The whole process is probably not as scary as it sounds. I mean, it can be very uncomfortable at first, and I say that from personal experience, but practice makes everything so much easier.
First of all, you can narrow down the search on the phone. Yes, that can be scary the first couple times, but the more you do it the easier it gets.
You have to be assertive. You have to say, I am looking for a therapist and I need someone who is open and accepting with LGBT people. Does anyone in your practice meet that criteria?
They don’t even have to know who you are before you ask that question.
I think you might be surprised by how many therapists are very progressive, even in the South.
As far as digging through trauma and all that goes, some of that might be a little overhyped. And it certainly isn’t something a therapist is going to dive into right away.
Therapy can be and often is quite practical, positive, and affirming. Therapists are equipped to help you with problems, offering you tools to let you accomplish things you want to accomplish.
Therapists are usually quite sensitive to trauma and are very experienced in not allowing it to do more harm.
I say give it a shot. Don’t let fears stop you from making a move that could be very positive for you.