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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2008 Bay Area Bash

Columbus Day Weekend

October 9th to October 12th
Oakland, California

What: Bay Area Bash! Oakland, CA

When: October 9th - October 12th, 2008

Costs: Early Registration is $95.00 per person until August 30th. After that you can purchase Regular Registration tickets for $135.00. (Does not cover alcohol.) There will be NO REFUNDS after August 30th. NO EXCEPTIONS!

Where: The official host hotel where most events will be held is the Marriott City Center in fabulous and historic downtown of Oakland. Room rates are $135.00 per night.

Hotel Reservations: Marriott City Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607: 510-451-4000

Hotel Code: BFBash (if you are calling by phone)

Make your reservations online by clicking here. Please note that the url already contains the online group code, just plug in your dates and it will automatically find the rate.

The Marriott City Center is located in fabulous and historic downtown Oakland. Located right across the street from the BART system, the Marriott City Center is 4 miles from Berkley, 8 miles from San Francisco and 34 miles from Napa Valley. For more hotel information click here.

For a map of downtown Oakland click here.



Meet n' Greet
AJ Toppers

Marriott City Center

The Meet n' Greet is a reunion for old friends and a chance to put new faces with familar names. This year it will be held in the beautiful AJ Toppers Skybar at the Marriott City Center. There will be drinks (cash bar) and munchies. You can check in with registration, get your Bash packet, and get to know everyone.


**Friday Excursions**

San Francisco is a hop, skip and a jump from the hotel. The ButchFemmeSocials group has generously offered to host the excursions this year into the city. The BART is literally right outside the hotel and Bay Area locals will be escorting groups to the different locations listed here.

All excursions will leave the hotel at 11am, returning around 3pm.

The Castro
World famous as the gay Mecca, the Castro draws gays and lesbians from all over the world, as well as visitors who just plain want something to tell the folks back home. Even with its rainbow-flag-waving, in-your-face style, the Castro is a friendly neighborhood that welcomes visitors of all stripes. Straight locals hang out here, too, mostly to shop the trendy boutiques and catch films at the truly noteworthy Castro Theatre. Streets lined with brightly painted Victorians make the Castro a good place to view the architecture for which San Francisco is famous.

The Mission
This historically Hispanic area is a vibrant enclave of shops, bars, taquerias, chic restaurants and the like. Keep your eye open for the numerous murals in the neighborhood. Mission and 24th streets radiate a south-of-the-border attitude, and Valencia Street leans more to the young and hip: It's peppered with bars, cafes, bookstores and vintage-clothing shops. Start your tour of the area at Mission Dolores (16th and Dolores streets) and stroll down Valencia to 24th Street.

Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square Covering about half a dozen blocks along the waterfront, constitute much of the stereotypical San Francisco image and together are perhaps the most popular things to do in San Francisco. Tourists walking here are entertained by street performers and tempted by souvenir shops and restaurants. While these places are popular, and many people feel they haven't visited San Francisco unless they've seen them, keep in mind that this tourist haven bears little resemblance to the rest of the city of San Francisco.

Things to Do In Oakland*

Jack London Square is Oakland's historical waterfront location. The square enchants visitors and is the essential element of everything Oakland is...a vibrant community destination buzzing with events, shopping, dining, entertainment, and recreation.

Lake Merritt is a focal point, it stands as the jewel of Oakland, even crowned with lights. A unique fresh and salt-water lake, the largest such lake located within an urban area consisting of 3.4 miles around the circumference of the lake, covering 155 acres of land.

*These are not excursions, just some local sightseeing to do on your own.

Not interested in any of these excursions? Click here to explore other things to see in the Bay Area!

The Eat 'n' Beat Leather Social*
hosted by ropeburner
The Citadel

Wanna come out an' play??? Here's your chance! The Bay Area locals are hosting a play party that will double as this year's Leather Social. The Eat 'n' Beat is at the SF Citadel. The SF Citadel is a dual level 5,400 square foot facility, well equipped for a variety of uses, featuring:

  • Social area, with plush sofas and loveseats
  • Fully functioning kitchen
  • Two restrooms
  • Multipurpose space for meeting, workshops & other small gatherings
  • Separate dining area

*There is a separate charge for this event to cover the costs of the play space and lunch. You may purchase your ticket to this event on the registration page.

**Friday Pre-Slut Night Dinners**

Couples Dinner
La Chevel
1007 Clay Street (right behind the hotel within walking distance)

Singles Mingle

POC Dinner

**Friday Night Slut Night**'s
Famous Slut Night &
"Studs and Divas Risque Cabaret"

Historic Sweets Ballroom
Featured DJ: OlgaT

Guest DJ: La Niche aka LatinaButch
1933 Broadway
Oakland, CA

An excuse to seduce, Slut Night is an evening you won't forget! This year's Slut Night will come alive at the hottest club reserved for our peeps only. OlgaT, the premier DJ in the Bay Area, will be spinning her tracks for all of us to shake our groove thang.

We'll have the dance floor and the stage all to ourselves. If you are interested in performing please contact's very own Poochie (aka Kentucky Fried Woman aka the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader from our last Slut Night, Dallas) who will be coordinating our lineup this year. Our own celebrated Emcee Bubblinsugare will host the "Studs and Divas Risque Cabaret" with Femme and Drag King performers from our global community.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11TH, 2008 Grand Ball
Marriott City Center
C. Simmons Ballroom and Foyer

It's like the prom you never had, a special night when we honor who we are and how we love. Expect a relaxing, upscale evening with DJ OlgaT. A cash bar and a nice assortment of hors d'oeuvres, dessert, and coffee will be available.


Farewell Brunch

AJ Toppers
Marriott City Center

After a weekend of going non-stop, drag yourself out of bed, put on your biggest Jackie O sunglasses or backwards baseball cap and join us for the Farewell Brunch.

*Farewell Brunch tickets must be purchased prior to arrival via the Registration page.

Gender Trash Karaoke
White Horse
6551 Telegraph Ave
, CA

For those diehard Butches and Femmes who never want the weekend to end... one more last hurrah before we go our separate ways. If karaoke is anything like previous years, this might be the most outrageous event of the weekend!

Click Here to Register

Google Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Search engine giant Google has taken a public stand against Proposition 8, the anti-gay marriage measure on the November ballot in California.

Co-founder Sergey Brin said in a blog posting last Friday, that the California based company, is "an active participant" in policy debates that relate to its main businesses. He also noted that Google lay claim to a "diversity of people and opinions," Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, straight and gay. He acknowledged that it was an "unlikely question" for Google to take a stand on this initiative. But for Google, he said it became an "issue of equality."

"However, while there are many objections to this proposition -- further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text -- it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 -- we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love."

Although it is unclear whether Google will take any further action to oppose the ballot initiative, their willingness to take a stand on this issue has made news world-wide and will help the fight against Proposition 8.

Monday, September 29, 2008

7 Reasons Why You Might Lie to Your Partner

By Richard Nicastro, psychologist and relationship coach

Most people lie to their partners or spouses at least occasionally. Since lying (especially when it becomes habitual) can have such a detrimental impact on your relationship, it's important to understand the reasons why you might lie and how to overcome the need to lie.

7 reasons why lying can creep into your relationship

  1. Self-esteem lies. Some people lie to bolster feelings of self-importance. In this case you might lie to your partner about your achievements and accomplishments. Your goal is to look good in the eyes of your partner (and others). At its extreme, deep-seated feelings of inadequacy can lead you to become a chronic liar.

