• addyson tucker, Psy.D.

If you want something done...

There’s a common phrase often said in moments of frustration, resentment, or defeat: “if you want something done right, do it yourself.”

It reminds me of how many of us are taught to ‘pull ourselves up by our bootstraps’; do it for ourselves; distance ourselves from community and the chance to feel seen and connected. The sense that we must go it alone can leave us feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and unworthy. Instead, let’s flip the phrase on its head: “If you want something done, do it intentionally and in community.”

Now we are talking about taking risks, being courageously vulnerable, and creating opportunities for unmet needs.

You are worthy.

PERIOD. Worthy because you exist. Worthy because you are human. Unfortunately, all of the positive affirmations in the world can’t prevent us from internalizing the message that we don’t belong, because we are “not ______ enough” or “too much.” This is especially true for those with marginalized identities, which is crystal clear when we observe what has been happening across the country and around the world with the ongoing attempts to control, regulate, violate, and eradicate trans, fat, and Black bodies.



Alok V Menon (they/them) is shown here on the cover of their recent poetry book, your wound / my garden.

I loved the above quote from their conversation with Demi Lovato on the 4D podcast (audio, video)

Also, check out this powerful interview on the Man Enough Podcast, where they discussed the Urgent Need for Compassion, especially for trans and nonbinary people of color.


I had no idea what I was missing until I had it.

I had been battling those messages for as long as I can remember, whether it’s worrying about being “too passionate | emotional | talkative | sensitive” or “not professional | desirable | queer | nonbinary enough.” It took a really long time to realize that what I needed was to surround myself with others who would see me and embrace my authentic self, not as if I could do no wrong, but so that we could learn, grow, & hold each other accountable together.

And I want others to experience that, too!

I have attempted to create space through trans & nonbinary workshops for self-compassion and shame resilience (enrolling now for summer 2022), consultation/training for gender-affirming providers through a lens of liberation (July training for 2 CEs here), and incorporating liberation and self-compassion work into nearly every facet of my personal and professional life.

But my dream has been to offer a compassionate trans-affirming community space. So on that note...



Trans & Nonbinary Self-Compassion and Liberation

An intentional community for those who:

  • are trans-competent and/or trans and nonbinary-identified;

  • hold values of racial/Black, body/Fat, and gender/Trans liberation;

  • want to ‘hold the hard’ and nurture themselves during difficult times;

  • and are aware of the *distinction of feeling shame versus shaming/being shamed.

*adrienne maree brown speaks to this in We Will Not Cancel Us.

A common underlying theme in much of my work with marginalized communities relates to questioning worth and feeling 'not good enough' or 'too much' in a world that isn't made for them. Being different is often experienced as unworthy, undesirable, and just plain BAD.

I often point out to clients that gaining a sense of self-awareness and self-compassion practice can feel like a double-edged sword at times. When you're more present in vulnerability through moments of fear, it's really fucking hard. On the other hand, when you pull away and shut down during those same moments, it feels like you should know better.

It's kind of silly when you think about it - that even when we practice self-compassion and embrace imperfection, we are still at risk of falling into the trap of thinking we're not good enough at it.

I’ve held many groups and trainings over the years where participants express their disappointment that there aren’t ongoing spaces like this, as I described above. In reflecting on what that space looks like – what it is that folks struggle to find elsewhere – I considered my own journey to understanding racial, gender, and body liberation.

As many of us grow in our activism and understanding of this work, we may look back and cringe because of what we didn't know, or what we did know and hadn't fully embraced yet.

I remember many moments of saying/doing/thinking the 'wrong' thing or unintentionally contributing to the very dynamics I was trying to unlearn.

Eventually, I developed a strong enough sense of myself and how to move through moments of uncertainty or emotional exposure, which helped making mistakes feel less scary.


Here are just a few of the things I've found to be helpful in supporting folks:

  • Community, connection, & a sense of belonging

  • Promoting curiosity, openness, and checking initial judgments/assumptions

  • Understanding shame triggers and attempts to protect from vulnerability

  • Leaning into moments of discomfort and making space for ALL feelings

  • Holding the hard and knowing we are not alone, even if we feel lonely

  • Identifying the external ‘voices’ that contribute to ancestral trauma, systemic oppression, and our internalized "isms" and negative beliefs

  • Taking risks, communicating/respecting boundaries, & saying the hard things - “What’s mentionable is manageable” (paraphrasing Fred Rogers)

  • Finding moments of radical affirmation, love, and euphoria in our identities, bodies, and relationships with self & others.

  • Practicing compassion for self and others while also holding space for oppression and the impact of trauma.


My hope is that the Mighty Networks community launching soon, Trans & Nonbinary Self-Compassion and Liberation, will create exactly those opportunities for those trans and nonbinary folks, as well as trans-affirming providers of any gender, who are actively seeking to connect, hold, and heal through a lens of gender liberation and affirmation.


Hope to see you there!

The official launch and info to join the community will be sent out via June newsletter.

Be sure to subscribe for updates.

addyson's logo with solid purple WP with heart in center of P

About the writer

addyson tucker, Psy.D. (they/them)

Licensed Psychologist

Wholehearted Psych

Trans Self Compassion

- Coaching, Consultation, Supervision, Training, and Workshops
- Individual Therapy in Massachusetts and Rhode Island

- Interest/specialty areas: inclusive therapy, self-compassion, shame resilience, racial liberation, gender liberation, body liberation, gender affirmation, and trans surgery referral
Photo credit: Emmet Teter
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