LGBTQIA+

Wisdom Within Counseling, LLC. Marriage and Family Therapy. Brian’s Healing Hearts. 461 Main St. Niantic, CT 06357. 860- 451-9364. KatieZiskindMft@gmail.com. www.WisdomWithinCT.com

I am a Niantic, LGBTQIA+ friendly therapist (LBGT therapist, for short) and provide distance TeleTherapy sessions. Read more about those here. I provide a safe space for all, no matter your age, anxiety, or worry. If you are a parent of an adolescent who is questioning their gender, I am here to help.

How To Identify The Signs

You daughter may ask to shop in the boy’s section for back-to-school clothes. Your six year old daughter may want to cut her hair short like her male friends. Your son may paint his nails, put lipstick on in the mirror, play dress up in high heels, and put on fashion shows for you. Your son may ask for baby dolls, glitter, princess outfits, and to grow his hair out. Let go of your gender stereotypes. It is totally okay for a boy to wear nail polish! However, some parents are scared, fearful, and don’t know what to do with this behavior. Often, children as young as four or five years old will begin to tell you something is off. I am here as an LGBTQ therapist in Niantic, CT, just for you!

Let’s connect over a 15 minute call where you can share all the new, scary, and unknown things going on with your child (860) 451-9364.

Children and adolescents will be curious and explore both genders for a number of years as they identify with one. At a certain point, your child will tell you who they are by externally expressing their gender. Your transgender teenager may be self-harming and cutting due to body dysphoria. It is simply a fancy saying for, “I feel like I’m living in the wrong gender body and I don’t know what to do.” I am here to help!

LGBTQIA+ Facts: Did You Know?

First, LGBTQIA+ is an acronym that encompasses a variety of topics, labels, ways of life, and people. Also, these emotions can be felt early on in life, but not expressed until later into adulthood. In sessions, I help you process, talk, and better understand yourself. Again, I accept you just the way you are.

I am the Niantic and East Lyme LGBTQIA+ therapist

Wisdom Within Counseling, my practice, is sex-positive and kink- and poly-friendly office. I provide individual therapy, family counseling, couples counseling, and general psychotherapy. However, I specialize with children, meddle schoolers, and teenagers looking ot better understand the LGBTQ community.

Children and Teens

Does your child or teen need someone to talk to about liking a person of the same gender? Did you daughter goto prom with a female friend? I am an LGBTQ therapist. Experiential therapies are a big part of my practice. My speciality is counseling children, adolescents, and teens to help them process issues pertaining to sexual orientation and those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

I help LGBTQ youth belong in the world.

When counseling LGBTQIA+ youth, I use a combination of art, yoga, music, and animal therapy to foster a healthy sense of self, self-acceptance, and self-confidence. I use highly effective, skill-based therapies to help your teen in school, life, and into college years and beyond.

Read more about each of these below.

Art Therapy

Nutrition

Animal & Adventure Therapy 

Yoga Therapy for PTSD

Why Animal Therapy?

Schools and Doctors

Additionally, I work closely with the local school systems and medical community, including pediatricians, to provide a comprehensive, supportive approach. In general, I strive to be your advocate.

Adults

Would you like support accepting your sexual orientation and sexual expression? I work with adults who may be in a relationship or married and need help coming out or expressing themselves. At times, individual therapy may be best.

On the other hand, couples therapy sessions can also be very helpful for expressing LGBTQIA+ related needs and desires. Read more about couples therapy options here.

Parents

By the same token, I work with parents who need help understanding their child or teenager when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community. Likewise, drug addiction and teen alcoholism can be a sign that your teen is asking for help and support and grappling with deeper issues of shame, guilt, belonging, and acceptance. Read more about my services for teen addiction here.

Similarly, I am also a kink and fetish friendly therapist for teens and young adults in Niantic, CT. Supporting the LBGTQIA+ community is a professional passion. If you are concerned about your teen’s recent  behaviors, I have them process these feelings in sessions. Read more about parent conversation sessions, here.

I work with the categories below and more. My mission is to have my office be a safe space where your teen belongs. Pride Friendly: I am an LGBTQIA+ therapist in Niantic, CT and offer TeleTherapy sessions.

  • Bisexual Clients
  • Gay Clients
  • HIV / AIDS Clients
  • Heterosexual Clients
  • Lesbian Clients
  • Pansexual Clients
  • Polyamorous Clients
  • Non-Binary Clients
  • Gender Questioning Clients
  • Transgender Clients
A Niantic LGBTQIA+ Counseling Office

People can express LGBTQIA+ on four different levels.

  • Identity
  • Expression
  • Sex
  • Attraction

Read about this topic and The Gingerbread Person.

Identity

On the spectrum below, people may show more manliness in some situations and take on woman-like traits in others. Did you know, some people will often call themselves, “genderqueer,” which means they may have some of both masculine and feminine sides.

Woman-ness — —  Non-Gendered  — — Man-ness

For instance, a person identifies as a man, but also connects with parts of what it means in society to be a woman. This person may have sensitive qualities, enjoy conversation and talking, and do ballet or yoga.

Man-ness

Having and expressing these “woman-ness” traits on the spectrum does not make this man any less of a man. However, these traits do build his psyche and mind and his sense of identity, which influence his life and decisions just as much as his “man-ness” parts plays a role.

