By Adam D. Blum, MFT, Gay Therapy Center Founder and Director
1. Find gay friends with whom you identify. 2. It takes a while: keep looking until you find them. 3. Don’t expect your parents to “get it”, but don’t tolerate rudeness or disrespect. 4. Only date kind men. 5. Allow yourself the freedom to view all your fantasies in porn. 6. Take a sociology class and learn about the arbitrary, made up rules that different societies create about what is okay, and why. 7. Type in “love yourself workshop” on a search engine and see what comes up. 8. Care deeply about what it was like for you as a gay kid in high school. 9. Say “I love you” to yourself even though it feels ridiculous. 10. Do something that feels “too feminine,” maybe in private. 11. Avoid “friends” who put you down. 12. If you are religious, join a church that knows that gay really is good. 13. Practice coming out to friendly strangers and work your way up to telling the important people in your life. 14. Notice when you are trying to be perfect and remember: it’s futile. 15. Take small interpersonal risks every week, such as revealing something that feels slightly vulnerable. 16. Read Randy Shilts’ The Mayor of Castro Street. 17. Read Alan Down’s The Velvet Rage. 18. If you are new-agey, read Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. 19. Raise your political consciousness at a gay fund raising event. 20. Love some of your most judgmental family members from afar, rather than in person. 21. Never underestimate the power of childhood exposure to homophobia: it’s damaging, and repair will take your full effort. 22. Commit to making self-nurturing a new lifetime habit. 23. Work with a gay-friendly therapist or coach. 24. View a mean homophobe with sadness, imagining how truly scared and insecure he is on the inside. 25. Join a gay artistic, athletic, political, community service or support group. 26. Get angry about injustice: righteous anger builds self-esteem. 27. Treat other gay people especially well. 28. Be a witness to your thoughts. By detaching, you’ll notice your illogical, self-critical judgments. 29. If you live in a very conservative area, do something on this list at least once per day because you need extra support. 30. Create your own list of things you can do. Then do them.
For more information about how we help LGBT individuals and couples please visit our website at www.gaytherapycenter.com. We offer services in our San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles offices or by Skype or phone worldwide.