Affirmative Approach

Affirmative Approach embraces a positive view of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) identities and relationships and addresses the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of LGBTQ clients

We are an inclusive practice that embraces individuals and couples of all orientations, identity and expression through an affirmative approach. Our LGBTQ affirming sessions provide a safe place to get help.

We are deeply committed to providing an accepting, sex-positive and non-judgmental space for all couples and individuals experiencing issues that affect their relationships, intimacy and communication.

Our coaches are well versed and have had experience with individuals and couples amidst sexual orientation, expression, identity or gender inquiry, processing different stages of coming out, or experiencing family, cultural or religious issues.

An Affirmative Approach – How We Help our Clients

  • Talk about affirmative stances with colleagues. family, and friends
  • Challenge oppression by helping heal heteronormative and gender normative assumptions.
  • Build connections to local community and other supportive resources
  • Witness and acknowledge each unique story related to personal discovery and disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
  • Guide exploration of sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  • Assist families and parents in understanding and healing heteronormative and gender normative assumptions while building a relationship with their loved ones.

As LGBTQ Affirming Coaches, We Believe:


  1. Self-reflection – reflect on our own upbringing, attitudes and beliefs; acknowledge areas of privilege; recognize bias stemming from living in a heteronormative and gender-binaristic society.
  2. Get involved – live an affirmative life; become familiar with the issues; strive for social justice and social change.
  3. Create an affirmative setting – provide LGBT friendly reading material, literature and resources; include LGBT affirming language on all paperwork; use client’s preferred name; don’t resort to heteronormative assumptions, instead ask about a client’s partner.
  4. Be open about our commitment to providing affirmative therapy with all clients, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  5. With heterosexual and/or cisgender clients, act as an advocate by challenging heterosexism and the gender binary.

Important Definitions

Agender: refers to people who don’t identify themselves with any particular gender. This can mean being genderless, lacking gender, or having a null gender. However, people also use “agender” to mean identifying as gender-neutral or having an undefinable gender.

Ally: a member of a majority group to works to end oppression

Asexual: an individual who has no significant interest in sexual activity

Bisexual: an individual who is attracted to men and women

Cisgender: a person who’s gender identity is in line with the gender assigned at birth. 

Demisexual: people who only feel sexually attracted to someone they have an emotional bond with the person.  They can be gay, straight, bisexual, or pansexual, and may have any gender identity.  The prefix “demi” means half way which can refer to being halfway between sexual and asexual.

Drag: involves the performance of gender expression; not based on sexual orientation

Gay: a man who is attracted to men

Gender expression: outward expression of gender (clothing, mannerisms, activities, etc…)

Gender Identity: a person’s deeply held sense of their own gender, regardless of what they were assigned at birth.

Gender non-conforming: people whose experiences, behaviors, interests, or identities fall outside stereotypical gender expectations

Gender roles: culturally defined behaviors, attitudes, emotions, traits, mannerisms, appearances and occupations.

Genderqueer: a person who feels their gender identity is outside the binary

Heterosexism:  the presumption that all people are straight

Heterosexual/straight: a man who is attracted to women; a woman who is attracted to men

Homophobia: irrational fear or hatred of LGBTQ people.

Intersex: a person whose biological sex is ambiguous; not synonymous with transgender.
Lesbian:a woman who is attracted to women.

LGBTQIA: an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex Ally or Asexual.

LGBTQ2+ is an abbreviation that stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and two-spirited. The plus-sign signifies a number of other identities, and is included to keep the abbreviation brief when written out; the full abbreviation is LGBTTTQQIAA.

Nonbinary: gender identity is just one term used to describe individuals who may experience a gender identity that is neither exclusively woman or man or is in between or beyond both genders.  Nonbinary individuals may identify as genderfluid, agender (without gender), genderqueer, or something else entirely.

Pansexual: someone that is attracted to people of all genders. This includes people who don’t identify with any gender (agender). Many pansexual people describe themselves as being attracted to people based on personality, not gender.

Queer: a re-appropriated term for people whose identities challenge dominant norms related to sexuality and gender.

Sexual orientation: describes an individual’s attraction to another person.

Transgender: people whose gender identity is different from their assigned gender at birth.

Transman or Female-to-male (FTM):  a person who is biologically female, or assigned female at birth and identifies as male.

Transphobia: irrational fear or hatred of trans people.

Transsexual: a person who undergoes procedures to change their body to fit their gender identity.

Transwoman or Male-to-female (MTF): a personal who is born biologically male, or assigned male at birth and identifies as female

TwoSpirit (also two spirit or, occasionally, twospirited) is a modern, pan-Indian, umbrella term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant) ceremonial and social role in their cultures.

“...I want LGBTQ clients to know that I support them and their families. Being affirmative means I treat loving couples, families, and transgender people with the dignity, respect, and affirmation they deserve; they are fine just the way they are.”

Let’s work together

Get in touch today and receive a complimentary consultation.



 (818) 698-1626