- Do you struggle with issues of sexuality? Of sexual identity? Of gender identity?
- Do you know of someone who is struggling with these issues?
- Are you able to accept and declare your sexuality or the sexuality of a loved one without shame?
- Do you find yourself inhibited by internalized homophobia?
- Have you identified with negative or stereotypic images of sexual minorities as portrayed in the media?
- Are you an advocate of sexual diversity?
9,000,000 American adults identified as LGBT in the 2010 census. A measurably higher percentage acknowledged having same-sex attraction or experience, without identifying as LGBT. Beyond the “either/or” classification of human sexuality, decades of research reveals that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex, with most people somewhere in the middle. Despite the fact that sexuality is diverse, those who exist outside the collective idea of “normal” have become subject to coarse and subtle forms of social exclusion. This long, institutionalized history of intolerance against non-heterosexism can lead sexual minorities to feeling marginalized, excluded, and shameful.
When shame is left untreated, it will cause people to shut down. It can develop into anger or anxiety. Relief is often sought from alcohol, drugs, sexual acting-out, any behavior done to excess (gambling, eating, shopping, etc.), or even suicide. Without question, it will lead to low self-esteem.
What is hopeful is that shame, anger, internalized homophobia and negative self-images can be addressed and treated through the development of self-awareness, self-acceptance and accommodation to the current state of social development, all skills that are effectively cultivated in a therapeutic setting.
We, at OptimalLife Wellness Center, can help free you from the destructive path of shame, fear, and self-rejection, and get you back to enjoying the life you deserve to have.