LGBTQIA Counselling

The acronym, for those who don't know, stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer, Intersex, Asexual.

Suzi and this community

Counselling for this group of people is fast becoming a strong interest of mine. I am passionate about working with marginalised clients, and those who may face judgement from other counselling or therapeutic services. As I move forward with my therapeutic practice, and see more clients from the LGBTQIA community, I develop a stronger understanding and compassion for what clients experience.

To me, you are human first and foremost, and your gender or identity is secondary to your need and right to be treated with utmost respect. Having said that, you face some unique challenges that I can only imagine (see my identity explanation below). I promise to work alongside you, and support you in what you are wanting to achieve. I will continue to grow my knowledge through research and talking to people who can help me understand what this community needs. 

Please have a good look around this website to get a sense of me, and how I work. Clients who have done this report when they meet me, that I am what they expect based on what they've read.

If you feel you want to see someone either in this community, or with many years of experience in this field, please use Google as a resource.

Celebrations and marriage/commitment equality

One day I plan to be trained and registered as a Celebrant. I will be delighted to support all couples with their celebrations, marriages and other events. In the meantime, there are some wonderful celebrants out there who are open minded, and supportive of the LGBTQIA community.

Definitions 

I gathered these definitions from www.urbandictionary.com. They are from one website only, and are only a limited way to describe what each individual may be experiencing, or how they define themselves. Each person's experience of being in this world is unique, and I value what they bring to me in the counselling room.

Lesbian

A woman whose emotional, romantic, and sexual energies are geared towards other women.

Gay

Homosexual, especially homosexual males but can be used for lesbians as well. A person who is only attracted to members of the same sex.

Bisexual

Someone who is in all ways attracted to both guys and girls. It is not because they are sex fanatics, or simply can't decide. Being bisexual is not a phase from people who haven't fully come out yet. It is as real as being straight or gay. You might have a preference over one sex, but bisexual means you can be attracted to both genders sexually, physically, and emotionally. In other words, you are fully capable of falling in love with them, just as a woman would fall in love with a man. It's not a circus freak thing.

Transsexual

A transsexual is a person who was assigned one sex at birth (male or female) but who identifies their gender in what society considers the "opposite" direction. There are two general "types" of transsexual: Female-to-Male (FTM) and Male-to-Female (MTF). The former is a person labeled female at birth, but whose gender identity and/or expression lie in masculine or male direction. The latter is a person labeled male at birth, but whose gender identity and/or expression lie in the feminine or female direction. 


Sometimes transsexual is used to imply that a person has or desires to have some sort of gender affirmative surgery, while transgender is sometimes used as an umbrella term in the same way that trans* is used on this website. (Cooper, 112) Like many other words, the specific meanings transgender and transsexual vary with time, location, and the individual. Before assuming that someone uses any word to identify their gender, it is respectful to ask them which words they use to identify their gender.

Transgender

Someone who identifies as a gender other than what they were assigned at birth. Currently, if a baby is born with a vagina, they are assigned female at birth, or afab, and if they are born with a penis, they are assigned male at birth, or amab. Cisgender people identify with the sex they were assigned at birth, while transgender people don't. 

Transgender is an umbrella term, containing men who are afab (trans men), women who are amab (trans women) and people assigned either sex that feel like both or neither genders (non-binary or genderqueer). Some trans people may take hormones or undergo surgery to make their body match their gender, and to treat dysphoria. Others are perfectly fine with their body, and only want minor or no changes. However, unless they feel comfortable discussing it with you, it is extremely rude and invasive to ask a trans person if they are on hormones or if they've had surgery yet. 

Note that a trans person doesn't have to fit into any gender role. Much like cis men and women, a trans man can be feminine, while a trans woman can be masculine.

Queer

Originally pejorative for gay, now being reclaimed by some gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons as a self-affirming umbrella term. Caution: still extremely offensive when used as an epithet. 

Intersex

A group of many conditions that cause people to be born in the middle of the spectrum from male to female. Gender development is controlled by male and female hormones androgens (testosterone) and estrogens in the womb. If there is a mix of the two it causes an intersex condition. Sex hormones cause the development of the genitals, the brain's gender functioning, and the brains "gender identity" behaviour. It also causes secondary sex characteristics during puberty. Intersex usually only refers to genital, puberty, sex chromosome (like xxyy, xy female, mosaic) differences. Surgery on intersex babies is considered mutilisation by many people including intersex people because they believe that they should have the right to decide when they reach adolescence. The chosen gender may also not match the "gender identity" that developed in the womb. Intersex is different from transgender. Transgender involves a mismatch between the gender that you feel like and your physical gender for any reason. An old word for intersex is hermaphrodite. The scientific word is DSD (disorders of sexual development or differences of sexual development).

Asexual

A person who is not interested in, or does not desire sexual activity, either within or outside of a relationship. Asexuality is not the same as celibacy, which is the willful decision to not act on sexual feelings. Asexuals, while not physically sexual-type folks, are none the less quite capable of loving, affectionate, romantic ties to others.

Cisgender

An adjective for someone whose gender corresponds to their assigned sex.

Suzi's identity

My partner is a man, and I have been largely heterosexual my entire life. In this context, I would be described as cisgender. I am comfortable in my female body. I believe in many lives, and have participated in past life regressions, where I have experienced life in male bodies as well. In my five sense dreams, I experience both female and male bodies. 

Suzi's experience

As at 20 June 2017, I have seen 3,492 individual clients and 1,713 couples, making a total of 5,438. I began working with clients in 2002. For more information on me, and the way I work, check out this page.