Pansexual Flag and Pansexuality

The Pansexual Flag and Pansexuality

The Pansexual Flag and Pansexuality

 

Often in my practice or working with others in the mental health field, people ask me what various sexual and gender identities mean - one example we often get is “what is pansexuality?” Or “why does pansexual have a different flag?” 

 

Pansexuality

Pansexual is someone is who is attracted (emotionally or sexually) to all genders regardless of biological sex. 

This differs from bisexuality as the definition of bisexuality is attracted to “both” genders or the gender binary. 

 

What does that mean?

Pansexual Flag and Pansexuality

It means people who identify as pansexual are attracted to people outside the gender binary, including non-binary, gender queer, gender fluid individuals. 

Pan means “all” which is why the identity is “pansexual” as it includes attraction to “all.”

 

Pansexual Flag

The Pansexual Flag is used to show visibility to this identity and is three horizontal lines pink on top, yellow in the middle, and blue line on the bottom.

  • Pink to represent sexual attraction to those on feminine scale of gender regardless of biological sex. 
  • Pansexual Flag and PansexualityYellow in the middle to represent those who are not on the gender binary (e.g. non-binary people, gender fluid, etc.). 
  • Blue at the bottom is which is indicative of attraction to those who identify on the masculine scale of gender regardless of biological sex. 

If you have more questions about the pansexual flag, let us know! 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


LGBTQ in the Media Over the Past 3 Decades

LGBTQ in the Media Over the Past 3 Decades

 

Over the course of the last 30 years there has been a noticeable shift in the representation of individuals who identify as LGBTQ in the media. 

 

The 90’s and Early 2000s

As I was growing up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, there were some “gay” characters. Characters were typically gay or lesbian if any representation, and sometimes bisexual. 

Often characters at this time were used as comic relief and were not seen as serious.

Characters who identified as LGBTQ in media had stereotypical presentations and were usually side kicks or in the background. Stereotypes such as men being overly feminine, women being overly masculine. These characters were seen to be comic relief and characters with no substance. 

I learned that people were either gay or straight, and if bisexual people were included, they were shown to be promiscuous or confused. 

I watched people in these roles get made fun of and heard comments shaming those in the LGBTQ community. 

However, when Ellen came out on her show in the 90’s, the world would be forever changed! Ellen’s career took a drastic turn after coming out, resulting in her being shamed within pop culture. 

This showed queer people everywhere the social consequences of coming out and being authentically yourself. 

I think it is important to note systemically at this time, the Defense of Marriage Act was being signed into action - limiting marriage between a man and a woman, thus making it impossible for those of the same sex or gender to become legally married. 

Furthermore, what little representation there was of those on the gender spectrum were limited and often misused. Often times, main male characters dressed up as women to be “funny,” yet rarely anyone who actually within the queer community. 

If anything, at times you would see drag queens in the background of more mainstream shows at parties main characters were attending. It was rare that you saw a non-binary or transgender character within the media at all

Although there was much negative representation of those identifying LGBTQ in the media, “Will and Grace” was a notable transitional show in highlighting queer people in main stream, heteronormative culture. 

Straight and queer people both adored this comical sitcom. 

Additionally, shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Queer as Folk, and the L Word also made appearances showing queer people as main characters. 

Many beloved starter packs for queer millennials as they began to come out! 

 

The Obama-Era

As the LGBTQ movement progressed post 2008, there became more shows that included LGBTQ individuals in the media and on television. 

Shows in the mainstream like Glee highlighted the queer community in more positive ways, celebrating various identities within the LGBTQ community. 

LGBTQ in the Media
Ellen DeGeneres receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ex President Obama.

Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Ellen, and others began to be out publicly in ways that many queer people young and old were able to relate to. 

In Obama’s presidency, we saw some massive changes in the legal system around adoption rights, marriage rights, and protections in various states surrounding sexuality and gender identity. Further supporting growth for LGBTQ individuals to be more present in the media. 