  2. Avoidance lies. The motivation for this type of lie is to avoid your partner's reaction-- such as disappointment or anger. You may feel that it's easier to lie rather than experience/endure your partner's emotional reaction. You may be someone who has considerable difficulty tolerating any perceived negative reaction. At its worst, your deceit is self-serving and hides relationship-damaging behaviors (e.g., an affair).

  3. Self-denial lies. People lie to themselves all the time. It's a form of denial--refusing to accept a reality that is too painful. All you have to do is watch American Idol to realize that this kind of self-deception is alive and well. People with absolutely no vocal ability refuse to accept the judges' critical (and often harsh) feedback. Instead, they proclaim that they are excellent singers and will someday be wildly famous. Self-denial lies stand in the way of the openness needed for intimacy to grow in your relationship.

  4. Hide-and-Seek lies. The impetus here is to hide parts of yourself from the world. Painful life experiences have caused you to feel unworthy of love to such a degree that you feel it is necessary to lie about yourself or your experiences. When you feel exposed, feelings of shame overcome you and act as a powerful motivator to hide from others (including your partner).

  5. Saving-Face lies. While closely related to avoidance lies, saving-face lies are created to help you cover up your original lie. When it starts to become apparent to your spouse or partner that you've lied, you concoct a web of more lies to avoid the embarrassment and repercussions of having lied in the first place. This is one reason lies can quickly multiply.

  6. The Compassionate lie. Sometimes the motivation to lie is altruistic--you don't want your partner to get hurt. In this instance, you're not protecting your partner from something that you've done that might be hurtful to him/her. Rather, you're trying to shield your partner from something you discovered (e.g., you overheard a neighbor say he doesn't like your wife) or an opinion that you believe would be upsetting (your wife asks if you like her new haircut and despite her uncanny resemblance to one of the Three Stooges, you respond with a definitive, "I love it!").

  7. The Spiteful lie. In this case lies are used as weapons to hurt someone. Schoolchildren often do this, fabricating rumors that are designed to put down others. In social settings such as school this is sometimes done to ostracize someone from a peer group while solidifying the liar's position in the group. When this occurs in a marriage or relationship, it's usually when anger is at an all-time high or the relationship is being dissolved. It's less common for this type of lie to occur while the couple is committed to a future together, although some couples do report "fighting dirty" and saying hurtful, untrue things while they argue.

If you've lied to your partner recently, feel the urge to lie, or if lying has been a problem for you in general, begin to question your motivation for spinning these tales. Check your reasons with the list above to gain further clarity. It's obviously best that your relationship be built on a foundation of honesty. Honesty is the backbone of trust--once trust is compromised, your relationship can begin to spiral out of control. But the reality is that many partners do end up lying to one another, and while your motivation to lie might be benign, lies seem to have a viral-like capacity to spread. Have you ever noticed that once you've gotten away with a lie or two, it seems to get easier to lie in the future?

Be aware of that fact and of the reasons you may lie, and you take the first important steps toward a healthier, more honest relationship.

Thriving After a Breakup

By Judy Kinney

How to Deliberately Create Your Life After Your Relationship Changes

The Law of Attraction is a phenomenally powerful resource that is available to ALL of us! You may have seen the movies, “The Secret”, and “What the Bleep”, that helped popularize the Law of Attraction concepts that, our thoughts create our reality. This article explores how your answers to three questions can guide you to increased sense of peace and freedom after your relationship with a lover or partner changes.

Let’s start with a quick review of how the Law of Attraction works.

Everything within the universe is comprised of energy.

Energy interacts dynamically with itself, and like a magnet, attracts that which is similar. In practical terms, the universe is always agreeing with you and the thoughts and feelings you radiate. The formula for deliberate creation is simple:

Your Desire + Your Energy Alignment = The Life You Desire

Your ongoing answers to three essential questions can tap into your desires and support your energy alignment after your break up.

  1. What do I want?
    A key point of the Law of Attraction is that whatever you focus on expands. Since focusing on what you like brings more of it to your life, feel free to dive into your desires.

    Yes, begin with what you want. It is our nature to continually notice and evolve toward our desires. So, please, don’t be shy!!! Let your self be clear about what you like AND thankful for what you have. Learn to welcome the notion that your approach to life, break up, love, romance, and dating is uniquely yours.

    To tap your desires, simply make a list of what you want. What do you want this very second, and in the future? Write it ALL down, and update it regularly. Remember, this is a list of what you want, not a list of what you don’t want. How will you feel when you have what you want? Integrate these feelings into your daily life through activities, visioning, and journaling.

  2. What will bring relief?
    The universe responds well to relief because it is free of resistance. As mentioned above, whatever you focus on expands, so resistance will only bring your more resistance.

    Additionally, your soul knows that you are a naturally happy, joyous, generous, and expanding being who also knows how to heal. As you take steps that feel good and bring relief, you are also tapping into your true self. This means that you get to trust what feels good to you, especially during tender and challenging times!

  3. What if this is the most perfect place and time in my life?
    I love this question! Asking yourself this question can support, or inspire you to become the protagonist in your own life. Look around and really notice what’s going well and what you’re enjoying. The universe can only agree and give you more of what’s going well. Yes, you will also notice a few things that you want to be different. But, the adjustments are much easier to make from the relaxed and inspired place this question arouses.

How to use these questions.
These questions are simple, yet profound guides toward your ever expanding self. The first question is all about desire, while the second and third questions relate to your alignment with your desires. Since transitioning out of a relationship is a journey, your answers to these questions at one time in your life might take you to one level of insight. As you continue to take action that supports your answers to these questions, you’ll tap deeper into the peace and freedom found in your core self.

Ask these questions often, especially at the beginning and end of your day. At the beginning of your day, you’ll be setting your intentions for how you want the day to be. At the end of the day, notice and appreciate how well you integrated the answers to these questions in your life.

Enjoy, and may you always flourish. . ..

Judy Kinney is the creator of Dream and Flourish LLC, a coaching resource for lesbian, bi and queer women who are ready for love, like they know it can be.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stopping same-sex unions protects no one

The following article came from the Los Angeles Times Opinion section and was written by By James Overtur.

A recent Times Op-Ed article supporting Prop. 8 claims to advocate for children. In reality, denying equal marriage rights harms everyone.

David Blankenhorn, who heads up a think tank in New York, writes in his Sept. 19 Times Op-Ed article that because marriage is historically a means to provide children with legitimacy, it must so always remain. I do not agree that this is the sole reason for the modern institution of marriage. Nonetheless, applying Blankenhorn's argument further, should we not -- in addition to eliminating the right to marry for gays and lesbians -- also deny heterosexual couples who choose not to have children the right to wed? What about heterosexual couples who are past their childbearing years? Blankenhorn presents his self-identification as a liberal democrat as his credentials to make this argument. More likely, his argument is simply a smoke screen to strip gays and lesbians in California of their rights.

One can argue about the merits of children being raised in a gay or lesbian household as compared to those reared in a heterosexual household. However, it is an established fact that gays and lesbians are raising children, biological or adopted. About 27% of all same-sex couples identified in the 2000 U.S. Census have at least one child under 18 living with them. Do these children not deserve the protections that marriage would afford their families? Is it not better for these children to be living with married parents instead of two co-habitating adults? Isn't society's interest served by seeing more stable gay and lesbian families?

Eliminating the right to marry for gays and lesbians would not solve the problems surrounding the state of heterosexual marriage and children in the United States today. Currently, more than 22 million children -- about one-third of all kids in the U.S. -- do not live with two married parents. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the percentage of children living in single-parent families in 2006 ranged from 18% in Utah to 45% in Mississippi. Over the last 30 years, there has been a decrease in the proportion of Americans who are married -- and nearly 60% of new marriages will end in divorce.

