gay / GLBT people

Anyone seeking help from a psychologist should expect to be treated with decency and respect. We should be able to take this for granted. Specifically, a person who is gay or otherwise not strictly in the mainstream with respect to their gender identity or the object of their affection should be able to expect a comfortable encounter with any educated professional.

Apparently this is not yet the case. The gay persons who I have worked with have mainly come around to inquiring tentatively whether I was “all right” with their sexuality, or words to that effect. It is discouraging that they have to ask.

So, yes, if you are wondering, I am all right with it.

I feel like adding, in defense of my profession, that I have never had a conversation with another psychologist or psychoanalyst in which someone discussed any plan to “cure” a person of being gay. I can think of two older colleagues who expressed a bad opinion of the character of gay people. One of has since passed away, and the other advertises himself as religious in such a style that most people would expect this attitude.

There is a sort of rookie mistake that can be made by a psychotherapist, which is to assume that everything is about the GLBT “issue” and to become overly fascinated by it. I have seen people who needed to talk extensively about their experience growing up lesbian or gay, coming out, coping with family, peers, etc. I have also seen gay people whose concerns were mainly about other things.

I believe that you can go to nearly any of my colleagues and expect that they, too, are “all right with it”. I think I am in the mainstream in my position that gay is one of the flavors that normal sexuality comes in. It seems odd to have to even say this, but I understand that many or most gay people have had bad (or extremely, horrifically bad) experiences with people who are not “all right with it”. So it seems sensible in the meantime to add this page to say affirmatively that you are welcome and respected.

I look forward to the day when this is unnecessary.