Gender & LGBTQ Issues

Bernadette Mulvenna, M.A., LMFT is located in Santa Ana, CA, and provides in-person and online services to the Orange County area, call for an appointment.

As a professional, caring, and sensitive therapist, I value the importance of being aware of the LBGTQIA+ developmental and social lifestyles. 

The GLAAD's organization defines what LGBTQIA+ in the following:


"LGBTQIA+ is an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and more. These terms are used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity."


"A woman whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women. Some lesbians may prefer to identify as gay or as gay women."


"The adjective describes people whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions are to people of the same sex. Sometimes lesbian is the preferred term for women."


"A person who can form enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions to those of the same gender or more than one gender. People may experience this attraction in differing ways and degrees over their lifetime. Bisexual people need not have had specific sexual experiences to be bisexual; they need not have had any sexual experience at all to identify as bisexual."


"An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms— including transgender or nonbinary. Some transgender people are prescribed hormones by their doctors to bring their bodies into alignment with their gender identity. Some undergo surgery as well. But not all transgender people can or will take those steps, and a transgender identity is not dependent upon physical appearance or medical procedures."


"An adjective used by some people whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual or straight. This umbrella term includes people who have nonbinary, gender-fluid, or gender nonconforming identities. Once considered a pejorative term, queer has been reclaimed by some LGBTQIA+ people to describe themselves; however, it is not a universally accepted term even within the LGBTQIA+ community."


"Sometimes, when the Q is seen at the end of LGBT, it can also mean questioning. This term describes someone who is questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity."


"An adjective used to describe a person with one or more innate sex characteristics, including genitals, internal reproductive organs, and chromosomes, that fall outside of traditional conceptions of male or female bodies. Do not confuse having an intersex trait with being transgender. Intersex people are assigned a sex at birth — either male or female — and that decision by medical providers and parents may not match the gender identity of the child. Not all intersex folks identify as being part of the LGBTQIA+ community."


"The adjective describes a person who does not experience sexual attraction. Sometimes shortened to “ace,” it is an umbrella term that can also include people who are demisexual, meaning they do experience some sexual attraction; graysexual, meaning those who may not fit the strictest definition of the word asexual; and aromantic, meaning they experience little to no romantic attraction and/or has little to no desire to form romantic relationships."


"The ‘plus’ is used to signify all of the gender identities and sexual orientations that letters and words cannot yet fully describe."

 Pronouns & Gender Identity—Ask, Don’t Assume!

"Gender identity is our internal, individual experience of gender. It is directly linked to our sense of self and the sense of being male, female, both or neither.

While pronouns are pivotal to an individual’s gender identity and how they relate to the world and others, it is important to keep in mind that a person’s pronouns are not exclusively linked to gender and may not match your perception of that individual. Your assumption can leave a person feeling invalidated and dismissed. Taking the time to get to know a person better will help everyone feel more connected and respected."

 I work successfully with individuals, couples and families with issues such as:

  • Gender Roles
  • Gender Identity
  • Relational Issues
  • Sexual Issues
  • Same-Sex Parenting; including Co-Parenting and Blended Families

Contact Me





10:00 am-9:00 pm


10:00 am-9:00 pm


10:00 am-9:00 pm


10:00 am-9:00 pm


10:00 am-9:00 pm


9:00 AM-2:00 PM


9:00 AM-2:00 PM