To be transgender is to experience your gender identity differently from the sex you were assigned at birth. If you, or someone you care about, identifies as transgender, know that you have much in common with many other Americans. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, more than two million transgender individuals live in the United States.
No doubt, there have been significant steps forward to protect members of the LGBTQIA community. Like others, you may have celebrated victories towards acceptance in our culture, such as marriage equality and bans on conversion therapy — but those steps haven’t erased the difficulties the transgender community continues to face.
Life can feel like an uphill battle when you’re transgender. Here we will examine common problems and how counseling for transgender issues can help.
What Are Transgender Issues?
Despite positive changes in American culture, the transgender community must still cope with weighty issues affecting everyday life.
For example, transgender students are more than four times as likely as their peers to suffer at least one mental health condition, according to a study of 62,500 students from 71 universities and reported in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Other stressors experienced in the transgender population that counseling can help include:
Transphobic bullying is behavior or language that causes a person to feel marginalized because of their perceived or actual gender identity. If you or someone you care about has been a victim of bullying, you know how damaging it is.
Gender-affirmative therapeutic support services can allow you to process challenges and thrive despite the adverse psychological effects of social oppression and bullying.
- Gender Dysphoria
The American Psychiatric Association describes gender dysphoria as the “psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity.”
Not all transgender individuals suffer from gender dysphoria.
- Gender affirmation
When you are transgender, you have decisions to make about which gender affirmations you want to pursue, and gender-affirming counseling can be helpful and enlightening.
The gender affirmations you make are personal decisions that vary from person to person. Do you want to change your name and pronouns? How about changing gender markers on your government documents? Or perhaps you are considering medical affirmations such as hormones or transition surgery. Counseling can help you weigh all aspects of these important decisions.
- Family support
Are you a parent of a transgender child wanting to learn more about how to support your child? When your child comes out as transgender, you may feel like you have entered an unknown world of new terms and concepts. It feels overwhelming.
Grief is also common for parents and can be accompanied by confusing feelings of shock, anger, and sadness. Counseling can help parents cope with the pain of releasing hopes and dreams they had for their child.
Counseling for Transgender Issues
After a brief overview of just four challenging obstacles faced by this population, it makes sense why good support is necessary to flourish. Whether you are looking for help to sort out your experiences or need mental health therapy, Eunoia is available to provide safe and affirming counseling for the transgender issues you are dealing with. Your gender identity will not be treated as a mental illness here; instead, you will encounter supportive affirmation.
Our licensed professional counselors are compassionate, skilled, and experienced working with transgender individuals from adolescence through adulthood. Learn more about LGBTQIA Affirming Therapy and reach out to make your appointment with us at Eunoia today.