This guest blog post is written by Julia Stamman, LPC-Intern. Julia is a counselor who specializes in young adults who identify as geeks, gamers, or misfits.
You may ask yourself:
What if I’m LGBTQ+ AND a geek, and are there others out there like me?
The answer is yes!
There is an intersection between LGBTQ+ folk and geekdom, and it is a growing culture of openness and celebration. For example, the organization Geeks Out serves to promote the LGBTQ+ voice in geek culture. If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to connect you with information and resources out there depending on your question—there are a lot out there!
Have you seen this adorable new short film called, "In a Heartbeat,", yet? If you haven't take a look below. Once I saw it I knew I had to post it on my blog.
Media representation is few and far between for the LGBTQA+ community that when something, especially a cartoon, is released it is important that it is seen.
Imagine growing up and not seeing yourself reflected in movies, TV shows, books, and music. Imagine growing up an only seeing yourself. Lack of diversity in media can lead to feelings of isolation and being "less than." On the flip side only seeing yourself reflected can lead to feelings of superiority and privilege.
Another local, and amazing, Gender Therapist, Lindsay Legé has created an amazing podcast which focuses on all things transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, intersex, and some things sexuality!
I was asked by Lindsay to be interviewed for the podcast which I did, even though I was very nervous. You would think that speaking in a microphone would be more comfortable for me than speaking in front of people, nope, not the case for little old me.
Going to a health professional as a member of the Queer community can be emotionally and mentally taxing. Many people have to spend more time in their appointment trying to educate the professional than receiving good, quality, healthcare.
"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you."
I love this quote from Maya Angelou. Stories have power and everyone has a story to tell. As humans we crave to share parts of our life with each other and when we can't we feel silenced and often forgotten about. This is when an agony begins to shape inside.
One thing I have all my transgender, gender non-binary, LGBQ+, and youth clients do is journal, blog, vlog, letter writing, or something of this variation. I always start out by asking them to write to themselves. If they are youth I have them write to their future selves. If they are a young adult or an adult I have them write to their past and future selves.
It’s that time of year where the pumpkin spice runs out, the candy comas are over and talks of turkey, gravy, and scents of peppermint are in the air. Thanksgiving is next week and this is the “official” start to the holiday season.
I’m not sure who decided that Thanksgiving was the start of the season, but mine always begins on November 1st, or what I like to call, “National Discount Candy Day!”
The holidays are difficult for most people, even if you don’t celebrate any between October and January. For Trans and LGBQ+ individuals the holidays can be a time of great anxiety, stress, and depression for many reasons.
I've spoken with many of my clients and their parents since the election on Tuesday. Many of them share common thoughts and feelings concerning the results and what they mean for the future. I have sat and processed with them and I have found myself repeating the same thing to many of them,
"Like many others you feel scared and that's okay, but it is very important that you always remember that you are strong, you are worthy, and you are not alone."
Coming out is a process. It takes many different shapes and forms. Often times people worry about the reaction of parents and families the most. Good relationship or bad relationship, you are their family and you have a huge impact on their life.
This post isn’t about one sexuality or gender identity and it isn’t a step by step on how to come out. I’m writing this for parents and family members of someone who recently came out. I’m asked by clients all the time, “What do I do?” or “What do I say?” This is a normal reaction even for the most open minded of family members.
After deciding to become a counselor I was encouraged to pick a niche, a client population and issue I was passionate about. I thought about this for a while. I have always had a passion for sex research.
I started pursuing this interest with a minor in Sexuality Studies during undergrad. While getting my counseling degree I continued this interest by completing research papers and giving conference presentations.
So it didn’t take me too long to make sex therapy one of my specialties.
What is Sex Positivity?
I’ve noticed that sex can sometimes be seen in a negative light in our society. I didn’t think this was right so I wanted to see what I could do about it.
I found research, articles, and professionals that defined themselves as “sex positive.” After exploring this new phrase, I discovered that it means something slightly different to everyone.
To me, “sex positive” means being aware of societal views of sex and understanding that sexuality develops differently in all people. It means withholding judgment and criticism of people’s sexual expressions and practices while being aware of and exploring your own.
This definition is what fuels my personal view on sex and how I work with my clients professionally.
How to Become Sex Positive!
Be open with yourself. Many issues we have about sex and sexuality are the issues and fears we have about ourselves. Being sex positive is a personal journey to explore why we think the way we do and if those thoughts benefit us.
Becoming sex positive is accepting that sex does not have to be limited. Accepting this without judgement and keeping an open mind is a vital part of being sex positive.
Sex is as limitless as your imagination and desires allow it to be!
Working with a Sex Positive Therapist
Sex therapists practice from different theories of counseling. Remember, a sex positive therapist keeps an open mind throughout the counseling process as you disclose, explore, and develop your sexual identity and expression.
It is important to be comfortable with the therapist you have chosen. So take the time and make the best decision for yourself!
Feel free to contact me!
If you have any questions/comments or if you are interested in setting up a free 30 minute consultation please contact me by email (email@example.com) or call me at 512-593-2287.
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About my Blog
I love providing people with information. So in my blog you will find posts on topics such as: community resources, media suggestions, parenting questions, and informational posts.