Williamstown Psychology supported Marriage Equality and felt relieved that the postal survey returned a resounding YES showing Australia’s support for Marriage Equality back in 2017. However, for many, the experience was devastating as they had to navigate through the public debate and scrutiny of their lives during that time.
Many people continue to feel a range of emotions following the public debate which played out in the media and within family and friendship circles. The experience may have brought up many feelings of their own personal journeys of coming out and feeling comfortable being and showing themselves for who they truly are. Some people were subjected to physical and verbal abuse and others have lost friendships and have strained family relationships as a result of the public scrutiny and postal survey.
In 2020, we have been faced with a global pandemic, Covid-19. As we now navigate several changes in the way we live including social distancing, working from home and job losses, many may find themselves living in strained situations or having to hide their sexuality (among other issues) as a result of these changes. Many people have struggled with increased anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.
Our Psychologists are here to help people talk through some of these issues and concerns. Our practice fully supports the LGBTIQ community. We provide a safe place for all people.
The current way of thinking about sexuality is to see sexual orientation as existing along a continuum that ranges from exclusive heterosexuality to exclusive homosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality (American Psychological Society). It is helpful when accessing psychological support to consult with professionals who have had an understanding and experience working within the LGBTIQ community.
There are some issues experienced by individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer that can cause particular difficulties or concern. Some of these include coming out, belonging to a minority group, and dealing with homophobia in the family, place of study, workplace or the greater community. These issues may contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression, isolation and low self-esteem.
Being in a relationship can be difficult at times. As issues arise, some are more easily navigated then others and may lead to you accessing support through counselling. It helps to address relationship issues early, rather than letting them go on unattended for years.
Over recent years, many battles have been fought and won for same-sex couples to access fertility assistance in Victoria. There has been an increase in same-sex couples embarking on the journey to become parents and create their own families. Research consistently indicates that lesbian and gay parented families make equally good parents as heterosexual parented families and raise healthy and well adjusted children. For most couples, there is a great deal of thought, consideration and discussion regarding how their family will be created this may be a time to access some psychological support, and in some cases legal support.
For all couples starting a family is a time of great transition and often unforeseen troubles may arise. This is also true for lesbians and gay men, however, there are also unique issues for lesbians and gay men who wish to start a family and who are parenting in a same-sex parented family. The issues may add to the struggles of parenting, contribute to relationship difficulties and add additional stresses in family life. Although lesbians and gay men have often placed a great deal of thought into the process of starting a family, it may be a long journey and counselling may be sought to help talk through some of the issues which may arise.
Williamstown Psychology have psychologists who have substantial experience in working within LGBTQ+ health.
For more information about our counselling services for gay, lesbian, bisexual & queer health please contact us.