Genesee counselling helps people who are facing a broad range of issues such as coming out, sexual orientation and gender identity, isolation, discrimination, relationship issues, parenting, transitioning, self-esteem and violence. We recognize the diversity that exists within the community of people who identify as LGBTQ.
While everyone who identifies as LGBTQ experiences some form of discrimination based on sexual orientation, many LGBTQ individuals face other unique forms of discrimination as well; sometimes from within the community itself. This is particular true for trans and two spirited people. Our programs/services reflect awareness that additional factors such as race, class, age and ability influence the way that individuals experience their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Many people have questions when discussing the LGBTQ community and we thought it may be helpful to provide you with some basic terminology to assist with your understanding of the community and further what it means for yourself or a loved one. We hope that you will find this information helpful and informative.
First and foremost it is important to know the difference between sex and gender. You may be thinking that these are the same concept, however the LGBTQ community demonstrates that they are separate entities. Sex refers directly to biology and the makeup of one's chromosomes and, internal hormones and also the internal and external organs assigned at birth. This category would house such terms as bi-sexual and gay as that is how this individual identifies their sex. Gender on the other hand is somewhat different. Gender is classified as the characteristics that are associated with a particular sex, be that male female, intersex or trans. Examples would be someone who cross dresses and feels more comfortable in the opposite sexes attire. Firstly we will explain some common gender terminology within the LGBTQ community.
This term refers to being an ally (supporter of the LGBTQ community) in certain respects. It demonstrates that you are comfortable in the sex you were assigned at birth. Those who identify as cisgender or cisman, ciswoman are comfortable with their biological makeup and wish to express those feelings openly.
This term refers to a person’s identity as being a man, woman, neither, both, or another gender entirely.
Refers to a person who is assigned one sex at birth, yet goes through steps and processes in order to change that sex to their desired sex. Often times the individual experiencing these feelings is incredibly uncomfortable with the sex they are assigned to. The individual may experience "gender dysphoria" and be driven to change their sex to feel comfortable with their overall self. This process can involve sexual assignment surgery (SRS) and sexual hormone therapy.
Two Spirit is an English term created and used by some Indigenous people to represent the specific experience of being both Indigenous and part of the LGBTQ and gender diverse spectrum. The term Two Spirit is a complex one to define. It is generally used as an umbrella term. Some examples of how it fits with people’s identities include: identifying with a connection to multiple spirits, being transgender or gender variant, being a part of the LGBTQ spectrum, and more. There are hundreds of tribe specific identities that fall under the Two Spirit umbrella and predate colonialism. Due to colonialism a lot of these individuals and respected identities have been forgotten or lost.
Let us move on to a few of the sexual identity terms that will aid you in your further understanding of the LGBTQ community.
An individual who is not sexually attracted to anyone. They may engage in sexual activities and even enjoy sex but are not sexually attracted to anyone.
This term has replaced the phrase "hermaphrodite" and relates to an individual who has a biological, hormonal, or chromosomal difference compared to binary male or females. Intersex children or often subject to sexual surgery to either male or female based on medical expertise. Intersex individuals will often identify as members of the trans community.
An individual who is attracted to two or more genders. An example would be someone who is attracted to both male and female.
Refers to an individual who is able to be sexually attracted to someone regardless of their biological sex or gender identity.
What Genesee Can Provide
The LGBTQ+ community can often feel vulnerable and threatened once they come out and identify themselves for who they truly wish to be seen as. Many individuals experience very common symptoms of depression, shame, self doubt and anxiety. These symptoms are all common to many individuals outside of the LGBTQ community and an individual does not need to feel ashamed about these thoughts and feelings. Genesee Counselling understands that you or your loved ones may not yet be ready to come out, and may have fears and doubts about others feelings and opinions of you. That's why Genesee Counselling is committed to providing a safe, secure and calm environment where you can feel confident in sharing your thoughts, feelings and personal story with a professional who has years of experience and very useful resources to share. It is our hope that we can aid you in going through difficult times and hardship. Whether you are dealing with sexual feelings in early adolescence, teenage years, or as an adult, Genesee is committed to supporting you and being here when you need to talk and share your personal experiences. We are here to listen, help and support in any and all ways that we can.
For more information and local resources or even further terminology please visit the Gilbert Centre by following the link below.
Genesee Counselling Services
Call Us : 1 (705) 503 3455