LGBTQIA+ Friendly Therapy NYC
What does LGBTQIA+ Mean?
A person’s sexual orientation refers to the gender or genders that one is romantically, erotically, and/or emotionally attracted to. LGBTQIA+ is an abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersexed, and Asexual identities. As queer visibility and identification increase in cultures across the world and younger generations identify more readily outside traditional gender and sexuality norms (I.e., male, female, heterosexual), it is important to understand some of the associated terms.
Lesbian describes female-identified people who are attracted romantically, erotically, or emotionally to other female-identified people.
Gay describes male-identified people who are attracted romantically, erotically, or emotionally to other male-identified people. Gay is also an umbrella term to refer to the entire LGBTQIA+ community or as an individual label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.
Bisexual describes a person who is romantically, erotically, or emotionally attracted to both male and female-identified people. This attraction does not have to be equally split between genders and there may be a preference for one gender or others.
Pansexual describes a sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their gender identity.
Trans is an abbreviation to refer to anyone with a gender variant identity, while transgender refers to a person who lives as a member of a gender other than their birth-assigned sex and may or may not have had medical intervention.
Queer is an umbrella term that embraces many sexual orientations, lifestyles, and relationship structures that exist outside the dominant heterosexual and monogamous majority.
Questioning refers to someone who is learning about and exploring their sexual and romantic attraction to others and has not settled on one label.
Intersexed refers to people born with different variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. These congenital conditions are also referred to as disorders/differences in sex development.
Asexual describes someone with little or no sexual or erotic attraction to others and/or a lac of interest in sexual relationships/behavior.
Polyamory is the practice of engaging in multiple romantic and/or sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved.
Alley refers to someone who confronts heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, heterosexual and gender straight privilege in themselves and others, has a concern for the well-being of LGBTQIA+ people, and a belief that these issues are social justice issues.
Reasons Why You May Seek LGBTQIA+ Friendly Therapy
The development of your sexuality and romantic identities is a highly personal process and it is completely normal for people to change and evolve over time. Academic literature has documented the fluid nature of human sexuality (and gender), but we know colloquially that people are often unaware of their own true sexual and/or romantic identity or do not feel safe expressing it. The reason for this is that in many parts of the world, sexual and romantic identities are interconnected with social and cultural norms. People often feel pressure to identify within cultural norms of heterosexuality (i.e., attraction to the “opposite” gender) to avoid rejection or stigma. Your sexual and romantic identities were likely impacted by your family and the society and community you grew up in, including what types of media and literature you were exposed to. Oftentimes, if you grew up in a place or community where nontraditional sexual identities and expressions were unwelcome, you may have felt discouraged from thinking about or exploring expressions other than heterosexuality. Sometimes one’s coming out process has a defining catalyst moment that they can remember, but other times one’s sexual and romantic identity development happened slowly over time. Additionally, sexuality and romantic attraction are interrelated to other aspects of your identity. Sexuality and romantic attraction are connected to your sense of self and where you see yourself fitting in the world. The concepts of sexuality and romantic attraction are nuanced and complex and it is important for everyone to be able to authentically express who they are.
People within the LGBTQ community are often at higher risk of discrimination, victimization, bullying, social stigma, and rejection from family, friends, and/or community. These experiences can impact psychological functioning and can increase the prevalence of anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation, adjustment difficulties, lower quality of life, and relationship concerns. Seeing a therapist can help.
How Our LGBTQIA+ Friendly Therapists Can Help
Finding a therapist who is knowledgeable about sexual and romantic identity can help you to better understand yourself and your place in the world. Whether you are early in your journey of self-discovery or are already rooted in your identity and your community, a therapist who is well-versed in this area understands the nuances and can help guide you through your journey. A therapist can provide valuable resources and education. Therapy sessions can help you with internal identity exploration as well as navigating the social components of the coming out process, how to talk to family and friends, how to find community, how to advocate for yourself in the workplace, and more. A therapist can also diagnose and treat the associated psychological concerns that are prevalent in the LGBTQIA+ community such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal ideation, adjustment difficulties, and relationship concerns. Above all, a therapist will provide a space where you feel safe, seen, and supported. Therapy can help to shine a light on those parts of yourself and your life that yearn for healing and growth. A therapist will help you navigate this process with compassion and empowerment.
Madison Park’s Philosophy
At Madison Park, our psychological practice is informed by Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophy which allows us to treat people holistically by addressing the body, mind, and spirit. Body refers to your physical self, Mind refers to your thoughts and emotions, and Spirit is the essence of who you are. A healthy body, a clear mind, and a fulfilled spirit will set the conditions for a meaningful life. With this in mind, we will help you to develop a core identity that lets you shine.
Book an Appointment for LGBTQIA+ Friendly Therapy Today!
Change is hard, yet not impossible. We are here to help you pave a healing path and make the necessary changes to BE well. Let’s get started!
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