate across specialties to curate an affirming, just, and welcoming space that leans in towards what you hold sacred and we care from there.
Why is CAYA represented by a bumble bee and hive?
Come As You Are Collective is best visualized as a hive of bumble bees working together to make sweet honey.
The bumble bee logo pays homage to the necessity of village support, communal sharing, and neighborly care for sustained spiritual and mental health, especially for the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community. We do not have to do life alone. This sustainable care model of collective support is what we call the "honey." The honey produced, from our hive of practitioners, is our foundational goal of affirming the humanity of each of our clients and the beauty of what they hold dear and sacred. We are here together, ready to welcome you. So come, just as you are.
A Letter From Our Founder...
I am Rev. Whittney-Marie. I am a Jill-of-many-trades.
Like many, I'm a juggler and I'm quite skilled at this balancing act of talents and expertise.
Spiritual Director. Storyteller. Speaker. Interfaith Chaplain. Entrepreneur. LGBTQ+ Advocate. Organizer. Mother. Premarital Counselor. Ordained Clergy. Wedding Officiant. Writer.
These lived experiences are constantly informing my practice as a Spiritual Director and affirming the need to create Come As You Are Collective back in January of 2023. As a LGBTQ+ person in brown skin and a body that’s understood as female, it ain’t easy finding care. Not only is the search for a support professional daunting, but it can also feel unsafe. So many questions flood to the surface as I search.
Will they see my name and stereotype me? Will they misgender me or use the wrong pronouns? Can I put my same-sex partner as my emergency contact? Will they shame me for being queer?
I find my Google searches tend to look like this...
Is there an afforable BIPOC LGBTQ+ affirming therapist near me?
If you’re like me, you must put a ton of “qualifier” words in your search so that you can weed out as much potential harm as possible. The search can be exhausting and triggering if our results omit to filter out the spaces that don’t accept our full humanity.
Here’s where the idea of Come As You Are Collective was birthed.
In my experience, social service organizations and systems of care tend to disregard the voices of the melanated, the accented, and the not-quite-straight.
My sensitivity to diverse religious, spiritual, and cultural practices and values has allowed me to curate mutually created safe spaces, provide intentional counseling, and advocate for marginalized communities beyond borders of normativity within social systems.
All in all, we’ve got you.
Come. We care. Always!