Gender Questioning Clients

In other words, gender identity is how we name our own gender. This is to say, a Cisgender person has a gender identity consistent with the biological sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a child whose sex was assigned male on their birth certificate and who identifies as a boy is cisgender (you may hear this term shortened to “cis”).

Transgender Explained

On the other hand, a Transgender person has a gender identity that does not match the sex they were assigned at birth, which begins to be expressed in early childhood. A child who was assigned male on their birth certificate and who identifies as a girl is transgender, often called “trans.”

Expression

Just like identity, expression is also on a spectrum. Common terms may include, “femme,” “butch,” “androgynous,” and “gender neutral.”

I am an LGBTQ therapist in the Niantic area and I offer TeleTherapy, distance counseling video sessions. Call or Text Me: 860 451-9364!

Feminine — —  Agender  — — Masculine

LGBTQ Expression may look like a transgender male choosing to shop in the men’s department, even though they may have been born biologically female. A woman may dye her hair blue or cut her hair shorter than when is deemed culturally feminine. Not to mention, just because she has short hair does not mean she is lesbian. For example, a man may grow his hair out or pierce his ears. So, simply because a man has his ears pierced does not mean he is gay. Theses are all okay forms of expression.

Sex

Sex is a biological trait that a person is born with, most often associated with male or female genitals. Common terms here include, “male,” “female,” and “intersex.”

Female-ness — —  Asex  — — Male-ness

Also, it is important to make note that sex exists across a continuum of possibilities. There are naturally occurring intersex conditions that demonstrate this biological spectrum. Thus, there are not just two sexes, that is why there is spectrum. I accept you just the way you are!

Attraction

Additionally, attraction is who a person likes, has a crush on, and feels they could love regardless of the previous spectrums. In particular, common terms include, “straight,” “gay,” “bisexual,” “pansexual,”  “homosexual,” and “heterosexual”

Females/Women/Femininity — —  No One  — — Males/Men/Masculinity

 

Key Terms and Definitions From The Humans Rights Campaign 

Many Americans become embarrassed and avoid talking about sexual identify and orientation. Some are afraid of saying the wrong thing or offending someone. If you notice you have said something by mistake, simply apologize and move on. Saying sorry makes you the bigger person. Grow and make it a learning experience!

This glossary may help  make conversations easier and more comfortable with friends, family, and co-workers.

Ally | A person who is not LGBTQ but shows support for LGBTQ people and promotes equality in a variety of ways.

Androgynous | Identifying and/or presenting as neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine.

Asexual | The lack of a sexual attraction or desire for other people.

Biphobia | Prejudice, fear or hatred directed toward bisexual people.

Bisexual | A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.

Cisgender | A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.

Closeted | Describes an LGBTQ person who has not disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Coming out | The process in which a person first acknowledges, accepts and appreciates his or her sexual orientation or gender identity and begins to share that with others.

Gay | A person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender. To sum up, people who identify as gay may also identify as part of the LGBTQ community.

Gender dysphoria | Clinically significant distress caused when a person’s assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify. Also, according to the DSM, the term – which replaces Gender Identity Disorder – “is intended to better characterize the experiences of affected children, adolescents, and adults.”

Gender-expansive | Conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system.

Gender expression | External appearance of one’s gender identity, usually expressed through behavior, clothing, haircut or voice, and which may or may not conform to socially defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.

Gender-fluid | According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a person who does not identify with a single fixed gender; of or relating to a person having or expressing a fluid or unfixed gender identity.

Gender identity | One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.

Gender non-conforming | A broad term referring to people who do not behave in a way that conforms to the traditional expectations of their gender, or whose gender expression does not fit neatly into a category.

Genderqueer | Genderqueer people typically reject notions of static categories of gender and embrace a fluidity of gender identity and often, though not always, sexual orientation. People who identify as “genderqueer” may see themselves as being both male and female, neither male nor female or as falling completely outside these categories.

Gender transition | The process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal gender with appearance. Some people socially transition, whereby they might begin dressing, using names and pronouns and/or be socially recognized as another gender. Others undergo physical transitions through medical interventions.

Homophobia | The fear and hatred of or discomfort with people who are attracted to members of the same sex.

Lesbian | A woman who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to other women.

LGBTQ | An acronym for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.”

Living openly | A state in which LGBTQ people are comfortably out about their sexual orientation or gender identity – where and when it feels appropriate to them.

Outing | Exposing someone’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identity to others without their permission. Outing someone can have serious repercussions on employment, economic stability, personal safety or religious or family situations.

Pansexual | Describes someone who has the potential for emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender though not necessarily simultaneously, in the same way or to the same degree.

Queer | A term people often use to express fluid identities and orientations. Often used interchangeably with “LGBTQ.”

Questioning | A term used to describe people who are in the process of exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Same-gender loving | A term some prefer to use instead of lesbian, gay or bisexual to express attraction to and love of people of the same gender.

Sexual orientation | An inherent or immutable enduring emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people.

Transgender | An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Being transgender does not imply any specific sexual orientation. Therefore, transgender people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.

Transphobia | The fear and hatred of, or discomfort with, transgender people.

Helpful Links

TSS Surgery Guide

True Colors Conference at UCONN

Affirming Churches

All are welcome in my office. I am a LGBTQ+, kink, BDSM, poly friendly therapist.

Call Katie for your free 20-minute consultation to talk about your child or adolescent grappling with LGBTQIA+ topics (860) 451-9364.