Monday, July 31, 2006

Ten Things I Love About Being A Lesbian

1. It's not as hard to measure up to Ellen DeGeneres as it is to Marilyn Monroe.

2. You can be old, somewhat overweight and have silver hair and still be considered a babe.

3. It's easier to be friends with heterosexual men.

4. DykeDar. (Yep, it never fails.)

5. The freedom to combine lipstick and power tools. (Now THAT's sexy!)

6. Straight friends assume competence in all arenas (good for those with fragile egos - not moi, of course!)

7. 100 things to do with Tofu at the drop of a hat (and not all of them culinary!)

8. Northampton, MA.

9. Sensible shoes some days, not so sensible on others.

10. Practicing cunnilingus techniques on ice-cream cones.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My Best Friend

My best friend's name is K. She’s a clinical psychologist, and the first and only doctorate in her big, working class, Irish family. I call her "Doc" whenever I remember. It makes her smile and giggle and is therefore rewarding to me, and fun for her, and when she’s smiling it’s a thing of beauty. Despite her multitude of academic credentials, she has spent the last few years hidden away on top of a mountain with her husband, leaving only for occasional forays into academia. She teaches human sexuality to graduate and doctorate level students, and is a brilliant professor.

How do I start to write about K? To begin, just saying her name quietly in my mind, I imagine the words “My Best Friend,” with caps a-blazing following behind her name. I thrive on the intimacy that having a truly "best" friend provides, and K is without doubt the finest friend one could ever imagine. She’s a keeper and I hope she will keep me.

One of the things that is so fantastic about the good doctor is you can have a self in relation to her, in fact she demands it. Not suffering fools gladly, she wouldn’t tolerate a wimpy presence and I thank my lucky stars that I’m not a wimpy person, otherwise I would be so screwed. Being friends with K would be a living hell if I were a wimp (if I even made it through the, “Uh, hello, my name is…um… :::blush::: ”). As the saying goes, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and like many therapists, myself included, she isn't comfortable with small talk. K likes to go deep, even if it’s a conversation in a local breakfast joint with the biker, red-neck owner. She wants the dirt on you, and she wants it now – no waiting.

“The Bluest Eye” describes K’s eyes. She has crisp, clear, blue eyes like the Mediterranean after a rain storm. They stand out like tidal pools in the poodle-peachy pink of her skin. When her hair isn’t dyed, her true hair color is pure silver and the combination of silvery hair and turquoise eyes is, well, breath-taking. In my mind’s eye, K stands tall. But I’ve just asked her how tall she really is and she thinks for a second, and replies, “Five-three-and-three-quarters.” This surprises me. When I think of K, I think of height, of a person who occupies vertical space, somebody who towers over me. To learn that she is taller than me by a mere three-quarters of an inch comes as something of a shock.

K curves her shoulders protectively when she stands. Her arms, legs and upper body are averagely plumptious. However, her torso is pear-shaped and round and looking at K sideways, I am reminded of an over-large and precocious toddler. Once described as a “saucy wench,” it fits her perfectly. She comes across as having a hearty, healthy and delightfully lascivious sexual persona. Watching the toddler turn front-on and morph into a 17th century serving wench is a thing of beauty.

K occupies her space proudly. She doesn’t drag her feet and she appears to be constantly in motion. If she isn’t singing and dancing, she’s dancing and humming. If she isn’t humming, she’s striking a pose, with eyes flashing, head turned coquettishly as she flirts with whoever is in the room at the time. Karaoke is to K as guitars are to rock music. I’m dumbfounded by her recall of lyrics going back years and years, whether it’s Oklahoma! or Outkast.

K is dramatic, in the way of 30’s screen goddesses. She strikes poses like others pick noses. Frequently and with gusto. K announces impending feelings. “I’m getting angry now. I’m getting pissed off now. I’m beginning to feel sad right now.” She shows all these feelings strongly on her face. Between her eyes, two deep furrows appear when anger, irritation or deep concentration occupy her, and when she is slack-jawed two lines curve downwards either side of her mouth. When K smiles, her face is beautifully illuminated and expressive, eyebrows dance above her Lucky Charms eyes. K has a tendency to imbue emotional content with more complicated angst than necessary, but she does it so charmingly and with such earnestness that you hardly care. In fact, there’s hardly anything that K does that isn’t charming. She IS charm.