 

YASSSSSSSSS QUEEN: Now

Now in the age of Ru Paul, Queer Eye, and Orange is the New Black, there are countless shows, celebrities, and LGBTQ icons. 

LGBTQ in the Media
RuPaul by David Shankbone

Those who identified as LGBTQ in the media were once seen as a comic relief or shameful, and now are getting more air time and being celebrated. 

This includes people who identify outside the gender binary. There are more and more celebrities coming out as non-binary or gender queer such as Janelle Monae, Jonathan Van Ness, Sam Smith, and Miley Cyrus. 

Furthermore, there are many individuals in the media showing allyship and speaking out in support of the queer community. 

There seems to be a cultural shift allowing those on the queer spectrum and their allies to be able to create a varied experience of queer people in the media. There still is work to be done to include more people of color within media representation as LGBTQ characters and people in the media continue to be more seen.

Breaking down barriers and stereotypes helps diversity us and create a vibrant community!. 

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Identity-Affirming Care

Identity-Affirming Care

Identity-Affirming Care

 

Many individuals and therapy practices claim to be identity affirming, yet seem to lack the basic structure to support various identities such as race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual or relationship orientation, etc. 

 

As a therapist who specializes in LGBTQ+ issues, I see this OFTEN. Therapists and other health care professionals say they are a “safe space” with affirming environments for this community. 

Identity-Affirming Care

When in reality, they believe things like “gay people are not the worst” or “I know someone who is trans.” 

I want to be clear. Knowing someone in the LGBTQ community does not make you competent to support the community. 

I repeat... Knowing someone in the LGBTQ community does not make you competent in treating someone within the community.

How do you be an ally and how do you be identity affirming?

 

Be An Ally & Identity Affirming!

 

Being an ally means supporting various identities, showing up for those identities, speaking up for those identities, voting for those identities, learning about those identities, and including those identities. 

Identity Affirmative Care

There are so many other things to do, and here are some places to start:

  1. To be identity affirming AND an ally means using inclusive language, recognizing the “isms” and when heteronormativity is showing up. 
  2. Acknowledging differences, appreciating those differences, yet not pretending to understand them. 
  3. Identity affirming in healthcare is inclusive language on paperwork:
  • Partner 1 and Partner 2
  • Legal Name vs Name
  • Pronouns: ____________
  • Having signage or representation of various identities in advertising or in office
  • Addressing systems of inequality to increase access to care 
  • Supporting staff in reflecting on their own biases
  • Training staff on how to be inclusive with someone who specializes in these training sessions, etc. 

There are many more things to do, this is just a start.

 

Young People are not the Only People who Need Allies!

In my experience, I notice being an ally has shown up often times for younger generations (millennials and below). 

People who are 35 and below are not the only people who need representation and allyship.

All people within the community, specifically within the LGBTQ+ community, need to have their identities affirmed and supported throughout their life.

In the LGBTQ+ community, each generation has had a uniquely complicated experience surrounding their identity. 

Most commonly, this shows up in internalized homophobia or a person in the LGBTQ+ community has negative feelings about their identity due to the dominant culture narrative around that identity. 

Addressing these issues across the lifespan is vital to improving the quality of care and health of people within various communities. 

As someone who specializes in LGBTQ+ individuals and their loved ones, I see how outcomes drastically improve for individuals or relationships as they have more support, affirmation, and understanding around them REGARDLESS of age and stage

Support and affirmation are a protective factor. 

Again, I repeat, it is not enough to know someone in the LGBTQ community. 

To be an ally or identity affirming person, you have to be an active participant in addressing dominant narratives around this community (and any marginalized community!) and thus, work in COLLABORATION with this community. 

If you want to be an ally or have identity-affirming care, join the community. Follow their lead. Show up and help out. Part of that is being inclusive and being sure that those around you feel supported. If you do not know how to support someone, remain curious and ask them. 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Bisexuality

Bisexuality and Other Invisible Identities 

Bisexuality and Other Invisible Identities 

 

Being attracted to more than one gender bisexuality (and pansexuality) can be complicated and wonderful! 

