Pride Month

Happy Pride! - June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month

Happy Pride! - June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month

 

June is pride month - happy pride. 

This pride month is different from other prides in the past. This Pride month is during a pandemic and the mass realization of racial oppression within our culture. This year, I am writing a very different Pride message than I would have expected.

Pride will not be massive parades with rainbows everywhere. In the age of social distancing we must find new ways to celebrate our identities. Perhaps we should consider fighting for our black voices and black folks who are a vital piece of our community.

Pride Month

As a community, the LGBTQ+ community intersects all races, religions, abilities, relationship types, etc. As a community we know what it has been like to be oppressed or discriminated against.  If it were not for the black community so of the pivotal points in our history would not have happened. Because of black trans women’s bravery, we were able to work towards the progress we have made today. Obviously, there continues to be bigotry out there, and right now I am noticing the massive level of harm being perpetrated against the black community.

I hope that we are able to stand up for and with the black community as our culture finally begins to awaken to the massive systemic racism that is occurring against the black community. This racism is not new. This racism is hundreds of years old and only now are we “seeing.” We must continue to see and lend voices when appropriate and elevate voices that are important. The system has to change.

Instead of marching only in pride parades, I would suggest marching and rallying with the black community to show black lives matter. We are standing with you. Allow our rainbows and energy be brought to a community that is being killed. A community that without their contribution within our community, we would not be as far. 

I love how this community intersects all communities and there are certainly times that we forget that and prioritize white voices in the queer community. Now is time for us to examine our own racism, our own system, our own community - so we can do better because when we know better, we need to do better.

For pride 2020, I stand in solidarity with the black community to support and elevate their voices and their stories. Here at Life Coaching and Therapy, LLC we stand with the black community. We will continue to provide a safe space for the black community and activists alike to share their story and address their experiences during this time. We will continue to learn, we will continue to listen, we will continue to stand with you. We stand with you. 

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.


Cis Het

What Does Cis Het Mean?

What Does Cis Het Mean?

 

Have you heard the term "cis het"?

In our society, there are a lot of terms being shared. One of the most popular ones right now is “cis-het.” 

Often, I am asked what this term “cis het” means or find myself hearing this term often in sessions. 

 

“Cis”

Cisgender or more commonly referred to as “cis”  is a term that references someones gender identity. 

Cisgender refers to someone whos natal (birth) sex is congruent with gender identity/presentation (ie someone born female and identifies as a woman or someone born male and identifies as male.)

When someone says you are “cis” it means that your biological sex and gender you identify correspond. 

 

“Het”

Heterosexual or “het” is a term that references someones sexual identity. Someone who is heterosexual is sexually interested to the “other” sex or gender (if we are looking at gender as a binary). Heterosexual relationships are other sex relationships (male/female pairings). 

 

“Cis” + “Het”= CISHET

The combination of cisgender and heterosexual is what is now commonly known as “cishet.” 

This refers to the majority of the population who’s birth or natal sex are congruent with thei gender identity and presentation and are sexually and romantically interested in the other sex. 

Basically, a straight person who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.

People who are categorized as “cishet” are typically seen within the “norm” of society (which is typically referred to as “heteronormativity”). 

Recently, there have been memes depicting “cishet woman” that are caucasian or white with stereotypical, middle-aged, white woman names such as “Karen” or “Susan” or “Carol.” 

This has stimulated a debate among various groups of people. 

Being a “Karen” seems to imply a lack of social awareness and/or privilege. 

Although I am not a proponent of name calling, I will be calling on people who are white, cisgender, and heterosexual human to recognize their privilege. 

I challenge you to see your privilege and use it to elevate those who are not. 

YouTube page where she provides free information at 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.


coming out

Coming Out is Not Just One and Done

Coming Out is Not Just One and Done

 

Coming out is a complicated process within the LGBTQ/queer community. Coming out is when someone within the queer community discloses their identity to others. These experiences can be complicated for a variety of different reasons. 

Coming out can be complicated for people due to an internalized process known as internalized queerphobia which is an individual internalizing the messages (covert or overt) from their culture, community, family, and friends around queer identities. Generally speaking, the dominant cultural narrative is not one of overt support of queer identities. 

A common misconception around coming out is that you do it once or twice and then it’s over. That is DEFINITELY not the case. As a queer person, coming out happens often and is a process that continues throughout your life. Everytime you meet someone or have a new stage happen in your life or your relationship it creates another opportunity to come out.

 

What Does that Look Like?