I love K in a straight-forward, uncomplicated way. Whenever I’m spending time with K, I feel like I’m in first grade, hanging out with my best friend in the school playground. I want to link arms with her, skip, leap and sing loudly. In fact, we frequently do all these things together. We say, to anybody who is interested, that we are twins separated at birth.

K has had sexual experiences with other women, and would do so again if her husband felt okay about it, but he mostly doesn’t, so she won’t. She describes herself as "probably bisexual" but I think she's probably more likely "pan sexual." Even if K had sex with another woman while still married to D, it wouldn’t be with me. We love each other down to the bone, but have no sexual interest in each other. Not that we don’t talk about it. We’re both sex therapists, so talk freely about sex and being sexual. “If we were lovers, we’d run out naked in the rain and roll in the mud, right K?” I say to her. “Right,” says K. “And if we were lovers, we’d lie around for hours reading to each other," she replies. Hmmm. Actually, we realize, we already do that. And there's no reason why we shouldn't run out in the rain naked together either. Wouldn't first graders do that given half a chance?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Forty Things About Me

Yep, it's not original. I got the idea from Suburban Lesbian to whom I offer my sincerest thanks. It was really fun answering the questions.

1. My uncle once: got blackmailed for many years by a former officer in the British Military, because the blackmailer found out that my uncle was gay, and he would have lost his officer's commission unless he'd paid the money.
2. Never in my life: have I ever played with a tarantula (and it never will happen, so don't let's hold our breath!)
3. When I was five: I went to my first day in First Grade and forgot to wear underpants. It was only discovered when I peed myself and my teacher found out that my undies were a no-show.
4. High School was: torture.
5. I will never forget: the night I came out, on the dance floor of the "women's dance" in Bradford, West Yorkshire, with my then best friend, Janet.
6. I once met: Elana Dykewoman.
7. There's this girl I know who: snapped my heart in two.
8. Once, at a bar: I watched my mother get hit on by a lesbian, giggle, and confess to me that she'd enjoyed the attention.
9. By noon, I'm usually: heading into work. (Most therapists work afternoons and evenings.)
10. Last night: I went out to dinner at "Not Your Average Joe's" with my best friend, her daughter, my daughter and my granddaughter. I was in a foul mood, which is highly unusual. I'm glad I went.
11. If I only had: more years to live.
12. Next time I go to church: it will be an absolute miracle (or else the Boston Gay Men's Chorus will be singing!)
13. Terry Shiavo: terribly, terribly sad.
14. What worries me most: is that my daughter won't learn how to manage her money better, will end up passing bad checks, do a stint in the big house and get deported.
15. When I turn my head left, I see: a beautiful torchiere Tiffany Lamp.
16. When I turn my head right, I see: a framed photograph, which I bought in Provincetown twenty years ago, of Marian Roth's "Underwater" vision of two naked women, with erect nipples, hanging out underwater.
17. You know I'm lying when: I can't look you in the eyes.
18. What I miss most about the eighties: is not having wrinkles.
19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I'd be: daintily flitting from tree to tree in Midsummer Nights Dream.
20. By this time next year: I'll be picking lettuces from my organic vegetable garden in the farm Mr. Lesbian and I are in the process of buying in Western Mass.(The vegetable garden is already established!)
21. A better name for me would be: impossible to imagine.
22. I have a hard time understanding: cruelty.
23. If I ever go back to school I'll : slit my wrists.
24. You know I like you if: I tell you.(Nobody ever has to guess!)
25. If I ever won an award, the first person I'd thank would be: my best friend.
26. Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: three winners and a loser (although it wasn't her fault).
27. Take my advice, never: take my advice.
28. My ideal breakfast is: a New York Bagel, with hand sliced Lox, low fat cream cheese, thinly sliced red onions, capers and lemon wedges with a huge pot of very strong coffee and light cream.
29. A song I love, but do not own is:Bolero, by Ravel.
30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest: taking an umbrella and making sure you get a chance to eat Lava Bread with Cockles and Bacon. (It's Swansea, South Wales, UK).
31. Tulips, character flaws, microchips & track stars: are flowers that I really like, things that I'm impatient with, tiny things I don't understand and people I'll never hang out with.
32. Why won't people: clamor to have sex with me.
33. If you spend the night at my house: you will be able to sleep in my beautiful study, and be fussed over so much you won't want to leave.
34. I'd stop my wedding for: Lynnie S.M. from Chelsea, NYC, if she showed up.
35. The world could do without: more republicans.
36. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: give another blow job.
37. My favorite blonde is: Cristina Aquilera
38. Paper clips are more useful than: having no paper clips.
39. If I do anything well, it's: hoard paper clips.
40. And by the way: I'm still in lust with my previous girlfriend.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

A Lesbian? Moi? How can you tell?

