While all adolescents are facing developmental issues, same-sex oriented youth must negotiate all the “normal” trials of growing up along with family, societal, and peer disapproval… sometimes violence and outright discrimination.
Counselling gay and lesbian individuals and couples sometimes requires specialised information and experience.
Anyone questioning their sexuality requires careful counselling from counsellors who are experienced in this area. Counsellors must come to terms with their own feelings and reactions to homosexuality, have processes to enact when talking with people having these issues and have the skills to deal with clients who are facing ridicule, contempt and prejudice from their peer groups and families.
… coming out … being out …
Counselling gay and lesbian people of all ages requires tact, deep understanding and a clear picture of politico-societal influences affecting this minority group.
This does not mean the counsellor has to be homosexual, but sometimes it helps. The degree of self-loathing and internalised homophobia homosexually oriented people often deal with on a daily basis sometimes means anyone helping them must be fully aware of this.
The way we use language, the words we use and the meanings we give to those words all influence how we are in the world. When a gay or lesbian person is asked if they are getting married the internal response is often one of despair.
This feeling is played out in so many ways — difficulty forming and keeping relationships, lack of career goal, work relationships poor, cutting off from family and friends, moving houses and cities because of this cut-off.
This is one issue that weighs heavily on people whose sexuality is oriented to members of the same sex. Imagine being told you most intimate relationship is not worthy of societal approval. Parents of children who are experiencing these issues can benefit from counselling to help the coming out process.
Brokeback Mountain… and gay and lesbian counselling
A love story, a story full of romance and adventure, meaningful and true about love for all of us, a human story, as Ang Lee reportedly said at the Golden Globe awards… “You can never categorise or stereotype a region or a place… “People fall in love, period… This is a universal story … I just wanted to make a love story.”
Gay romance, a story about two homosexual men…
Some things require specialised counselling. Annie Proulx commented in a question-and-answer session after a screening of Brokeback Mountain (taken from her short story set in 1963, first published in The New Yorker in 1997) —
“The story began in 1963,” said a woman from the audience. “Do you think things are better now, in terms of attitudes?”
“I wish,” Proulx said. “But one year after the story was published, Matthew Shepard was killed less than 48 kilometres from where I live. I was called to be on the jury for one of the killers.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
“The last two sequences of the film are two of the best scenes in American cinema in many years and, indeed, this may be the love story of its generation…” “(Ang) Lee.. allows us to understand the friendship and love that Ennis and Jack have for one another and he also allows us to understand how their behaviour affects their women…”
David Stratton, Weekend Australian, January 28-29, 2006.
“To Ennis and Jack, Brokeback Mountain is their own planet, remembered as the first and last place where they could be themselves. And the rest of their lives is a dream about the improbability of finding it again. Lee and his collaborators have tapped into Proulx’s story without missing a single sad, delicate nuance.”
Sandra Lee, Arts and Entertainment, Sydney Morning Herald, Thursday January 26, 2006