- Margie Mason
What Is a Queer Affirming Practice?
Honeybee prides itself on being a queer-affirming practice. What does that mean? I am glad you asked.
First, while queer has long been considered to be a slur to the LGBTQIA+ community, it is a term that community members have embraced as a word that encompasses the many identities that exist beyond LGBT. For us, it is a tool to communicate that we embrace you as you are regardless of where you fall on the gender and sexuality spectrum.
Providing queer affirming therapy is an approach to therapy that embraces a positive view of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, and more (LGBTQIA+) identities.
It goes beyond acceptance and focuses on genuine celebration that clients are expressing authenticity in their understanding and expression of themselves. We trust that you know who you are, are deserving of love and acceptance exactly as you are, and deserve to be celebrated and fully seen.
Our clinicians also acknowledge the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism (among others) have on the lives of all clients- and especially how those systems negatively impact, target, and disenfranchise queer clients.
What can you expect from our therapists and staff? We loved the framework provided by the counseling center at North Dakota State University; they have defined being a queer affirming therapist as follows:
“Being an affirmative therapist involves: Self-reflecting on your upbringing, attitudes, and beliefs; acknowledging areas of privilege; recognizing bias stemming from living in a heteronormative and gender-binarist society; living an affirmative life; creating an affirmative setting; being open about your commitment to providing affirmative therapy to all clients regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity; acting as an advocate by challenging heterosexism and the gender binary.
We strive to create an affirmative setting – providing LGBT-friendly reading material, literature and resources; including affirming language on all paperwork; using client’s self-communicated name and gender identity and not forcing or assuming a legal or determined-at-birth identity on clients reflects their authentic self; and not resorting to heteronormative assumptions.”
At Honeybee we recognize that there are many influences that shape who we are and who we are becoming. Honeybee Psychotherapy wants to serve the community well by meeting our clients where they are on their journey of self-discovery and honoring their authentic identity as they communicate it.