Oh, how I long for those halcyon-early-coming-out days - when girls were women, women were wimmin, and those wimmin were probably dykes and dykes were ..... well, you get my drift. I came out in the late 70's/early 80's in Britain. I don't know what it was like for US dykes, but in the UK when you came out and it was 1979-84, you HAD to be a man-hating lesbian separatist. I went from a lipstick-wearing, bra-sporting, high-heeled teetering, straight married gal, to a buzz-cut, flick-knife-wielding, no-make-up, hip-flask-toting, Doc. Marten-stomping dyke separatist living in collective households, churning out feminist, dyke-separatist polemic on mimeographed sheets. We were dykes and there was a revolution to be fought, demos to march in and wimmin to save!

In Britain, if you were a lesbian and a feminist you HAD to have short hair - it was the rule! I had short, spikey, punked out hair with a slew of holes punctured up and down my ear-lobes. Every available wall in our houses sported feminist posters, we were festooned in Sterling Silver labyris and double-women symbols. I was newly vegetarian, could result Adrienne Rich's treaty on "Compulsory Heterosexuality" by heart, was 26 years old, or thereabouts, and felt like I finally belonged somewhere. Even then, I was a flambuoyant separatist. I wore painters' overalls, dyed in bright colors. I bought my earrings at the local Indian grocery store...they jangled, dangled, spun and shimmered and were bright and colorful. I took some flack for being so femmey, so wore bigger boots than anybody else and was "Ms. Ultra-Separatist" to make up for the earrings and bright attire.

Cut to 2006, and I no longer know if I'm allowed to call myself a lesbian. The rules got away from me, and I can't tell - does it matter anymore? What happened to my fervent, young dyke feminist politics? My partner was born biologically female, always felt hirself to be male, isn't a feminist, and doesn't understand why it's so hard for me to be a lesbian in a relationship with somebody who doesn't like their female body. How the fuck did I end up here? (That's going to be a later blog, I promise!) It felt much easier when I was 26 years old, than it does in my early 50's. I look in the mirror at this woman, the woman I have become, with my traditional hairstyle, my tastefully applied make-up (not too much, not too little) and my conservative clothing and I barely recognize myself anymore. I long for a short spikey hair cut. I don't own a pair of Doc. Martens, but sure wish I did. I don't have a community around me now, leastways not a lesbian community, although I have lesbian friends and I go to an open discussion group that picks topics to talk about each month. There was a time when another lesbian could see me out the corner of her eye and her gaydar would go off. Now I have to come out on purpose, because people can't tell. Is that important? Can we afford to relax more now that we're older? I don't know the answer to the questions, but I sure wish I did.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Reluctantly Married

Okay, I admit it. We married for the health insurance. Mr. Lesbian (my transgender lesbian husband) and I had been together, reasonably unhappily, for 8 years when hir work (with the State) told hir that there would be no more domestic partners health insurance benefits. We now had the Commonwealth of Massachusetts behind us legally, and we had better use those civil rights otherwise we'd be shit out of luck, insurance-wise!

So, dear reader, we married.

Would I do it again if I knew now what I knew then?

Nope. (Although the wedding party was a lot of fun.)

Sitting with a queer client the other day, I was asked my opinion on marriage. Was there really a reason to do it if you were queer? Not a unique question, but still a good question to ponder. I thought about my own marriage and realized that I really did primarily do it for the security that having health insurance gives, and also because there didn't seem to be a good reason not to. On the other hand, Mr. Lesbian is about to come into a fabulous amount of inheritance and being legally married meant that I was also protected given the terms of the inheritance trust, which stipulates that only "spouses" may inherit through the trust beneficiaries in the event of death. We both wanted to make sure that our relationship was somewhat financially protected and getting married would take care of that.

I don't particularly think of marriage as a sanctity, and this is primarily more to do with my atheistic/anarcho/commie-pinko-queer leanings than from anything else. I don't have a huge amount of respect for the institution of marriage, but as a lesbian I know that being able to be married offers me some legal protections that I wouldn't otherwise have. On the whole, I think of marriage as a romantic crock. While it feels emotionally meaningful at the time of the ceremony, and it sure is wonderful to have friends and family ooohing and aahing over you, one day later you're wondering what the big fuss is all about.

