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What does LGBTQIA+ mean?

“It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love, or how you love. It matters only that you love.”


John Lennon

LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and others. The plus is a symbol of other sexual identities.

This acronym is used to represent the variations of sexual identities one might have and celebrate them openly and wholeheartedly.

Each letter in this acronym has its own meaning. They are –

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    Lesbian (L): A lesbian is a woman attracted to the same/similar gender.

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    Gay(G): A gay is a man attracted to the same/similar gender.

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    Bisexual (B): They are attracted to all genders and are not reserved for any particular gender.

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    Transgender (T): This means that a person’s gender and sex identity is different from the gender and sex assigned at the time of birth.

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    Queer (Q): This is used as an umbrella term for anyone who is non-cisgender or heterosexual.

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    Intersex (I): This describes individuals who are born with variations of sex characteristics that do not fit with definitions of male or female bodies.

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    Asexual (A): This refers to individuals who have little to no attraction for anyone, but they can experience romantic attraction.

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    + (Plus): This signifies all of the gender identities and sexual orientations that are not covered by the other seven initials.

Common LGBTQIA+ Mental Health Concerns

It can be really suffocating to lie about yourself and not be the truest version of yourself with the people you love. Getting that rejection and that look of disappointment from your loved ones can leave you disheartened.

This is why members of the LGBTQ community are at an increased risk of developing mental health concerns that may affect them adversely. They range from low self-esteem to anxiety and depression. Because of this, they also have an increased risk of depending on substances like alcohol and drugs.

  1. Depression

    It can be very challenging to be a part of an inclusive community yet feel like an outcast because of the taunts and judgmental comments of society. The LGBTQIA+ community has come a long way and tries to spread kindness in every possible way; however, the way they are treated and looked down upon can actually make them judge themselves and throw them into a rut of overthinking, which can further lead to depression.

  2. Anxiety

    Depression and anxiety usually go hand in hand. Anxiety can be triggered for many reasons. However, when society and even your loved ones are against the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, it can actually make it really hard for them to lead a happy and full-fledged life. When they are told to be someone they aren’t, it can make them feel suffocated and like they are not being honest with themselves. All this chaos can lead to anxiety and make them feel really aloof and lonely.

  3. Suicidal tendencies

    Suicide is a serious problem, and identifying yourself as LGBTQIA+ makes it more likely for the general public to consider or attempt suicide. It is hard to accept yourself as “normal” when society and your loved ones keep telling you otherwise. Therefore, people are not able to bear this mental burden and wish to end it once and for all.

    According to research, suicidal behaviours among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults were 3-6 times greater than those among their heterosexual peers.

  4. Substance abuse disorders

    It can be very addicting to escape your pain with the help of alcohol and drugs. The LGBTQIA+ community comes across different people, and most of them are either judging or laughing at them, which can be a serious blow to their self-esteem.

    To handle this pain, they heavily rely on drugs and alcohol, which numb their pain and help them escape reality. Reports say that 34% of adults who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual have substance use disorders.

  5. Eating disorders

    It has been reported that people who come out as gay or transgender are more likely to develop eating disorders. It has also been seen that gay adult men are seven times more likely to report bingeing and 12 times more likely to report purging than heterosexual adult men.

    To cope with the stress and the pain, gay men and transgender people usually rely heavily on food and tend to take their stress out on it.

  6. Bullying and social rejection

    It is very common for LGBTQIA+ members to be bullied and socially rejected within popular groups. They are always made to feel like outcasts who do not belong anywhere, which can be a hard hit on their self-esteem. Bullying and social rejection can actually develop low self-esteem and even foster adverse behaviors like drinking alcohol, mingling with the wrong crowd, or even self-harm.

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have mental health concerns that are not talked about as heavily. Society is definitely moving towards a more positive and optimistic approach, yet there are certain gaps that need to be filled, which might seem like a long road ahead. To bridge this gap, experts at Now&Me are always available to provide you with a safe cocoon and help you with your difficulties in every possible way.