The decline in marriage has been accompanied by an increase in children being born outside marriage. Increasing co-habitation -- two people living together outside marriage -- is a main reason in the rise of extramarital births. More than 4 million children lived in co-habitating couple households in 2003, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Blankenhorn goes on to say that children deserve to be raised by their biological fathers and mothers. In an ideal world, all children would be brought into the world by caring, responsible parents. Unfortunately, too many gays and lesbians such as my husband and myself are picking up the pieces left behind by irresponsible, neglectful and, much too often, abusive heterosexual parents. These children deserve better than the parents to whom they were born -- and gay and lesbian parents are providing better homes. If Blankenhorn were truly concerned about the state of marriage and children in this country, he would support social policies that would really help protect children. He could also adopt one of the tens of thousands of children who languish in foster care waiting for new parents.

Blankenhorn says that he rejects homophobia. But his Op-Ed piece is just a smoke screen to support the continuation of the broader second-class status of gay and lesbian families. The biggest threat to our society is not my marriage or any other marriage between two loving, consenting adults. In fact, heterosexual couples are doing a pretty good job themselves of bringing down the institution of marriage.

Fully including gay and lesbian families into the social framework of American society can only strengthen the institution of marriage. As my grandmother wrote in a card congratulating my husband and me on our recent marriage, "Now you are all truly a family."

James Overturf, an employee of the Los Angeles Unified School District, lives in Glendora with his husband and their two children.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Levi's Joins the Fight to Defeat Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Levi Strauss & Co. has joined a growing number of California-based companies in the fight against Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would outlaw same-sex marriage in California.

According to the Associated Press, “The San Francisco-based jeans maker said Thursday it will co-chair with Pacific Gas & Electric a group trying to drum up opposition to Proposition 8 in the business community.

Chief Executive Officer John Anderson said the move is consistent with Levi's long history of supporting civil rights causes. The company ended racial segregation of its California factories in the 1940s and was the first Fortune 500 company to offer health benefits to the domestic partners of its unmarried employees.

In July, PG&E donated $250,000 to the campaign to defeat the gay marriage ban and announced it hoped to persuade other corporations to do the same. Because PG&E is a public utility, though, taking a controversial political stand is less risky for the company than it might be for businesses with greater competition.”

Levi Strauss has pledged $25,000 to Equality for All, the coalition leading the No on 8 campaign, says company spokesman E.J. Bernacki.

Robert Haas, the company's chairman emeritus, and his wife have given $100,000, Bernacki said.
Two labor unions, the California Council of Service Employees and the California Teachers Association, each have given $250,000. Telecommunications company AT&T has given $25,000.

The referendum seeks to amend the state constitution to overturn the May state Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage here.

The amendment's sponsors so far have raised more money in the race than its opponents, who hope that recent $100,000 contributions from actor Brad Pitt and director Steven Spielberg will motivate Hollywood celebrities and moguls to give.
Also Thursday, a Southern California-based business advocacy group came out against Proposition 8.

The board of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, which represents businesses in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles voted "by a significant margin" to oppose the measure, said President Stuart Waldman.

'While a few board members argued against VICA taking a stand, maintaining that Proposition 8 was not a business issue, many more directors said it would cost them money and talented workers if the amendment passed,' Waldman said.
'The most eloquent argument we got from an employer is they spend so much on human resources dealing with different benefits under domestic partnership rules versus married employees,'he said."

New Study Supports Gay/Lesbian Adoption

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute released a major new report today that offers recommendations to increase the pool of prospective adoptive parents for children in foster care by changing state laws and agency practices so they become more welcoming of gay and lesbian applicants.

“There has long been a consensus in our country, at its best manifested in legislation and practice, that we need to do all we can for vulnerable children,” said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute. “But today - even though tens of thousands of children need homes and the research clearly shows that gays and lesbians make fine parents - there are efforts in states like Arkansas to impose restrictions on qualified applicants simply because of their sexual orientation.

“Every minute we retain the status quo, rather than expanding the pool of qualified prospective parents, undermines the prospects of boys and girls who need permanent, loving families,” Pertman added. “It’s way past time for the needs of these `waiting’ children to finally make it onto the national stage.”

The Adoption Institute’s 50-page report, “Expanding Resources for Waiting Children II: Eliminating Legal and Practice Barriers to Gay and Lesbian Adoption from Foster Care,” provides specific, research-based findings and recommendations relating to state laws and adoption agency policies.

The recommendations include:

  • State policies should explicitly recognize foster parenting by gays and lesbians, and laws that inhibit or prohibit adoption by non-heterosexual individuals and couples (such as in Florida and Utah) should be rescinded; applicants should be judged on their qualifications, not their sexual orientation.
  • State laws should serve children’s best interests by permitting joint and second-parent adoptions, and all states should give “full faith and credit” to adoptions legally completed in other states, without regard to the marital status or sexual orientation of the adoptive parents.
  • Agencies should assess their policies and practices to ensure that they are welcoming - in recruitment, training and post-placement services - for all qualified family resources who want to provide homes for children in foster care, including gay/lesbian individuals and couples.

This report builds on the Institute’s 2006 Policy & Practice Perspective, Expanding Resources for Waiting Children: Is Adoption by Gays and Lesbians Part of the Answer?

Among the findings in the new report are:

  • Research shows gays/lesbians are effective parents and are an important resource for waiting children. Major medical and child-advocacy groups overwhelmingly support these adoptions.
  • Excluding gays and lesbians from fostering carries significant economic consequences. A conservative estimate of a national ban puts the total costs to states at $87 million to $130 million.

For more information about this report, or to schedule an interview, please contact Adam Pertman at 617-332-8944 or

The Institute is an independent, nonpartisan nonprofit organization. Its mission is to improve the lives of millions of people by working for better laws, policies and practices. To learn more about our work, please visit our award-winning website,

Relax from Within, Feeling Whole and Complete in the Now

By George E. Lockett SSHA, IIHHT

Releasing tension is one of the best ways to re-establish balance and wholeness in your life. This is something you do for yourself consciously and with awareness through being present in the Now and centred within yourself.

Life has many pressures that can affect your balance and wholeness. When you look in people's faces you can sometimes see and feel their life experiences written on their face. Some say this gives people character, but my own feeling is that they are carrying around with them past experiences which may overshadow and colour their perception of life.

Releasing this tension through conscious awareness within your Self can help to re-centre your energies and make your consciousness more whole and complete, thereby giving you the awareness to be in tune with the Universal Life Force and gain the support of the environment in fulfilling your dreams and aspirations.

So how do we consciously release the tension? I find the best way is through conscious breathing, which you can do as you go to bed at night. As you lie there waiting for sleep to envelop you, you can take your awareness to your breath and breathe consciously with awareness into any areas of tension you may feel within your face and body.

As you get good at this, you start to notice the subtle nuances within your skin which let you know when your body's energy blueprint is in alignment and balance with your physiology.

Self-awareness is one of the best ways to expand consciousness and come into alignment with the Self. Over time you will realize that as you centre in the Self, you are centring the Universe and the life force within you, and this helps you evolve and connect with your life's purpose.

Practising this daily with the use of positive visualization can change your body's energy vibration. As your body's vibration rises in the Ascension process and your outlook becomes more life-supporting, you start to use the law of attraction to attract into your life your heart's dreams and aspirations.

