Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation – LGBTQ Counseling

Having an orientation or identity other than heterosexual sometimes creates a source of distress. Although one’s identity may be congruent with their beliefs, that is, its fits for them, the stigma created from the outside may pose challenges.

Those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, or any other type of non-conforming sexual or gender identity (known as LGBT, LGBTQ, or LGBTQIA, among others) may confront discrimination and as such are at a greater risk for anxiety, depression and suicide attempts. Yet not unlike anyone else they present with common and uncommon issues of daily living.

Gender dysphoria refers to the lack of congruence between one’s gender birth and their sexual identity- hence distress. .3% of US adults are identified as transgender and transsexual. Transvestic disorder or cross-dressing is found predominantly in males and is often accompanied by gender dysphoria.

Reaching for help with sexual orientation or identity challenges of any type is particularly frightening. Hesitation is prevalent and deterrent to change. The pain of living with secrets and isolation often super-cedes the pain of disclosure and vulnerability. With honesty and authenticity comes connection.

Dr. Winter has provided LGBT counseling and LBGT couples counseling to LGBT individuals and couples through issues specific to their struggles as well as everyday living concerns. She is sensitive and aware of the individual differences both gay and alternative lifestyle couples maintain. She has worked with cross-dressers and transsexuals and transgendered individuals at various stages of the transitioning process. She provides individual, couples, group and family therapy.

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