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8 Ways to Unlearn Internalized Shame As A Queer Person

As a queer person, you have likely experienced moments when you questioned your worth, your identity, and your place in the world. Society's expectations, religious rules, heteronormative standards, and a culture that often marginalizes non-conforming individuals can inflict deep wounds on anyone’s sense of self. It's all too common to internalize the negative messages that surround us, leaving us burdened by shame, guilt, and self-doubt.

But here's the thing: you deserve better. You deserve to live your truth, authentically and unapologetically. It's time to dismantle the walls of shame, rewrite your narrative and embrace the beautiful person you truly are. This journey won't be easy, and it won't happen overnight, but it's worth every step you take toward reclaiming your power and finding peace within yourself.

Queer heart

  1. Challenge your internalized messages. What negative things have you believed about your identity? Who taught you those things? Family, society, media, or yourself? Are those beliefs really true about you or are they ideas you’ve held on for so long because you want them to be true? Define the messages you believe to be true about yourself.

  2. Reflect on intersectionality. Your identity has so many layers to it and queerness is a part of it. Reflect on how things like race, gender, disability, and socio-economic class shape your experiences as a queer person and contribute to the shame you feel. Embrace the uniqueness and strength of these intersections.

  3. Examine societal expectations. Are they in alignment with your true identity as a queer person or do they try to limit your authenticity? It’s okay to define or redefine your identity according to your standards. Society might not change its expectations but you can refuse to conform.

  4. Continually affirm yourself. Always remind yourself that you exist in the world with a purpose and that you are worthy to be here just like everyone else. You have talents, beauty, and strength and you’re capable of doing what you set your mind to. Challenge shame with positive attitudes and beliefs about yourself.

  5. Don’t invalidate yourself. Your feelings and experiences are valid even when other people try to gaslight you (deliberately cause you to doubt your perceptions, memories, or sanity.) You have a right to feel heavy emotions like sadness and anger when people disregard your identity or boundaries.

  6. Surround yourself with affirming communities. Go where love for you flows freely and the affirmations never stop. You need understanding, care, support, and connection so spend time with people who make you feel like sunshine. Share space with other queer people who have the same experiences as you.

  7. Make self-care and self-love your lifestyle. Shame thrives when your self-esteem is in shambles. Fill your emotional, physical, and mental cups with nurturing. Do more of what you love and enjoy. When you nourish yourself, you are able to pour into others from a place of abundance, not shame.

  8. Seek LGBTQI+ affirmative therapy. A skilled professional can help you navigate the complexities of internalized shame, provide tools for healing, and offer a safe space for you to process your emotions. Our team is here to support you through your journey. We have experienced and culturally competent therapists dedicated to helping LGBTQI+ individuals like you improve their mental well-being and lead fulfilling lives.

Queer pride

We offer a wide range of therapy services, including individual therapy, couples therapy, and group therapy. Our therapists specialize in a variety of areas, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and relationship issues.

We believe that everyone deserves access to quality mental health care, which is why we offer flexible scheduling options and accept most insurance plans.

We also offer tele-therapy sessions for clients who prefer the convenience of online therapy.

Contact us today to schedule your first appointment and start your path to healing and growth.

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