Gender Non-Conforming

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender Creative

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender Creative

 

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender Creative individuals are people whose gender expression does not follow the stereotypical “rules” surrounding what is expected in male or female within our society. 

You may wonder what is gender non-conforming or what does it mean when people are gender creative? 

In our society, we commonly categorize individuals as male or female. 

Therefore, those people who identify themselves as either side of the binary are expected to conform to a particular style and behavior. 

Someone who identifies as female is expected to wear “feminine” clothing such as dresses, leggings, skirts, specific shirts, etc. Females are also assumed to wear makeup, have longer hair, and no facial hair. 

Those who identify themselves as male are expected to wear “masculine” clothing such as sports attire, pants, more solid colors, and usually not bright clothing. These are some of the “rules” that are gender conformity. 

When an individual does not ascribe to these set of rules or engages in shifting gender expressive play (through clothing, makeup, etc), this is breaking gender conformity or the binary. 

Gender non-conforming individuals are those we are focusing on here.

There are a variety of ways people can choose to break gender conformity through the varying ways gender is expressed. 

Some common options are: 

  • Mannerisms
  • Dress and attire
  • Makeup
  • Hair style
  • Accessories 

Individuals who are gender non-conforming or gender creative may have a different style completely or may fluctuate between what the culture considers masculine and feminine. 

Some people who identify as non-conforming may present more neutral or androgenous, while others may shift their gender expression based on activity, crowd, emotion, or internal desire. 

People who are gender non-conforming or gender creative may identify with their assigned gender or may identify with other identities. 

These identities can include, yet are not limited to:

  • Non-binary
  • Gender queer
  • Gender fluid
  • Gender bending
  • Gender non-conforming
  • Or something else. 

The important thing is learning to understand each person's identity and not making assumptions about those you meet. 

If you are wanting to learn more about someone’s identity, be sure you are doing it for them and their comfort, rather than for your own needs. This is often a good place to start by knowing your intentions. 

You can also seek therapy or reputable sources who can help support you in learning and understanding. 

It is your own responsibility to learn more rather than anyone in the community teaching you. Seek a professional if you need, that specializes in this area of focus. 

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.


Queer Women

Queer Women

 

Queer women are wonderful. Even though I may be biased that queer women are wonderful, hear me out and let me explain the why! 

 

What does Queer even mean?

Back in the day being dubbed “queer” was a slur and negative. 

People used that to insult people in the LGBTQ+ community or to insult someone's perceived identity (often feminine men). 

Recently, we as a community have reclaimed the term “queer”  to be empowering and create a sense of community rather than as an insult. 

When you hear the word queer (not “what a queer” or “you are sucha queer” those are still negative), it indicates someone within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, etc (LGBTQ+) community. 

The word queer encapsulates for many relational, sexual, and gender identties. 

 

Queer Women

So queer women are people who identify as women and are on some piece of the LGBTQ+ community spectrum. 

As queer women, we come in a variety forms, identities, and belief systems. Some of these identities are within sexuality identities of bisexual, lesbian, gay, pansexual, etc. Some of these identities are within gender: transgender, cisgender, nonbinary, femme, genderflexible, etc. 

Relational identities such as monogamous, polyamorous, swinging, open, etc. 

Often queer women, specifically “lesbians” are boiled down to either being super “butch” or about lesbian orgasms. Some queer women are butch, many like to orgasm, but in my experience queer women show up in so many different ways. Please do not boil us down that simply. 

Queer women are on a spectrum of gender and sexual fluidity. In my practice, I work with many queer women. As a queer woman, it is amazing to learn the diversity of this part of my community. 

Not one of us is the exact same, but we all seem to intersect in some way or another. 

This intersectionality is important in our collective growth, and learning from one another allows us to reach new levels of empowerment and discovery.

I learn so much from my queer clients, in general, and my clients who identify as queer women. 

Being able to break the stereotypes, defy the patriarchy, and show up and be who we are is an empowering process to be a part of. 

I have so much pride to know and work with them on this collective, healing journey towards growth and empowerment. 

 

Collective Healing

In my practice, I have bore witness to collective trauma of the queer community. 

This includes, yet is not limited to queer women. 

The intersection of the identity as “queer” and “woman” has created a unique experience for queer women. The intersection of sexism and homophobia and if they are people of color add racism in the mix.

Bearing witness to the pain, the hurt, the trauma is heartbreaking. These brave women, who have fought and been harmed by a system of oppression. 

This harm has reverberated through their beings and they are wanting to heal. 

It is so sad to hear the stories of failed attempts at therapy - not on their part - but on the therapists part. 

Therapists have tried to hold space for them and their experiences but were far beyond their depth in being able to facilitate a space to heal or to recognize the intersections of systems of play that were continuing their trauma as queer women. 

When we (collectively) are able to hold space for queer women in therapy, where we recognize the various intersections and systems at play, we allow for the trauma and harm to be confronted in a way that allows for healing. 

As therapists, it is our job to work towards facilitating a space of healing, growth, and change. In order to do that, we have to allow for the space to be one of vulnerability. 

