Florida’s state government has done at least one thing right (despite some of the horrible moves it has been making recently). It allows licensed, out-of-state mental health clinicians like me to provide telehealth (online) services. Now that I have been officially approved, I am excited to be able to connect with Florida clients, especially members of the trans and queer communities. Despite the serious legislative attacks on trans and queer folks, Florida remains home to a vibrant LGBTQ+ community. Y’all can be found all over the Sunshine state, from Miami to Orlando, and Tampa to Tallahassee. Unfortunately, despite the presence of so many great local communities, queer and trans people in Florida may not have access to the treatment and help they need.
As a queer-identified therapist, a mom, and a clinician who often works with trans folks, when I learned about this opportunity to work with Florida residents I had to jump in. And not just because of my undying love for one of the greatest films ever set in Florida, 1996’s The Birdcage. Although just like Albert, I do feel bewildered…betrayed!
In all seriousness, it really is appalling to see the very real discrimination and stigma made into law in your state and so many others. I’m concerned this may lead to a host of increased mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, isolation, and substance abuse to name a few.
Unfortunately, many queer and trans people in Florida may not have access to therapists who share their identity. There are probably only about 1400 queer or trans-identified therapists in the whole state (if we assume that 4.6% of the roughly 30,000 licensed therapists in the state are LGBTQ+). And while it may be easy to find a queer-identified therapist in cities like Sarasota, St. Petersburg, or Fort Lauderdale, in some areas it might be damn near impossible. Thank goodness for the internet and online therapy.
(Read more here about what can happen when you just randomly pick a therapist.)
I also identify as “exvangelical” and “secular.” Considering 24% of Florida identifies as “evangelical Christian,” I suspect there is a use for a queer therapist in Florida who understands the culture of the church and the harm done to trans and queer folks by some religious communities. Internalized transphobia or homophobia, repression of sexuality, and personal identity confusion are just a few of the unfortunate results LGBTQ+ people may experience. It can even result in religious trauma. As a former teenaged missionary (now a middle-aged queer agnostic) who was steeped in sexist homophobic purity culture, I know first-hand how complicated and difficult disentangling oneself can get.
(Read more here about self-compassion for queer exvangelicals.)
So queer Florida, you are not alone, and I am here to be of service to those that I can. I am but one therapist, but maybe I am the one for you! Get in touch today and let’s get started with a no-obligation phone call.