Hey everybody! My name is Dana Mooney, licensed mental health counselor with inner Trek, LLC and welcome to Therapy Questions! This is episode number 6. This is a little webisode series where I answer questions that I get as a therapist. So today's questions a little bit personal and I feel quite nervous about recording it but I'm gonna do it anyway because I think it's important. and the question is, "Are you part of the LGBTQ+ community?"
So on my website I state that I am, and there's not really a lot of detail on there about that. So I get this question from my clients sometimes and and I always answer it. So I'm gonna go ahead and answer it here today because I think it is important. Especially, I work with folks that are in the LGBTQ+ community and also folks that are have alternative lifestyles. And so I think many people in these communities have had negative experiences with therapists who maybe don't understand as well or might point to identities or life choices or lifestyles as part of the problem, and sort of pathologize their selves. And i think it is important for people to know that there are therapists out there who get it and who will not do that.
So another reason I'm answering this question is because I think it is important for there to be queer visibility and I think it is important for there to be diversity in the types of mental health counselors that are available to people. So I'm gonna go ahead and put myself out here today.
Alright so I already used the word queer. Some of y'all might be thinking, "Oh gosh queer that's a bad word!" and it definitely used to be a derogatory term for people in the LGBTQ community. And in recent years we have taken back that term, and it is now an empowering identifier, which is really great. Because it is this sort of umbrella catch-all term for the less definable identities. So I'm gonna talk about what queer means to me today, but just as a note if anybody tells you, "Hey I identify as queer.” It's very likely gonna be something much different from what I'm describing because it's gonna be different for everybody. So you may want to ask them if you feel comfortable doing that or if they feel comfortable talking about it, "Hey what does that mean? What does queer mean for you?"
So queer can refer to your gender identity. It can refer to your gender presentation. It can refer to your sexual and romantic orientation, amongst other things. So I'll talk about what those things mean for me and then also I'll be defining terms kind of along the way for those of y'all who may not be familiar with what they mean.
Alright we'll talk about gender identity first. So I identify as female and I use pronouns she/her. This was the gender I was assigned at birth. We can talk about gender presentation. So many of the videos I present as generally feminine. In my everyday life I often will flux between gender presentations. So sometimes I present feminine, sometimes I present androgynous, and sometimes I present masculine, and this does not mean that I identify as a different gender. It just means I choose to present differently. So these things can be, these things are different- gender identity and gender presentation. They can be linked and they can also not be linked, and for me they're not.
Let's see, let's talk about sexual and romantic orientation. So imagine that there is a sexual spectrum and on this side there's asexual and on this side there is sexual and then there's lots of little identifiers in between. For myself, I have identified all over this spectrum in the course of my life and it seems to be in constant flux. So for periods of my life I have identified as grey asexual, meaning not interested in physical intimacy with other people except maybe in in some cases, and then I have identified as demisexual, meaning interested in physical intimacy only when there's an emotional bond there, and then also have identified over here on the sexual side. And this changes based on whatever period in my life is happening. And so because there's a lot of flux there I like to use the word queer.
Let's talk about romantic orientation. So lots of different words for different types of romantic orientation and I'll talk about some of the ones that have made sense for me. Again here there has been a lot of flux over my lifetime. So I've identified as
Heterosexual. I have identified as hetero-flexible. I have identified as pansexual, meaning the gender of a person who you're interested in really doesn't matter, you're interested in people. And then this also has you know fluxed for me quite a bit in my lifetime. So again queer worked there for me.
Outside of queer I also identify as biracial so I'm half Chinese and half white, Caucasian. As far as relationship preferences and relationship styles I have been monogamous in the past and for many years now have been polyamorous. If you're not sure what polyamory means I have a nice video about it. I think it's called "Polyamory or Cheating?" and it's it should be, I'll link it in the description.
So there you go: Queer, biracial, polyamorous therapist. I hope that that was helpful and educational. And thank you so much for watching. If you have questions for me you can put them in the comments. You can send them to me in an email at InnerTrekLLC@gmail.com. You can also put them in the submission form on my website at InnerTrekLLC.com. So thank you so much for watching and be well!