Despite our shared desire to live in a progressive and accepting society, there can be little doubt that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals within the United States continue to experience bias and discrimination related to their sexuality. A 2010 study of 390 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals found that nearly one in seven reported living in fear of homophobic violence, and nearly 85% had been subjected to some form of homophobic violence or harassment in their lifetimes, including profane language, exclusion, rumors, and sexual assault. Although gay and lesbian people are as diverse as the rest of the population, their shared experience of discrimination often creates common health issues, including anxiety, stress, depression, substance use, and unsafe sexual practices. In addition, gay men and women face myriad social stressors that may contribute to feelings of lowered self-esteem and marginalization, such as:
- ‘Coming out,’ only to be rejected by family members and friends
- Being bullied or taunted by schoolmates on a daily basis
- Being threatened or made to feel unsafe when walking on the street
- Homophobic jokes or harassment in the workplace
- Hiding part of yourself in social situations for fear of being rejected
- Feeling guilt and shame about your sexuality in the face of negative messages being delivered by the society around you.
- Being considered a “second class citizen” and not having the legal rights and privileges of heterosexual couples
At Life Changes Group, we strongly support the freedom of all individuals to express love, compassion, and friendship in the manner they choose. We recognize the challenges faced within the LGBTQ community and the importance of providing a healthy therapeutic relationship where any subject can be openly explored. We also understand the difficulty of establishing loving connections when one has never learned to love themselves. In this regard, our approach is to promote self-acceptance and self-reliance rather than endlessly looking toward others for validation. We believe that only through a positive self-image can healthy relationships form.
If you are looking for a non-judgmental and caring therapeutic relationship, please call us at (617) 354-4450 or complete our short intake form. The growth and change starts now.