Are you tired of the limited choices of children’s books? With the binary gendered and assumed-to-be-heterosexual characters? Ok, there are a couple out in the world that defy these parameters like My Princess Boy, 10,000 Dresses, and And Tango Makes Three. This blog also has a really good list including some that are new to me and I can’t wait to check out. But the book I’m really excited to read it the ones that S. Bear Bergman’s Kickstarter is promoting – check it out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/310387180/flamingo-rampant-gender-independent-kids-books. Bear’s books for adults, Butch is a Noun and more recent The Nearest Exist May be Behind You (“Bear’s poetry of butchness lets us see into facets of gender that usually aren’t so transparent.”—Carol Queen) are engaging and a lifeline for gender-variant folks looking to see their own experiences reflected in the world. Now Bear is going to write two children’s books! Check out his Kickstarter, this is an amazing project.
Working with Transgender Clients:
A Person-Centered and Narrative Therapy Model
Web Conference Description
Clients with a transgender identity may seek counseling to talk about their gender identity or for another reason such as depression, anxiety, or support in navigating a specific life transition. Transgender describes a gender identity that is different than the one that is assigned to a person at birth. Transgender identities include transsexual, female-to-male, male-to-female, genderqueer, and gender variant. Providing culturally competent services to transgender clients requires both knowledge of transgender issues and a level of comfort discussing gender and sexuality issues. A person-centered and narrative therapy perspective is non-pathologizing, gives control to historically marginalized clients, and makes external oppression and discrimination visible. This workshop will review terminology, transgender identity models, challenges of living with a stigmatized identity, and will provide examples of person-centered and narrative based interventions for working with transgender clients.
This Web Conference is designed to help clinicians:
1) Define the terms gender identity, transgender, transsexual, gender variance, and other terminology related to transgender identities;
2) Learn one model of transgender coming out and identity formation;
3) Name one barrier often experienced by people who identify as transgender;
4) Learn two interventions designed for use with people who identify as transgender.
Click here for more info: http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-transgender-web-conference.html
Posted 11/14/11 at www.goodtherapy.org
When we are born, and these days often even before, the big question is, “Is it a boy or a girl?” The way this question was answered when we were born impacts us every day throughout our whole lives. This is the day we are assigned a gender. In our culture we treat boys and girls, and men and women, very differently. Everything is gendered, from toys and clothes, to emotions and ways of thinking. No one is off the hook from these gender scripts…
Read the rest of the blog here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/redefining-gender-rules-1114114/
Last Saturday was the 1st Trans March in Philadelphia. To be clear, it was not the first time trans folks and their allies have come together to be visible, to stand up for their own, and to gather in the streets of Philadelphia. As a co-facilitator of a group for trans teens, a therapist for trans adults, a sexuality educator, and an organizer involved with the Philadelphia Trans-health Conference I have had the opportunity to see the trans community from several perspectives. Since I moved to Philly 6 years ago I’ve schooled myself in the history of racism and how it intersects with feminism, the LGBT movement, and the transgender movement. Every time I sit in a room with trans people I feel like I learn more and more about our community and about myself. As a white genderqueer transman from a middle class background I work hard to remain aware of my own biases, weaknesses, and prejudices and to find ways to provide inclusive services. I’m incredibly grateful to the numerous people who have had hard conversations with me, suggested books I should read, and continue to hash it out together. Last Saturday all of this filled my head and my heart as I participated in the Philadelphia Trans March and watched the intersections with Occupy Philly, anarchist politics, anti-racist activism, and trans rights activism collide on Broad Street amid chanting, laughing, and a sharing of experiences and communities. It felt magical.
It is in this spirit that I want to share Michelle O’Brien’s piece “Stayin’ Alive: Trans Survival and Struggle on the Streets of Philadelphia” from That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation. Michelle shares some of the history of the transgender rights movement in Philadelphia. The 1st Philadelphia Trans March didn’t spring from one moment or idea, but is built on years and years of activist organizing on multiple levels and in many transgender communities. It also rests on a foundation that recognizes that the struggles in Philadelphia are the struggles that are directly connected to organizing against capitalism, racism, classism, and sexism. O’Brien writes,”By linking these issues in our analyses and work, we can all begin to do what mainstream gay movements won’t: build movements committed to justice for all people, movements committed to challenging capitalism and white supremacy, alongside fighting homophobia. The survival of trans-people, poor queers, and many others across the globe urgently depends on these movements. (p. 311)”
Read Michelle O’Brien’s piece here: Stayin’ Alive: Trans Survival and Struggle on the Streets of Philadelphia
Last week I had the privilege to speak with sexologist Dr. Timaree Schmit about my work as a sexuality educator and a therapist! Take a look and a listen:
For the second time this year the queer community in Philly has lost someone. Both deaths were people that I knew from “around”, but not close friends of mine. However, it still totally sucks. Last night, talking with a friend, he mentioned feeling like we need to talk more about both mental health and grieving in our communities. And he said, “This is kind of your thing.” And it is my thing. Many consuming years of school gave me a great opportunity to distance myself from others as I dealt with my own feelings and issues and helped me to learn how to be a healer in my own communities. I’ve been on committees, done organizing, ran groups, worked with people individually – and it still can all feel so hopeless when I mourn the loss of life of people who were suffering. I’m not so conceited that I feel like it’s my job to “save” people – I don’t really feel like that’s how the world works and I don’t want that job. I know there are some things in life I’m really good at (writing blogs at a picnic table) and other things I’m not so good at (meeting strangers) and I try to use the things I’m good at to help folks who are having a hard time because I know what that feels like.
