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LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. Queer is the umbrella term used to encompass individuals who identify with a sexual orientation or gender identity than it is not heteronormative, such as nonbinary or genderqueer. Millions of people either identify as, or care about someone, within the LGBTQ community. Because of this, counseling can be for individuals, couples, families, or groups. Counseling for issues with this population may look the same as the rest of the population or can be specific to being LGBTQ.
A common issue for the transgender population is gender dysphoria. When a client presents with gender dysphoria, they feel significant distress because of the conflict between the sex they were born as and the gender they identify as. Recommended treatment is hormone replacement, which qualified counselors can assess through World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards. A letter is given to the client and allows a medical provider to treat the client with hormone blockers, testosterone, or estrogen—depending on the client’s need.
Gender dysphoria symptoms in adults:
•Incongruence between experienced gender and sex characteristics
•Desire to not have their sex characteristics since they don’t match their experienced gender
•Desire for the sex characteristics of the other gender
•Desire to be a different gender than one’s own
•Preference to be treated as another gender
•Conviction that one feels and reacts like another gender
Gender dysphoria symptoms in children:
•Desire to be the opposite gender
•Inclination for opposite gender clothing
•Preference for role-playing as the opposite gender
•Preference for toys stereo typically used by the other gender
•Preference for playmates of the opposite gender
•Rejection of typical toys of assigned sex
•Dislike of one’s sex characteristics
•Desire for the sex characteristics of the opposite gender
Lexa Bender, MA specializes in counseling individuals in the LGBTQ+ community at the Counseling and Wellness Center of South Florida. Call 954-951-2929 to speak to Lexa or one of our other Therapists.