Coaching catalysing queerness

In this article, we'll explore three ways in which finding a coach who shares identity characteristics can enhance your self-improvement journey.


The stigma around specialised individual support is lifting and we are starting to see more and more organisations employing professional coaching as a method of sustaining growth and not just a way to cope with underperforming staff. We also see more and more business leaders leaning on their coaches, as the top can be quite lonely.

Many of the staple books on coaching such as 'The Inner Game of Work' by Thimoty Gallway and 'Coaching for Performance' by John Withmore talk about the independent skill of coaching, and even give examples of how coaches with no experience in the coachee’s profession can often ask even better questions and have an even greater impact on them. So why would I be saying to you, “Find a coach who shares your lived experience”?

Here are three reasons:

1. Preserving your energy

When you are different from the world around you, and existing in a perceived minority group, you often need to explain yourself to others; you may need to invest a lot of emotional and intellectual energy, simply to get to an even starting point in a new relationship. If that is not the case, and you start working with someone with a clear understanding of your lived experience, all that work is not necessary. While no two queer experiences are the same, they will already have far better understanding, than a coach who has not experienced being othered. 

2. Network

Whether you are seeking a career or a life coach, it is always great if they can help expand your network. While more and more people are out, queer communities are still hard to find. Activation, empowerment, and energy from spending time with your community are truly irreplaceable. Having a coach who can point you in a direction towards this resource - is invaluable!

3. Understanding strengths at a more intimate level

Last but not least, a better understanding of your lived experience will inevitably lead to a better and deeper understanding of your unique strengths. You may have grown up in an unsafe environment, and been in the closet for a while, or, while unfortunately rare, you may have felt queerness celebrated from an early age - in either case, you would have developed additional skills and strengths to move through the world as yourself. Those are truly important, and often forgotten.

A coach who doesn't hold similar experience, may not even have the courage to start investigating this with you, and rightly so. But with someone who knows those paths, supporting you, you will be able to not only draw conceptual silver linings, but you will be able to turn difficult experiences into practical effective utilisation that will benefit your current self. 

Finding the right coach is like finding any kind of partner, it can be tricky and chemistry is important. There are shortcuts however and finding a common ground which is fundamental to you both is one of them. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, Greater London, SE10
Written by Katya Veleva
London, Greater London, SE10

Katya Veleva is an EMCC Senior Practitioner accredited leadership coach, with over 500h of mentoring and coaching practice. They focus on working with people of historically marginalised backgrounds. Katya's extensive Inclusion Consulting experience provides them with insight into the unique barriers for LGBTQIA+ people in the workplace.

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