Gender, Sex, and Relationship Diversity

Gender, sex, and relationship diversity…

The mental health system has a legacy of pathologising and attacking those who are not heterosexual and/or cisgender. Over the years I have shaped my work to actively include LGBTQ+ people, knowing that safe access to mental health care should be offered to all.

As psychotherapists we are tasked with doing no harm but I have heard many accounts of LGBTQ+ folks being judged, dismissed, invisiblised, and shamed in simply asking for help. One of the biggest forms of harm is conversion therapy (a summary and ways to end this are on the Instagram page @banconversiontherapy).

It’s difficult to hear about the ways many LGBTQ+ people are treated by health professionals, even in 2022. This is a misuse of our power towards a community who are already disempowered due to societal prejudices. Such prejudices can translate to very real threats to one’s right to live freely and safely.

My efforts to better support this community currently includes completing a year-long foundation certificate with Pink Therapy to better understand and support gender, sex, and relationship diverse (GSRD) clients.

Whilst the dominant groups in our society are cisgender and heterosexual people, this should not define ‘normal’ emotion, behaviour, expression, sexuality, nor relationship styles for all. Doing so reinforces a limited view of humankind, creating shameful internalisations of who we should and shouldn’t be.

Considering people as GSRD is a humanising way to learn and support the different ways we can be as a people – queer or straight.

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