The Universe comes around you, bringing you all the things you have lovingly crafted in your mind's eye through positive visualization. Life becomes an effortless process of Self-love and visualization. Things in your environment will naturally change to reflect you new outlook on life. Abundance will be the natural result of being more relaxed and creative, and enjoying the work you do.

More and more people are growing in this awareness, as they become more conscious of the subtle energies within, and become more spiritual in their nature.

As the spirit within the person is strengthened so his or her health will naturally improve and the body's energy blueprint will become stronger, holding every cell and molecule together in a natural, balanced way, giving clear instructions and just feeling good inside you.

As you grow in wholeness and Self-love these feelings will grow and you will find yourself naturally smiling at everyone you meet. You will make friends more easily and will have a positive outlook on life. Fear will dissolve as you connect more and more with the energies in your heart, which is the centre of Love - in whose presence Fear ceases to exist.

Forgiveness is a wonderful tool for reclaiming your power in life, for as long as you are blaming others entirely for your life's situation, you aren't seeing that situation clearly, and therefore you have little power to change it.

Forgive those who wrong you, and take personal responsibility for your part in any situation. With the knowledge that you can think any thought in any moment, think about what it is that you want to create. Remember, what you put your attention on grows; so focus on things which bring Joy and Happiness into your life, and then you will soon align your energies to your life's purpose.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A new addition to the Blog

I recently made a connection with Judy Kinney, a love and life coach for lesbian, bi and queer women. After reading a bit about her work, checking out her website, and listening to one of her tele-classes, I decided her insight and opinions would be a great addition to my blog. As Judy puts it, "I think I offer a different, yet complementary perspective."

Since Judy will be posting articles on a regular basis, I asked her to write a bio introducing herself and talking a little bit about who she is and what she does. Please join me in welcoming Judy to the "Lesbian and Dating Blog" family.

"Hi, my name is Judy Kinney, I’m a love and life coach for lesbian, bi and queer women. I’m excited to tell you a bit about myself, my approach to love and relationships, and my coaching services.

For the past 25 years I have inspired and supported youth, LGBT elders, social service providers, and now, accomplished lesbian, bi and queer women to have the life they desire. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed working as a Life Coach, cultural competency trainer, social service program administrator, group facilitator, public speaker, and community leader. I view myself as an innovator, who excels at presenting information in a manner that is fun, compelling and relevant to my diverse audiences.

Although my introduction to the Law of Attraction (LoA) came nearly three decades ago, I became a committed student and practitioner of LoA in 2005. Inspired to share the revolutionary possibilities of LoA with other LBQ women and prepared to live the life I truly desired, I founded Dream and Flourish LLC in 2007. As the Creator of Dream and Flourish, I am a Life Coach, Event Planner, and Inspirational Speaker supporting lesbian, bi and queer women to have the lives they dream of

I love that the LoA provides a solid foundation for us to truly create the life we desire. From a LoA point of view, everything within the universe is comprised of energy. This energy interacts dynamically with itself, and like a magnet, attracts that which is similar. Even our thoughts and feelings radiate a magnetic energy.

For example, imagine that you’re in a stage in your life when you really wish you had a partner. You could find yourself focusing on not having a partner and feeling lonely and not so lovable. Even though you want love and companionship, the universe will respond to your 'not having a partner, lonely and not so lovable' energy and give you more of the same.

It’s also true that when you feel good, sexy, and happy, you’ll attract more good, sexy, and happy experiences. In other words, you’ll attract what you desire when your perspective and internal stories line up with what you’re wanting. This magnetic energy attraction process applies to any situation in your life-finances, health, family and career.

This is what I do; I support and inspire LBQ women to clarify their desires and align their perspectives to attract exactly what they want in life and love. I look forward to connecting with you. You can find more information about me and my services at, or email me at"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Just when you think you have her all figured out, out of left-field comes a bolt of lightning that sends you reeling and questioning everything you ever thought you knew about the same sex. In any relationship, each partner shines the light on the road when the road is dark, as well as holds the mirror for the other to see their true reflection."

-Emily Wilcox

Dealing with Abandonment Issues

by Sue Anderson, psychotherapist and author

When a relationship ends, both partners experience turmoil and loss, but the one who is left feeling abandoned bears the brunt of the pain. Why does it hurt so much when someone leaves us?

Loving and wanting someone who does not love us back engenders a deep personal wound. Rejection hits a raw nerve whose root begins in childhood. It arouses our abandonment issues. Abandonment is primal fear, the first fear that each of us experience as an infant. It is the fear that we will be left, literally abandoned, with no one to care for us. Abandonment's wound is cumulative. It contains all of our losses, disconnections and disappointments from early on, the death of a parent, a teenage breakup, being out-shown by a sibling, these experiences make us more susceptible to heartbreak when we are abandoned as adults.

The abandonment wound, stored deep within the limbic brain, is easily triggered. You feel its raw nerve twinge when you fail to get recognition at work, a friend forgets to invite you to a party, or a date you thought was special did not call back. When being left is the trigger, core abandonment fears erupt. Stress hormones course through our bodies, compelling even the strongest among us to feel desperate and dependent. However self-sufficient we think we are, we suddenly feel we can’t live without her.

Being left also kicks up our control issues. The breakup wasn't our choice. Someone else cast us into this aloneness by choosing not to be with us. We feel at loss of our personal power to compel another person's love. "I must be unlovable and unworthy for him to discard me like that." Abandonment is similar to other types of bereavement, but its grief is complicated by rejection and betrayal. We turn the rage against ourselves, accounting for the severe depression that accompanies heartbreak. When we blame the breakup on our supposed inadequacies, we abandon ourselves. We automatically think to ourselves, “There must be something wrong with me that makes me not worth keeping.”

We emerge not only disconnected from self-love, but with a heightened fear of abandonment. If one person can discard us, we fear others will do the same to us in the future. Rather than dissipate, this fear tends to incubate. Its insecurity burrows deep within us where it sabotages our relationships. The fear of being left makes it more difficult to let go. The rejection creates nagging conflict; closure remains incomplete. We feel unjustly dismissed and we long for an opportunity to vindicate the hurt. We are left alone to grapple with the broken pieces. Mixed with our rage is a desire for our ex to come back to take away the hurt and rejection.

The paradox of abandonment is the tendency to idealize the abandoner. She emerges in our imaginations as a powerful figure. We assume she must be very special to have caused this much torment simply by being absent. The intense craving is confusing to our limbic brain. Stress hormones course through our bodies, causing a heightened response to anything related to our ex for a long time. An important thing to understand is there are five universal stages that accompany the loss of love: Shattering, Withdrawal, Internalizing, Rage, and Lifting. As we make our way through these stages of grief and recovery, we build self-esteem, resolve fear and self-doubt and restore the spirit.

The Five Stages of Abandonment are:
1. Shattering: Severing of love-connection, devastation, shattering of hopes and dreams. The emotions are shock, panic, despair, feeling you can't live without your love.

2. Withdrawal: You're in painful withdrawal of love-loss, as intense as heroin withdrawal. The emotions are yearning, craving, obsessing, longing for your ex's return.

3. Internalizing: As you try to making sense of the rejection, you doubt and blame yourself. Idealizing the abandoner at your own expense, narcissistic injury sets in and fear incubates.

4. Rage: Reversing the rejection and having retaliatory feelings. Displacing anger on friends who don't understand or are critical of the abandoner leads to more unhealthy action.

5. Lifting: Rising out despair, life begins to distract you. You begin to open to love again and all its possibilities. You “SWIRL” through all the stages over and over until you emerge out the end of the tunnel a changed person capable of greater life and love than before.