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Why do people go for LGBTQ therapy?

People belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community prefer to take therapy from people who are queer-affirmative and have experience in LGBTQ therapy.

Why is that? Let's see.

  1. They feel more comfortable

    Talking to a therapist who is queer-friendly and has all the knowledge about the LGBTQIA+ community makes it really easy for the person in therapy to talk to them and have an open-ended chat with them. If there is someone who doesn’t know their way around the community and pretends to be open-minded about it, it can actually hinder the client and make them feel uncomfortable.

  2. They can talk freely

    If you talk to a queer-friendly therapist, you will feel heard, and you won’t be scared of any kind of judgment. You can talk to them about anything and everything freely and without feeling uncomfortable. However, if you talk to a therapist who believes in conventional therapy and has not updated themselves with the changing times, they might be confused or conflicted about what to say.

  3. They are up-to-date

    Being a queer-friendly therapist, it is important to always be up-to-date on things that are happening around the world. If you wish to help people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community, it is important to know the ins and outs of it. You cannot call yourself a queer-friendly therapist without having half a clue about it. Educate yourself, as only that will make you help the people in actual need.

  4. Embrace your identity

    Talking to an experienced LGBTQ therapist will also help you embrace your true identity and push you to accept and love yourself. It can be a difficult process, however, talking to someone who knows exactly what you are going through will help you love yourself exactly as you are.

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Benefits of LGBTQ Counseling

Taking LGBTQ therapy online or counseling will not only help you understand yourself from a different perspective, but it will also help you love and accept yourself as you are.

Let’s have a look at the benefits of LGBTQ therapy online —

  1. Self-acceptance

    More than others, it is difficult to accept yourself; however, it is extremely important to get your own acceptance. If you take LGBTQ therapy online, you actually understand how our thoughts and feelings are formed; they are mostly a byproduct of society, and our own thoughts and feelings tend to get lost somewhere. Understanding this from a clean slate and how, whoever you love or marry, it doesn’t say anything about you because love is just an emotion. With this understanding, it becomes easier to look at yourself from your perspective and not from society’s perspective.

  2. Decrease in external validation

    When you are comfortable in your own skin, you also wish to be validated by your loved ones. However, with the way society thinks, your loved ones can easily be manipulated and turn against you. And, when you start taking LGBTQ therapy, you understand that even though it hurts, all you need is your own validation and love. With therapy, you get that acceptance and freedom to be who you wish to be.

  3. Strong mental health

    With the help of therapy, slowly and steadily, you start living for yourself and stop caring what others think of you. You work on accomplishing your goals and start living a life of pure happiness and honesty. Therapy actually helps you see yourself and the things you want, and it removes the unnecessary voices and taunts that are a reflection of society.

  4. Resilience

    Going through such traumatic experiences can make a person strong and aware of the path ahead. So while it does bring a lot of hurt, going through so much pain finally teaches one what needs to be given attention and what needs to be let go of. Society will never stop demeaning or taunting you; the best way to fight this is to let them say whatever feels right to them and do whatever feels right to you. This will only make you more resilient and strong in the face of conflict.

  5. Quality of life gets better

    When you look happy, you live happily. Once you understand that the only person who needs to be happy is yourself, your quality of life starts to improve. With the help of therapy, you finally make space for what you need to do in order to live a stress-free life. And once you do that, you are finally able to live for yourself rather than others.

The advantages of LGBTQ therapy online do not end here. It also depends on the individual and how they end up taking the most from their therapy session. It is true that the number of LGBTQ therapists in India is very low, and as a result, members of this community are hesitant to even try therapy.

To curb this issue, we at Now&Me are trying to bridge that gap and provide our users with the best possible experience. Contact us, and we will provide you with the best LGBTQ therapist for you to look after yourself with proper care and love.

Benefits of LGBTQIA+ therapy

How Online Therapy Helps LGBTQ Community

Online therapy can help the LGBTQIA+ community immensely while looking at both short-term and long-term factors, like overcoming identity crises or concerns like substance abuse or anxiety.

