cropped gay therapy la logo

Why No One Starts Therapy in December — And Why You Should

kh pp christmas tree adobe photo

Happy December!  How are those New Year’s Resolutions working out for you? You know, the ones that you had in January, almost a year ago?  Do you remember what they were?  Did you make any?  Did you have goals for this year?  Did you reach those goals? The other day, I reviewed my Goals List … Read more

Shrink at the Movies: “The Exorcist” (1973)

Happy Halloween! Here is an essay that I wrote a while back on my favorite horror film, “The Exorcist” (1973), now celebrating its 40th anniversary: ******************************************** “The Exorcist” (1973) [SPOILER ALERT BELOW} My favorite horror film of all time is William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist”, directed by William Friedkin (1973). It is now celebrating its … Read more

Gay Pride 2012: From a Gay Men’s Therapist Perspective

rainbow flag inclusive version update deposit photo June 2021

Happy Pride! Frankly, this year, it couldn’t come soon enough.  In my private practice specializing in gay men’s therapy and life/career coaching for 20 years, I’ve noticed that what happens in the political and social world very often affects the individual mental health and emotional state of my clients. When the Republican primary candidates relentlessly … Read more

Valentine’s Day for Single Gay Men: Coping with Hope

valentine couple deposit photo Feb 2020

Valentine’s Day, for all its lovely sentiment, is perhaps one of the most divisive holidays of the year.  Everyone can enjoy New Year’s; every American can enjoy President’s Day (thankfully coming up very soon) and Independence Day; we each have a birthday.  But Valentine’s Day is a “holiday for lovers”, and many single people can end … Read more

January 8, 2011: New Year, New Hip, New Movies (“Black Swan”/”The King’s Speech”)

Happy New Year! In the January issue of my e-newsletter, “Self-Empowerment: Have the Life You Want!”, I’ll be discussing how to set your goals for 2011 to feel empowered to make the positive changes in your life that you want to see over the next 12 months. Sign up now on my home page to … Read more

December 3, 2010: Have You Been Naughty or Nice? Reviewing Personal Ethics

I was driving with the radio on the other day, and a holiday ad came on that started with, “Have you been naughty or nice this year?” My first reaction was, “Hmmmmm. Define ‘naughty’.” And then I got to thinking: Just how DO we assess our own personal ethics for the year? Have I been … Read more

Boo! Scary – Conquering Your Fears

I love Halloween.  Maybe it’s because of the theatricality of it, with costumes and props, or maybe it’s because of my addiction to chocolate.  Author Peg Aloi, an expert on Pagan holidays, explains that Halloween, or “Samhain” as it is sometimes called (which means “summer’s end”), is observed as a celebration of the last harvest … Read more

Managing Holiday Stress

While the holiday season can be a time of great fun and festive celebrations all over town for you and your friends or family, for many gay men it can be a time of increased stress. These holiday stressors can include: Not having a partner at a particularly “romantic” time of year Having family visiting … Read more

It’s July Fourth – Independence Day for Gay Men: What Do You Want Independence From?

eagle july fourth
independence day for gay men
Independence Day for gay men can have many important meanings, as a community and as individuals.

It’s July Fourth – Independence Day for Gay Men: What Do You Want Independence From?

As we celebrate the summer and the Fourth of July — Independence Day — let’s consider the meaning of that word, “independence.” Historically, this means celebrating America’s freedom from the tyrannical rule of a cruel and imbecilic king who over-taxed his hardest-working citizens to enrich the elite and fund wars that aggrandized his ego. (OK, so I guess not much has changed in over 200 years!)  For gay men, the word “independence” can mean so much more.  For many or most of us, we grow up hiding our sexuality for a long time, and we are imprisoned by isolation, secrecy, and lack of validation for who we are.

Independence Day for gay men, coming usually soon after the annual Pride celebrations in June, as a community, is a celebration and commemoration of the Stonewall Uprising in New York in 1969, when, as a community, we declared our independence from systemic oppression (by the anti-gay New York City Police Department in particular, but also oppression in general).  For each of us as individuals, the coming out process is like declaring our independence from widespread heterosexism (“the assumption that everyone is, or should be, heterosexual”).

We declare our independence from the sexism that imprisons us into strict demands for gender-conforming behaviors, whether we like those things or not, and we certainly declare independence from the outright hate and bigotry that we hear about almost constantly in the news, particularly from conservative religious sectors and/or Republicans.  We also declare independence from people telling us we “can’t” — can’t be a part of certain groups, can’t hold certain jobs, can’t adopt children, can’t celebrate our sexuality, can’t have benefits, can’t have protections from discrimination, can’t have our Pride month recognized by the government, and so on.  The entire LGBT community fights for independence from oppression in many ways, not just on July Fourth, but every day, in the United States and worldwide. 

Read more