YOU are the expert of your gender and sexuality. You do not need to prove anything to me or fit into any specific category. If you're not sure and want to discuss different identities, that's fine too! My approach is to help clients explore and express themselves in whatever manner is authentic to them. I work hard not to be a gatekeeper despite being part of a system that often marginalizes gender diverse and sexual minority individuals.
You may wonder why I chose this area of focus. It took me several years to realize I was attracted to women, and I sought therapy in college. As I struggled to understand my identity, I asked my therapist if she thought I was gay. She asserted I was straight, which prevented me from realizing my sexual orientation for a few years. When I decided to be a psychologist, I vowed not to make the same mistake with my clients. Instead of telling you about your identities, I'd like to help you realize them yourself.
Most clients benefit from talking through their gender expression/sexual orientation in individual sessions. As mentioned above, my primary concern is providing care that is affirming and supportive. Together, clients and I can discuss their thoughts, questions, and concerns about gender identity and expression. Clients who may be considering a social transition can feel comfortable wearing gender-affirming attire and using new pronouns in session. I am happy to follow WPATH standards and provide letters for medical intervention.
Has someone you love told you they are LGBTQIA+? Are you wondering how to best support them? Do you need to discuss your thoughts and concerns with an objective person? Perhaps you would benefit from coming to a few sessions. This is especially true for parents who are learning of their children's sexual orientation or gender identity. Although I am completely supportive of LGBTQIA+ individuals' self identity and expression, I am comfortable helping families work through their concerns and questions. It has been my experience that many families want to be supportive of their family members, but they are unaware of the importance of using the client's name and pronouns, or they are hesitant because of fear of discrimination and safety concerns.
While psychotherapy can be an important element in living your best life, some clients and family members benefit greatly from online resources. Below is a list of resources that either myself, my clients, or my colleagues have found helpful. Please note, online content is constantly changing, therefore I am unable to guarantee the accuracy and helpfulness of these links for all individuals and situations.
For LGBTQIA+ Individuals
Tranz Central Coast - Local organization focused on supporting gender diverse clients
GALA Pride and Diversity Center - local organization with support groups for LBGTQ individuals
QCARES - Local organization that includes other affirming clinicians
Gender Quest Workbook - A guidebook for teens and young adults exploring their gender identity
Trans Bodies Trans Selves - A resource for the trans community
Transgender Guidebook - "Keys to a successful transition"
You and Your Gender Identity - A website and book about your personal identity
Book list for Teens - List of books with trans/gender diverse characters or themes
Gender Spectrum - Includes virtual "space" to connect
Reddit - thread related to trans/gender diverse individuals
For Family Members
TransFamilies - A website with support groups, blog entries, and additional resources
Trans-Parenting - A website developed by a mother of a young trans daughter
Transgender Child - A book by Brill and Pepper
Transgender Teen - A book by Brill and Kenney
Helping Your Transgender Teen - A book by Krieger
Importance of Supportive Moms - Article about mother activists
Trans Lifeline - phone: 877-565-8860
Trevor Project Lifeline - For individual 24 and younger; phone: 866-488-7386
National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-800-273-8255