Queer Theorist

Alex Stitt, LMHC

I write a lot about what it means to be Queer, both historically and today.

As a field of study, Queer Theory explores the ever-evolving edge of sexuality and gender identity. It’s important to recognize the controversial history behind the word “queer” in order to value it’s reclamation. Etymologically, to be Queer was to be oblique, weird, unusual, or perverse, yet as social norms changed, so too did the definition of Queerness.

Since language is polysemic, what it means to be Queer in the 21st century differs from person to person, though colorful avante garde sexualities do come to mind. For many people, Queer is specific, drawing up counterculture gay scenes that rejected the gender binary. For others, Queer is fluid, nebulous, like a catch-all label for anyone who doesn’t neatly fit the script.

Personally, I equate being a Queer Theorist to being a bohemian anthropologist, studying history’s outliers and social prototypes.

For more of my musings on sexuality, gender, and LGBTQ+ mental health, check out my ongoing Psychology Today blog: Queer Counselor.    

Selected Publications

The Cat & the Cloud: ACT for LGBT Locus of
Control, Responsibility, and Acceptance

Aug 30, 2014  Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling

Abstract: Advocating acceptance, committed action, and value-guided behavior over experiential avoidance, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may aid lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) clients affected by hetero/homonormative social pressure. By conceptualizing LGBT paradigms of internal/external control/responsibility (IC-IR; EC-IR; IC-ER; EC-IR), ACT may be adapted to a myriad of multicultural worldviews. This article presents locus of acceptance as the attributed worth of internal/external cues perceived necessary by the client to achieve self-acceptance. Recognizing visibility and isolation as recurrent LGBT issues, locus of acceptances balances identity as individual (internal acceptance) with identity as community (external acceptance).

Disclosure: A Guide for Sexually Open Counselors

Feb 10, 2013 HoHonu, Vol. 12

Abstract: A counselor’s professional code of conduct perceives value imposition as unethical; a paradox when one’s very identity maybe deemed immoral to certain populations. To further the point, modern perspectives of sexuality include within their conceptualization a value scheme of social acceptance, forbearance, and tolerance. Indeed Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) and even Sex Positive mental health practitioners must handle the issue of self disclosure with great care. While a professional’s private life is most certainly their own, sexual extroversion remains a core dilemma for both LGBTQ and Sex Positive counselors and the sensitivity of their clients. How to handle such disclosure can be quite precarious, and a certain level of flexibility and concession is recommended for all professional parties involved, including the counselors and the agencies who hire them. This essay examines not only the legal complexities of self disclosure, but also the potential outcomes of initial disclosure, advertent disclosure, requested disclosure, inadvertent disclosure, and the perils of violent and sexual targeting.

Gender Ego: Comparative Models of
Transgender Identity Acquisition

Feb 10, 2013 HoHonu, Vol. 12

Abstract: Since many individuals continue to explore their conceptual selves
throughout their adult lives identity acquisition is by no means a
chronologically linear struggle. Though evident in the heterosexual cisgender
populace, identity acquisition is a key issue for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals, and especially for gender-variant individuals contending with restrictive socio-schemas. In order to normalize and demystify transgender emergence, this essay critically compares development stage models of gender-variance (Lewins, 1995; Rachlin, 1997; Ekins, 1997; Lev, 2004) with Habermas’ (1979) psycho-social stages of ego development.

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