In my work and over 8 years of experience as a therapist, I have learned an extraordinary amount about these identities that allow individuals and their partner(s) to manage their needs. 

 

Some people ask "how do I overcome bisexuality," and we want them to know what the bisexuality definition is AND how they can learn to celebrate who they are!

 

Sexual Identity

Bisexuality Definition - attraction to “both genders or sexes,” while the Pansexuality Definition is being attracted to all genders.

 

In working with individuals who identify with the bisexuality definition, it is clear that there are many ups and downs in the identity.

 

When people within these identities are in a monogamous relationship, some have shared that it feels like their identity is not known - like a part of them is missing or hidden.

 

Sexual identity and bisexuality definition is confusing because it is fluid, which is not easy to describe to those who are "black and white" thinkers.

 

Relational Identity

Another invisible identity is being in a monogamous relationship when you identify as polyamorous or on the continuum of non-monogamous. 

There are many people who identify as polyamorous that choose to be in a monogamous relationship with their partner due to a variety of reasons. 

Whether that be that they are polyphobic (scared of being polyamorous), their partner is not okay with the idea of it, because there is no protection for employment for open relationships (you can get fired or Child Custody Services called on you if you identify with being in open relationships), or for other personal reasons. 

Polyamory is the idea of loving multiple partners. Polyamory, also known as consensual non-monogamy (CNM) is increasingly becoming common. 

Being in love with more than one person isn’t as radical as it seems and if you want to learn more, check out this blog.

Polyamory can mean having a relationship with more than one person or feeling love, affection, and or having a sexual relationship with more than one person. 

This identity is often misunderstood and has been given a bad wrap because of nonconsensual forms of it (for example: infidelity, cheating, and affairs). 

The key to polyamory is consent. Consent from all people involved and a level of attunement and erring on the side of over-communicating with all partners involved are often essential for those who identify as polyamorous.

Bisexuality

How do you show that you are bisexual or pansexual in a monogamous relationship? 

In other-sex/gender or same-sex/gender relationships, when you are seen holding hands or being affectionate with that partner, you are assumed to be straight or gay/lesbian. 

When you are bisexual, pansexual, or polyamorous in a monogamous relationship, unless you are wearing something (or tattoo it across your forehead haha), there is limited ability to show your identity without verbally speaking it, and often. 

This can be exhausting! To have to constantly come out or correct people can be challenging and overwhelming! 

Some choose to passively accept the label of “gay” or “straight” and others “correct” those who mislabel them. Either can feel defeating as a person with an invisible identity. 

Furthermore, there is a lot of bi/pan/polyphobia in both the heteronormative and queer worlds. 

Many do not believe in these sexualities or I have also heard others sharing that it takes away from the queer identity because people in this identity can access “straight privilege.” 

In the case of people who identify as poly, this can show in the form of making assumptions about what “poly” is because it is very misunderstood. 

Stop the bi/pan/polyphobia! 

Show support for our bi/pan friends and stop invalidating these identities. 

It’s not okay! 

If you don’t get it, learn about it! 

Bisexuality

Being Unseen and the Impacts

There are a variety of ways on how to manage the feeling that a part of your identity is unseen or erased. 

Here are some of our favorite tips at Life Coaching and Therapy:

  • Talk about it! Make it visible! Share your feelings with those you trust, especially your partner. Discuss what it is like and ask your partner to hold that space for you.
  • Educate yourself on open relationships or polyamory to see if that is a choice for you.
  • Strategize! Is there something you and your partner can do that would allow your identity to be seen more?
  • Engage in role play or fantasy play with your partner or by yourself! Why not use masturbation and fantasy 
  • Allow yourself to grieve this through ritual, therapy, spirituality, or other means.
  • Use “radical acceptance” in being able to accept your identity and your choice of person. 
  • COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!

If you are really struggling with feeling unseen or not sure about your experience, reach out to a professional to help. 

