Gender Nonconformity and Transgender Mental Health
Gender nonconformity is the expression of gender characteristics that are socially and culturally associated with the opposite sex. Gender roles, femininity, and masculinity are concepts that have social and cultural meaning and agreement. Because male gender roles and masculinity are culturally more restrictive than femininity (women can wear pants, but men can't wear skirts) gender nonconformity (femininity) in boys, whether straight or gay, is often treated as more serious and results in stronger rejection compared with gender nonconformity (masculinity) in girls. Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth and adults, who express gender-atypical characteristics, are more apt to be targeted for hostility and discrimination.
Compared with gender-conforming men or women, who express strong gender roles, gender identification, including fathering/mothering, and investment in power and social hierarchies, gender-atypical men, women, gays, Lesbians, and especially transgender folk, experience the following:
More childhood trauma and sexual abuse
More verbal and physical abuse
Raped by relatives and/or lovers more frequently
More experiences with harassment and bi/homo/transophobia
Higher levels of mental distress
Higher levels of parental and peer rejection
Higher levels of fear and attachment anxiety
Higher risk of eating disorders
Higher body dissatisfaction
Higher suicide attempts
Feeling different, lonely, depressed, stressed, and victimized
Loss of social support
To protect themselves, boys, especially, are conditioned and learn to "pass" within the construction of socially defined gender expression. Those who don't "pass" are more likely to be afflicted with parental discouragement, self-esteem issues, social rejection, harassment, hostility, abuse, and even death.
The experience of gender nonconformity, sexism, and homophobia, listed above may result in unresolved trauma, PTSD, generalized anxiety, relationship fears, or ineffective coping mechanisms. In counseling, it is important to pay attention to gender expression and its psychosocial consequences. Childhood gender nonconformity appears to play a role in the long term-mental health issues for men, especially gay men and male-to-female (M-to-F) trangender women. Gender affirming and supportive counseling is an important adjunct to a healthy and positive life.
Click here for back to GLOW LGBT/Gay affirming psychotherapy HOME page.
Click here for more on LGBT couples counseling in my Denver, Colorado Gay mental health practice.
Click here for more on depression therapy in the LGBT community.
Click here for more on bisexuality counseling in my Denver, Colorado LGBT sex therapy practice.
Click here for more on LGBT domestic abuse and violence in my Denver Gay therapy practice.
Click here for FAQs about Coming Out in my Denver Gay couples counseling practice.
Click here for an article on Gay Parenting.
Click here for more on grief counseling in my Denver Gay counseling practice.
Trained in marriage and family counseling, I see pre-marital, married, co-habitating, and gay and lesbian (GLBT) partners for couples counseling, in my Denver, Colorado mental health practice. As a certified sex therapist, I help couples deal with sexual and mental health issues such as low sexual desire, painful sex, sexual dysfunction, or sex/porn addiction. Click here to see more on couples therapy.
GLOW (Gays and Lesbians Out and Well) is psychotherapy and counseling with a gay-affirming focus for the Denver, Colorado, LGBT community. GLOW specializes in helping Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) persons come out and grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. GLOW’s gay counseling is based on the premise that sexuality, creativity, and spirituality are intertwined and dependent on the affirmation of an authentic self-identity. Our work is informed by a philosophy that seeks equality and mental health and wholeness for all people. Click here to learn more about my approach to LGBT issues.
Silence about sexual issues is the great killer of relationships. It is common for people to encounter sexual problems, at any age. Women may experience arousal and orgasm difficulties, low sex drive, or pain during intercourse, while men may struggle with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and low libido. What is uncommon is for people to speak and do something about those problems before they irreparably damage their self-esteem and relationships. To learn more about Sex Therapy options, click here.
We can talk about options for a healthier, more satisfying, and productive life. Sexual addictions or compulsive behaviors can take over your life, whether it be internet pornography and cybersex, phone sex lines,strip clubs, bath houses, bookstores, cruising spots, or any other form of anonymous sex. It leaves you feeling empty and alone. Click here to learn more.
The causes of your distress may be immediate or rooted in your history. It may be difficult to tell the difference between the source of your stress, anxiety, grief, or discomfort, and your current struggles. You may even try to correct the wrong problems. You may suppress, avoid, or even self-medicate trauma with compulsive behaviors or addiction. There is HELP and HOPE for current or past trauma, PTSD, and abuse! Call GLOW Now or click here to learn more!
More Videos from Moshe Rozdzial, LPC
Psychotherapy for emotional, sexual, spiritual, and mental health
Moshe Rozdzial, LPC