Marriage & Relationships
Parents of LGBTQIA+
While there has been significant progress over the last few years, the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual) community continues to struggle to find day-to-day acceptance in society. Although LGBTQIA+ individuals may seek therapy for the same reasons as everyone else such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or the ending of a relationship; they also have additional unique needs and challenges. In addition to other concerns, they have added layer of stress due to society’s perception of sexual and gender minorities. Beyond being afraid of judgment and discrimination, you may also struggle with coming to terms with your gender or sexual identity and/or may experience discomfort with your own body in addition to internalized homophobia or transphobia.
As you know, the LGBTQIA+ community is more often subjected to bullying, discrimination, hostility, and verbal or physical abuse based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which contributes to a fear of coming out to friends and family. When parents and family members are not accepting of your identity it can cause many emotions to arise. The lack of support and constant reminders that something is wrong with you can leave you with a deep sense of loneliness and hopelessness that may lead to questions of self-worth. Long-term effects include the development fears of violence, feelings of abandonment by loved ones, substance use, self-harm, and experiences of depression, anxiety, and PTSD.