  1. Helps manage gender crises

    If you are confused about your gender or are having a gender crisis, a therapist can help you look at things from an objective yet clear perspective. They help you let go of all the voices that aren’t yours and just focus on the one that is truly yours and accept it at your own pace.

  2. Helps you in coming out

    At times, it can be difficult to accept your reality and be who you wish to be without any inner conflicts. With the help of an experienced therapist, you can process your feelings properly and come out to yourself and your loved ones without any shame or embarrassment.

  3. Dealing with social rejection

    As a member of this community, it is very common to get bullied or be socially rejected, as all of this is far from “normal” for everyone. This can be a big blow to one’s self-esteem and can actually make the person shut out. To deal with this, your therapist can help you deal with feelings of rejection and make you understand that not everyone will empathize with you, as not all beings are as aware as you. It can be a hard road, but once you get comfortable with owning who you are, it will become easier for you to ignore the rejection and bullying and stand up for what you believe in.

  4. Helps in managing depression & anxiety

    Having mental health concerns if you belong to the LGBTQIA+ community is very common. With the taunts and judgments, it can be hard to navigate sanely. To curb this, LGBTQ therapists help you deal with this situation by identifying your triggers and developing strategies for them. It is very easy to fall into the void of temporary addictions and get away with these feelings; however, your therapist will help you deal with them in a healthy manner.

  5. Working through relationship issues

    Once you come out, it can be difficult to come out to your loved ones without contemplating what they will think of you or if they will just disown you. It can get really overwhelming. So to navigate through this, an experienced therapist will help you tell your loved ones. They will help you strengthen your bond with your loved ones while also helping you come out to them without feeling any guilt or shame.

How to Find the Right LGBTQIA+ Therapist

Once you are ready to start therapy, it is extremely important to find the right therapist. While the market for therapists is not small, finding the right therapist for your needs can be a bit hard. So what can you do to find the right therapist for yourself?

  1. Consider your needs

    When looking for a therapist, consider why and what you need therapy for. Make a list of the things that bother you and that you wish to talk about in therapy to understand what kind of therapist will suit you best. If you choose any therapist without reading their qualifications and their best interests, you might find yourself in a difficult situation. So in order to choose the right therapist, first, get clarity on your needs and requirements.

  2. Research and ask important questions

    While the market for therapists isn’t small, the market for LGBTQ therapists certainly is. Because of this, it is important to research everything and find the right therapist. If you feel you do not know something about a particular thing and wish to know more about it, do not hesitate to ask. Research as much as you can about this and clarify all your doubts, even if they are silly, so that you feel confident when you talk to your therapist about anything confidential.

  3. Referrals

    When it comes to choosing a therapist, it is best to consult your loved ones. More so than them, you can contact LGBTQIA+ organizations or support groups that can help you navigate this process and streamline LGBTQ therapists for you. Referrals are a great way to choose yourself a therapist, as you are relying on someone you trust, and most definitely, they will provide you with the best possible therapist out there.

treatment for LGBTQ

LGBTQIA+ Resources

Fighting for your rights and with society is something that might go on for a lifetime. At this time, what helps is the support of the people who empathize with you and belong to the very same community. So to engage with like-minded people and have all the information you need about therapy, you can visit the following resource.

Here is a list of all the organizations and NGOs all over India divided into the state they are situated in. Visit this link and get your answers to everything by contacting them.

How can Now&Me help?

Our platform, Now&Me, is a safe place that makes you feel light by writing out whatever is weighing you down. It can help you engage with others and make you look at things from a different perspective about yourself and your relationship. Become a part of the larger community and embrace yourself just as you are.

When you do not know how to do so, sign up on Now&Me and seek online LGBTQ friendly therapy. Be a part of a non-judgmental, inclusive, and friendly community . A platform made for you to readily ask for help and let our LGBTQ therapists help you understand yourself in a better manner.

Invest in your mental health and download Now&Me for free!

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