A federal ban on gay conversion therapy was one of the Labor Party promises in the lead-up to the 2019 election. The Labor Party was unsuccessful, and as it stands, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, leader of the Coalition, has stated his opposition to the practice but believes it should be regulated by state and territory governments. A number of nations plan to ban this so-called therapy, considering it to be an infringement of a person's human rights, and one that can result in untold damage to the individual's emotional and psychological wellbeing.
But this doesn't necessarily mean you don't need therapy if you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Not everyone does need therapy, but have you ever considered that you might not have come to terms with your own sexuality? You might have been conditioned to think of it as something unsavoury or unimportant, and whether consciously or not, this might have affected (and indeed, sabotaged) your interpersonal relationships, or even your overall worldview. Could you be affected by internalised homophobia?
Internalised homophobia is not something you would even necessarily be aware of. In some instances, your own trepidation with regards to your own sexuality could have a clear anchor point, such as being brought up in a religious or socially conservative family. Even if you have come out to your family and friends, there might have been little progress beyond the initial revelation, with your sexuality remaining the elephant in the room. When there has been no encouragement from your loved ones with regards to this fundamental part of yourself, is it any wonder why you might be uncomfortable with it?
Identifying the Issue
It can be difficult to even clearly identify your own internalised homophobia. While you might be an out person, you might wish to live your life with discretion. This is a matter of personal preference, and not every non-heteronormative person needs to march in a pride parade. But is this all it is? When you are unable to maintain a same-sex relationship with the necessary level of emotional intimacy, feel a sense of shame for even wanting one (or after a sexual encounter) or feel an aversion to the gay community, then you could have legitimate internalised homophobia, and this can be utterly devastating.
Having a Conversation
While the notion of therapy to 'cure' homosexuality is both preposterous and offensive, it can be detrimental to not address internalised homophobia. Your sexuality is an integral part of you, and by not engaging with it in a manner that is intellectually, emotionally and physically healthy, your sense of wellbeing can be affected. In fact, your very happiness can be at stake. You shouldn't try to process this all by yourself. Many counselling services offer assistance with overcoming your internalised homophobia, addressing both the causes and symptoms. There is no quick fix, and yet it's an utterly crucial matter.
Your sexuality is an integral part of your psyche, and it's of the utmost importance that you live a life that's at peace with this integral part of you. Reach out to counselling services today if you would like to make an appointment to discuss this.