I don't love hir any more than before. We are both as fucked up now as we were before the ceremony, and our relationship has all the same glitches and messes that we had six months into this juggernaut. But, the good news is that if either of us is in a car accident, they can't turn us away at the hospital bed. There are some legal protections in terms of inheritance and, minutely, in terms of state taxes that benefit us.

So, I think that as long as you don't expect legal marriage to sort out the relational/emotional fault-lines in your relationship then by all means take advantage of the legal privilege to marry. Otherwise, really.....what's the point?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Coming Out as a Lesbian to Straight Clients

When you are a lesbian therapist, the decision about whether to come out or not in the context of a therapeutic relationship is a complicated one, not just in terms of sexual and political orientation, but also because of the larger processing of the ins and outs of when, how and if a therapist should self-disclose personal information.

Coming out happens in the space between me and another person. Coming out is a psychosocial practice. But coming out is also an intra-psychic process, a process that is often fraught with ambivalence. Coming out to new friends and acquaintances involves the pondering of many questions and complicated ideas. Each time I say that I am a lesbian I want to show myself to a person and I want to hide from them simultaneously. It’s not just about telling somebody that I make love with women. It’s about making one decision that creates the possibility for a thousand others. Shall I tell you that I’m a lesbian or shall I not? If I tell you, what will the consequences of that decision be? How much of my time and energy will be taken up by the ramifications of that decision? If I don’t tell you, what will I do with the questions about my personal life? How do I explain my relationship with my partner, the fact that we have the same last name? I wear wedding rings, but I’m not married to a man. What questions will I have to field? Is it worse if there are no questions and my identity just disappears into a black hole? And what do I do with the invisibility of my essential self? How can I simultaneously hide from you, but not lie to myself?

Furthermore, if this number of questions surface in a relationship between friends and acquaintances, just how many more questions are there to ponder when I consider telling my client of nine months, after her repeated questioning, that I am a lesbian?

I came out as a lesbian in 1978 and I sometimes still fall into the trap of thinking that my coming out is over and done with. Cocooned obliviously in the eye of the storm, I have often allowed myself to believe that there is nothing more to think, feel or process about it. My coming out days are over. Not so. Each time I sit down with a new client, the potential for coming out exists. I have avoided this potential on more than one occasion, and each time I have left the therapy room with a sinking feeling of betrayal, both of myself and of the client.

My presence in the therapy room is critical, not just as a warm body, but as a thinking, breathing human being. As a therapist, my primary focus is to be present for my client. I have to think about what effect my self-disclosure will have on my client – who will benefit from the information about my lesbianism? My wish to connect with clients means doing everything in my power to be “with” them therapeutically in all that this suggests. Integrity and authenticity are central concepts for me as a clinician and it feels hard to be these things while hiding myself.

My client’s willingness to share extremely personal, vulnerable details about his or her struggles deserves an honest response from me. Not a response that claims the therapeutic space as mine, but one that involves inviting the client to swell into the space our joint vulnerability creates in the room. Therapy should not be a mystery. A mysterious therapist, silent, benign and enigmatic, is not a role model for a client.

There are as many theories on therapist self-disclosure as there are therapists. So far, what feels true for me is to reveal whatever, in my estimation, is in the service of the client’s move towards growth. There have been times when showing the soft, white underbelly of a particular vulnerability I have worked through in my life has been useful for a client struggling with a relevant issue. At all times, I am conscious that my client may be looking to me for guidance, so my answers should never hinder the process of emergence that my client is going through. I have direct personal experience, from the other side of the couch, as to how powerful personal stories of transformation can be, and I hope that some of my clients will draw strength from knowing that I have been able to overcome obstacles in my life similar to their own struggles, be this an eating disorder (that I struggle with), coming to terms with a shifting lesbian identity (that I have been through), or a or a struggle through depression and out the other side (that I managed to survive). At the point where my experiences touch on their present-day struggle, the possibility of a transformative connection exists. Needless to say, self-disclosure, as a therapist has to contain some measure of self-awareness. If you have never revealed to another person that you are bulimic, it is not timely to share this for the first time with a client who is struggling with the desperation born of a binge and purge cycle.

