Tag Archive: counseling


Kink-Aware Professionals

Even in the healthiest, most supportive, wonderful environments, kinky people are eventually going to have to interact with the medical community.  Some are going to need help from psychologists, psychiatrists, or life coaches.  Most of us (unless you happen to be one of those incredible people who knows how to do their own taxes and make deductions for your mortgage and whatnot) will need assistance from accountants and personal finance professionals.  Many will look for spiritual guidance.

Sometimes we like to think that these areas of our life remain delineated and separate from our kink lives.  And in many instances, it can be true.  But when your general physician asks you why you have what looks like rope burns on your arms and thighs or when you need to talk to a councilor about issues arising within your consensual D/s relationship, you realize that sometimes this very private area of your life has bled out into new territory.

There’s a lot of stigma that comes from that.  One of the strongest stereotypes about kinky individuals is that they have problems with physical or emotional abuse that leads them to this kind of behavior.  Of course this stereotype is unfounded, but if you find yourself meeting with a doctor of therapist who subscribes to this notion, you’re in for a lot of trouble from people who are meant to provide you support.   In faith communities, stigma abounds against people for all kinds of sexual practices, and you can quickly find yourself ostracized when you may need guidance and faith the most.

For situations like this and probably a million more that I can’t even think of, the Kink-Aware Professionals (KAP) directory exists.  I’m not trying to plug this directory for any kind of personal benefit.  I believe it is truly crucial that others know where to turn when they need professional advice or services without fear of being judged, stigmatized, or ostracized.  While I can’t vouch for their professional qualifications, the people listed in this directory are either familiar with or specialize in managing the everyday details of kinky people’s lives.  If you’re ever in a situation where you need to come to someone for help, I strongly suggest you look to these professionals as a first line of recourse.  Sometimes the parts of our lives we most want to keep separate can be the parts that require the most care from the rest of the world.

Trans-initiative

Now that the first of my group of friends have officially settled down and started having kids, I’ve begun thinking more about the obstacles faced not only by younger LGBT people, but by their parents as they try to navigate an intolerant and often resource-deprived world for their LGBT kids.

A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon Gender Spectrum, a support, counseling, and education community for parents ofgenderqueer/trans/questioning kids.  They host a conference every year on the subject, as well as offering online resources for parents to peruse.  This is a very good start, but it’s shortcoming lies in the same place that most LGBT services fail- they only offer information to parents who ACTIVELY seek it out.  In today’s world, 99% of the time, a parent-to-be is more concerned about a myriad of other issues- prenatal vitamins, getting a bedroom prepared for the baby, regular sonograms and checkups, the pain of delivery, etc- that gender identity issues are not something they plan to self-educate about.    Reasonable?  Yes.  Problematic when the doctor tells you that your baby has ambiguous genitalia and will operate to “repair” your baby’s equiptment and you haven’t read a thing about the subject.  MAJORLY.

There are so many aspects of maternal health and preparation that have become rote in today’s society; mothers read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” take lamaze classes, and learn about how to feed and care for their child.  Wouldn’t it make sense to start gender counseling at this critical stage?  Perhaps it’s a sensitive issue to broach- no one wants to believe their child will turn out “abnormal,” but with widespread educational programs aimed at eradicating stereotypes and educating parents, the ideas of normal/abnormal should slowly dissolve, right?

I’d love to hear some other takes on this idea, but also please use this space if you have other resources to share with LGBT people and their parents about these tough issues.

(In other news, I’m off to Kenya in T- 3 days!  Hopefully I’ll get one more post in before then, but otherwise, I’ll see you in 4 months!)

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