Is it OK Not to Come Out?

“Is it ok NOT to come out?” In short, depending on the circumstances, the answer is sometimes yes.

Gay Men and Straight Men as Friends

For the straight guy, friendship with a gay man offers the opportunity to learn important lessons about masculinity, male identity, sexual orientation, and diversity. For the gay man, a relationship with a straight male friend can be healing.

LGBT and Heading Home for the Holidays?

Are you lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and heading home for the holidays? Despite the Norman Rockwell images that inundate us this time of year, this can be a stressful time for LGBT people and those who love them. Follow my ABC's for LGBT family gatherings to try to help you get through the emotional minefields of the holiday season.

Gay and Can't Find a Partner?

You’re gay, you want to find a partner and eventually a husband, but somehow you just can’t seem to meet the right guy or make the right connection. In my thirty years of experience as a gay psychotherapist, I have learned how gay men can identify and overcome the self-defeating and often hidden hurdles that sabotage their efforts to find a long-term partner.

Condomless Sex and Gay Men

It is somewhat difficult to get a read on how widespread or successful the prophylactic use of HIV treatment medications is, but the movement of HIV prevention in this direction as well as the hostile reaction by some, is revealing in what is says about gay men and our general attitudes about sexuality.

Michael Sam Coming Out

When Michael Sam, the promising NFL draft hopeful, came out, there was a heartwarming chorus of cheering that followed. However, among these jubilant voices were some that openly wondered: “Why did he have to do that? Who cares what his sexual orientation is?” Well, his coming out is important—very important, and here’s why.

Are Homophobes Really Gay?

Is a homophobic individual like Putin along with his supporters, possibly harboring same-sex attractions? Is expressed hatred or revulsion toward gay people a situation about which Shakespeare would say: “Methinks he doth protest too much”?

Sex, Romance, and Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth

Last week a story emerged in various media outlets about an 18 year-old woman, Kaitlyn Hunt, who was being prosecuted for having a sexual relationship with a basketball teammate who was only 14. This case raises concerns about the way we as a society think about sex and sexual expression for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths.

Republicans Dead Wrong On Reparative and Conversion Therapy

Practitioners of conversion therapies claim that a gay sexual orientation is unhealthy and unnatural and therefore amenable to cure. Others argue that, whether or not homosexuality is an illness, banning such therapy interferes with self-determination—that people have the right to try to change their sexual orientation. However, there are several flaws in these arguments.

The Mike Rice Situation and the Damage of Homophobia

Rutgers University is not a particularly homophobic place. However, like many institutions, Rutgers is a product of the surrounding society in which it is nested. Despite the recent gains in public acceptance and civil rights made by gay and lesbian people, homophobia remains alive and well.

Rob Portman, Will Portman, and Same-Sex Marriage

Some see Senator Portman's recent change of heart as the calculated act of a Republican politician who after the presidential election has discovered he is out of touch with most of the nation. However, having a personal relationship with a minority member can go far in alleviating prejudice.

Gay Men and Aging: Finding Your Purpose

A closer consideration of gay male aging suggests why growing older might be a particularly difficult issue for us.

Anti-Gay Bullying: Are the Ravi Verdicts Too Harsh?

Last week, Dharun Ravi was convicted on 15 criminal charge including bias intimidation; a hate crime. Though some think he is being unfairly punished, minimizing or excusing his behavior will certainly not address the problem of anti-LGBT bullying.

Religion and Acceptance of Gays

Considering that the Catholic Church, conservative Jews and many fundamentalist Christians have been the most outspoken opponents of gay rights, it is perhaps not surprising that LGB people and their families identify religion as a major obstacle in accepting homosexuality, in either themselves or a family member

Brothers and Sisters of Gays and Lesbians

It seems that siblings may share in the stigma of their gay brothers and lesbian sisters whereby they may have to cope with taunts from peers, which include accusations that they too are gay

Gay Men and Their Mothers: Is There a Special Closeness?

