LGBTTQQIAAP (Rainbow Community) Counselling

Contents

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.

The acronym at the top of this page, for those who don't know, stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual/aromantic, agender, and pansexual.

Hello from Suzi

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. In the meantime, please check out Sandy Millar for your celebrations and photography.

Definitions

I gathered most of these definitions from www.urbandictionary.com. As they are mostly from one website, they are 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.

From http://www.transawareness.org/what-is-the-difference-between-transgender-and-transsexual.html.

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.

Questioning

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/Aromantic

  • 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.

Pansexual

  • Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is the sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity.

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 continue to work at feeling 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 early November 2020, I have completed nearly 8,500 hours working with clients. I began seeing clients in 2002. For more information on me, and the way I work, check out this page.

Support and helplines with specific specialities for the rainbow community

Gayline

  • This is our information site for New Zealand's gay organisations and gay-friendly services. We also include articles of particular interest to people newly exploring their sexuality.

  • Since Gay Line Wellington started in the year 2000, we have been providing information about being gay in Wellington that includes listings of gay and gay friendly organisations in Wellington and the surrounding provinces of New Zealand, what's on specially for GLBTI people in and around Wellington and articles of special interest to GLBTI people generally. We have also been working closely with the Rule Foundation to provide financial support for some Wellington LGBTI organisations.

  • www.gayline.org.nz

Holding Our Own | Support group for parents of LBGTQ children

  • Holding Our Own is a support group for parents and family of LGBTQ Children or family members.

  • No one needs to do this alone, it is tough sometimes, some issues are difficult to manage, feelings can be all over the place, let's talk it through, let's support one another, let's make this easier for everyone.

  • We all love our children, but this can be difficult to understand, difficult to accept. Tasking helps sort out the tough stuff. No judgement, no stereotyping, just a warm conversation that helps us all grow and learn as we support each other through this moment.

  • It take a village to raise a child, come join us build our village together!

  • All contact information here

OUTline NZ

  • OUTLine NZ provides a free and confidential telephone counselling service to support the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & Takataapui community.

  • Answered by volunteers, leave a message if we can’t answer and we can call you back

  • Our volunteers welcome your call to discuss topics around sexuality, gender identity and diverse sex characteristics. They can help you find sources of trusted information, connection to community or peers, and medical or mental health services that welcome LGBTIQA+/Rainbow people.

  • All calls and callers are confidential and anonymous.

  • Calls are welcomed from LGBTIQA+/Rainbow people, friends and whānau, or professionals who care for them.

  • We also offer face-to-face counselling services by qualified counsellors in Auckland or Wellington, or via Skype. There is a cost to this service, but we can support you to apply to WINZ for these costs.

  • www.outline.org | ph 0800 802 437 | 10am to 9pm weekdays, 6pm – 9pm weekends

RainbowYOUTH | Help young queer & gender diverse people up to age 28

  • RainbowYOUTH is a charitable organisation that was established in 1989. RainbowYOUTH is here to work with queer, gender diverse and intersex youth as well as their wider communities to ensure that Aotearoa is a place where all young people can thrive.

  • At RainbowYOUTH, we’re about fostering safe, inclusive, accepting and diverse environments that are family friendly. We are drug, smoke and alcohol free.

  • Our motto is “know who you are, be who you are”. Tīwhanawhana Trust have gifted us a version of our motto in te reo Māori: “Whāia tō ake ngākaunui, i te pono, i te mārama”. Simply translated, it means: “follow your desires with truth and clarity”.

  • ​We provide information, referral, peer-support, education, professional development & a drop-in centre.

  • Get in touch | info@ry.org.nz | 09 376 4155​ | www.ry.org.nz

  • Drop-in centre location: - end of Abbey Street, CBD, Auckland

  • Our online chat support is available for any person in Aotearoa (aged 13-27) who is looking for guidance, support, or advice around sexuality, gender identity, and intersex status. You can chat to one of our support workers between 2-4pm Monday-Friday, anonymously & confidentially. More information is at this link.

  • We're stoked to be able to provide free counselling at the Auckland drop-in centre. We have two Counselling students available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. To book in, email support@ry.org.nz or drop in when they're here to meet them!

RYViD | online peer support group

  • RYViD is an online peer support group dedicated to connecting young queer, gender diverse, takatāpui & intersex people across Aotearoa who physical groups aren’t an option for.

  • We welcome young people aged 13-18 to join us for a video chat every Friday from 5pm, where we’ll get to know each other, do fun accessible group activities, and support each other long-distance style!

  • More info on how to join the group here: https://ry.org.nz/what-we-do/find-a-group

24/7 Helpline | Safe to Talk | 0800 044 334

  • Prejudice and discrimination may mean some people are at higher risk of sexual assault and abuse.

  • This can be true for people who identify as, or are seen as, lesbian, gay, bisexual, takatāpui, transgender, queer, intersex, fa’afafine or asexual or people who don’t fit traditional definitions of male or female.

  • People causing harm could be partners, friends, family or whānau, acquaintances or strangers.

  • We understand that concerns about being “outed”, not believed, or made more vulnerable, can stop people seeking help.

  • Our specialists are non-judgemental and professional, and they can refer you to the most appropriate services for you. What you say will be confidential.

Transgender Peer Support Service through Rainbow Youth (up to age 27)

  • The aim of the Transgender Peer Support Service is to help gender-diverse young people (up to age 27) and/or their whānau, explore gender identity through accessing gender-affirming healthcare, providing information and resources, and assist in creating connection and community with other gender-diverse people.

  • This means we can help with things like: referrals for gender-affirming health care, attending peer-support groups, finding relevant and relatable resources, advocating at work and/or at school, finding clothes in our community wardrobe, name and gender marker changes, etc. Let us know what support you need on your gender journey and we'll do our best to make it happen!

  • https://ry.org.nz/what-we-do/tpss