You’ve always been a little bit different – maybe you weren’t sure how, but that first boyfriend wasn’t as great an experience as everyone else seemed to report. Your first kiss? Kind of, “meh”.
What weren’t you getting, you wondered? Why is everyone else so comfortable with this and I feel out of place?
Your relationship to clothing may have been a bit atypical – somehow the way that you were expected to dress didn’t quite fit – didn’t seem like you. You didn’t want to wear those frilly dresses or short shorts. You felt more comfortable in pants, clean linens. Perhaps you discovered that you preferred shopping in the men’s section.
Exploring and discovering one’s sexual and/or gender identity is a complex and intricate process that evolves and changes over the course of many years.
Sometimes you know from childhood that you prefer the same gender. Sometimes you can’t figure it out and instead you are back and forth, in and out, up and down over the course of years or even decades.
Some of us just know from our preschool years that we were born into the wrong body; others can’t explain why but have a nagging sensation of feeling wrong, uncomfortable, hating our body. Like discovering one’s sexuality, gender too is a process of self-exploration and coming into awareness – giving name and form to what has so often been unsaid and unspoken.
Regardless of the timing, of when you feel like you actually know you’re not straight or you know you’re not cisgender, myriad influences impact the experience of coming or being out. While some of these coming out experiences can be extremely positive, there are also messages and reactions starting at a young age that seep into our unconscious and shape our internal thoughts of ourselves, leading to struggles with self-esteem and self-acceptance. Feelings of shame, isolation, depression, and anxiety, as well as issues around identity, substance use, and suicide are common among those in the LGBTQ community.
Therapy is a safe place to begin unraveling these deeply rooted influences that have molded how we see ourselves. Exploring these issues with an affirming therapist can aid in the development of greater self-acceptance and provide room for feelings of empowerment to begin to grow.
From isolation and confusion, clarity and community can emerge.
Whether you’re at the beginning of your process, already comfortable in your identity and struggling with finding community and connection or in the midst of a crisis around some other psychological issue, we provide a safe and LGBTQ-knowledgeable environment in which you can become the person you want.
When you’re ready to start, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call .