If you are struggling with abandoment issues and you would like more information, Susan has created a great site,, where you can find advice, books, articles and support.

Susan Anderson is a psychotherapist and author of “Journey from Heartbreak to Connection,” “Journey from Abandonment to Healing” and “Black Swan.” She is founder of abandonment recovery and, a program of support groups and healing techniques, the result of over twenty-five years of research, clinical practice and personal experience.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gay marriage? Not in the South

Article written and posted on USA Today's blog by David Person, columnist for The Huntsville Times and host of the daily radio show on WEUP-AM. He also is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.

In the region where the seeds of the civil rights movement were sown, gay rights are still a foreign concept

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —Lauren Martin, 17, and Chelsea Overstreet, 18, have matching rings. They each wear the shiny, silvery circles on the fourth finger of their respective left hands.

They exchanged the rings —they call them "promise rings" —in front of their families. One day, if all goes well, they'll get engaged and then married.

But not here. Lauren and Chelsea are gay, and Alabama is one of 24 states that have banned same-sex marriage by constitutional amendment and by statute. The biggest clump of these, 10 states, are in the South.

Chelsea remains undaunted. "If I could get married tomorrow, I would," she said.

To do so, she'd have to hop on a plane or hunker down for a long car ride. Only Massachusetts and most recently California —at least for now —will marry same-sex couples.

The upcoming presidential election won't make things easier for Lauren and Chelsea. Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain supports gay marriage. While Obama does favor civil unions, McCain backs the November ballot initiative in California to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

If Lauren and Chelsea married and decided to return to their home in Scottsboro, their marriage wouldn't be recognized by the state. And this, unfortunately, is exactly how most Alabama voters and politicians want it.

A 2005 statewide poll by Gerald Johnson of the Capital Survey Research Center, the most recent available on the issue, found that nearly 87% of respondents support allowing only heterosexual couples to marry. More than 71% oppose civil unions for gay men and lesbians. And nearly 53% oppose making sure that gays have the same rights as straights.

In 2006, 82% of Alabama voters supported the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Alabama is not unique among Southern states. The Pew Research Center found that 64% of Southerners believe that homosexuality is morally wrong, a percentage higher than in any other region of the country.

Attribute this to the high percentages of evangelical Protestants, white and black, who live in the South. In the 10 Southern states that have banned gay and lesbian marriage by constitutional amendment and by statute, their presence dominates, ranging from at least 31% of the population to 51%.

By contrast, very few same-sex couples live in these 10 states —at least those like Lauren and Chelsea who openly acknowledge it. Georgia has the highest percentage of all of them, a mere 1.1%. Maybe this is what makes it so easy to support openly discriminating against gay men and lesbians.

Ironically, Southern states were the main battleground in another fight for civil rights 40 years ago. Well before her death in 2006, civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, an Alabama native and the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., began speaking out for gay rights and same-sex marriage. Few acknowledge this part of her legacy.

"Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union," she said during a speech at the Richard Stockon College of New Jersey in 2004. "A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."

Alabama and other Southern states are the norm, rather than the exception, in discriminating against lesbians and gay men. Nearly all 50 states restrict gay rights, same-sex marriage or civil unions. But some Alabama officials have been especially provocative when doing so.

Former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore —who was later ousted for defying a federal judge's order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building —in a concurring opinion in a 2002 child custody case in which the mother was a lesbian, wrote: "Homosexual conduct is, and has been, considered abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature and of nature's God upon which this nation and our laws are predicated. Such conduct violates both the criminal and civil laws of this state and is destructive to a basic building block of society —the family."

In 2005, state Rep. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa introduced a bill that would have banned from public schools any books or plays written by gay authors or that feature gay characters. He told CBS that he was alarmed by the "homosexual agenda" that he found in various books. Thankfully, the bill died without a vote.

Meanwhile, tolerance has made small steps of progress since Allen sponsored his ill-fated bill. Jefferson County voters elected the state's first openly gay legislator, Patricia Todd, in 2006.

And thanks to a court order, Lauren and Chelsea were able to go to the prom at Scottsboro High this spring. Of course when they arrived, Chelsea recounted, all eyes were on them.

"The whole room stopped," she said.

Some of their schoolmates expressed support. Others just stared.

Nevertheless, Lauren and Chelsea have not let the opposition stop them. And they and other same-sex couples have found support in some places. When Sarah Collins, Chelsea's mom, began attending the Rock church in Scottsboro, she said she told them that her daughter is gay. "They said she's welcome here," Collins said.

Surely, Coretta Scott King would have been proud.

Drill, Drill, Drill

As election day get closer, the possibility of having Sarah Palin as our next VP, or worse yet, our next President, becomes less of a joke and more of a reality.

The following letter was written by Eve Ensler, (Playwright/Performer/Activist and award-winning author of The Vagina Monologues) and posted on, it sums up many of my own fears and I felt compelled to share it.

"I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, 'It was a task from God.'

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, 'Drill Drill Drill.' I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nation’s Capital Next for Gay Marriage?

by Kilian Melloy, EDGE Contributor

Speculation on the outcome of the Nov. election has taken on a new dimension: if Democrats increase their majority in Congress, our nation’s capital may be the next jurisdiction to extend marriage equality to gay and lesbian Americans.

The Washington Blade reported on Sept. 18 that Washington, D.C. may see legislation approved that would offer legal parity to gay and lesbian families.

But it depends on more than who is sitting in Congress; the ongoing push and pull over marriage equality in Calif. will also have an impact, with a defeat for gay and lesbian families likely to have a chilling effect on similar legislation elsewhere in the nation, including in the capital.

However, should family equality be defended and a proposed anti-gay amendment to the Calif. constitution be defeated at the polls, there is some expectation that a bill to offer marriage equality would pass the City Council of the District of Columbia, the Washington Blade reported.

The article said that D.C.’s mayor, Adrian Fenty, and an overwhelming majority of the city’s councilors have expressed support for such a measure, with the likelihood of a congressional reversal being the only reason the city’s legislature has not yet approved the bill.

An unnamed source in the city’s government was quoted in the article as saying, "We are reasonably confident that enough fair-minded Democrats will win election to the House and Senate in November to give us the votes we need to block an attempt to overturn a marriage bill."

However, if all politics is local politics, that is especially true when it comes to civil rights measures such as Calif.’s legalization of marriage equality last May--a right for gay and lesbian families that is now vigorously under attack from both religious and social organizations of a conservative bent.

Said Freedom to Marry’s executive director, Evan Wolfson, "Where California goes, so goes the nation."

Added Wolfson, "When we hold on to California, it means that in January, the next Congress will have a minimum of 15 percent of its members representing people living in [Mass. and Calif.,] states where gay people can marry."

The outcome of the Calif. battle remains to be seen, though recent reports indicate that pro-family equality groups are losing the financial front in the marriage equality war--a development that could prove decisive at the Calif. polls this Nov.

The Washington Blade said that according to unnamed sources, two openly gay D.C. city councilmen, David Catania and Jim Graham, are ready to bring a marriage equality bill to the floor as early as Jan. or next year.

The bill already has up to six willing co-sponsors, the Blade reported its sources as saying.

The Blade quoted its source as saying, "The idea is to send it to the Hill as soon as possible after the November election and as far as possible from the [2010 midterm] election."

Such timing would provide the maximum possible buffer for pro-family equality lawmakers to stand up for marriage parity with minimal risk to their political careers.

The results of the primary election for D.C.’s legislature indicated that voters were not choosing against candidates based on their support for gay and lesbian families, the article said, noting that several had already announced their support for any marriage equality legislation that might be introduced.

