When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision,
then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
Discrimination is a fact we've been living with our whole lives. Our community faces violence and prejudice all around the world. Even here in the progressive bubble of the Bay Area, we sometimes face outright rejection or hostility. Perhaps more often, we find ourselves in ambiguous situations that don't feel good but are hard to call out. We carry the chronic stress of these experiences in our bodies, minds, and perceptions of the world. The increasing polarization of our political climate adds to the frustration. And since many LGBTQ+* folks have internalized shame and self-hatred, we sometimes find ourselves feeling isolated and struggling to connect with others.
On the other hand, our LGBTQ+ experiences are also a great foundation for resilience and personal growth. We have unique opportunities to cultivate pride in who we are and what we've overcome, to increase our awareness and compassion for the injustices others face, and to commit to making a positive difference in the world. The rapid changes in popular culture and public policy over the last 10 years are a testament to our resilience and determination.
As a gay man from the rural South, I've been organizing and providing services for LGBTQ+ communities for the last 15 years. With offices in SF and Oakland, I work for the personal and spiritual growth of individuals, couples, and groups throughout the Bay Area. I provide evidence-based therapy grounded in mindfulness and acceptance. Drawing on the Minority Stress Model, which links experiences of social inequality to chronic stress and emotion dysregulation, I specialize in working with gay men on issues related to anxiety, depression, shame, internalized homophobia, relationships and intimacy, sexual compulsivity, aging, and living with HIV/AIDS. Check out the posts below to hear some more of my thoughts on LGBTQ+ resilience and wellbeing.
*Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and others who identify as gender or sexual minorities