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Life Beyond Therapy: The rise of body fascism

Many men and women I work with are afraid not to be thin, muscular or both (after all, we live in Southern California). You too?

How did we become so critical of our bodies? Years ago, body image was much more relaxed. Look at videos from the '70s and '80s; we didn’t have such perfect bodies, white teeth or defined abs, we were attractive and yet not perfect. Not model-looking. And even models from that era weren’t so perfect (I know because I was a model in the early '80s and it really wasn’t such a big deal).

Mom announces her son is transgender in the best way

When Jodi Gholson Oliver announced her son is transgender, she didn't just announce it. She celebrated.

On March 27, Oliver, a hairstylist living in Las Vegas, posted a photo of a white stork delivering a blue bundle with the words "It's a BOY!" Along with the photo, Oliver shared a touching -- and joyful -- message about her 19-year-old son, Jes, who is transgender.

"What's between your legs?" is the new "so what do you do in bed?"

Possibly inspired by Laverne Cox and Orange is the New Black, I blurted out the title of this post at a recent panel about media coverage of transgender issues, as I was trying to put into context the quality of coverage of transgender issues today, as compared to gay and lesbian issues in the early 1990s. It has stuck in my head since.

Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2014 reintroduced

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today reintroduced legislation aimed at curbing harassment and bullying at colleges at universities across America.

The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2014 requires colleges and universities to prohibit harassment and establishes within the Department of Education a grant program to support campus anti-harassment programs.

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8 myths about transgender men's genital reconstructions

Recently, writer Brynn Tannehill produced a list of misconceptions that plague people's understanding of gender-confirmation surgeries (in particular, those of the genital variety). Perusing her inventory, I nodded in recognition at every barb; like her, I've heard all these and more hurled at me, my loved ones, or my comrades online.

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Community Profile: Jennine Estes, the therapist with a passion for circus acts

SAN DIEGO -- In addition to a successful marriage and family counseling practice in Mission Valley, Jennine Estes stays really, really busy.

As founder of the #BeingLOVEDIs movement, she pushes Social Media users to share with the world what love means to them, and do so in a creative manner. It breaks through stereotypes and cliches, allowing people to express their experiences with relationships of all varieties – family, friends, romantic and platonic.

Critical Voice holds self-care boot camp for LGBT youth

SAN DIEGO -- This month, Critical Voice, a part of San Diego Youth Services and Social Advocates for Youth, is hosting a "boot camp"-style health fair with LGBT youth in mind.

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News spoke with members Holley Hatfield and Indie Landrum about the organization and the importance of such an event.

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Life Beyond Therapy: Living your sexual ethics

Have you ever wondered how to live a life that is both sexually ethical and free of outdated notions about sex? I find the topic quite interesting: it comes up quite often in my psychotherapy office as I help my clients – both single and coupled – explore their ever-evolving sexual desires and the best ways to realize them.

For all our alleged openness about sex, it’s still rare to discuss these issues in a conscious, respectful way. This column is about that dance of sexual freedom and ethics.

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Life Beyond Therapy: Codependence - when friendship goes bad

Dear Michael,

For several years I was friends with someone. He ended it abruptly and refuses to talk to me. It’s no problem with me that he ended the friendship, but it’s been almost a year now and he’s still angry and hateful to me. Every chance he gets he says untrue things about me to anyone who will listen. How can I get him to move on with his life? The weird thing is that I still care about him and feel like this is killing him.

— Confused in North Park

Dear Confused,

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Life Beyond Therapy: Happy damn New Year!

As a new year approaches, many of us feel pretty damn depressed. Whether you’re partnered or alone, it’s tempting to imagine that everyone else is having more fun than you are. The truth is, you have no idea how happy or miserable anyone else is behind his or her façade.

If you could sit in my chair and hear how unhappy many people are at this time of year, you’d stop envying other people immediately. There’s a great Phoebe Snow song whose line “December 31st is the very worst time of the year” sums up how many of us feel as New Year’s Eve approaches.

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