Society is slowly changing their views towards members of the LGBT community. More and more gay men, lesbians, bisexual people and transgendered people are seeking Personal and Relationship Counselling. Unfortunately, despite the changing views of society, prejudice in society still exists. Dealing with this prejudice, coming out to one’s family and society and sorting out who you really are in the face of social expectations and pressures, can lead to higher levels of depression and anxiety for the LGBT community. Being openly gay or transgender in the workplace or in public is not always easy. Counselling can help manage the choices and emotions that are faced by LGBT people.
The Australian Human Rights Commission list the following Key issues for LGBTI people
- A large number of LGBTI people hide their sexuality or gender identity when accessing services (34 per cent), at social and community events (42 per cent) and at work (39 per cent). Young people aged 16 to 24 years are most likely to hide their sexuality or gender identity.
- LGBTI young people report experiencing verbal homophobic abuse (61 per cent), physical homophobic abuse (18 per cent) and other types of homophobia (9 per cent), including cyberbullying, graffiti, social exclusion and humiliation.
- 80 per cent of homophobic bullying involving LGBTI young people occurs at school and has a profound impact on their well-being and education.
- Transgender males and females experience significantly higher rates of non-physical and physical abuse compared with lesbians and gay men.
- Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are three times more likely to experience depression compared to the broader population.
- Around 61 per cent of same-sex attracted and gender-questioning young people said they experienced verbal abuse because of their sexuality, while 18 per cent reported experiencing physical abuse. Young men (70 per cent) and gender-questioning young people (66 per cent) were more likely than young women (53 per cent) to experience verbal abuse.
Much of what a gay, lesbian, bisexual or a transgendered person might bring to relationship counselling can be the same as what a straight couple would bring. There are also issues that relate specifically to same-sex couples and couples for which one or both partners are transgender.
Our counsellors accept and support the individual’s right to live their lives in the manner that they desire. We do not regard LGBT people as somebody that needs to be cured. Instead, we affirm your sexual identity.