LGBTQ therapy can provide you with support in managing your mental health, relationships, and so much more. Learn more today!
What brought you to this page? Are you an openly LGBTQIA+ person looking for LGBTQ therapy that can help you manage your mental health? Or, you may be exploring your identity and wondering if you’re a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Maybe you are in a relationship, and you and your partner(s) are exploring the idea of building a family? Whatever the reason, we hope that you find support here through LGBTQ therapy. Our counseling practice is based in Orange County, CA. We welcome individuals of all sexual orientations and gender expressions. We would be honored to join you on the journey to mental wellness. Together, we will foster confidence in living authentically.
Exploring LGBTQIA+ Identities with a Therapist
The world can be challenging to navigate as you dive into understanding yourself more wholly. Society pushes the idea of heteronormativity. This is the belief that heterosexuality is normal. The default, and even the preferred, sexual orientation and way of life. It must be noted that heteronormativity is not correct. This way of thinking is exclusive and oppressive. Our LGBTQ therapists are wholeheartedly aware of this and the pain that ideas such as this can cause people throughout life. And, they want to support you in deconstructing heteronormativity as a part of your healing.
If you are exploring your identity, you may be asking yourself questions like these:
- “Am I gay? No… I’ve dated/married people of the opposite gender.”
- “Well, maybe I’m not entirely gay, but I know that I’m interested in people of the same gender as myself. What does this mean?”
- “I’ve never felt comfortable in my body as being a male/female. Am I trans?”
- “When people refer to me as he/him or she/her, it just doesn’t feel right. It makes me uncomfortable. Could I be non-binary?”
- “I don’t think I’m attracted to anybody male or female. Sometimes I wonder if I’m even attracted to anybody at all.”
It is common to feel lonely, confused, or fearful as these thoughts and questions arise. In fact, it can be incredibly isolating to process these ideas without discussing them aloud. Individuals can often experience anxiety, depression, and social isolation during this period of self-exploration. Plus, encountering family, friends, or organizations that are homophobic or transphobic can hurt. It can be scary, too. Navigating questions about your identity on your own can feel consuming. This can lead to heightened anxiety and stress as you go back and forth in your mind about the possibilities of “who am I?”
Often, folx exploring their sexual orientation and gender expression can experience internalized homophobia. In fact, even people who have accepted their identity can still struggle with internalized homophobia. This is the experience of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, or asexual (along with any other identities not mentioned) and feeling shame for identifying as so. Internalized homophobia is a common experience of LGBTQIA+ folx. And it can be very harmful to your mental health.
These days, it often feels like you have to make a statement when you come out. Today, we have celebrities like Ellen DeGenerous and JoJo Siwa speaking out about their identity for the whole world to comment on. And, we have celebrities normalizing the LGBTQ experience. Like Dan Levy of Schitt’s Creek, and Hunter Schafer of Euphoria. The fact is, no coming-out story is good or bad. They are what they are. Each person has their own story and experience. The hard part about seeing glamorized coming-out stories is that it often puts pressure on you to come out in a big way, too.
However, your identity is yours. It’s yours to explore, come to terms with, and share whenever you’re ready. Many LGBTQIA+ individuals have found that LGBTQ therapy can help them explore the ideas that may be circling in their minds. Ruminating on these thoughts on your own can be challenging. But, working with a mental health professional who accepts you can be very helpful. They can support you in working through your thoughts about gender and sexuality. You can come out whenever you want to. Or, if you never feel the need to, then don’t! Likewise, you don’t ever have to label yourself. Our LGBTQ therapists are supportive of whatever choice you make and are here to support you when you need it.
Parents of LGBTQIA+ Individuals
Our therapists understand that the experiences of parents of LGBTQIA+ folx are varied. Some children expressed their identity at a young age. But, because these identities can be so hard to understand for individuals themselves at times. So, many parents do not know of their child’s orientation or expression until the teen years, young adulthood, or even later.
Parents, please know that if your child is coming out to you or discussing their identity, they are already under a lot of pressure. Admitting to oneself and the rest of the world that you’re different (in any way) is overwhelming and often scary. When children come out, many parents feel that they are going to miss out on being grandparents. Or, they mourn the life that they had imagined for their child. These feelings are normal. And they make sense.
However, this is a huge time of adjustment for your child, and they need your support. Our therapists can work with you to create a plan to provide love and support to your child as our family navigates this change.
As explained earlier, heteronormativity makes moving through the world as a non-straight, non-cis gendered person tough at times. Unfortunately, LGBTQIA+ couples can still encounter difficulties in living their lives entirely “out.” Individuals in the community can experience bullying in school settings, discrimination in work settings, and exclusion from families. We hope that you never encounter these dynamics, but also want to support you if and when you find yourself in them.
Our therapists can help you individually or in collaboration with your partner in couples therapy. Often, polyamorous and ethically non-monogamous couples encounter difficulties when figuring out how to explain their relationship to family members. Further, same-sex, nonbinary, and trans couples can experience discrimination when deciding to create a family. As stated before, heteronormativity has a lot of impact on these issues. Questions like “who is the man in the relationship?” or “where is the mother?” can be harmful to LGBTQIA+ parents. It makes sense that when encountering these discussions, partners can lash out at each other or withdraw. These comments and questions discredit your authority as a partner and a parent. And, it’s not okay with us. Working with a therapist who understands and affirms your experience as a non-hetero or non-cis gendered person can help you find solutions to problems like these.
Our Approach to LGBTQ Therapy in Orange County, CA
Working with a therapist who validates your identity and can also help you more deeply explore it can help you get the support you deserve. Our therapists in Orange County, CA will not invalidate you or make you feel like you have to prove your identity. We want you to come as you are, firm in your identity or not, and out or not. Our greatest hope for you is that working with one of our counselors can help you feel comfortable and confident in your body and your life. We believe that all humans deserve to feel accepted and supported. In addition, we believe that human connections and relationships are important. So, we want this to be reflected in your relationship with your LGBTQ therapist as well as in your personal relationships.
Begin LGBTQ Therapy in Orange County, CA
You deserve to feel confident in your own skin, and your own identity. Our Orange County, CA therapy office has caring therapists who can provide the support you deserve. To begin LGBTQ therapy in Orange County, CA, follow these steps:
- Fill out the form below
- Meet with a member of our team of caring therapists
- Begin embracing your most authentic self!
Other Counseling Services at Moxie Family Therapy
LGBTQ therapy isn’t the only service that we offer in our Orange County Counseling Practice or via Online Counseling. Other services Moxie Family Therapy provides include adoption counseling, counseling for women, counseling for young adults, counseling for college students, couples counseling, counseling for teen girls, counseling for children, play therapy, art therapy, therapy for therapists, and family therapy. Contact our therapy practice to work on the issues that matter most to you, so you can get your moxie back!