Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex,...
Adolescence is a time of exploration of one's identity, which includes sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity. There can be unique challenges that affect members of the LGBTQI community as they mature to adolescence and try to find their place in the world. And even if the adolescent knows who they are, they may be having difficulty with how others are responding to their identity. Whether its with family, friends, classmates, schools, sports, religious communities, or the community at large, there are gender normative pressures, and micro- and macro- aggressions that those who do not fit the heterosexual, gender stereotypical expectations of others.
At the Bay Area Center for Adolescents, we start where the teens and their families are. Whether they are accepting of their own sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, or their family is, we are affirmative therapists. Some adolescents are scared to talk to their parents about these issues, so we work with families to be able to hear and process their child's identity to ultimately come to a place of love and acceptance. LGBTQI adolescents are much more likely to attempt and complete suicide, so shoring up the family and support systems is extremely important. We want you to be you, however fluid that may be, and able to express that to friends, family, and the community, in a way that supports you identity, rather than surpasses and judges it.