I marched for myself and my clients

self esteem

I braved the crowds in Los Angeles yesterday. It was beautiful to see an endless stream of people continuing to show up in waves of trains, buses, Lyfts, and bicycles. Naively I thought I could hop on a Metro bus to the subway, but even though it was 7:30 in the morning and I was at the third stop of the line, it was clear there was no getting to the march on time using the Orange Line.

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Despite the overwhelming crowds, people, on the whole, remained polite, calm, and respectful of one another. There were babies, toddlers, children, teens, adults, parents, and grand parents. There were small children in strollers, there were men and women pushing bicycles, and there were parents and grand parents being pushed in wheelchairs. We came. We all came (and it was beautiful).

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Most of us are concerned about rights we fought hard for and won suddenly being taken away from us. We worry about the loss of the Affordable Care Act, (which some Trump supporters still do not understand is the same thing as “ObamaCare”.  We worry about the sudden rise in hate crimes. We worry about the loss and dismantling of MediCare and Social Security.

We are also angry that we have to keep fighting for basic human rights and basic human dignity for all. FOR ALL. We are all people and we all deserve the same civil rights regardless of gender, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious preference, age, mental ability, or physical ability.

Human rights should never be taken away because of something so insignificant as what genitals are (or are not) between a person’s legs or what skin tone they happen to be blessed with.

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As a mental health professional I am horrified that the homeless rate is so high for the LGBTQ* community. I am horrified at the rate of sexual assault against our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters.

It saddens me that so many people are rejected by friends or family for owning and living their true self. It disappoints me that people, beautiful people, feel shame over who they are. It distresses me even more that there are those among us who would shame and belittle others for not being like them. We are all different and that is okay.

Diversity truly does make us stronger. We all have different strengths and different passions and when we come together, we create a beautiful tapestry of life. We are stronger together and I hope we do not lose the momentum that we have right now. I hope we do not let this movement fade.

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Regardless of your age, your class, your kink, your orientation, your ethnicity, or your gender, I care about you. Do not give up, and lets not ever stop fighting for what is right.

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A substitute teacher in Texas has been suspended for being transgender.

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A substitute teacher in Texas has been suspended for being transgender.

“Some concerned parents had come to KFDM, saying they were worried that their child had been supervised by a teacher who was transgender. They say they have no problem with the teacher herself, just that she might be confusing 11-year-olds regarding their own identities.”

As a therapist, the above quote is frustrating for so many reasons that I hardly know where to begin:

  • This type of argument was used to prevent good LGBTQ couples from adopting.
  • The younger children are exposed to a variety of people whether it is race, gender, sexual orientation, religion etc, the less the differences amongst us stand out.
  • The idea that meeting a transgender or transexual person will suddenly make you start questioning everything about your own identity is fear-mongering.
  • Furthermore, since when is introspection and learning more about ourselves a bad thing?
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity is not contagious.

There will always be differences between us humans. Instead of focusing on the 20% the divides us, let’s start focusing on the 80% that unites us!

 

I’m boycotting boycotts.

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Sometimes I am surprised by how much anger and hate there are in the United States. I am sure it is the same everywhere else that is inhabited by humans. As long as I can recall, or at least since the 90’s when I began paying attention, when some group of people get angry at a business for a business or marketing decision which goes against their values they release the battle cry for a boycott.

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There was the first airline who offered (fill-in-the-blank). Then the first soft drink to (fill-in-the-blank) followed by the first store to offer (fill-in-the-blank). some of these fill-in-the-blank benefits or strategies were benefits to same-sex spouses, support of some political party, racial integration, or some large company perhaps is run or owned by someone of a different religion. There is no shortage of hate and outrage around us.

Apparently people are currently boycotting (in no particular order): Subway because Michelle Obama is their current spokesperson, Wal-Mart because Michelle Obama is their current spokesperson, Coca-Cola because they had a multi-lingual folk song in a Superbowl commercial, Pepsi because they support LGBTQ, and most national food brands due to GMOs. Don’t forget Chick-fil-a because they do not support LGBTQ. There is also a call to boycott soda stream because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I will admit to being unclear if we are just boycotting soda stream or if we are boycotting ScarJo as well.

Remember when it was JC Penney because they had Ellen as a spokesperson?

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I am all for people shopping their conscience. I support that 100%. But sometimes we have a knee-jerk reaction, say to the coke commercial last night, and swear immediate allegiance to Pepsi forgetting we were previously boycotting Pepsi for a different violation to our values system.

Then, the way treat others who disagree with us is shameful. The internet and message boards are full of people calling each other names and insulting each other as individuals…not debating the issues or the reasons for or against their differences. There is no thoughtful dialog, just hate and insults.

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The irony is that individuals probably have more in common then they would like to think, or admit. The fact of the matter is that when we focus on our differences then our differences become bigger. When we can find find common ground and make that our focus, then our common ground gets bigger. Life is an awful lot like a mirror in that we will often find what we are looking for.

If we are looking for examples of the other side being jerks…we WILL find it. If we seek to find examples of the other side doing something positive, we will find that as well…but only if we are looking. We are stronger when we are united than when we are being hateful and divisive.

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