In a previous blog, we discussed the impact of discrimination and stigma within the coming out process for LGBTQ folks. As we discuss traumaTrauma Therapy it’s equally important to talk about aspects that lead to post-traumatic growth. Neither this site nor this blog will be a seating place for Black trauma without discussing Black liberation. Two of the things that fuel discrimination and stigma within the LGBTQ community are hatred and misunderstanding. Hatred and misunderstanding harden people’s hearts and close their minds to difference, possibility, and curiosity. Even though hatred and misunderstanding bear rotten fruits in many labors across the world, it is possible to counter them. There’s a quote by MLK that explains this beautifully “Darkness cannot drive out darkness only light can do that”.
Acceptance and authenticity are fundamental needs within the LGBTQ+ community. These needs go beyond mere tolerance and have a profound impact on the mental, emotional, and social well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals. Addressing them is crucial for creating a more inclusive and supportive society.
Above I mention that acceptance is different from toleration. Toleration suggests an allowance of something that one does not agree with fully. Tolerance suggests that someone’s authenticity is dependent upon another person’s wellness to be permissible. LGBTQ+ do not need to ask for permission to exist. At RISE, when we discuss acceptance we are referencing the unconditional love of an LGBTQ person just as they are without an attempt to change, protest, or analyze their existence.
Important aspects of acceptance for LGBTQ folks include:
- Validation of Identity: Acceptance means recognizing and respecting individuals’ gender identities and sexual orientations without judgment or discrimination. It’s about affirming that LGBTQ+ identities are valid and legitimate.
- Family and Social Support: Acceptance within families and social circles is vital for LGBTQ+ individuals’ mental health. Feeling accepted by loved ones reduces the risk of isolation, depression, and anxiety.
- Legal and Institutional Acceptance: Legal recognition and protection against discrimination are essential. LGBTQ+ individuals should have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else, including in areas like employment, housing, and healthcare.
- Intersectionality: Recognize that acceptance should be intersectional, considering the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals who may also belong to other marginalized groups, such as black, indigenous, and people of color, disabled individuals, or immigrants.
At RISE, we don’t think it’s possible to discuss LGBTQ folks without discussing authenticity. LGBTQ folks live out loud in a world that’s still largely focused on living based on norms and expectations. LGBTQ folks challenge robotic conformity with authentic expression. Authenticity involves living openly and honestly as one’s true self. It means not having to hide or suppress one’s identity due to fear of rejection or discrimination. Living authentically means living your life based on your own truth, and values, and desires-regardless of the opinion of others.
Trauma Therapy to Promote Acceptance and Authenticity in Pikesville, MD
As a Black queer therapist, I understand the importance of acceptance and authenticity within the LGBTQ+ community. I also understand that living authentically and accepting yourself fully is a multifaceted endeavor. It involves not only challenging the world around you but also remaining grounded in who you are. In this way, I think LGBTQ folks have much to teach the world by shining our light. I would be honored to help you shine your light. Let’s work together toward life where you as a member of the LGBTQ+ community can live authentically and without fear of discrimination or rejection.
If you are ready to get started, follow these three steps: