Lesbian issues are overshadowed by millions of other problems that emerge every day. Poverty, homelessness, illiteracy are all crucial to discuss.
What about discrimination? What about depression? What about the LGBTQIA community? What about lesbian issues? These topics, although discussed more frequently nowadays, are still considered taboo.
People are afraid of coming out to their parents, friends, classmates, coworkers. Freedom from discrimination is a fundamental human right that belongs to all, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Why must the LGBTQIA community deal with mental health problems because of society? Why must they deal with depression? Lesbian issues are sometimes overlooked because of the bigger picture. But the truth is, people need help, they need counseling. It’s not easy to deal with lesbian issues alone. It isn’t easy to fight depression and eliminate discrimination.
Lesbian issues are various, they can be anything from buying clothes to dealing with depression
Discrimination is an obvious example. Why should we help lesbians seek counseling and help?
Everyone has their own set of problems. Like everyone out there, lesbians, bisexuals, or non-straight women, in general, have a whole new set of lesbian issues. These can be associated with their style, appearance, behavior, attitude, etc.
Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual or any other orientation is not a problem, but living as a minority in your community is a source of stress, anxiety and depression.
It’s evident that the acceptance of different and diverse sexual orientations and gender identifications is becoming the norm, but discrimination and oppression of LGBTQIA people prevails. Coming out to your family isn’t easy.
Some are okay with their child’s sexual orientation. Others, not so much. Living under the same roof with people who do not agree with your lifestyle puts pressure on you. It makes you face social expectations and fulfill them. This can lead to higher levels of depression and a long list of other mental health issues.
LGBTQIA people have high rates of mental health disorders than their heterosexual counterparts. Obesity, smoking, substance abuse are also among these problems.
How do these problems come into existence?
- Being rejected by their community after coming out
- Being constantly bullied at school
- Being harassed and mocked for their sexual orientation
- Being threatened
- Being afraid of social rejection at events and hiding yourself
- Feeling guilty and ashamed about your sexuality due to constant negative messages.
Included in lesbian issues is self-harming and suicide. According to statistics, students who identify as lesbians are 10 times more likely to experience bullying at school. They are twice more likely to commit suicide or have self-inflicted wounds than straight students.
Counseling is highly recommended as it helps decline high suicide rates. Talk to a family member, friend or even a teacher about it, counseling only does good for you and eliminates negative emotions. Facing discrimination can be done in different forms.
Sexual assault, harassment, social rejection, bullying (both physically and verbally) are all ways of how discrimination is implemented. When continuously facing discrimination, episodes of depression start increasing.
The latter leads to one having a diminished mental health. This is why counseling is needed. Receiving help to improve your mental state is vital. Therapy and counseling sessions are crucial in order to solve lesbian issues and depression in LGBTQIA people.
Solving lesbian issues: How can counseling help to handle discrimination and depression?
Therapists are professionals. They are well-prepared to help people in counseling. Sometimes, lesbians prefer a therapist who is non-straight themselves or has experience in lesbian issues. It makes them feel more understood.
Here, fear of discrimination plays a small role. Since discrimination is widely practiced, fear of being discriminated starts generating in LGBTQIA people. This is why they might get picky about choosing a therapist.
Unfortunately, not every community has such therapists available, but keep in mind, they’re job is counseling. They are here to help you. If unavailable, counseling can be provided through distance services that can be done either by phone or the internet.
Homosexuality used to be identified as a mental disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). Later on, homosexuality was proven by clinical research that to be a normal, healthy and a positive form of human sexuality.
Until then, conversion, otherwise known as reparative therapy was practiced during counseling. Many states have banned the practice now or are considering to do so. As a professional, therapists are not allowed to judge during counseling. The ethics of counseling demand services to be provided to people without discrimination.
How efficient can counseling be?
Counseling is helpful when you’re confused over your sexual orientations. This is included among lesbian issues.
Let’s take Sonja’s example. She went to counseling for anxiety and stated that being uncertain about her sexual orientation was a major factor. Sonja found herself attracted to both women and men, making her believe she’s betraying her partner by having such thoughts. “Am I a lesbian? Am I straight? Am I bisexual?” She wasn’t sure.
Through counseling, the therapist assured her that labels are trivial. Exploring your sexuality in a neutral and accepting manner is what will truly help her. Later on, she and her partner had joint counseling and even began discussing the possibility of bearing a child through artificial insemination.
When a therapist is working with a lesbian, they must first know what stage of acceptance they’re in if they’ve approached you for that reason. There are 6 stages of acceptance that therapist use in counseling.
- Identity awareness: The point when the person begins to realize they have feelings that are different from others and different from what they have been taught.
- Identity comparison: The person begins to explore their feelings alone and compares them to the beliefs of society, parents, and peers.
- Identity tolerance: The person will often rebel against his or her feelings and attempt to deny them.
- Identity acceptance: After realizing that sexuality is a part of who they are, they begin to embrace it, explore their feelings and desires, and start to find a place in the world where they are accepted and belong.
- Identity pride: This often involves anger toward parents, society, religion, or other aspects of the world that tells them that they are bad, wrong, immoral, or mentally ill merely because their feelings are directed toward the same sex. They embrace the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ and explore their newfound sexuality. It is during this stage that the gay or lesbian may start fighting against what society has taught them.
- Identity synthesis: This is the final stage in which homosexuality becomes a part of who they are rather than the defining factor. Instead of being a gay man or lesbian, they begin to see themselves as parents, employees, leaders, teachers, supervisors, coaches, and volunteers who just happen to be gay. In the final stage, they are able to accept themselves more wholly rather than seeing their sexuality as separate from the rest of who they are.
Moving on to other lesbian issues
We’ve discussed depression, discrimination and counseling. What other lesbian issues exist?
Some lesbians are butch, some are girly, some are whatever they want to be. Being a lesbian doesn’t with a tag that says you have to look this way. People are confused over the appearance of lesbians.
“Oh, I never thought you were a lesbian, you don’t have short hair.” “I didn’t think lesbians wore makeup, aren’t they supposed to be more masculine?” Who came up with these stereotypes and why are they still relevant?
There are 7 billion people on Earth, I’m sure every lesbian is different than the other and has a different set of problems. Let’s have a look at some of the common lesbian issues.
- “You don’t look like a lesbian.” I didn’t know lesbians were copy-pasted on Earth. Please, enlighten me, what do lesbians look like?
- “You’ll change your mind once you meet the right man.” Uhh, no? Let me break it down to you: lesbians are attracted to WOMEN. Are you attracted to bees? No? It’s because you haven’t met the right bee. It’s okay, you’ll change your mind later.
- “But you’re too pretty to be a lesbian!” Hello? Who said lesbians are ugly? Who made this popular?
- “It’s just a phase.” No. Being emo was a phase. Listening to Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys was a phase. Being a lesbian isn’t.
- Flirting with people on purpose and being mistaken for paying compliments. No, damn it, homo intended! I’m interested in you!
- When you want to watch a movie about lesbians but it’s taking too long.
- Online dating. When a guy texts you on a dating app and doesn’t believe you’re a lesbian. I am not lying to you, but I probably wouldn’t date you if I were straight either. (Sorry, not sorry)
- When you accidentally dress the same as the guy in your class/workplace. At least we both know we have a sick sense of style.
- When people start asking about your sex life as if you were dying to tell people. Mind your business, please!
- When your friends think your partner is your best friend. Or worse, sisters. Awkward…
- When straight girls automatically assume you’re flirting with them. Relax, you’re not my type anyway.
- Having to deal with 2 periods a month.
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