By the same token, one council member who was victorious in the primary had said that she favored civil unions, though not marriage for gay and lesbian families, the article reported.

However, equality advocates are looking even beyond the possible outcomes in the Nov. election, whatever that may hold for D.C., Calif., and the nation’s Congress.

Even if marriage equality is granted to D.C. residents, the article said, family equality proponents need to be ready for the almost-inevitable voter referendum attempt to rescind the law, which, if the struggle in Calif. is any indication, will bring heated rhetoric and huge sums of money into play in the city’s politics.

Demographics play a part, also, the article said, noting that polls in Calif. show that a majority of African American residents have indicated support for the anti-gay-family amendment.

A similar demographic voting pattern is thought to be likely should such a referendum battle be fought in a post-family equality D.C.

Brad Pitt gives $100,000 for marriage equality

Ap News announced today:

Brad Pitt has donated $100,000 to fight California's November ballot initiative that would overturn the state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
It's the first time voters will be asked to ban same-sex marriage in a state where gay and lesbian couples already have won the right to wed. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts and California.

It's the first time voters will be asked to decide the issue in either California or Massachusetts -- the states where gays have won the right to wed.

"Because no one has the right to deny another their life, even though they disagree with it, because everyone has the right to live the life they so desire if it doesn't harm another and because discrimination has no place in America, my vote will be for equality and against Proposition 8," Pitt said Wednesday.

Trevor Neilson, Pitt's political and philanthropic adviser, told The Associated Press that Pitt was surprised that his colleagues in the entertainment industry had not donated more money to support the battle against Proposition 8.

Earlier in the week, Pitt and Angelina Jolie announced they donated $2 million to help fight HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in Ethiopia.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two Thirds of Young Americans Favor Marriage Equality

Michelle Garcia, The Advocate

A new poll shows Americans are split as to whether governments should recognize gay marriage, but a majority say same-sex couples should have legal recognition, the Associated Press reported Monday. The poll was conducted by the AP in conjunction with the National Constitution Center.

Furthermore, more than two thirds of respondents under the age of 35 say that same-sex couples should receive the same recognition and benefits as heterosexual couples; less than 40% of those older than 35 agree with the younger age group.

Those questioned say they support governmental assistance to religious organizations for community service programs, but the support decreases if the organizations also promote their religious beliefs. The poll also suggested the American public is largely in favor of decreased government involvement in their daily lives.

"There is clearly a concern about executive power and the balance of power that comes out in a couple of different ways," Joseph Torsella, president of the National Constitution Center, said.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gay Hate Crime in Denver Ignored

Gay attack swept under the shrug
By Susan Greene,
Denver Post Columnist

It was his tight, white jeans, snakeskin shoes and the fairy that Nima Daivari wore on a chain around his neck that prompted a stranger to call him a faggot and attack him.

And it was Daivari's boxing training that led him to pound back at his assailant, headlocking him until police arrived at the scene on the 16th Street Mall.

What happened next is tougher to explain.

A Denver cop not only refused to press charges, but he wouldn't investigate the hate crime or even bother to take the attacker's name.

In the end, the bad guy slipped away, the officer was slapped on the wrist and now Daivari has lost his civil-rights case because the city says Daivari, as a gay man, has no constitutional right to require an arrest.

Something is wrong with this story.

"So basically anyone can walk up, assault a gay man on a crowded street and Denver essentially ignores it. That's messed up, and people there should know it," says Daivari, 26, a recent law school graduate in New York City.

On St. Patrick's Day 2007, he was on his first and only visit to Denver when he, his cousin and her boyfriend were walking home from dinner at a 16th Street eatery.

"What may be the most embarrassing thing is that I have to admit to everyone that I actually ate at the Cheesecake Factory," Daivari quips.

Suddenly, a pedestrian passed by and yelled, "Keep that faggot away from me." "Excuse me?" asked Daivari, who then was punched in the head by the assailant.

Daivari reacted with a few jabs of his own and held his attacker until police broke up the fight.
Officer Richard Boehnlein refused Daivari's repeated demands to press charges, telling him, "No, go home."

Daivari's complaint resulted in a finding that the officer should have at least documented the case and probably arrested his attacker. Boehnlein was reprimanded merely with "a fine of one regular day off."

The city refused Daivari's settlement request that Boehnlein undergo sensitivity training.

Assistant City Attorney John Eckhardt touts Denver's support for gay and lesbian rights, saying, "The training the city provides its police officers is exemplary in these areas."

So exemplary, in fact, that Eckhardt asserted it was "not evident" to police "that Mr. Daivari is a homosexual," even after he told them his story.

"Come on, I look like a raging homo," Daivari says proudly.

"Officers must use discretion in deciding when and where (to take reports)," Eckhardt argued in denying Daivari's claim that police inaction was a result of Daivari's "outwardly homosexual appearance, his failure to conform to male gender stereotypes."

U.S. District Judge Zita Weinshienk dismissed the case Thursday, holding that no rights were violated. Gay men are not a protected class under the Constitution.

Says Daivari's lawyer, Jessica West: "The city of Denver essentially claimed that gays and lesbians in Denver live without any right to police protection. I certainly hope that they are wrong."

So should we all.

Justice has failed Nima Daivari, who vows never to return to Denver.

"I would much rather they arrested the guy who attacked me so there would be a mug shot out there of him with his face f---ed up by a homo," he says. "But the city deprived me that right and seems perfectly comfortable with its cops letting hate criminals beat people up and walk free."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin Action Figures Now Available

Does anyone really want to see Sarah Palin's bare midriff? Well, if your answer is yes, now you can at

In their newest line of offbeat action figures, Sarah Palin can be purchased for a little under $30, with your choice of a businesswoman, a superhero or a schoolgirl. (a school girl version with a 40+ year face on it...yikes!)

The Palin action figures have only been on the market for about a week, and the phone will not stopped ringing at

“I don’t think I’ve slept more than six hours since Sunday,” says Emil Vicale, the owner of the small company in Oxford, Conn.

And for those of you who may be interested, is working on a Joe Biden figure, but already has a Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain figure.

What is Love? Part 3 - Love, Pleasure or Affirmation ?

By Robert Elias Najemy

Needing Others for Pleasure

Let us examine how our needs for pleasure and affirmation can limit and distort our experience of love.

We create relationships that give us pleasure and affirmation as well as security. We may be dependent upon the other for money, shelter, sex, travel, clothing, encouragement, compliments, humor, tasty food, a clean house, comforts, or even her beauty.

Yet, if she stops providing these things for us, or decides to provide them for someone else, do we continue loving that person or do we feel hurt, disillusioned, and overcome with feelings of injustice, anger and perhaps revenge?

The condition here is that "I love as long as you provide me pleasure, happiness or excitement. If you stop, my feelings change." It is conditional love.

Needing Others for Affirmation

We may also depend on someone for affirmation. This may take various forms.

1. We are affirmed when others obey us. "You listen to me and do what I say. I can control you. That makes me feel powerful and worthy. If, however, you stop doing whatever I say, I will stop feeling love and unity with you."

This becomes a problem for parents when their children move into adolescence. This can also occur between spouses. In many countries a wife might be suppressed at first, and thus, the husband feels powerful and affirmed. If, however, she begins to think and act for herself, he begins to panic and can become angry and sometimes aggressive. The roles may also be reversed where the woman controls and feels affirmed.

2. We also feel affirmation when someone needs us or is dependent on us. This could occur between parent and child, teacher and student, friends, or between the "savior" and the "needy."

