As you might guess, the legal protection for non-traditional relationships and non-nuclear families is insanely slow to progress. That’s why people like Diana Adams are so important. They dedicate themselves to fight for the rights of folks that may live outside your view. Diane founded her own law firm that’s focused on same-sex couples, non-nuclear relationships and families. She is very, passionately dedicated to helping form healthy, stable families no matter the love construct. Whether that’s co-parenting, polyamorous families, different same sex configurations— there’s all kinds of ways that love and families come together. In this episode, you’ll hear her talk about some very poignant and personal examples.
It’s amazing when you stop and think about how much we’re told about what shouldn’t be lovable. So much is vilified. It could be our own feelings, other groups of people, different faiths, or distant countries. There’s so much that falls into this unlovable category— so many stories where, “those people are the bad ones.”
Now imagine you’re someone who decides to unravel those narrative containers. To build bridges to them and shine lights on the kinds of families, emotions, places in the world that keep us apart and keep us from understanding them. That’s exactly what this week’s guest, author Andrew Solomon, has done with his life. He’s a writer and lecturer on politics, culture, and psychology as well as a very important activist and philanthropist and behalf of LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. He’s won The National Book Award, he’s a Pulitzer Prize Finalist, and he was included in The New York Times list of 100 best books of the decade.
I don’t know about you when I was growing up, I had a super-skewed perspective on what business and working was all about because everywhere I looked were articles about entrepreneurs raising tons of money or celebrities in the business world reinventing everything. Or it was my parents that pushed specific occupations— be a doctor, a lawyer, get to work and sit in an office— but that’s a super limited and incredibly unrealistic view of the working world. The options that you’re exposed to are just so limited. So many of us end up finding a safe place professionally, pretty early and staying there because it’s safe.
Imagine if you actually had the power of seeing a spectrum of choices in front of you. That power of visibility would be incredible. You’d have the ability to see what other people were doing, what options you were attracted to and various paths you could go. It would totally open the world up to you.
All of us can relate to covering up something in our lives. For many of us, that can end up being a huge part of who we really are. We can find ourselves living as outsiders pretending to be something we’re not whether that’s at work, with our friends or in our relationships. These lies can literally destroy our life. “Coming out” isn’t something sequestered to the LGBT community. Coming out means bravely uncovering who you really are and it’s a practice that we can all learn from. In this case, Morgana did it in front of millions of people. In front of co-workers. In front of absolutely everyone she knows. And she did it more than once. When you listen to her story you realize just how much keeping secrets can hurt and just how powerfully becoming outwardly authentic can be.
Come to think of it, I don’t remember ever wondering what sex therapy was or who it’s for but after my conversation with somatic sex therapist, Elizabeth McGrath, I realized I could have saved a million sessions with my therapist and a lot of time and money if I just would have started with someone like her. Sure, there’s plenty of other non-sexually related issues you can chat with your Counsellor about like facing mortality, how your parents were total assholes, and your fear of meat but at least for me, most of my issues have had to do sex and relationships. If I would have spent time unraveling those, I would have known so much more of myself, so much faster and that would have leaf blown a million mental boxing matches. Just have a listen to this conversation with Elizabeth McGrath and you’ll see what we mean. We cover a massive range topics and really helpful advice that will, no doubt, lead you to the same conclusion I had: Sex-therapy is the new must have.
No.Sunny Haire didn’t feel like he was born into the wrong body. He’s not that popularized, stereotypical trans story. His is far more fluid, organic and personal and unlike most stories, he’s not promoting a book or part of a media circuit. He’s not trying to simplify a huge community of people or put a headline on his story. He's just a friend brave enough to share a deeply personal journey of growth.