Just like in our brains we replay what we do not heal from our childhoods, the same things show up in the coming out experience. If you initially have a difficult coming out experience or have lived in a community that does not support the LGBTQ+ community this will likely come out at each major juncture or time you have to come out.

News flash: our community and culture has only recently been remotely inclusive so most queer people have underlying messages and meanings that have been created as a result. These underlying messages or meanings that are created begin to impact the way queer people think and see themselves consciously or unconciously (internalized queerphobia). 

 

Wait… what?

So basically what I am saying (from my experience in the field) is that when queer people come out on a day to day and then in large moments of their life it activitates those pathways created around internalized queerphobia from the course of their coming out experience. 

When you are going through a new stage in your life or having to come out again and again, the pathways from the original experiences you have around coming out or around disclosing a vulnerable identity are likely to reactivate. 

Example time. So often times during the initial coming out people can be rejected by people and/or they may also have their boundaries violated. Ask most queer people and they will tell you 100000 inappropriate questions that they were asked when they came out (who’s the man/woman? Who’s baby is it? Who’s on top? What do you even do? What parts do you have? The list goes on and on).

Yes. People do ask these things. So when a queer person begins to move towards a new stage of your life or begin to engage witih a new community… these boundary violations happen again. This often triggers experiences similar to when this has happened before. If you have had a particularly challenging coming out experience (rejection, abandonment, shaming, violation of boundaries, dismissal of identity) and this has not been processed through, this can all erupt again for you. 

 

Coming out and Trauma

Often in my practice, I see clients have some level of regression each time they take these steps. These steps can be something minor like coming out to someone from their past to marriage, to having children, to losing someone, etc. The regression can show up in a variety of different ways like increased anxiety, irritability, or more extreme through reacting in trauma (the flight, fight, freeze, or fawn response). 

In many, coming out has been traumatic to varying degrees whether it is their coming out or the coming out process of their partner(s).

coming out

I believe this to be because it activates their internalized queerphobia (unconscious process) and any remaining struggles that they experienced during their coming out (conscious process). This can happen to varying degrees depending on the significance of the internalized queerphobia or the un-healed parts during their coming out. When people are responding from a place of trauma, they are often unaware of the impact they have on themselves or those around them. 

This may seem really confusing, I totally feel and hear that. What I am trying to encourage people to consider is the long term impact of how internalized queerphobia and the ongoing coming out process impact queer people’s quality of life over the course of their life. There is not enough awareness of this impact across the world or an understanding of ways to support the queer community in a real way. 

 

Prevention: A Call for Community Healing

This is the systemic impact of being a marginalized community, the multitude of layers of complexity that can be created is a crap storm for individuals and those around them. Working together to heal ourselves, our cultural beliefs, and supporting those around us can help lessen the blow to the queer community and those they love.

Prevention would be the best medicine. That would require a systemic change in the way we as a community, see, support, and engage with the queer community. It would be creating a culture of inclusivity, support, learning, and access. Prevention requires the community to do things differently. We have ample evidence (through multiple marginalized communities) that this system doesn’t work.  “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead

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.


Trauma in the LGBTQ

Trauma in the LGBTQ Community

Trauma in the LGBTQ Community

 

Trauma in the LGBTQ+ community is unique and often underestimated or misunderstood. 

One of our specializations here at Life Coaching and Therapy, LLC is trauma and the intersection of that experience with other identities including gender and sexuality.

Systemic trauma is a different experience that other types of trauma. A variety of communities experience systemic trauma (i.e people of color, black people, people with disabilities, women, etc.). Systemic trauma, in my eyes, is trauma that comes from being a part of an identity that our greater culture does not support through social systems in place. 

 

Systemic Trauma: Heteronormativity

In the LGBTQ community, this looks like heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is the dominant culture being one that supports other sex couples who are straight (presenting) and cis gender (assigned gender at birth matches gender identification and presentation).

A dominant culture of heteronormativity equates to various systems that do NOT support same sex couples, queer people, and people who are outside of “gender norms.” This can be overt through laws or can be through microaggressions (verbal or non-verbal behaviors or statements that are insensitive, discriminatory, and problematic towards a particular group). An example of a microaggression towards the queer community would be “which one of you is the man?” to a same sex female couple. 

Something as simple as finding a greeting card for your partner, in a same sex couple, can be very difficult. The perceived relational make-up of couples in greeting cards is that of other-sex or gender couples. Laws around marriage, adoption, and workplace all create additional barriers to LGBTQ individuals, couples, and families. 

