or intersex, refers to persons who are born with a body that does not fit the common societal ideas about sex. These common ideas are based on a binary division of sex, which assumes that all persons can be classified as either male or female. Inter*, or intersex, is a term coming from the inter* community, and the asterisk is intended to represent the many self-definitions that people may also use. Within the health care system, the terms “intersexuality” and “DSD” (Disorders of Sex Development) are common. Inter* people, their parents and relatives usually discover in a medical setting that something is “different” about their bodies. Often there is no adequate terminology to describe these “differences”. Maybe somebody has told you that your physical appearance or your hormonal levels don’t match what is common. Terms like “syndrome”, “hormonal disorder” or “disease” may have been used. Possibly you as parents of an inter*child were advised to terminate the pregnancy early on, or to let your child be medically treated or undergo operations. Such situations can scare you, and they can certainly make you uncomfortable. We think this is a very understandable reaction. For us, to be intersex or inter* is not a disease, but is rather an equally worthy, lovable and loving way of being that enriches the sexual continuum. We accept you in your body and your definition of yourself and do not judge you. We are aware that parents wish for a happy childhood for their children, and that finding one’s way among different perspectives and advice, while not losing sight of one’s own opinions, can be challenging.
According to our definition, “trans*” refers to persons who do not (also: not entirely, or not always) identify with the sex they were assigned at birth. If you are questioning your gender identity, you are welcome to approach us for counseling. You decide, however, if “trans*” is a suitable term for you. We use “trans*” (with an asterisk) in order to encompass as many trans identities as possible, including, but not limited to, transsexual, transgender and gender-queer people. We regard neither trans* nor transsexuality as an illness or disorder. We do know, however, that trans* people often wish for physical adjustments and therefore are dependent on medical diagnosis. Our position is that trans* or transsexuality cannot be diagnosed from an outside perspective, but rather is an inner truth that a person can only determine for him_herself.
In our counseling center, the employees identify as inter*-, trans* and/or queer. Their lived experience enhances their extensive therapeutic and counseling expertise. The focus of our counseling center is on the areas of inter* and trans*, but these topics do not have to be part of the counseling session if they are not part of your concern(s). If you can’t or don’t want to come by personally, we are happy to offer counseling via email or over the phone. For counseling via email, please send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org How we counsel In our conversations with you, we focus on your reason(s) for coming to us. We can share our knowledge and experience and refer you to others who can assist you in other ways. Therefore, we also ask you questions in order to better understand your situation. If something gets too personal, please tell us. It is very important for us that you leave the counseling session not only with more information and knowledge, but also with more power and self-confidence. We take time for this. We counsel inter* people without a pre-determined goal. We wish to stop immediately sex-alignment treatments on persons who are not completely informed or for any reason cannot give their consent to such treatments, and we let this be a guiding principle of our work. In trans* counseling, we take a clear non-pathologising position. Our counseling takes into account the current judicial and medical situation as it pertains to trans* people. When we offer further training and development to medical or other professionals, we strive to communicate the most up-to-date knowledge and develop an accessible common language that we use throughout our activities.
- Families – people who take responsibility for children, whether as single parents or together with others
- Young people and adults who feel connected to the terms trans*, inter*, or queer or who are “gender questioning”
- Couples and people in relationships – with two or more people, friendships etc.If two or more of you have an appointment for counseling, two counselors will be at your disposal. If you prefer not to tell us your name, we can also counsel you anonymously.
Information and training
We offer training and information for professionals including, but not limited to, midwives, doctors, psychotherapists, educators, social workers, administrators, teachers, legal professionals and nurses concerning the topics of trans*, inter* and queer. Arrangements can be made for case-related (team) counseling, seminars, trainings or workshops. Contact: email@example.com
We see both inter* and trans* not as diseases or disorders, but as lovable and loving ways of being that enrich the continuum of sex and gender. We want to offer you a safe place where you, as a inter*, trans* or queer person, will be accepted with your body and your way of defining yourself. At Queer Leben you can find time and space to sort out your questions and needs. Inter*, trans* and queer realities are very diverse, and despite all the differences among inter* and trans* people, there are also similarities. Both groups encounter discrimination and stigmatization. Both groups are subjected to pathologisation and have to make their own decisions. We are aware of the difficulties that you and those close to you may encounter. The topics of sex and gender identity seldom appear in isolation from other issues in your life. Often they overlap with other themes, questions and life stages. Depending on your national and/or cultural origin, biographical background, life experiences and possibilities for social participation, you and those close to you may be confronted with a diverse range of discriminatory practices. Additionally, other factors in your life situation and surroundings can complicate matters. Possible solutions and ways to deal with these situations vary considerably. These life circumstances can affect the topics of trans* and inter* as they appear in your life, and we try to approach these issues as well with respect and sensibility. We explicitly invite you to give us feedback on our work, especially if you feel in any way that your boundaries have been crossed. We are open for criticism and continuously strive to improve ourselves and our services.
Mari Günther Systemic Therapist, Project Management (Language: German)
Ev Blaine Matthigack inter*-Peer Counselor (Languages: German and English)
Jonas Hamm trans*-Peer Counselor (Languages: German and English)
Carola Ståhl Administrator (Languages: English, German, Swedish)
How to get here:
S- Charlottenburg, U7 Wilmersdorfer Straße, 5 min walk.