THIS IS the final part of the interview with psychologist Susan Gitau on LGBTI and mental health.
The first part of the interview is available here and was done to commemorate this years’ World Mental Health Day
Q: About the stages of sexual development of LGBT persons and identities that you have explained above, can you share any useful insights on them?
Those in stages four and five are likely trying to reinvent themselves with this newfound acceptance. They may be seeking out gay friends, engaging in sexual behaviour less discriminately, or ‘shouting it from the mountain tops,’ so to speak.
They have accepted their sexuality but have not yet learned to integrate this aspect of their life into their sense of self. In treatment, the strength these individuals feel should be embraced and treatment should be focused on what they can do, not to make the world accept them, but to show the world that they are worthy of acceptance.
In other words, gay parades, demonstrations, email campaigns, are all worthy efforts, but so is living an honest life, helping other people, sharing, loving, and being a friend.
Individuals in stage six are often seen as no different from most clients we see in therapy. They have accepted their sexuality, have developed relationships, and don’t see ‘gay’ as the issue, but rather as one of the many issues they deal with in an imperfect world. Being gay is often seen in a positive light.
They can now begin to give back to others, become a mentor, volunteer, run for office, or otherwise use their whole self as a means to make the world a better place.
Full text of article available at link below –