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Building Resilience Together: Coping with Discrimination and Prejudice

As an LGBTQ+ couple, facing discrimination and prejudice can be an unfortunate reality. Even the strongest relationships can be strained by these experiences, but they also present a chance for partners to strengthen their resilience. Throughout this blog, we will explore strategies for how LGBTQ+ partners can support each other in facing and overcoming discrimination, providing practical tips to strengthen your bond.

Understanding the Impact of Discrimination


Discrimination and prejudice can manifest in a variety of ways, ranging from overt hostile behaviors to subtly offensive small talk which can be considered microaggressions. The impact on an individual can be significant – affecting mental health, self-esteem, and overall well-being. For couples, these external pressures can create internal stress. Recognizing and acknowledging the profound impact of these adverse experiences is the first step in addressing them as a couple.


Strategies for Building Resilience


1.) Open Communication

Effective communication is a core component of any healthy relationship, especially when dealing with external stressors. Prioritize finding time to talk openly and honestly about your experiences with discrimination. Share your feelings, fears, and frustrations.

  • Schedule Time: Schedule regular check-ins where you can talk about how you’re feeling and what you are experiencing.
  • Practice Active Listening: When your partner is sharing, listen without interrupting. Validate their feelings and let them know you are there for them. Try to be mindful of springing into problem-solving mode and instead just focus on being with them in the present moment as they talk.

2.) Form a Unified Front

Presenting a united front can help mitigate the impact of discrimination and strengthen your bond as a couple as well as empower each of you individually. Proactively discuss and identify a plan of action on how you will respond to and navigate discriminatory situations.

  • Explore and Set Boundaries Together: Decide what behaviors and comments you will not tolerate and how you will address them when they occur.
  • Openly Support Each Other: Show solidarity by standing up for each other in public settings. This can reinforce your commitment to one another and provide a sense of safety and empowerment.

3.) Seek Support

Sometimes, dealing with discrimination requires more than just the support of your partner. Seek out additional resources and communities that can provide guidance, solidarity, and a sense of community.

  • Join Support Groups: Look for local or virtual LGBTQ+ support groups where you can share experiences and discuss practical advice on coping with discrimination and prejudice.
  • Professional Counseling: Consider seeking the help of a counselor or therapist who specializes in LGBTQ+ issues. They can provide a safe space to learn and practice utilizing tools and strategies for coping with discrimination.

4.) Engage in Self-Care

Taking care of your own mental and physical health is crucial when facing discrimination. Encourage each other to engage in activities that promote and foster well-being.

  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practices such as meditation, yoga, and deep-breathing exercises can help manage stress and anxiety.
  • Physical Activity: Regular physical movement can improve your mood and reduce stress levels. Find activities you both enjoy and try to engage in these practices together.

5.) Educate and Advocate

Empower yourselves by educating yourself as well as others and advocating for change. This can transform feelings of helplessness into action and contribute to a larger movement for equality.

  • Share Your Story: Personal stories can be powerful tools for education. Share your experiences (in spaces or environments where it is safe to do so) with friends, and family, or through social media.
  • Get Involved: Join or support organizations that fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Participate in events, sign petitions, and stay informed about issues affecting the community.

6.) Celebrate Your Relationship

Amidst the challenges, don’t forget to celebrate your love and the strength of your relationship. Take time to appreciate one another and the journey you are navigating together.

  • Create Memories: Engage in activities that bring you joy and strengthen your bond. Plan date nights, take trips, or simply enjoy quiet moments in your day-to-day life together.
  • Acknowledge Milestones: Celebrate the milestones in your relationship, no matter how big or how small. Recognize your resilience and the growth you have achieved together.

Building resilience together as an LGBTQ+ couple involves open communication, mutual support, and a commitment to each other’s well-being. By standing united against discrimination and practicing these strategies, you can transform challenges into opportunities for growth and connection individually as well as in your relationship. Remember, your love and partnership are powerful, and together, you can face and overcome adversity as it comes your way. If you and your partner feel you need assistance navigating the challenges of coping with discrimination and prejudice, our inclusive and authentic counselors at Natural Balance Counseling are here and ready to walk alongside you on your journey. Reach out to us today for a free phone consultation to be matched with one of our therapists or learn more about our practice.