When Samantha Nystrom first began questioning her gender identity, she didn’t turn to her parents for support. The thought of losing them, wrote Nystrom, was too emotionally traumatic to imagine. So she turned, instead, to her friends. And when she did come out to her family, and faced the rejection she had so feared, her friends were there to pick up the pieces. In them, Nystrom found a new family. Nystrom is not alone. Today, many individuals find themselves navigating uncharted waters as they try to reconcile shaky relationships with blood relatives while simultaneously creating what’s commonly referred to as a “chosen family.” According to the SAGE Encyclopedia of Marriage, Family, and Couples Counseling, “chosen families are nonbiological kinship bonds, whether legally recognized or not, deliberately chosen for the purpose of mutual support and love.” The term originated within the LGBTQ community and was used to describe early queer gatherings … [Read more...] about Finding Connection Through “Chosen Family”
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Everyone has defining moments in their career and life where they must make a change. These transitions call for great inner courage and determination. But oftentimes that alone is not enough. Having strong advocates who are in your corner versus “covert adversaries,” can mean the difference between wild success and a mediocre outcome. The good news is you’re in control of all of this — and can decide who you let in the gate. Source: Shutterstock Maybe you’re engaged in a new job search, pending promotion or raise. Perhaps you're taking a leap of faith into entrepreneurship, a new career or even a new relationship. Regardless of the shift, surrounding yourself with those who truly want to tip the scales in your favor is critical. Conversely, naysayers who subtly or not so subtly project their fears or jealousies can sap your energy away from the dreams you can otherwise see so vividly. Taking a Closer Look When you primarily rely on your own vision … [Read more...] about Your Inner Circle: Advocates or Subtle Adversaries?
Part I: Shame, Blame and Guilt Since my essay, “My Husband Is Having an Affair...With a Man,” was published, I have received many, many comments. Although some of the comments were supportive, many of them were challenging, such as this one: Sadly, most married, closeted gay men are manipulative, narcissistic con artists who only think about themselves with only occasional feelings of guilt and remorse. Their decision to leave or stay in their marriages is never out of consideration for the wife. [The comments – mostly from women -- have been edited slightly]. Her comment made me angry and defensive. I really am sorry for your pain. I realize that anything more I say risks suggesting that you’re not entitled to your pain. That is not my intent. Source: Adobe My father died in a farm accident when I was three-years-old, creating a cloud that cast a dark shadow over me for most of my early life. Three themes dominated my thoughts: 1. Being a man was … [Read more...] about Digging Deeper with Straight Spouses
Thanks to the record-breaking number of women elected to Congress in 2018 and the success of the #MeToo movement in taking down many powerful male predators, some critics have called 2018 the Year of the Woman. The New York Times wrote, “It has been called the Year of the Woman, and rightly so—defined by historic political victories in the United States.” The Brookings Institution blog announced, “2018: Another ‘Year of the Woman.’” And the Washington Post headlined, “Year of the Woman? Darn right.” But another contender for the title “Year Of” may have a stronger claim. In terms of political power, influence, and money, 2018 was the Year of the White Man. Behavioral scientists note that white male power is rooted in stereotypes about women (too emotional to govern), people of color (not smart enough to govern) and LBGT people (too deviant to govern). In “The … [Read more...] about Year of the Woman? Not So Fast
Source: Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock The humblebrag as an identifiable self-presentation strategy has been around for only a few years. It’s possible that it evolved out of a true desire by its practitioners not to be offensive on social media, where words sit out there without body language to help neutralize any effects of a boast. In face-to-face interactions, you can adjust the impact of what you say based on the reaction it gets, but there's no place to hide in an online posting. To help explain the humblebrag, if you're not already familiar with it, consider the following situation. Perhaps you’ve been invited to attend an exclusive charity event in recognition of your contributions to the cause. You’ll be given free tickets and the opportunity to hobnob with the elite. The event is a formal affair, and you’ll need to buy an outfit suitable for the occasion. If you were to engage in humblebragging on your social media feed, you would tell your … [Read more...] about Why People Hate Humblebragging