Exploring Sexuality, LGBTQQIP2SAA and how we identify.

‘LGBTQQIP2SAA’ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, two Spirit, Asexual and Allies.

Sexuality is a small word with a lot of meaning. It’s about how people express themselves as sexual beings and how we perceive ourselves. It’s a part of our lives, just like our interests, or the foods we like, but its an intrinsic part of who we are. People express their sexuality in different ways, and it’s unique to each individual.

There’s no one-size-fits-all definition for human sexuality. It’s diverse and can’t be neatly categorized. Researchers have been trying to understand it for a long time, but it’s a complex aspect of being human.

A sign of 'love is love' on rainbow background symbolise LGBTQ+ loves.

In recent years, some people have defined sexuality more narrowly, based on whether someone’s sexual partners are the same gender (gay) or a different gender (heterosexual or straight). Some people feel that these labels are too simple for something as complex as human sexuality.

For those who identify as gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, queer, having a label can provide a sense of pride, belonging, and validation. It can be powerful to find a community of people who share similar self-beliefs and experiences.

People have debated for a long time why people have different sexual orientations.

Some theories suggest it might be because of genetics, childhood experiences, or peer pressure. However, there’s no conclusive evidence, and experts still don’t fully agree on what causes someone’s sexual orientation.

Our sexuality starts to take shape during our teenage years, but it can take many more years to fully understand and accept it. Media, laws, religion, peer pressure, and our environment can all make it challenging to accept this important part of who we are, and what is most important is that we find a way to feel free and safe as we are, whatever the label may be.

Sexual orientation is a complex and multifaceted aspect of human sexuality, and it’s important to acknowledge that there are many diverse orientations beyond the traditional categories of heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. Here are some of the different kinds of sexual orientations that people may identify with today:

Heterosexual (Straight) Individuals who are primarily attracted to members of the opposite sex.

Homosexual (Gay/Lesbian) Individuals who are primarily attracted to members of the same sex. Gay refers to men who are attracted to men, and lesbian refers to women who are attracted to women.

Bisexual: Individuals who are attracted to both members of their own sex and the opposite sex.

Pansexual: People who are attracted to individuals regardless of their gender identity or biological sex. They are attracted to people based on emotional, intellectual, and physical connections rather than gender.

Asexual: Asexual individuals do not experience sexual attraction to others, regardless of their gender. However, they may still form romantic or emotional connections.

Demisexual: Demisexual individuals only experience sexual attraction after forming a strong emotional or romantic connection with someone.

Queer: Queer is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of non-heteronormative sexual orientations and gender identities. Some people use this term to describe their sexual orientation when it doesn’t fit neatly into other categories.

Questioning: Some people may be uncertain or in the process of exploring their sexual orientation. They may identify as questioning until they have a clearer understanding of their attractions.

Fluid: Individuals whose sexual orientation may change or shift over time. They may not experience a fixed or stable sexual attraction.

Two-Spirit: A term used by some Indigenous North American cultures to describe a person who embodies both masculine and feminine qualities or occupies a unique gender and spiritual role within their community.

Polysexual: Individuals who are attracted to multiple genders but not necessarily all genders. It is similar to bisexuality but acknowledges the existence of more than two genders.

Androgynosexual: Attraction to individuals who have a mix of both male and female physical and/or gender expressions.

Skoliosexual: Attraction to individuals who identify as genderqueer, non-binary, or transgender.

Autosexual: Individuals who are primarily attracted to themselves and may not have strong attractions to others.

Intersex: Intersex refers to a variety of conditions where an individual is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit typical definitions of male or female. These variations can involve differences in chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals, and may become apparent at birth or later in life. Intersex is a naturally occurring variation in humans, not a disorder.

Transgender: Transgender is a term for individuals whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. This identity can be male, female, a blend of both, or neither. Transgender people may choose to transition, which can involve changing their name, pronouns, appearance, and possibly undergoing medical procedures, to align their physical characteristics with their gender identity. Being transgender is about one’s internal understanding of their own gender.

It’s important to note that language and terminology related to sexual orientation continue to evolve as our understanding of human sexuality becomes more nuanced and inclusive. Additionally, some individuals may prefer not to label their sexual orientation at all, and that is entirely valid as well. Respecting and using individuals’ preferred terms and identities is a crucial aspect of creating an inclusive and accepting society.

If you’re feeling unsure about your sexuality, it’s okay. Many people go through this. Here are some things you can do:

Give Yourself Time: It’s alright not to have all the answers right away. These feelings can take time to understand.

Talk to Someone: Find someone you trust, like a friend or family member, and share your thoughts and feelings. They can be a supportive ear.