My hope is that through more therapists and clients being able to work together to create more spaces for (yet not limited to) queer women, we allow for collective healing and growth. 

Queer women, I am sorry that in so many ways you have not felt seen or heard in the mental health field. I am sorry that in so many ways you were retraumatized in your experiences. 

Although, I cannot take away that pain for you, I can offer a space in a practice where we are committed to growth, learning, social justice, and doing better! 

We want to hear you, we want to see you, and we want to support you. We are here to empower you at Life Coaching and Therapy, LLC. 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! 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

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

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.


lesbian sex toys

Lesbian Sex Toys for Everyone

Lesbian Sex Toys for Everyone

What does “lesbian sex toys” even mean, really? Well sex toy industry has catered to heterosexual, penis-in-vagina definitions of sex for a long time- think phallic dildos in various sizes, with veins and scrotums. Pretty graphic! These phallic toys can bring immense pleasure obviously, but might alienate people who don’t enjoy penises, are working through sexual traumas or prevent people from exploring sexual fantasies and taboos.

Enter lesbian sex toys. Now, let’s be clear, ANYONE can enjoy ANY toy, it doesn’t matter who it is marketed to! If you’re searching for a non-phallic toy that can do more than just penetrate, searching for toys aimed at lesbians can open a whole new world of possibility. These toys are made for pleasurable experiences beyond what a plain old dildo can deliver, and are specifically crafted for pleasuring vaginas, clitorises, and vulvas. And it doesn’t stop there- many of these toys can be enjoyed by our lovers with penises too!

 

So...what kind of lesbian sex toys are out there?

There are so many wonderful toys to play with out there, where do you even start?! Let’s go over some basic categories- the only rule is if you think it sounds fun or will make you feel good, you should try it! Who knows, you might be surprised what new sensations maybe aroused.

 

Suction Toys

At first glance, these look kind of like a vibrator, and some of them do vibrate! The real attraction with suction toys is the smallish suction cup, usually at the top end of the toy, that is meant to be placed over the clitoris. The clitoris is then gently (or vigorously, depending on your settings!) sucked by the toy, emulating sensations felt during oral sex, maybe even more intense.

Of course, you don’t need a clitoris to enjoy the suction! These toys are also great for nipple teasing, so feel free to share with your lovers who don’t have a clitoris. Suction toys are generally more quiet than conventional vibrators, and some can be used underwater. Womanizer is a popular brand of clitoral suction toy, and they even have version that are moulded for g-spot penetration while the suction cup works on the clitoris.

 

Clit Vibrators

This can have a billion different subcategories, but there are three that really cover all bases:

  1. Bullet Vibrators: these tiny, discreet battery operated vibrators are a classic as they can be  inexpensive and easy to use. While they should never be used anally (they’ll get lost up there, and no one wants to be that person in the ER), they can be used on the clitoris as well as the entire body. Any erogenous zone can be tickled by a little bullet. These are usually pretty simple with maybe one or two settings, however they can pack a powerful punch and be a great introduction to vibrating sensations in partner sex with any gender.
  1. Butterfly Vibrators: These unique vibes are shaped like, you guessed it, a butterfly! These are designed for hands free play by placing the vibrator in your underwear, but you can use your hand to guide it wherever you want. They have a wider surface area along the “wings” for a more spread out sensation, and places along the top and middle that can be strategically placed for more intensity.
  1. Vibrating Wands: If you want intensity, get one of these! They are a classic for a reason, and while they aren’t versatile for penetrative activities, they can sure rock anyone’s world. They are definitely not quiet though, so be prepared! Whether you use it on clits, vulvas, penises or other erogenous zones, the intense vibration will come in handy if you have trouble orgasming with timid bullet vibes. These are sometimes sold in conventional stores as “massagers”, which means if you’re not feeling frisky you can work the tension out of your neck and shoulders. Sometimes one thing leads to another though...

 

Penetrative Toys

It doesn’t have to look like a penis to be pleasurable! First things first, if you are inserting something into you or your partner’s body, it better be made of body safe, non porous materials! Avoid PVC, cheap plastic or latex jelly and instead find toys made with silky silicone, or even sculpted pieces made from metal or glass. They’ll be almost beautiful enough to display- almost.

Silicone is great if you want a soft, smooth, almost skin like texture. These toys tend to have a certain degree of flexibility too!

Glass and metal are interesting because they are firm, which can be awesome for flexing and gripping with your pelvic floor. Plus, they can be cool to the touch or warm up with you or your partner’s body heat, opening up more sensation possibilities. If they have a flared base you can use it anally too!

