LGBTQ Affirmative Therapy
Sexual Identity and Orientation
Are you questioning your sexuality? Are you gay? bi? straight?
Are you afraid of someone finding out?
Have you ever asked yourself those questions? If you have, let me assure you, you're not alone.
But first, let me begin by telling you a personal story...
I was in high school and I was a very shy, awkward teenager. One day I noticed a popular guy in one of my classes wearing an earring. I thought...is he gay? No, he couldn't be, any girl would love to be his girlfriend. Then, I was trying to remember what I had heard about wearing an earring, "left is right, right is wrong" but I wasn't sure if I was remembering it correctly. Wait a second, what am I doing noticing a guy? am I gay? That's wrong!! What would my parents think? I'm supposed to date a girl, get married and have kids. Being gay is a sin, that's what I had heard from society and many religious leaders. Then, I glanced back at the good looking guy wearing an earring and I thought "that's so cool!" I wanted to wear one, but I couldn't.
Several years have passed since that event, countless hours of therapy and many questions answered. Today, I am proud to say that I no longer question my sexuality and I'm happy with who I am and have accepted all aspects of my sexuality.
Let's begin with some basic definitions: (please note that the following list is by no means comprehensive)
Sexual Identity - sometimes called gender identity, refers to one’s self-concept of being male, female, or non-binary. Basically, how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.
Sexual Orientation - describes patterns of sexual, romantic, and emotional attraction to other people, which can include same-sex, opposite-sex, or non-binary.
Gender Expression - External appearance of one's gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.
Gay - someone who's attracted to those of their same gender. Although sometimes used as an umbrella term, it is used more specifically to describe men who are attracted to men.
Straight - A word to describe men who are attracted to women and women who are attracted to men.
Bisexual - Someone who is attracted to those of their same gender as well as to those of a different gender (for example, a man who is attracted to both men and women)
Pansexual - Someone who is attracted to people of any or all genders.
Cisgender (Cis) - A person whose gender identity matches with the one assigned at birth
Transgender (Trans) - Someone whose gender identity differs from the one they were assigned at birth
Gender Nonconforming - Someone whose gender identity and/or gender expression does not conform to the cultural or social expectations of gender, particularly in relation to male or female.
Defining your sexual identity and sexual orientation can be an intricate and delicate subject to explore on your own. Coming out to your friends and family can be a frightening experience. Reconciling your sexual feelings and behaviors with your values can be a daunting task. If you're struggling with defining your sexuality, or you're having feelings or thoughts for someone who you think you shouldn't, or you're looking at gay porn, or you're sexually acting-out with other guys and feel ashamed about it, then please let me help you navigate those feeling & behaviors and rediscover your True Self.
You can also complete the self-assessment Klein Sexual Orientation Grid and bring it to our first session.
“It is absolutely imperative that every human being’s freedom and human rights are respected, all over the world.”– Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland Prime Minister