In addition to microaggressions, dominant narratives in our culture can create layers of trauma to an individual's identity. A common cultural narrative that creates feelings of intense shame in the queer community is religions. Many religions have outward, unsupportive language or outright hostility towards the LGBTQ/queer population. 

The way pronouns are used and assumed in a heteronormative culture also lends to creating levels of microaggresions AND harm to the LGBTQ community. Specifically people in the transgender community, gender queer community, and non-binary community. 

 

Trauma in the LGBTQ

Interpersonal Trauma

When most people consider trauma and the LGBTQ community they think of someone coming out to loved ones and being rejected. This CERTAINLY is traumatic and is common place for people within the LGBTQ community.

Coming out is the process of disclosing your sexual or gender identity to people in your life. In many cases this experience is vulnerable, challenging, and emotional. Often this results in rejection of the LGBTQ+ individual from friends, family, workplace, or the community at large. 

There are devastating impacts of being rejected from those you love. Please review various resources available on GLADD, HRC, and other LGBTQ specific organizatons to learn specific impacts of being rejected. In general, from my observation in my practice and what I have read, rejection after coming out leads to higher levels of homelessness, suicide, mental health issues, and substance abuse issues.

 

How does this = trauma?

In my experience in specializing in trauma and the queer community, I have learned so much from my clients on how systemic trauma and interpersonal trauma has impacted them. The information is important and I want to share it with you. My hope is, in understanding this it will allow you the opportunity to learn more and imagine what this experience is like for this population.

Systemic, community, and cultural barriers create passive and intended harm in the LGBTQ community. How? Thank you for asking!

 

IMAGINE:

  • That someone feels it is appropriate to ask you really personal questions after just meeting you because of your relationship with your partner. 

  • Growing up in the wrong body. 

  • That you are limited to celebrate certain religions due to your identity. Imagine you grow up being taught that liking or loving someone is bad. 

  • Growing up being told that your not dressing right. 

  • Having to consider where you are traveling based on how they respond to people within your identity.

  • Growing up and learning that people who are like you should be punished, harmed, or go to hell. 

  • Watching people getting harmed or made fun of for liking who they are. 

  • Hearing people use your identity as synonymous with “stupid.” 

  • People making fun of people “dressing up” as the other gender and its “funny.”

  • Being told your marriage doesn’t count.

  • Having to adopt your child.

  • Being told your relationship is seen differently than someone elses and you have less rights because of it.

  • Having to hide who you are from your friends, family, community, or workplace. 

  • The only way to have children and start a family is to pay a lot of money to adopt or do fertility OR go through the state and risk having that child returned to biological parents.

  • Having to come out over and over again anytime you meet someone, have a big step happen in your life, or really anything.

  • People saying “it’s not like it used to be, its so confusing now” effectively dismissing your identity. 

  • Having to pick a place to live based on how accepting they are of you and what resources there may be for you if there becomes an issue. 

  • Being scared to have to share who you are often because you do not know how the other person will respond.

  • Having to explain your identity all the time.

  • That some of these “choices” are not even realistic for you because you live somewhere that will never allow you to come out or be safe.

Trauma in the LGBTQ

If you were able to truly sit with some of these statements and reflect on it, you may be able to see how a system that supports people in feeling this way is indeed traumatic. It creates something known as internalized homophobia or internalized queerphobia. This is what happens to people in the LGBTQ community all the time, taking these systemic, dominant narratives within our culture and internalizing them to feel shame and disgust with who they are. Sometimes people are aware of it and sometimes they aren’t. 

Regardless of one's understanding and awareness of it, it has a massive impact on the individual and their relationships. 

It is for this reason that I specialize in this intersection and LCAT does the work it does. There are not enough systems in place to address the intersection of trauma and identity. Here at LCAT we are committed to doing this work and providing a safe space for healing from trauma, microaggressions, and the patriarchal, heternormative, racist society we live in. 

In the coming weeks, we will have further blogs to continue to address issues like this one!

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.


Am I Bisexual

Licensed Therapist Answers “Am I Bisexual?”

Licensed Therapist Answers “Am I Bisexual?”

 

Today, we answer a common client question:“Am I bisexual” 

How do you know if you are bisexual?

Am I Bisexual

We wish there was a clear answer that could be used for everyone, and there is not. We are all unique and special in what we desire.  What I will share is what I have learned from my education, my experience, and my private practice. Please consider these as some general questions to reflect on if you are wondering if you are bisexual.

 

What is Bisexuality?