Educate Yourself: Learn more about different sexual orientations. Understanding what’s out there can help you figure out where you fit.

Explore Your Feelings: You can date and get to know people, but remember, you don’t have to label yourself right away. Just be yourself and see what feels right.

Seek Support: There are counselors and support groups that specialise in helping people with questions about their sexuality. They can provide guidance and understanding.

Accept Yourself: Remember, there’s no rush to put a label on your sexuality. It’s okay to be you, no matter who you’re attracted to.

The most important thing is to be kind to yourself and take things at your own pace. You’re not alone, and there are people and resources out there to help you navigate these feelings.

If your child is feeling unsure about their sexuality, it’s important to be understanding and supportive. Here are some things you can do as a parent:

Listen: Encourage open and honest communication. Let your child know that you’re there to listen and support them, no matter what.

Be Patient: Understand that figuring out one’s sexuality can be a process. Give your child the time they need to explore their feelings and identity.

Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about different sexual orientations and gender identities. This can help you better understand what your child might be going through.

Respect Privacy: Your child may not be ready to share everything with you right away. Respect their privacy and let them share their feelings at their own pace.

Supportive Environment: Create a safe and accepting environment at home. Let your child know that they are loved and accepted for who they are.

Seek Professional Help: If your child is struggling with their feelings or identity and needs extra support, consider seeking help from a counselor or therapist who specialises in LGBTQQIP2SAA issues.

Connect with LGBTQ+ Resources: Reach out to LGBTQQIP2SAA organisations or support groups in your community. They can provide resources and guidance for both you and your child.

Remember that your child’s feelings and experiences are unique to them. Your role as a parent is to offer love, understanding, and a safe space for them to explore their identity and come to terms with their feelings.

It’s natural to feel surprised when someone you care about comes out as LGBTQ+. Here are some things you can do to navigate this situation:

Take a Deep Breath: It’s okay to feel shocked. Take some time to process your emotions.

Remember They’re Still the Same Person: Your loved one is still the same person they’ve always been. Their sexual orientation or gender identity doesn’t change who they are inside.

Listen and Learn: Ask questions if they’re comfortable with it, and try to understand their experiences and feelings. Educate yourself about LGBTQ+ issues to become more informed.

Offer Support: Let them know you love and support them. Sometimes, all they need is someone to talk to and be there for them.

Respect Their Journey: Coming out can be a challenging and personal process. Respect their timing and choices about who they share this with.

Connect with LGBTQ+ Resources: Reach out to LGBTQQIP2SAA organisations or support groups. They can provide guidance for both you and your loved one and help you both feel more at ease.

Give It Time: Your feelings may evolve over time as you become more accustomed to this aspect of your loved one’s identity. Be patient with yourself and your loved one.

Remember, your loved one is still the same person you care about, and they’ve trusted you with this important part of their life. Supporting them and continuing to love them is the most important thing you can do.

If you’re in a place where being LGBTQQIP2SAA is illegal or unsafe, your safety and well-being are top priorities. Here’s what you can consider:

Stay Safe: Your safety comes first. Be cautious about who you share your LGBTQ+ identity with, especially in public or online.

Connect Anonymously: If you want to connect with LGBTQQIP2SAA communities or seek support, consider doing so anonymously online. Use a pseudonym and protect your personal information.

Know Your Rights: Learn about your legal rights and what the laws are in your country regarding LGBTQQIP2SAA issues. This knowledge can help you navigate difficult situations.

Seek Support Abroad: If it’s safe to do so, you can explore options to seek asylum in a country where LGBTQQIP2SAA rights are protected. Research countries with more accepting laws and reach out to LGBTQQIP2SAA organisations or legal aid for guidance.

Stay Informed: Stay updated on LGBTQQIP2SAA news and resources, even if you can’t openly participate. Knowledge is power.

Network Carefully: If you choose to connect with LGBTQQIP2SAA individuals or groups in your country, do so cautiously and discreetly. Trust your instincts and prioritize your safety.

Speak to a Trusted Person: If you have a close and trustworthy friend or family member, you might consider confiding in them about your situation. Choose someone who will be supportive and discreet.

Remember that your safety is paramount. It can be incredibly challenging to navigate being LGBTQ+ in an unsafe environment, so take steps to protect yourself and seek help when possible. You’re not alone, and there are people and organisations out there who want to support you.

It’s important to know that being LGBTQQIP2SAA is not something that needs to be changed or cured. Your sexual orientation or gender identity is a natural part of who you are. It’s not a problem, and it’s not something you can or should try to change.