In working with heterosexual clients, I am stymied thus far by the whole idea of coming out. Do I come out or not come out? I have had sexual relationships and strong affectional relationships with men, despite the fact that I have spent most of my adult life in committed relationships with women. Is it dishonest to speak from this experience, without acknowledging my present identity? As a very “out” lesbian, one of my concerns is that a client will learn that I am a lesbian from another source. Will this information impact clients as a “betrayal?” On the other hand, the fact of my lesbian feminist roots constitute a knowledge base and strength for heterosexual men and women, in that I have an understanding of gender dynamics and inequities, not just for women but also for men.

I have often considered starting to include the word "lesbian" in between "licensed" and "psychotherapist" - but now have to consider the impact this will have on my existing clients, 50% of whom are oblivious to my sexual orientation and just assume that I am heterosexual.

As a lesbian clinician the issues are different with queer clients. But not all lesbians will be comfortable with a lesbian clinician. For example, I cannot assume that somebody struggling with coming out issues would want to be seen in the waiting room of a known and “out” lesbian therapist. On the other hand, I have experientially much to offer as a role-model of a woman’s ability to tackle coming out issues. In working within the gay, lesbian, bisexual community, I have to consider the fact that my community is small, the “who-do-we-know-in-common” conversations could easily impact on trust building in a relationship.

Well, this is a start. I’m relieved to have a place to write about these things and welcome feedback.

I would have wanted to sleep with you by now...

“I would have wanted to sleep with you by now, other than for the fact that you’re fat.”

It was the spring of 1980 and I was at the tail end of my 26th year and in the first flush of coming out as a lesbian. Ah, the 1980’s. The Second Wave of feminism was in full force, nary a weekend went past when some exciting demonstration, gathering, conference or meeting wasn’t taking place. And in 1978 I learned about it all through “Spare Rib,” the British Women’s Liberation mouthpiece, published monthly and devoured from cover to cover by feminists, neophyte and jaded alike. It was my foolish husband who introduced me to these holy pages – embarrassed, as I imagined then, by his non-University wife who was home raising his small baby girl, he brought the magazine home to educate me. He wasn’t to know how hungry I was for the information, and how the planets had aligned in my sexuality Zodiac at exactly the moment he said, “Here, read this if you want.”

I was a long-time women’s “libber” and words can’t describe how much I loathe and detest that diminishing epithet. Used by men and women alike to disparage and minimize a struggle for civil rights and equality, it stung to admit that I was one. I was a feisty gal from adolescence and was known for giving men a hard time, which in retrospect I believe to mean that I was a woman who had strong opinions and was not easily pushed around. I oozed out of my family by the skin of my teeth, surviving with some of my self-respect and self-love intact, but definitely bearing the scars of 18 years in a house with my father, arch misogynist. With no sexuality to speak of other than that dictated by years of reading Penthouse, Playboy and White House, I was hardened against the idea of sex, the notion of feeling sexual and sick to death of the idea that anybody else was having sex. The only piece missing was my inability to say no to sex, which I didn’t know was my goddess-given right.

So now, here it is, years later and I’m married to my childhood sweetheart. Well, leastways number 4 of the over 100 men I had had sex with, and decided to sustain a relationship with. Inequality bristled between my bones like demented fascia, and I was ripe for plucking. Soft Cell sang of “Tainted Love,” the Yorkshire Ripper was claiming victim after victim with no end in sight, I hadn’t had sex in years, was too smart for my own good and lived with a man who was an emotional illiterate. So when I peeled back those pages and saw photos of honest-to-goodness real live lesbians, holding placards and marching in Gay Rights demos, my heart skipped a beat and I felt a throb in a clitoris I’d never realized I had up till then. I ran right out and joined a newly-formed Consciousness Raising Group. Those were exciting times. I read everything I could about feminism. I cried and raged my way through Susan Brownmiller’s books, devoured Andrea Dworkin’s books on Pornography and read anything on lesbians and relationships between women that I could get my hands on. I hadn’t realized just how furious I was with men until then. Anything male was a nail, and I was the hammer.

Six months later I had had my first relationship with a woman I wasn’t in love with, but loved me and desired my round, soft body in a way that I’d never been loved before. I only wish the feelings were reciprocated, but she left me cold. But the revolution marched on! I left my husband, and took off with my child to begin the life of a single lesbian. I am woman hear me whore!