Here are some exciting toys to explore if you want penetrative sensations beyond what a typical dildo can deliver:

  1. Strap Ons: Strap ons are a classic lesbian sex toy, and a wonderful way to connect with a partner through penetration if you don’t have a penis. You have a few options here: a classic harness is secure, though perhaps a little hardware heavy (which can also be a turn on!). There are also styles that are more like underwear with an adjustable opening, so you can vary which sizes you can use in your strap on. Another really fun option: the strapless strap on! This is a toy with two shafts, one that you insert into your vagina, and a second shaft to insert into your partner. Great if you enjoy g-spot stimulation! If you go with a harness or underwear style, many have pockets where you can insert a bullet or butterfly vibe so you can be pleasure while you penetrate your partner.
  2. Double Ended Dildos: they are exactly what you would expect! They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, girths, materials, some vibrate, some have texture- whatever you and your partner enjoy! If you are purchasing a double dildo for anal play, make sure it has a flared piece in the middle to prevent anal injury.
  3. Rabbits: the ultimate hybrid! Flickering ears for clitoral stimulation, a shaft for anal or vaginal penetration, plus vibration! A true triple threat, this is the kind of sex toy that can be used on anybody (and any body!) for a variety of sensations. Plus, it doesn’t look like a penis, instead it has a neutral, sleek shaft that can come with a variety of textures such as ribbing or bumps for extra stimulation.

This is of course only the beginning - there are as many lesbian sex toys out there as there are people! If you’re not a lesbian or if you don’t have a vagina, many of these toys can be enjoyed in many different ways. If you’re not a fan of anatomical sex toys that are too realistic, the lesbian sex toys market has a lot of beautifully designed products for every craving. Now the only question left: which lesbian sex toys will you try out first?

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.


gender expression

Gender Expression and Gender Identity

Gender Expression and Gender Identity

 

What is it? 

It is talked about so much now and so often we find people needing more information about gender and its different facets. 

I am writing this as a way to help create some clarity surrounding gender, gender conformity, and gender expression - I hope it helps!

 

What is Gender?

Gender is a social construction that we focus on how we show our gender which stereotypically is man/boy or girl/woman. 

As we have progressed in the understanding of gender, many are able to see that gender is beyond the binary of man and woman. 

Gender is how we express our experience of being male or female regardless of natal (birth) sex. 

Reminder: sex and gender are different.

 

Gender Expression

Gender is something we express to those around us, it is not something we are “born with.” Without gender expression people would not necessarily know our gender because again sex and gender are different. 

Gender expression is how we show our gender through clothing, what we wear, jewelry, make up, art, hair style, colors, etc. Gender is not tied to our genitals or physical body, we are assigned a gender at birth based on our “natal” or birth sex. 

As we age, we learn to express our gender in what feels comfortable for us. Many people are influenced on what society prescribes us to where based on our assigned genders. 

Others express their gender based on what feels most right for them regardless if that is within societies standards of expression of gender or not.

gender expression

 

Gender Conforming

Gender conforming individuals are people who adhere to “normative” cultural standards surrounding gender expression. 

This would be a woman dressing in feminine attire or what our culture would consider acceptable for a woman (dress, leggings, certain colors, etc.) or a man dressing in “masculine” attire (pants, athletic gear, polos, tshirts, etc). 

The majority of our culture is “gender conforming” because that is what is expected and acceptable. 

People, generally, like to feel connected and accepted in our culture so most people will follow or conform to what is “in style” or “appropriate” for their gender.

Gender conforming can also be defined as following the “rules”  to your assigned gender at birth or your natal sex. 

Some would not consider transgender people to be gender conforming, even if they are wearing clothes that match their gender. 

Most of the clients and people in our world are gender conforming. 

What I work on with these clients is challenging these “normative” beliefs in order for them to assess what truly is comfortable for them so that it is a conscious choice rather than an unconscious one. 

So often when we conform, we do not think, we just do without being conscious. Whatever your choice is, I want you to realize it is a choice.

 

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender Creative

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender Creative are people who’s gender expression does not follow the stereotypical “rules” surrounding what is expected in male or female attire. 

Additionally, individuals who are gender creative may have a different style completely or may fluctuate between what the culture considers masculine and feminine. 

Some people may present more neutral or androgenous while others may shift their gender expression based on activity, crowd, emotion, or internal desire. 

People who are gender creatives may identify with their assigned gender or may identify with other identities such as non-binary, gender queer, gender fluid, gender bending, gender non-conforming, or something else. 

For the clients that I work with who are gender creatives, often have a strong sense of internal identity and also really connect with the spectrum of masculinity and femininity. Others do not connect to either at all. 

 

Gender Identity and Gender Expression are NORMAL!

To be clear, there is nothing clinically problematic or concerning about gender expression or identity AT ALL. 

The individuals who see me and are gender non-confomring or creative are either seeing me for a completely different reason (and just want an identity affirming therapist) or are wanting to work through how to manage the difficulties within our society with “non-conforming.” 

As you may imagine, someone who is not conforming to societal norms experiences a lot of unique stressors, and with gender expression being something that you “show” the world - it creates a lot of difficulty due to people’s hate and inability to learn and grow. 

Regardless of how you express your gender, whether you conform or not, at LCAT we see you and we are here to help provide a safe, comfortable environment for you to explore yourself and learn and grow to be in your best empowered self!

We are here to help at LCAT, we have various therapists who have training and understanding in all the A/a’s. Please join us on your healing journey!

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.


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.