Archive for the ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Concerns’ Category

“The White House is lit up like a gay pride flag!”

July 27th, 2015

LGBT therapistIt was the night of the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. I was at dinner with some friends and things were winding down. It was late, almost midnight, and I quickly checked Facebook and saw what seemed unbelievable. The White House was bathed in the six colors of the gay pride flag. I shouted out, “The White House is lit up like a gay pride flag!” I decided that I had to see it in person, so I rode my bike to the White House, arriving at 12:30 am.

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Sexing the Trans Man

July 18th, 2015

Transgender menHaving good sex can increase a trans person’s comfort with their body. This is the message Buck Angel and I attempted to impart to over 150 sex educators, counselors, and therapists at the annual AASECT (American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists) conference in Minneapolis this past June. At our workshop “Sexing the Trans Man,” attendees were excited to learn about the connections between gender identity, body dysphoria, and sexual expression as well as the opportunity to dispel some myths about transgender men. We showed one of Buck’s docu-porns to help attendees hear from actual transgender men as well as see what transgender sex actually looks like. (Hint – it doesn’t look any different than cisgender sex.) as well as see the diversity of transmasculine bodies.The major myth we attempted to dispel is that trans men hate their bodies.

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Sojourner’s Truth

March 20th, 2015

build your confidenceI’m not man enough, says one trans male client. I question my masculinity, says another cis male client. Am I as much of a woman as a cis woman?, asks a trans female client. Why doesn’t my life matter?, asks an African American cis male client. Questions like these pop up with much regularity in my work. People questioning their authenticity because cultural “norms” and life experiences make them feel out of place, invalidated, and just plain crappy about themselves.

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Body Parts and Sex – Overcoming Dysphoria

October 3rd, 2014

Gender TherapySex should be fun, sensual, erotic, hot, connecting. Highlight the word should. But it’s not this way for some people. Specifically, it is sometimes not comfortable for some transgender and gender non-conforming people. One of the main culprits is discomfort with what are supposed to be sexy body parts.  But if these body parts – or at least the mainstream names for them – don’t align with your gender identity, then sex becomes less than fun.  However, I recently attended a workshop, by a fantastic presenter – S. Bear Bergman – that helped us all reimagine trans sexuality.

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Queer is the New Cool

June 26th, 2014

What is it like when gender becomes so obscure and individualized that it seems to no longer matter as much as it did before…while still being an important part of someone’s identity and experience? Attend a conference for Trans*/GNC (Gender Non-conforming) folk and their allies and you’ll see for yourself, as I recently did, and you’ll realize how radically different, and accepting, the world can be.

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What Makes A Real Man?

April 23rd, 2014

I was recently reading a blog in which the author – a mother of a young boy – was bragging that her son is “all boy” – meaning he is rough and tumble and plays with trucks, guns, and GI Joes. I found this offensive. What about the boys who like Barbies and arts and crafts are sensitive? Are they not complete boys? Are they somehow deficient? Would she be less pleased with him. It seems strange to me that we are still playing into gender stereotypes about masculinity in men and boys.

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Be You!

February 10th, 2014

Trying to be authentic in this world can be hard. We feel pressured to conform…even by such simple questions as “How are you doing today?” – which we often answer with a pasted on smile and the word “Fine”. Some of us work in jobs we hate, fearful of what it would mean, what people would think, and how we would get by, if we changed careers. People in their 40′s and 50′s realize that they have much they still want to do, contemplate making changes, but don’t make them because they’re fearful that they will be seen as going through a “mid-life crisis” – a patronizing, and simplistic concept. Others are fearful to express their sexuality whether it is a same-sex attraction or a BDSM desire. And some present themselves as a gender that they know they really aren’t. Of course, the list goes on; I’m sure you could add your own ways in which you feel coerced  into “fitting in.” 

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The Trouble with Passing

January 22nd, 2014

For many transgender people, particularly those who identify on the gender binary, “passing” is of particular importance.  And this makes a lot of sense to me.  I understand the very real concerns about people on the streets, at the job, or in a restroom recognizing you as transgender. There can be powerful, negative repercussions when that happens.  Unfortunately, we see this all the time and even have an annual day of mourning to those whose lives are lost due to the fear and hatred of others.  However, I have seen in my work that passing also comes with some troubles.

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Morally Straight?

September 18th, 2012

moralsI recently read an article about the Boy Scouts of America’s continued determination to keep gay men and adolescents from participating in the organization. The leadership uses the argument that being gay is not “morally straight.” The concept of morality and sexual orientation is an interesting one. And in my work as a therapist, I’ve learned that morality is certainly subjective.

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The Unseen Hearts of Gay Men

November 3rd, 2010

If you’re a gay man, you know the buzz – gay guys are mean to each other, catty, sex-obsessed, and have a shallowgay-friendly therapist focus on appearance.  We don’t need to go over that again.  It’s become a culturally-shared truism.  Thankfully, there is a different perspective.

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