Perhaps it is not surprising that mothers and their gay sons often describe their relationships as close. Compared to fathers, mothers typically have an advantage whereby they usually interact more with their children. However, being gay might be a factor that makes some mothers and sons even closer.

Gay Couples Therapy: A Way to Avoid Same-Sex Divorce

Some of you might be wondering, “My partner is selfish, mean, stubborn, nagging, needy, distant narcissistic, smelly, snores, sucks her teeth (check all that apply) and my relationship is in trouble. Am I on the road to becoming a gay divorceé?”

Is It Possible to Pray the Gay Away?

As someone who professes to help gays and lesbians become heterosexual, Marcus Bachmann is unfortunately not alone. There are licensed mental health professionals who practice what are called reparative or conversion therapies designed to make gay people heterosexual despite the evidence that such treatment is not only ineffective but damaging.

Same-Sex Marriage: A Queer Critique

The argument for gay marriage is indeed appealing because legally recognized same-sex marriage would provide gays and lesbians a shortcut to its legal and social benefits. However, there is simply not enough critical questioning of why such privileges are bestowed on marriage.

Problem with Sissy Boys? Get over it!

Lately, there has been quite a focus in the media on accepting cross-gendered behavior in boys. As a therapist, a gay man and former (and, at times current) sissy boy myself, I applaud this small but hopefully growing trend.

Sexual Orientation: Is It Unchangeable?

I have found that one of the things that helps parents come to terms with their children’s sexual orientation is the idea that being gay or lesbian is innate. This is how they’re born and that’s that!. I am happy this idea comforts parents, but is it true?

What to Do When Your Child Says: "I'm Gay!"

Your child has just come out to you as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trangender...What should you do? Well, first, take a deep breath... (Good advice when first confronting any difficult situation, right?)

Should You Come Out to Your Parents?

Now more than ever, gays and lesbians are coming out to their parents-and they're doing it quite young. This is a good thing-a sign of progress-and it should be applauded. However, despite all of the potential benefits, sometimes telling Mom and Dad might not be such a good idea.  

Is Sexual Fidelity Possible…or Even Necessary?

In our society, sexual monogamy in a marriage or committed relationship is considered sine qua non and is therefore rarely questioned. But maybe now it is time for us to reconsider the supposedly irrefutable connection between love, commitment, and sexual exclusivity.  

Transgender Youth and Their Parents

If you thought it might be hard for a parent to hear that a child is gay or lesbian, imagine what it must be like to hear that your son feels he was born into the wrong body and is really a woman or that your daughter is certain she was meant to be a man.  

Beyond Tolerance: Prizing Our Gay and Lesbian Children

Gay rights activists seek tolerance and social justice for gay and lesbian people. However, what would it be like if, as a society, we went beyond tolerance and fairness and actually recognized and prized the contributions of gay people?  

Gay Youth, HIV Risk, and Parent Influence: The Power of Love

Adolescents and young adults, particularly males, are notorious risk-takers-so, it is no wonder that parents are terrified as they launch a gay young son into the world knowing he is exploring sexual relationships among a pool of people in which a sizeable proportion are believed to carry a dangerous, sexually transmitted virus.

Gay Kids: Please Don't Commit Suicide!

Because I work at Rutgers, and because I am gay and a psychotherapist, it is perhaps understandable that Tyler Clementi has been on my mind all semester. At times I indulge in rescue fantasies and consider what I would say to Tyler if he had been my client and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to change the course of what happened on that fall day.  

Anti-Gay Bullying and Suicide: Clergy, Politicians, Parents, and the Blood on Your Hands

If churches, elected officials, and judges publically announce that homosexuality destroys the family and violates the law of God, is it a stretch that some will interpret these messages as evidence that gay men, lesbians, transgender and bisexual persons are subhuman and therefore justifiable targets of violence? 

African American Gay and Lesbian Youth and Their Parents

A documented strength of African American families is their close kinship ties that provide safe harbor from the racist seas of the dominant culture. Loving, strong families can buffer the impacts of oppression on its members. So for gay and lesbian youth who are black, the thought of losing this vital resource is particularly devastating.  

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