By Tristin Chipman, LMSW
In 2015, marriage became accessible to many queer identified couples in Georgia and throughout the US. Proponents of the gay marriage movement capitalized on equality and slogans such as “love is love” and the decision by the Supreme Court to lift any bans on gay marriage was a critical step toward equity for US-based LGBTQ people, and an important benefit and right valued by many couples and families. In 2017 it was estimated that 61% of same-sex cohabitating couples in the US are now married, up from 38% prior to the Supreme Court decision.
In spite of these strides, LGBTQ partners in Georgia often have concerns that are different from their straight counterparts. Queer people may face unique stressors around family acceptance, discrimination in employment, housing or healthcare, threats of violence, barriers to fertility and family planning options, or restrictions inside their faith communities. Additionally, LGBTQ people navigate inside a society that often operates from a “straight” and binary perspective when discussing roles and gender expectations; this can feel both frustrating and invalidating.
It’s no secret being in a serious relationship or marriage isn’t always easy; there will be times when things are difficult and one or both members of a couple experience high levels of stress that can impact the relationship. I have a friend who uses a banking metaphor when she talks about successful marriages: it’s critical to put time and effort into the bank when things are good so when it gets rough there is a cushion. This makes me think about resilience: the ability to cope – and even thrive – when faced with adversity. A relationship workshop can help strengthen your connection, deepen your compassion for each other, and build scaffolding to provide that resilience cushion when you need it.
Our intention with this workshop specifically tailored to LGBTQ people is to offer a safe and open queer space to acknowledge unique and shared experiences, and to create strong connections together.