In these cases, the "needed" feels affirmed by and perhaps superior to the "needy". This is one aspect of codependency. Some of us find meaning in life because someone needs us or depends on us. If however, the other doesn't want to be the child, the student or the needy one anymore, do we feel the same attraction and love? If not, our love is mixed with our need to be "needed".

In such a case, we need to give, offer, and sacrifice in order to feel useful, worthy or boost our self-image. If this is the case, then all that we offer in these situations, all our sacrifices, are actually for ourselves and not for the others.

That does not negate the fact that others may actually need us, or that we also simultaneously have feelings of altruistic love. We are often motivated by two or three motives simultaneously

3. A third aspect of this attraction for affirmation is the situation in which we "love" those "who affirm our rightness", either verbally by telling us we are right, or simply by belonging to the same social, political, religious or spiritual group and thus embrace a similar belief system.

"I love you because you agree with me, you are like me, you affirm me". If they change beliefs and convert to another political party, religion, or spiritual group, will we feel the same closeness and "love?" Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

A fourth aspect of this affirmation principle is infatuation - called "Eros" (in Greek "erotas") or "falling in love". In this case there is a mutual (occasionally only one-sided) infatuation on the physical, sexual, emotional and sometimes mental level. This is a special attraction between two persons who excite, bring joy to and stimulate each other positively. This positive stimulation often has to do with the needs for security, pleasure and affirmation.

This intensity of these feelings usually only last 6 months to a year. The couple then has the possibility of transforming their "Eros" into a steady form of unconditional love, or facing the sadness of conflict and / or separation. Sooner or later, we will come face to face with the other's various negative aspects, and if we cannot love them as they are, the relationship suffers.

Until we are able to love unconditionally, we will be unhappy, insecure and frequently in conflict with those around us. We will be able to do this only when we have matured sufficiently so as to experience inner security, inner satisfaction, inner freedom and a steady feeling of self-worth.

In other words, we can love purely only those who we do not need.

When we need others, we cannot love them unconditionally. This might be difficult to comprehend at first, but deep thought and observation will prove it to be true. Being able to love without conditions is a basic prerequisite for both a happy life and spiritual evolution.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gina Gershon Strips Down Sarah Palin

Actress Gina Gershon nails a Sarah Palin impression in the second of a series of FunnyOrDie's political ads starring high-profile celeberties.

Check it out!

What is Love? Part 2 - Love or Need for Security ?

By Robert Elias Najemy

Our Love is Mixed With Need. Our love is still mixed with a considerable amount of need. Love wants to give. Need wants to take. Sometimes what we are seeking to take is very subtle and requires deep inner inquiry.

Whenever we feel pain, fear or anger in our relationships, it is because we believe that our needs are in "danger" of not being satisfied. When this happens, our "love" turns to hurt, disappointment, fear, loneliness, inferiority, or bitterness, and sometimes, anger, hate, rage and desire for revenge.

How can love become all these negative emotions? It cannot. The simple truth is that our emotion never was pure love to begin with. It was an "attraction" based to some degree also on need.

This does not mean that we should reject ourselves because we have seldom really loved purely. As we are not yet enlightened spiritual beings, how could we? It would be like rejecting ourselves because we do not yet have a university diploma when we are still in the first grade or because we are a flower bud, which has not yet blossomed. It is only natural that we cannot yet love unconditionally. This is our stage of evolution.

Freeing our Love from Need

The first step towards opening our hearts to real love is to accept and love ourselves exactly as we are with all our weaknesses and faults. Only then can we proceed effectively.

The second step is to begin observing the feelings that are stimulated in our transpersonal. Through objective self-observation, we can determine in which situations we love unconditionally and in which we are feeling "loving" with specific conditions. Following are some examples that will help.

Needing Those Who Make Us Feel Secure

We look to others for security. We might seek security from our parents, spouses, siblings, children, employers, friends, ministers, spiritual teachers or others.

We do feel love toward these beings, but often that love is based on the fact that they offer us a sense of security. If they start behaving in ways that obstruct our feelings of security or if they decide to leave or ignore us, will we still love them?

If our employer fires us, will we still love him or her? If our parents throw us out onto the street, will we still love them? Or is our love tightly woven with the need for security?

If as parents we dream that our children will become economically well off and socially accepted professionals, will we love them the same if they become street artists, beggars or anarchists? Some parents will be able to; others will not.

The basic question is whether or not our feelings of love are steady and consistent regardless of the various changing behaviors of those we "love". In each case where we perceive our heart closing, we need to discover what we fear in that situation. What might we believe is in danger? Most frequently we lose our love when we fear that our security, self-worth, freedom or pleasure are in danger.

Only when we have realized total inner security, perhaps based on an inner spiritual awakening or on our faith in the Divine, will we be able to love without security attachments.

Only when we know that we can live without others can we really love them steadily.

Society has caused us to completely confuse this matter. We believe that if we love others, then we must be totally dependent on them and should fear that our world would fall apart if something happens to them. This is insecurity.

This is a lack of awareness of our inner spiritual nature and our ability to deal with life. It has nothing to do with love.

Perhaps this is why the Apostle John wrote, "Where there is perfect love, there can be no fear".

Be sure to look for "What is Love Part 3 - Love, Pleasure or Affirmation, " tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Judge rules Fla. adoption ban unconstitutional

Advocate News published Sept. 10th

Florida's ban on gays becoming adoptive or foster parents is unconstitutional, rules a Monroe County judge in letting a Key West adoption go forward, the Miami Herald reported.

Declaring the adoption to be in the boy's "best interest," Circuit Judge David J. Audlin Jr. ruled the Florida ban contrary to the state Constitution because it singles out a group for punishment, the Herald said.

Mississippi and Florida are the only states that forbid gays to adopt children. Florida's ban has been in place for 31 years.

"Contrary to every child welfare principle, the gay adoption ban operates as a conclusive or irrebuttable presumption that . . . it is never in the best interest of any adoptee to be adopted by a homosexual," Audlin wrote.

Florida does allow gays to become foster, or temporary, parents. The plaintiff, a 52-year-old Key West man, had fostered dozens of children before attempting to adopt his special-needs foster son, now 13, who has been in his care since 2001. Both are unidentified in court documents for privacy reasons.

The state Department of Children and Families did not contest the case or attempt to uphold the ban, the Herald noted; nor did Florida's attorney general.

Thus it's not clear if anyone will appeal Audlin's ruling; until they do, legal experts told the Herald, it will hold little sway against the state and federal appellate rulings that have upheld the adoption ban, most recently in 2005.

"On the one hand, this is one trial judge in Key West," Stetson University law professor Michael Allen told the Herald. On the other hand, he said, "cracks begin to develop in legal doctrine. Even if it has no effect as precedent and it is not repeated someplace else, it's a crack.

"If you get enough cracks, things break." (Barbara Wilcox)

What is Love? Part 1

By Robert Elias Najemy

Love is our greatest need. Is it our highest most fulfilling state.

Do we really love or are we simply attached to, identified with or dependent upon the persons we "love"?

Is our love free and unconditional, or is it mixed with various needs, conditions and demands?

What is unconditional love? Is it possible for us to cultivate it?

What is the difference between love and attachment?

How can we determine whether what we feel is love or attachment?

How can we purify our love and move into a higher level of consciousness?

These are some of the many questions that we need to answer in order to create happiness.

Defining Love

Love is a very difficult word to define, perhaps because its reality approaches spiritual dimensions, which are beyond time and space, and thus, our comprehension.

