Do I Need Counseling?
Simply identifying that your gender or sexual orientation does not fall within the norm in our society does not mean you are mentally ill or need counseling. The need for assistance in dealing with these issues often arises because of external reactions to this "alternative" sexual orientation or gender expression rather than from inherent individual struggles. Negative, unsupportive messages or fear of reactions from family, employers, professors, friends, other students, church, and society in general can lead to feelings of guilt, fear, isolation, and lack of confidence for GLBTQ individuals who would otherwise be mentally healthy. Often, these environmental issues are what propel an individual to seek counseling.
An internal struggle that may motivate you to seek help is determining how to understand your sexual or gender identity. The college years are a time when many students begin to sort out their values and figure out who they are. It is not uncommon for students to question their sexual orientation or gender identity and explore how to integrate these with the rest of their life.
Finally, just because you do identify yourself as GLBTQ and do not struggle with that experience, does not mean that you are immune to any number of emotional, relational, developmental, or other psychological issues that affect many people. These may include depression, substance abuse, anxiety, relationship concerns, family problems, etc.
Thus, the Counseling Center can be of assistance to you if you are experiencing any of the following situations:
- you are experiencing tension and/or harassment from another due to your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- you feel at odds with social gender messages.
- you are exploring "coming out" to peers, professors, family or friends and would like help determining how to address these issues.
- you identify as bisexual and feel like nobody gets it.
- you are an GLBTQ person of color and are experiencing multiple forms of oppression.
- you are experiencing confusion about your sexual orientation or gender identity.
- you are trying to accept/understand another's sexual orientation or gender and want to talk to someone who is open and nonjudgmental.
- you have an GLBTQ parent(s) and are concerned about establishing relationships with people who will accept your family's diversity.
- you are comfortable with your sexual orientation and gender and want to address other issues with a therapist who is equally comfortable.
A therapist can also help if you are experiencing any of the following feelings:
- isolation and difficulty connecting with others
- depression, anxiety, loneliness
- dissatisfaction with your relationship
- concern about your alcohol/substance use
- uncertainty about your academic progress or career choice
How Do I Know it is Safe?
- The services provided by the University of Kentucky Counseling Center: Consultation and Psychological Services (UKCC) are confidential. What you choose to share with your counselor is protected by law.
- The Counseling Center has made a commitment to providing sensitive, quality service to the multicultural student community.
- There are counselors on staff that are open and non-judgmental about sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Counselors do not have hidden agendas and will not attempt to steer you in any given direction other than supporting your own emotional health goals.
- Counselors work from a multicultural perspective.
- The Counseling Center actively supports the University's non-discrimination policy which includes sexual orientation.
- The Counseling Center is involved in many initiatives on campus that are seeking to transform the UK climate, making it a safer place for openly GLBTQ students.
The Office of LGBTQ* Resources at the University of Kentucky is the central hub for accessing information, groups, and services related to diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
A GLBTQA group that aims for acceptance and providing a social safe-space to discuss relevant and non-relevant topics.
This website offers outreach, support, message boards, and brochures specifically geared for GLBTQ youth. It offers tools to aid in coming to terms with one's sexuality.
This website offers tips and resources on how parents, families and friends of gay and lesbian people can cope with an adverse society, educate the public and promote equality..
Resources and services for LGBTQ equality in education
This website seeks to heighten the visibility of gay issues through highlighting fraternity/sorority experiences, relevant news clips, and speakers for campus events.
This website provides a highly useful index of organizations and legal resources for the gay and lesbian community. This index is a great reference tool complete with legal, political and media resources for gay, lesbian and transgender topics.
A graphic that demonstrates the differences between gender identity, gender expression, sex assigned at birth, physical attraction, and emotional attraction.
This website includes trans and gender non-conforming resources and educational materials to create more trans-friendly environments.
Sexuality (Video) click here to watch
This website provides a comprehensive listing of other GLBTQ resources, organizations, and sources of information.