My friend was right, we do need to have more conversations about mental health and about grieving in our queer communities. But what does that look like? How do we acknowledge the diversity of experience and feelings that people feel without judging and pathologizing? Where is the line between brilliance and mood swings? What if someone doesn’t want help? What do you do when everybody already knows that living in a homphobic and transphobic world fucks us up, but that doesn’t really stop it from happening?
I often write and talk to people about finding the parts of the world that are brilliant and magical and finding ways for those parts of the world to be the ones we turn to when feeling low. And just to really be as gay as possible, I have this Indigo Girls lyric running through my head, “Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable, And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.” And so in these moments of sadness I can talk all I want about hope, but I believe that first we need to look at the darkness, sit with it, and acknowledge it. Because it’s sad when someone we love dies. And it’s sad when we no longer see the face of someone we recognize in the crowd like we once always depended on in a way we didn’t even understand.
And so I write this, thinking of my friends words last night, and making a visible space for us to think about and acknowledge our loss and our grief. I’ve seen people come together to support each other in amazing ways, so I know that this is happening over and over again. And it’s gonna need to happen over and over again. And I’m going to write about it and talk about it and make art about it over and over again so that it stays visible and we keep supporting each other even when life flows like a dream. Because anyone who’s been there knows, that even when you’re surrounded by love, you can still feel alone. And I don’t want to “save” anyone, but I do want to be a voice that speaks up and says that it’s ok to ask for help, and it’s good to need other people, and we’re all doing the best that we can. Take care of each other.
Web Conference Description
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) families have many similarities to any other kind of family, but they also have some unique differences that require additional knowledge for couple and family therapists. In educational settings these differences are sometimes either ignored completely or emphasized out of proportion leaving clinicians unprepared to meet the needs of these clients. This presentation, based on both available literature and on clinical experiences, will focus on some of the concrete differences that LGBTQ couples and families experience and some of the ways you as a clinician can increase your effectiveness with this population. Case studies, application of specific approaches and interventions, and an opportunity to ask questions will be included in this ninety minute presentation.
This Web Conference is designed to help clinicians:
1) Define the terms sexual orientation, gender identity, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer;
2) Name three characteristics that could make working with a LGBT couple or family different than working with a heterosexual couple or family;
3) Increase understanding of how gender roles and scripts impact LGBT relationships;
4) Learn at least one specific technique that is effective when working with LGBT couples and families.
Date & Time of Presentation
This 90-Minutes presentation will begin at 9:00 AM PACIFIC on 08-30-2011
Continuing Education (CE) Information
1.5 CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this Web Conference in its entirety. GoodTherapy.org is approved as a continuing education provider by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
How the Web Conference Works
In short, participants will be able to listen to the event by calling in to our teleconference center. Prior to the event, all participants will be sent an email with instructions on how to login to the teleconference and video conference center. This event will include lecture, interaction, and question and answer periods.
This Web Conference is available for free to GoodTherapy.org Members.
I picked up David Schnarch’s book Resurrecting Sex: Resolving Sexual Problems and Rejuvenating Your Relationship to check out if it would be useful for clients who were struggling with their sex lives. What I found was an amazing resource that reframes sex and relationships and would be useful to use with any couple, even if they don’t have sexual problems or “need rejuvenating.”
The first half of the book is called “A Crash Course in Sex” and that is exactly what it is. It is this first half that I believe makes this book so valuable for any person regardless of relationship status. One of Schnarch’s concepts that I found refreshing and exciting was his approach to encouraging couples to think of themselves as a team. This mentality moves away from blaming and towards finding creative solutions. The crash course in sex also does a great job reviewing sex, desire, arousal, and orgasm from both a physical and emotional perspective.
Although Schnarch’s language is often inclusive in his use of “partner” versus “spouse”, all of his case examples are heterosexual couples. Same-gender couples or sexual minority people interested in learning more about sex and their relationship will get some great information and ideas from this book, but they will also have to translate the case examples to fit their own experiences. This becomes a barrier for sexual minority readers because sometimes, especially when you might be feeling vulnerable, adding a layer of invisibility can be frustrating. So before recommending this book to a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer client or friend make sure to add the caveat that getting to the good stuff sadly requires navigating some heterosexism.
That said, this book is an excellent resource for educators, therapists and clients. Schnarch’s tone throughout the book is both frank and kind. He utilizes a casual style while still including concrete information based on research. This is the kind of book that you can pick up, thumb through, and just read the part that sticks out to you as interesting, or you can read it cover to cover. It provides clear and concise background information about sexuality that increases the usefulness of Schnarch’s more specific suggestions for maintaining an active sex life.
Having a child, grandchild, niece, nephew, and other youth in your life come out as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer can be an alienating and lonely experience. Check out the resources below to learn more about how you can cope with your own feelings as well as support the teenager in your life.