Gay Men, Lesbians, MTFs, FTMs, Queer and Questioning
Each lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered person has a unique history and perspective. One thing they share is that LGBT individuals often grow up feeling some confusion and/or shame of their very nature. Many are subjected to religious and/or social persecution. Rejection by family or friends, job discrimination, and sexual harassment are sadly not uncommon. Others face challenges in creating families, finding time for activism, or struggling to maintain relationships with families of origin. In addition, AIDS has had a devastating impact on many in these communities.
Part of growing up is developing one’s own sense of self and independence. For LGBT youth, this process can be confusing and complex. It is natural to desire to ‘fit in’ with peers, but LGBT youth often feel faced with having to choose between being true to one’s self, or having friends. Some pre-teens and adolescents proclaim their identities easily, others find the process agonizing.
I have several years’ experience with clients from these communities, to build happier lives and to overcome the impacts of societal discrimination. This has included addressing issues of:
- Balancing emotional and sexual intimacy in couples
- Re-igniting sexual intimacy
- Working with partners to negotiate and define agreements about safer sex
- Helping partners negotiate and maintain agreements about sexual conduct in and outside of the relationship, including monogamy, polyamory, and sex with others
- For bisexuals, overcoming discrimination from straights and gays alike
- Living with HIV and/or AIDS
- MTFs and FTMs in transition
- Lesbian, gay, transgender, and questioning youth
- Grief and loss, including cumulative loss
If you are a gay man, lesbian, transgendered, or bisexual, you may find it particularly important to work with a therapist who has experience with the issues you face. If you are interested in the possibility of our working together, please call me for a free telephone interview. For more details, please see my experience and training.
Links related to LGBT Mental Health:
- The San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Community Center often offers events concerning mental health. It also is a great resource for finding support groups, activities, and other community resources
- This is the website for the Tom Weddell Health Center, which includes a Transgender Clinic
- The website for the San Francisco Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC). This is a community center for LGBTQQ youth age 23 and under, and offers mental health services and many other programs
- Bay Area Open Minds is a group of San Francisco Bay Area psychotherapists and psychotherapy students who affirm that sexual and gender diversity are natural expressions of the human experience. The members of this organization have practices that welcome and serve clients who engage in consensual sexual behaviors, including but not limited to kink and polyamory; and clients who identify as gender variant.
- The University of California San Francisco Alliance Health Project offers free support groups and short-term individual psychotherapy counseling to both individuals, and to couples. Services are available for those living with HIV/AIDS, and also anyone who is HIV-Negative and concerned about HIV risk and exposure, or wanting to remain HIV Negative