Stereotypically, the definition of bisexuality is being sexually attracted to “both” genders (ex. Men and women). Some would say it would be attracted to cisgender men and women and someone would include transgender individuals in this as well.

Cisgender is someone whos sex assigned at birth “matches” their gender presentation and/or expression (ex. Someone with a penis identifying as male). 

Transgender is someone whos sex assigned at birth does not “match” their gender expression and/or presentation (ex. Someone born with a vagina who identifies, dresses, and lives as a man.. because he is). 

I think it is important to note that there is conflict within the bisexual community regarding whether or not transgender individuals should be included.

Am I Bisexual

Unsolicited opinion: if you identify as a man or woman regardless of sex assigned at birth or what your genitals are… you are a man or a woman. Full stop. 

Stop transphobia.

 

What's the difference between Bisexuality and Pansexuality?

Bisexuality focuses on the attraction exclusively to men and women, where as pansexuality is attraction to all genders (including non-binary, transgender, genderqueer, gender fluid, gender bending, etc.). 

Note: These are generally agreed upon definitions… it does not mean they are set in stone or that people within these identifies strictly adhere to these definitions.

 

Am I Bisexual?

Generally speaking, here are some indicators that you may be bisexual:

  • you are attracted to men and women - it does not have to be equal attraction!
  • you have had romantic relationships with men and women
  • you fantasize about men and women
  • you like pink, purple, and blue.. KIDDING, yet it is the flag!

Am I Bisexual

Basically the bottom line is that you are attracted to (romantically and/or sexually) to male and female humans. There is variation and does not necessarily mean the attraction is 50/50. It also does not mean that you have had to be in relationships or had sex with either or anyone else to know. You do not need to have had sex with someone to understand who you are and not attracted to. It helps, but is not necessary for your identity!

 

The Best Way is Self Exploration!

Any identity requires levels of self reflection and exploration. The only way to truly figure out your identity is through your knowledge and experience of yourself. If you need help with this please find an identity affirming therapist (like us at Life Coaching and Therapy, LLC) to help you through this process!

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.


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.


rainbow

The Rainbow Flag -  The Story of “Our Rainbow” 

The Rainbow Flag - The Story of “Our Rainbow” 

One night, I was reading a book to my six-month-old daughter about the Rainbow flag (“Our Rainbow”), and I learned that each color of the flag had a meaning and representation to the community itself. 

Of course this makes sense when you think about it, but the rainbow flag was not something I had given much thought to.  

This obviously speaks to my privilege as a millennial, queer person who has been able to not have to learn the meaning because there has been some great shifts in acceptance around my identity. 

However, to many who do not have access to fly this rainbow flag freely, there is a great meaning!

So I learned, I learned from the book my six-month-old child received from my best friend. 

 

A History of the Rainbow Flag

I wanted to share what each color represents. 

First, I should share that the flag has changed over the course of time. 

At one time, it had 8 colors and then after 1979 went to 6 colors and within the last couple years there has been additions to include queer people of color. 

After a quick google, the original flag had 8 colors with meanings: 

  • pink (sex) 
  • red (life)
  • orange (healing)
  • yellow (sunlight)
  • green (nature) 
  • teal (magic) 
  • indigo (serenity)
  • violet (spirit). 

After Harvey Milk’s death in 1978, the rainbow flag increased in popularity, and due to difficulty with accessing hot pink fabric, pink was dropped from the flag. To keep it “even,” they dropped teal as well (gilbertbaker.com) to bring you the rainbow flag with the 6 colors we know now. 

The 6 colors continued to hold the same meaning they did on the previous rainbow flag creating a rainbow flag to represent various aspects of life and connect them to the queer community. 

As someone in the community, I never knew what the individual flag colors meant until I read this book. Therefore, I wanted to share it with our readers who are interested! 

Over the last several years the colors black and brown have been added to the rainbow flag. 

These colors are perhaps the most important on the flag because through these additions, the queer community is sharing love, acceptance, and the intersecting of identities and sexuality. 

Acknowledging people of color within the flag through the black and brown stripes creates significance and importance to these identities and also bringing the flag back to its original 8 stripes! 

 

Why are the Black and Brown Stripes important?

I want to say it clearly and strongly, that the addition of these two colors is integral in supporting all parts of the queer community, especially queer people of color. 

Although the queer community is marginalized in and of itself, people of color have been further marginalized within the queer community.

This is a step in overtly including people of color and acknowledging the unique contributions the various races and cultures have within our queer community. 

If you are interested in learning more about yourself and your identity, join us at Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT), as we would love to support you on this journey!

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.