Clients and therapists alike, take this opportunity to check out the Contemporary Relationships Conference held annually right here in Austin, Texas. I highly recommend this conference to anyone of diverse sexuality and gender (DSG) or those who identify as allies. It is a wonderful way to network, collaborate, or simply meet new people in the beautiful DSG community.
I was just a little boy. Truly.
I was forced to hide a part of myself. I buried it deep in the dark. I spent countless moments terrified that my secret would be discovered. “What would happen if they all knew? My parents would disown me. The bullies would torture me. I would have no friends. No one would love me. My God would condemn and reject me. I could always kill myself.” Morbid scenarios poured through my mind, soaking me in fear and motivating me to stay hidden no matter the cost. Every day, hour, sometimes minute, became another lie, a mask, or some new tool of survival. “Don’t move your hands so much when you talk. Deepen your voice. Keep away from that guy. And for God’s sake don’t act too excited. You sound like a little girl.” Continue reading “A Message From Out of The Dark”
“Have you ever had to make a tough decision? How did you do it? With the deluge of information we find ourselves in day to day and seemingly infinite opportunities and choices to be made, how do you evaluate all the data the world now offers? Incessantly bombarded with an endless stream of schemas, strategies, and solutions around the clock, we literally have within our finger tips anything we want. It’s no longer a question of finding the answers; it’s a question of choosing the answers that best serve us.” (JohnPress, 2014)
The quote above begins a brief list-style article entitled The Value of Values written by Timothy JohnPress. I am grateful to have read it as part of the curriculum for Leadership Austin Emerge 2014. Being a psychotherapist, my work life as well as my personal life is interwoven with the beautiful threads of values. So, I enjoy being a part of a larger discussion on the topic. JohnPress goes on to list the Top Ten Values of Values. I read through the whole list and overall found myself nodding in agreement with the points he makes. I still can’t really disagree with anything he writes in the article. Continue reading “Wide Open Like A Lake”
I will be the first to admit that there are times in my life when I simply have no filter. I am not always the highest self-monitor. By that I mean, for the sake of my social self and the emotional comfort of those around me, I could stand to think a bit more before I speak. For instance, when a set of twins at my high school were involved in a tragic game of Russian roulette, one twin was killed and the other remained alive. In rare form, I blurted out to a group of mutual acquaintances, “Well, at least I will be able to tell them apart now!” NOT my finest moment. Continue reading “Censorship”
“Rushing and racing and running in circles;
Moving so fast I’m forgetting my purpose.
Blur of the traffic is sending me spinning –
Slow me down. Don’t let me live a lie.
Before my life flies by,
I need you to slow me down.”
~ Emmy Rossum (Listen Here)
“Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. You’re only here for a short visit. So don’t forget to stop and smell the roses,” said Walter Hagen. And, I am not the first blogger to use this quote. Surely, I will not be the last. This simply bespeaks our need to be told then, now, and always to slow down and enjoy our lives. I don’t know about y’all, but I happen to think this is much easier said than done. I recently went to a conference in California and when I returned it took me more time than usual to rev up to the pace I normally live my life. That is a pretty significant detail since I own my own business and can essentially choose the hours I work. For a couple of days I did not do much more than sit on the couch with my dogs. Continue reading “Stop and Just Be”
“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider.” – (Dr. MLK, Jr., 1963)
Sixty years after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown vs. Board of Education to desegregate public schools, many U.S. schools are profoundly segregated and the allocation of funds and resources continues to widen the gap. Legislation no longer drives these divisions. This is one of many scenarios that seem to me to indicate a socially constructed separate but equal belief that prevails 118 years after the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson[i] found segregation to be constitutional. Are the gears simply turning slowly in this vehicle as we move toward true inclusion? Or, is this residual segregation evidence that once a population is considered “less than”, “outsiders”, and “separate but equal”, then that group is ultimately doomed to be seen (at least, to a certain degree) through that lens indefinitely? Continue reading “Language: Fill In The Blanke”
Watch my interview with KXAN News in response to the Texas GOP endorsing “reparative therapy” for gays:
I have an acquaintance, a brilliant painter, who went to a diversity training some time ago in Arizona. She found it to be a bizarre experience, so she was telling me a story about it over coffee. The seminar presenters sat everyone in a circle and went from person to person insisting that each individual affirm loudly: “I am racist!” Suddenly, she felt trapped. She was laughing as she relayed the story, recalling her discomfort and desire to run out of the room. What was it that made her the most ill at ease? Was it the phrase itself? Or, perhaps feeling pressured, forced even, to say it? Maybe, she just isn’t much of a yeller? Continue reading ““I Am Heterosexist!””