Sexual orientation and gender are important aspects of a young adult’s identity.
Young adulthood is a time of continued physical, mental, and social exploration. This may be a time when an individual first has the independence from their home community and family, in which to explore their sexuality and gender in a safe space. Additionally, an individual may have their first opportunities to engage in romantic relationships during early adulthood, which can be both exciting and stressful. Individuals during this time may be concerned about feeling accepted by friends and family, being harassed or discriminated against, or even feeling safe in their living environment if they identify as LGBTQ. Families may also worry about how to be supportive and how to help their loved one navigate difficult situations that may arise. Counseling can help individuals and their families gain a deeper understanding of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation, as well as create a welcoming environment that facilitates open discussion and further awareness.