“If Harry Potter taught us anything it’s that no one should live in a closet.“
J. K. Rowling
Gender & Sexual Diversity:
What to Expect:
Sadly, the majority of societies group people into men and women, ignoring cultural, spiritual and anthropological references that gender can be multi-faceted (e.g. see Wakashu/Japan, Mahu/Hawaii, Muxe/Mexico, Bissu/Indonesia, Khawaja Sira/Pakistan, Xanith/Oman, Hijra/India, Two-Spirit/North America and many more). The focus on binaries is causing extreme stress for people who differ in their gender experience. I welcome trans and gender non-conforming clients in my practice and I am aware of social, interpersonal and somatic challenges in relation to gender.
Sexual preferences (e.g. what you like sexually) are distinct from orientation (e.g. who you find attractive: same sex, opposite sex, all genders, no one at all). Deviating preferences and orientation leaves many clients with the notion that there is something wrong with them. As we go through life, internal and external factors impact on our sexuality and may cause tension in intimate relationships. In therapy understanding what is underneath of such experiences can be healing.
In a world that favours monogamous, heterosexual relationships, it is easy to conclude that this might be the ‘only’ form of relating, risking imposing mono-normative values on clients who present with differing relationship preferences such as polyamorous, non-monogamous, or BDSM frames of relating. I welcome clients from all frames of relating in my practice.
Despite best efforts, people with differing gender expression or sexual orientation still experience oppression and marginalisation on a regular basis in our majority white, majority cis-gender, majority heterosexual, majority monogamous society – norming gender, sexuality and relationships. Differing from these norms can be challenging where therapeutic support has helped a great deal of clients to embrace their differences.