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With gay rights making big advances, more gay couples are coming forth to dismantle the stereotype that their relationships are superficial and brief. The truth is they can be just as committed and loving as heterosexual ones. They can also have the same types of conflict: family, finances, household chores, parenting, and so on. Any two people trying to live together are going to run into disagreements. There are a few things, however, that are unique to same-sex couples.
The other day, I was on the phone with a friend. “How’s it going?” she chirped, as we generally do when we start a call. “Tough week,” I said. “Some real problems. Glad we’re getting a chance to catch up.”
Tough week? Real problems? That’s not the requisite “Fine!” or “Great!” or even “Busy!” we’re used to hearing. Rather, it’s honest. It’s an appeal for help. It’s showing vulnerability.
ST. LOUIS – As mental health becomes a growing concern across the nation, it remains a taboo topic in communities of color. One local organization is reframing how the church and faith leaders view and address mental health throughout the St. Louis region.
Historically, churches that serve the black community have not just functioned as houses of worship. They serve as community resource centers, to provide access to social services and even family counseling. But why is the conversation around mental health such a touchy topic?
It’s no secret that those of us in LGBT relationships tend to have strong emotional attachments with our partners, particularly long-term partners. While this can be a wonderful experience in a relationship with healthy boundaries between “self” and “other”, strong emotional attachments can become maddening when codependency is an issue.
A person has gender dysphoria when they experience discomfort caused by a difference between their assigned or recorded gender from birth and the gender with which they identify. For example, if someone identifies as female but was assigned a male gender when they were born, they may experience gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is the mental health diagnosis that is currently given to transgender and gender non-binary individuals who may be seeking gender-affirming care to align their bodies to their gender identities.
Life is stressful. From health and safety worries to balancing work and family, we have a lot on our plates.
“What I hear from my clients the most is that it’s hard to turn off their minds. They’re constantly going, which prevents them from relaxing,” says psychologist Susan Albers, PsyD. “But we need to think of relaxing not as a stopping point, but as a necessary pause.”
In 1975 psychiatrist Robert Stoller of the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote something bizarre in his textbook on sex and gender. He asserted that people who were assumed to be boys when they were born but whose gender identity or expression did not match that assumption “often have pretty faces, with fine hair, lovely complexions, graceful movements, and—especially—big, piercing, liquid eyes.” Based on this observation, he suggested a theoretical model in which transgender girls become transgender because they are especially cute. Society treats them more like girls, he reasoned, and because of this experience, they start to identify as female.
We all have those moments when we come unglued. We’ve probably had a few more of those than usual this past year. This time period has tested us in entirely new ways, and more likely than not, we can all recount a recent example of flipping our lid.
It’s the easiest advice in the world to give, and it’s perhaps the hardest advice in the world to follow: “Don’t worry about it.”
It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? “Don’t worry about it.” That’s the kind of clichéd phrase we toss out in conversation a dozen times a day without thinking: “Take it easy,” “keep an eye out,” “go with your gut.” Such platitudes are basically meaningless; they’re also basically harmless; and sometimes they can give you a little nudge in the right direction.