I met M. at the Rape Crisis Center where I worked, a hotbed of lesbian feminist activism. She was small, dark haired, dark eyed and intense. It is she I credit with introducing me to the joy of smoking roll-up cigarettes, and I felt my DQ (Dyke Quotient) rising each time I rolled my own. She also introduced me to Adrienne Rich, Marge Piercy, lesbian collective households, home-made whole wheat bread that took the tartar of your teeth, political vegetarianism and her own particular brand of fierce and fighting lesbian separatism. We were friends, friends who spent a lot of time together as collaborators in the struggle against male domination, giving talks to Young Conservative groups about rape and sexual assault, sitting next to each in meetings giggling like the bad girls in the back of the class and sharing a pint and a smoke at the bar around the corner from the Crisis Center. I invited her to my flat for dinner. The anticipation of seeing her jangled every nerve end in my body. I had butterflies in my stomach, felt agitated and aroused and if I could have figured out how, would have crawled out of my skin and hidden in my sock drawer. I met M. at the door, and she was grinning as widely as I was. She was entranced by my politically-correct dark-skinned daughter, salivated over admired and devoured my fabulous gourmet vegetarian meal, and plunked herself down on the tapestry-covered couch to roll a spliff. She got high, very high. The mild buzz I felt from the weed only served to intensify my overall feeling of well-being. Ah, but it was grand to be a lesbian. Gone were the days of having to dress right, wearing make-up to be considered desirable, or worry about the number on the scales. The Revolution was coming and all women were equal.

Unfortunately, the weed made M paranoid.

And that’s when she said those words, which she introduced by saying, “I’m feeling very paranoid, and so I have to say something to get it out of the way so that it’s not in the room anymore. I would have wanted to sleep with you by now, other than for the fact that you’re fat and I don’t like your body.”

I think the revolution ground to a juddering halt right about then. And right behind it, the lesbian juggernaut slowed, skidded sideways with screaming breaks and slammed into my brain which has struggled ever since to integrate what M said to me into the framework of my life. I’m still working on it, but I know that the words are yet with me, and I cringe and get tears in my eyes if I let myself remember them.

The thoughts and ideas flowed freely until I put those words down on paper. And now I find myself wanting to stop writing, to be done. I realize that I had conceived of the impending revolution as a social and political evolution that was completely accepting of me in every way. M’s words drilled down into my consciousness, seeped into the fabric of my identity and puffed out the flickering flame of passion. For a while, I came to believe that there are no glory days. There is no walking into the sunlight with rosy cheeks, arm in arm with your lesbian lover, unencumbered by patriarchal prejudices and misogynistic mishegass.

So, dear reader, we did end up having sex. Yep, awful, emotionally painful sex that kept me hidden under the covers, hiding my body from M’s horrified gaze until our relationship ended 2 years later. For the first ten years after the break up, whenever I remembered and felt those words, I would find myself cringing and squinting, my shoulders would involuntarily squeeze up under my ears. I felt the pain of them as a physical assault. I felt no heartbeat. My head became a solid lump of metal, my torso leaden and heavy, my breathing would slow and threaten to stop. I would feel a choking sensation in my throat, as if I were slowly suffocating on my own saliva. Even now, as I write this, if I close my eyes, those physical sensations come back to me, distantly and softer, but still with bite, as if it were yesterday.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Finally anonymous...

I already have an established psychotherapy blog elsewhere, but as a married lesbian, working as a sex therapist/psychotherapist, I'm stymied by the constant need for editing and caution that is required in the upkeep of a Psychotherapy blog where I can't "come out." Okay, before everybody leaps all over me for that, let me just say that despite the fact that I am, and always have been, a very "out" lesbian feminist activist, there are many good, sound clinical reasons for being careful how, when and where you come out. And as I fully intend to blog about that at some point, so you'll have to check back here to read my ideas on that topic sometime soon.

I keep a running list of things I would like to blog about, but most of them cannot easily be written about without coming out, and given that many of my patients read my other blog, I figured that anonymity was the only way to do this.

As I sit in front of the blinking cursor, every entertaining, heart-felt word that was previously buzzing around my brain has disappeared and I feel overcome with possibility, overwhelmed by the plethora of topics now available to me to blog about and stumped by where to start.

Okay, some background information.

I'm a middle-aged European lesbian. I moved to the US many years ago. I live on the Eastern seaboard of the US, in a town that shall be nameless. I have been with my partner for nearly 8 years, and we got married in 2004 when the laws changed in Massachusetts to permit that. I'm not saying I live in Massachusetts. I'm not saying that I don't. I'm just saying that we took advantage of the change in marriage laws. How's about that for anonymity? You'll be hearing a lot more about the challenge of being married, and in particular the challenge of being married to somebody transgendered. Has your curiosity been piqued? So, stick around!