This can allow you to explore your identity, ways to grieve, cope, or change. 

The impact of not doing this is ending up feeling resentful, unseen, or causing emotional harm to yourself and others. 

If this is hitting home for you or someone you know, please consider some of the suggestions and finding support. Here at LCAT, we are here to help! Identity, sex, and relationships are our thing!

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


Gender Stereotypes in Toys

Gender Stereotypes in Toys

Gender stereotypes in toys are recurring questions from parents! Parenting is complicated. Gender stereotyping in toys was normal in the past but times have changed!

 

Trying to parent children in an environment that allows for a child to explore their gender expression is complicated. 

GenXers and Millennials are the next generation of parents, and we are seeing them address gender and sexuality in new ways.

Young children and parents are bombarded with gender-specific clothing, toys, diapers, and everything in between.

Now parents are backlashing against the norms of our society around gender and sexuality. 

Many parents are trying to allow self-directed exploration around their children’s gender and sexuality. 

Gender stereotypes in toys

A recent article from CNN addresses that parents are now pushing back on the gendered toys created by the previous generations (December 2019). 

Toys and media representations are starting to show non-binary models, figurines, and playthings that are not the “stereotypical” in terms of form and color. 

The article addresses how gendered toys and marketing took off in the 1940’s and remained mainstream until recently, when parents began to pushback on these gendered ideals. 

These toys and “gender neutral” dolls are showing to be more representative of what adolescents and adults look like NOW! 

These new toys have various hairstyles, body shapes, abilities (some are in wheelchairs), different races, and a variety of clothing options regardless of the gender of the toy.  

As a parent, I want to support my child in exploring their gender identity and expression. 

I love that toys that are now more representative of many individuals and expressions of life, size, ability, and fashion. 

I think it is lovely that we are moving in a direction that focuses on building people’s individuality. Parents realize it is wrong to force anyone into a mold that they may not connect with.

Children who enjoy the more stereotypical gender expressions are not wrong. They can have their choice too!

It is a blessing that the new toys, clothes, and media representations will allow opportunities for all to figure out where they fit in. 

If children like pink, regardless of their gender, they ought to be allowed to play with toys that are pink.

Let’s stop “shoulding” on the next generation of children, parents, and extended families! Let everyone express themselves as they want. 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.


they/them

They Them Beyond the Binary UPDATE!

They Them - Beyond the Binary UPDATE!

 

Today I heard some great news for those who identify as they them!

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has added they them as new pronoun and the word of the year!

This is a huge win for the non-binary and LGBTQ community.

For years, people have commented that using they/them as pronouns is “grammatically incorrect” therefore people refused to use they/them as pronouns for people who identified that way. Thus alienating many in the LGBTQ community, specifically the non-binary and gender queer folks, from their friends and family. 

This argument was hurtful and insensitive to so many who already experience daily marginalization and harm. To have Merriam-Webster add they them to the dictionary erases that argument and empowers a community who has experienced significant harm as a result. 

Making “they” the word of the year shines a light on the queer community and more specifically the non-binary community. Recently there has been more visibility for those who do not fit in the gender binary coming out such as Sam Smith, Jonathan Van Ness, and Ruby Rose. 

I applaud the company for doing the right thing AND I think there is so much more work that needs to be done to support the non-binary, gender queer, and/or gender spectrum. This is a lovely step towards progress that continues to be needed and necessary. Especially putting a spot light of people on the gender spectrum who are also black or people of color - given that most celebrities highlighted have been white people. 

Here at LCAT we value the queer community and other marginalized populations.

 

We are here to utilize an intersectional approach surrounding the multiple identities our clients (whether it be gender, culture, sexuality, trauma, ethnicity, ability, race, religion, etc.) and how to address and work with the different parts and aspects to ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. 

You can get more free content on relationship and sex tips by checking out my Youtube Channel - The Sex Healer

If you know someone that would benefit from this information, feel free to share it. 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. For clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized coaching on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Call or text us at 203-733-9600 or make an appointment.