Love is perhaps more easily described by what it is not. Love is not fear, hurt, pain, jealousy, bitterness, hate, separateness, lust, attachment, aggressiveness, ego-centeredness, indifference, possessiveness, suppression - the list goes on.

Love, like God, peace and other spiritual realities, can be perceived more easily through the effects that it creates. We cannot see the wind, but we can see its effects, such as the leaves moving, branches swaying, or the sound of air rushing. We know wind exists by its various side effects. We know there is a Creator because we perceive its effect - creation itself.

What then are the effects of love? Love creates feelings of unity. We feel toward others as we feel towards ourselves. We are as interested in their welfare, happiness, success, health and spiritual growth as much as we are about our own.

Loving others means wanting them to be happy in whatever ways they are guided to their happiness. It breeds understanding, compassion, forgiveness, happiness, excitement, peace, joy, fulfillment and a desire to be helpful in any way we can.

Love is expansion beyond our ego limitations. It is the ability to identify with the other, to let go of our self-interest and personal needs enough to really hear and understand the other's needs and interests. It means caring enough to sacrifice, when necessary, our own pleasures and desires when the other's needs are obviously more important.

Love is the force that brings about unity and harmony. It is the "glue" of the universe. It helps persons with different egos, desires, programmings and needs to overcome all those potentially repelling forces and unite.

Love needs not so much to be learned or cultivated, but rather released or brought from within us to the surface. We are love. Our basic nature is love. However, our ignorance, fear and attachment have buried it so deeply within us that it is sometimes difficult to summon or maintain. Loving others steadily, independently of their behavior, is not an easy achievement.

Love versus Need

The power of attraction which we call love is expressed on many levels and in countless ways. The most basic level is that of need. We often use the word love when we really mean, "need".

We say, "I love you." But, if we analyze ourselves deeply, we will realize learn we really mean, "I need you." This is the basic message of most love songs. They lament with sadness, pain, agony and cry out "you left me, I cannot live without you. I need you."

This is not the highest form of love. It is love mixed with need, attachment and addiction. If it were pure love and the other was happier by leaving us or even happier with someone else, we would be happy for him or her, not full of sadness for ourselves. Loving others means wanting them to be happy, healthy and successful in the ways that they are guided to be.

Love does not create the pain we feel when someone leaves us or rejects us. That pain is generated by our dependency upon that person for our security, pleasure or affirmation. Needs and attachments create fear, pain and suffering.

Love creates happiness, fulfillment and the experience of our True Selves.

Be sure to look for What is Love Part 2 "Love or Need for Security?" tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Can a women's ability to orgasm be related to the way she walks?

A new study found that trained sexologists could infer a woman's history of vaginal orgasm by observing the way she walks. The study is published in the September 2008 issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the official journal of the International Society for Sexual Medicine and the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health.

Led by Stuart Brody of the University of the West of Scotland in collaboration with colleagues in Belgium, the study involved 16 female Belgian university students. Subjects completed a questionnaire on their sexual behavior and were then videotaped from a distance while walking in a public place. The videotapes were rated by two professors of sexology and two research assistants trained in the functional-sexological approach to sexology, who were not aware of the women's orgasmic history.

The results showed that the appropriately trained sexologists were able to correctly infer vaginal orgasm through watching the way the women walked over 80 percent of the time. Further analysis revealed that the sum of stride length and vertebral rotation was greater for the vaginally orgasmic women. "This could reflect the free, unblocked energetic flow from the legs through the pelvis to the spine," the authors note.

There are several plausible explanations for the results shown by this study. One possibility is that a woman's anatomical features may predispose her to greater or lesser tendency to experience vaginal orgasm. According to Brody, "Blocked pelvic muscles, which might be associated with psychosexual impairments, could both impair vaginal orgasmic response and gait." In addition, vaginally orgasmic women may feel more confident about their sexuality, which might be reflected in their gait. "Such confidence might also be related to the relationship(s) that a woman has had, given the finding that specifically penile-vaginal orgasm is associated with indices of better relationship quality," the authors state. Research has linked vaginal orgasm to better mental health.

The study provides some support for assumptions of a link between muscle blocks and sexual function, according to the authors. They conclude that it may lend credibility to the idea of incorporating training in movement, breathing and muscle patterns into the treatment of sexual dysfunction.

"Women with orgasmic dysfunction should be treated in a multi-disciplinary manner" says Irwin Goldstein, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine."Although small, this study highlights the potential for multiple therapies such as expressive arts therapy incorporating movement and physical therapy focusing on the pelvic floor."

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Monday, September 8, 2008

Emotional Pain

By Robert E. Najemy is the author of over 25 books and is a life coach with 30 years of experience.

We feel emotional pain when we do not get what we want, need, or expect. We might feel hurt, rejection, bitterness, abuse, injustice or simply emotional pain.

In such cases, we have not received the behavior or outcomes we expected or believed we deserved.

We feel this kind of feel pain in cases when people do not behave to us in the ways that we had expected as well as in situations where life does not give us what we feel we need or deserve.

We believe, "I cannot feel happy unless I get that which I believe I need."

We have associated our security, satisfaction, self-worth or freedom with something that we are not getting from persons, society, God, or life as a whole.

Some examples might be when:

  • Others lie to or deceive us.
  • They do not support us when we need them.
  • They reject or criticize us.
  • We fail at some task, which we feel that we should have succeeded at.
  • We loose a loved one.
  • Our loved one shows preference to another.
  • People important to us do not show us the respect we expect.
  • Others do harm to us or our loved ones.
  • We are accused of doing or saying something we did not do.
  • When are falsely suspected of having ulterior motives.
  • "Friends" gossip about us behind our backs.
  • We are not given the raise of promotion we believe we deserve at work.
  • Others do not keep their agreements with us.
  • We are robbed.
  • We lose our fortune in some way.

You can add many more situations in which we feel hurt because we have not received the respect, love, affection, loyalty, truth, kindness and justice that we were expecting.

Positive Alternatives to Feeling Hurt
Positive alternatives to feeling hurt, bitterness and injustice could be:

We can have Faith in divine wisdom and justice.
We are all in a process of evolution and nothing can happen to us, which is not exactly what we need in order to learn our next lesson. So rather than be overwhelmed by negative feelings, we can seek to discover what we can learn through this experience.

Our lessons usually have to do with discovering the strength, security and self-worth, which are within us. As souls in the process of evolution, we are constantly being directed to contact and bring to the surface our spiritual self.

This means realizing that we are whole within and can feel safe, worthy and fulfilled regardless of what is happening around us.

Thus, every event which might cause us to feel pain is also a great opportunity to contact our inner spiritual self and move on and beyond this pain.

We are the sole creators of our reality.
We as souls create our reality through:

  • Our past choices, thoughts, words and actions.
  • Our present conscious and subconscious beliefs, feelings and needs.
  • The lessons we have chosen to learn at this stage of our evolutionary process.
  • How we subjectively interpret what is happening.

Thus others are simply actors in the scenarios of our life the script of which we have written.
We can create a happier reality by:

  • Transforming our conscious and subconscious beliefs.
  • Learning our life lessons.
  • Interpreting events in a different way - as opportunities for growth rather than as injustices.

Forgiving and forgetting the past.
In light of what we have said above, others are not responsible for our reality and thus can easily be forgive. Such forgiveness frees us from negative feelings and allows us to transcend pain.

Thus we can overcome emotional pain by:

  • Realizing that every event is exactly what we need for our evolutionary process.
  • Learn the lessons involved.
  • Forgive others and ourselves.


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