It’s okay to have questions or concerns about your identity, but it’s essential to understand that being LGBTQQIP2SAA is not a sickness or something that needs fixing. What’s most important is to accept and love yourself for who you are, and there are supportive people and resources available to help you do that.

If you’re struggling with your feelings, it can be helpful to talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or a mental health professional who is knowledgeable about LGBTQQIP2SAA issues. They can provide you with guidance and support as you navigate your feelings and self-acceptance. Remember, you are not alone, and there is a community of people who understand and support you just as you are.

If you’re in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone you know about your sexuality, there are still some things you can do:

Online Resources: Look for LGBTQQIP2SAA online communities and forums where you can connect with others who may be going through similar experiences. You can participate in discussions or simply read about others’ experiences to feel less alone.

Counseling Services: Consider seeking the help of a professional therapist or counselor who specialises in LGBTQQIP2SAA issues. Many offer virtual sessions, which can provide a safe and confidential space to discuss your feelings.

Support Hotlines: Some organisations offer confidential hotlines or chat services where you can talk to trained volunteers about your concerns. They can provide support and information.

Educate Yourself: You can learn more about your own sexuality by reading books, articles, or watching videos that discuss LGBTQQIP2SAA topics. This can help you better understand yourself.

Take Your Time: Remember that it’s okay not to rush into discussing your sexuality with anyone if you don’t feel safe. You can take your time to explore your feelings and identity at your own pace.

Consider Trusted Adults: If you have any adults in your life, like a teacher, school counselor, or a healthcare professional, who you feel you can trust, they might be able to provide guidance and support.

Your safety and well-being are important, so always prioritize that when deciding whom to talk to about your sexuality. You’re not alone, and there are resources available to help you, even if you can’t confide in someone you know personally.

Sexuality counseling is a type of support for individuals who are trying to understand and accept their own sexuality. This counseling is there to help when things get tough, especially if you don’t have supportive friends or family.

Here’s what you can expect from sexuality counseling:

Understanding Your Feelings: Counselors can help you navigate feelings like anxiety, stress, low self-worth, self-hatred, or depression that might come up when you’re dealing with your sexuality.

A Safe Space: It’s a place where you can talk openly without fear of judgment. You can discuss your concerns, fears, and questions about your sexual identity.

Support and Guidance: Counselors are there to provide you with support, guidance, and strategies to accept and embrace your sexuality.

Confidentiality: Your privacy is respected. What you share in counseling stays between you and the counselor.

Working on Self-Acceptance: Counseling helps you work on accepting and valuing yourself just as you are.

Connecting with LGBTQQIP2SAA Experts: Counselors often have expertise in LGBTQ+ issues, so they understand your experiences and can relate to what you’re going through.

Respect for Your Timing: You can take things at your own pace. You don’t have to rush or share your feelings until you’re comfortable.

Remember, your sexuality is about more than just sex; it’s about love and who you are as a person. Whether you’re dealing with questions about your sexuality or facing challenges, sexuality counseling is a resource available to provide you with the support you need during your journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. You’re not alone, and there are people who can help.

I’m Paul Parkin – A therapist and life coach. This is why you should work with me:

Paul Parkin Online CounsellorI have extensive experience working with LGBTQ+ individuals who are navigating the journey of exploring and accepting their sexuality and identity. I specialise in helping people understand their feelings, providing guidance on self-acceptance, and supporting them in embracing who they truly are.

With my expertise and compassionate approach, I can assist you in confidently moving forward and living your life authentically.

Online counselling is convenient. You can have a session from the comfort of your home, or anywhere you feel comfortable. And I also offer face-to-face counselling, therapy, and life coaching for clients who live in my area or can travel to my home.

What some of my recent clients have said about our work together.

I worked with Paul for around 8 months to deal with issues around low self-esteem and difficulties with my sexuality and marriage. It was a great experience all round and gave me useful techniques to face life’s challenges. He was calm and supportive and always stressed that he was there to help me, to fight my corner. Paul clearly has a depth of knowledge earned over many years’ experience in counselling. I was particularly impressed with Paul’s ability to provide useful insight into anything I threw at him, practically at a moment’s notice.

Nick. UK.
January 2022.

I sought counseling from Paul during a mid-life crisis, and his insights and guidance helped me explore various aspects of my life. His concise, relevant insights and skilled approach allowed me to make significant positive changes in just 6 sessions, adapting to my evolving self. Paul covered a wide range of topics, from sexuality and childhood attachment, to personality and my current roles, including self-care and spirituality. His counseling was a valuable investment for me, and I believe both newcomers and long-time counseling recipients would benefit from his empathetic and insightful guidance, tailored to one’s own pace.

Andrew. UK.
January 2012.

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