Friday, December 27, 2013


It is said you should never judge someone until you've walked in their shoes. I say you should never judge anyone, period.

I prefer to believe you will never truly know someone until you have walked in their shoes or, at least, in a similar pair. After all, they may wear a different size than you.

I recently began seeing an openly-gay therapist, as opposed to a gay-affirmative one. Yes, there is a big difference, as a gay therapist has actually walked the walk and talked the talk needed to help their LGBTQI clients realize their full potential, and has actually experienced the same identification issues, bullying, shame and internalized homophobia the client may be confronting. That is, they walked in similar shoes.

As I have been dealing with putting myself back together following my divorce from my husband, some deep seated issues dealing with self-esteem and internalized homophobia surfaced, possibly stemming from issues around my family of origin, which prompted me to seek out a gay therapist.

I am happy with my decision.

He has challenged me to look deep into myself. Good. The other therapists did as well, but coming from his own gay perspective, he knew what questions to ask and how to ask them. Yet, I have pushed back challenging him. Good, I'm standing up for myself.

I recently shared my newest online adventure with him, stating I signed up for this spiritual dating site to meet friends and develop a social life. As best I can recall, our conversation went something like this:

     "Oh, come on, Jeff! You signed up on an online dating site just to meet platonic friends? Seriously? Admit it, you were looking for a relationship."
     "No, my initial decision to sign up stemmed from my realization I needed a life, I needed to meet men to start having that life that didn't revolve around my work, my house, and my sick aging cat. If a relationship did happen, fine; then, I'd explore the option. BUT, it was not my conscious reason for signing up. I'm not sure I'm ready for one."
     "Oh, I think you're ready. And, I think you were also looking for sex."
     "Perhaps, and yes, it would be nice to be held and touched again. But, I don't want to feel like a cheep whore afterward."
     "I mean there's always Craigslist, but why subject myself to possible physical, and emotional harm just to get off?"
     "You're absolutely right. I think you're very lonely."
     "For a boyfriend, just to have a boyfriend, no. For a social life with a circle of friends to hang out with somewhat regularly, absofuckinglutely."

We discussed strategies on how to achieve that last goal: bars/clubs-possibly, but not the ideal way due to the alcohol element; social organizations-better, but it can take time to break into the groups/cliques that are already in place; professional organizations- better, but then I'm still focused on work issues, another area of my life where I'm having major concerns.

We sat in silence for a moment, he was looking at me rather intently.
     "What are you thinking?"
     "I'm wondering what you're feeling, Jeff."
     "I'm overwhelmed."
     "I can imagine."
     "But, in a good way. I need to confront these feelings and answer these questions."
     "It's all positive. I'm exactly where I need to be."

So, he got me to admit/accept:
  1. I actually am lonely, but more for a social life than a boyfriend.
  2. I actually would like a relationship, (but I'm not settling for less than what I deserve).
  3. I actually would like a little 'action,' but nothing meaningless.
  4. I actually am in a good place.
And I believe it.

All of it.


  1. Good for you, Jeff! I truly feel that you'll find what you're looking for. Are bars/clubs really so out of the question? Not that I'm a good judge…I'm 38 and I was over that over 10 years ago! They're so phony. But not everyone there drinks these days. Keep it up and keep looking (but not too hard…these things always seem to happen when you're NOT looking for it).

    1. Thank you, Sean for your comment. Bars/clubs are not necessarily out of the question, but you also mention they're so phony. Yes, good men do go, and many men don't drink. There are a few other factors, the first two being geography and cost. The closest bars to me are 6 miles away, the bars in WeHo are 12 miles away as the crow flies. But, the quickest way to get there adds another 5-7 miles out of the way. Cover charges and drink prices are outrageous in WeHo. Plus, most bars don't open, or at least get started until around 9:00 at night, and this old man is ready for bed at that time. Add to that each bar has a specific clientele; the one closest to me caters to an under 30 Latino crowd.

      I'm actually not even looking for him. I'm keeping myself busy with teaching, and working on myself, and my next book.

      Oh, and an upcoming post here will explain a bit more! Stay tuned!!