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Queer-Affirming Psychological Therapy

How Queer-Affirming Psychological Care Works

Why Queer Affirming?

Research has shown that non-affirmative healthcare professionals can decrease a person’s future willingness to seek appropriate care, negatively impacting on the person’s health. Queer-affirming practice seeks to reduce this risk and improve the health-related outcomes of LGBTIQA+ Australians.

Members of the queer (LGBTIQA+) communities, like other marginalised or disempowered communities, are exposed to stressors in addition to those experienced by the general community due to the prejudice, discrimination and exclusion that they can be exposed to. Called Minority Stress, these stressors increase the likelihood of physical and mental ill-health in queer people, and are often poorly- or mis-understood by others. 

Queer affirming culture - people holding up flags on equality and love
Flag of pride in hand

They include external and internalised trans-, bi- and homo-phobia, social, employment and housing discrimination, and microaggressions such as misgendering, dead-naming, casual queer-phobia. The impacts of these stressors can be further amplified in queer people who have other marginalised cross-sections of identity such as race, ethnicity, skin colour, immigrant status, low socio-economic status, etc.

While all members of the queer communities are likely to experience increased stressors, compared to the general community, impacts and outcomes are not the same for all members of the broader queer community. For example, gender diversity is likely to result in even higher levels of stressors and greater negative health outcomes, particularly for those who are visibly gender diverse. Bi- and pan-sexual people may experience different stressors from gay men and lesbians, being relatively invisible in mainstream media, and may be invalidated by some members of both homosexual and heterosexual communities. Intersex people are often unknown or ignored, and have previously been objectified in social and political discussions to score points for one side or another.

The 2017 marriage equality plebiscite resulted in over one third of voters (approximately one sixth of the Australian population) voting against the right of queer people to marry. This suggests that there are still significant and ongoing social barriers for queer Australians to overcome.

    They include external and internalised trans-, bi- and homo-phobia, social, employment and housing discrimination, and microaggressions such as misgendering, dead-naming, casual queer-phobia. The impacts of these stressors can be further amplified in queer people who have other marginalised cross-sections of identity such as race, ethnicity, skin colour, immigrant status, low socio-economic status, etc.

    While all members of the queer communities are likely to experience increased stressors, compared to the general community, impacts and outcomes are not the same for all members of the broader queer community. For example, gender diversity is likely to result in even higher levels of stressors and greater negative health outcomes, particularly for those who are visibly gender diverse. Bi- and pan-sexual people may experience different stressors from gay men and lesbians, being relatively invisible in mainstream media, and may be invalidated by some members of both homosexual and heterosexual communities. Intersex people are often unknown or ignored, and have previously been objectified in social and political discussions to score points for one side or another.

    The 2017 marriage equality plebiscite resulted in over one third of voters (approximately one sixth of the Australian population) voting against the right of queer people to marry. This suggests that there are still significant and ongoing social barriers for queer Australians to overcome.

      Flag of pride in hand

      How Does Howearth Psychology Affirm Queerness?

      Howearth Psychology takes a sex-positive attitude, with the belief that sexual interactions where all parties have the capacity to consent, and do so, are acceptable, valid and should be free from judgement and criticism. We believe that gender identity is a uniquely personal experience for everyone, and so being, all gender identities are valid, independent of biological sex and deserving of respect and support.

      Howearth Psychology understands that sexual and gender diversity does not change a person’s inherent worth, and we take an individualised approach to each person, acknowledging the uniqueness in each person’s experience, context and therapeutic needs.

      WPATH Assessment

      Howearth Psychology offers WPATH Assessments for trans, gender divers and non-binary adults seeking gender affirming hormone therapy, using the informed consent model. Please contact Howearth Psychology for more details.

      Looking for a Queer Friendly Psychologist?

      Schedule an appointment with Howearth Psychology today.