just help

I’d forgotten how desperate things can be for some in the LGBTQ community. As a hetero married woman, it’s easy to forget. I see my gay and lesbian friends out at work, and they are thriving. They are valued and enjoy well-compensated, hard-earned and well-deserved management positions.  I’ve seen my gay and lesbian friends get married. I’ve joined the celebrations and watched as supportive families and friends celebrated what those couples have known for 20+ years: that love is love. I see lesbian parents raising beautiful families here in the suburbs with all of the joys and struggles children bring. Like People magazine’s celeb page: They’re just like us!

Except for last week, I received a couple of emails. I’ve just opened a new practice and have included my information on therapist directories. Potential clients can call Kett Counseling if they are looking for a therapist. But these weren’t calls. These were emails.

One email provided details of internal desires, subsequent struggles with those desires, and an overwhelming sense of complete immobility.  There was no request for help. The email ended with a “thanks for listening.”

Another email simply read, “just help”

No details. Not even punctuation. Is it a call to action? Is it a cry of desperation?

Now I remember the 1980’s and the Shame. I remember the fear and the scandal in the air as my young friend came out to his Christian family. I recall years later, the bravery of another friend, a successful businessman, bringing his partner to a corporate event for the first time. And the poise and patience of the lesbian couple in the suburban classroom as they explain, again, what their relationship is to their child (he has two Moms).

I’m older now, as are my friends who have walked through all of this. They now enjoy the life they fought hard to create. I forget that there are still many who have not been able to take this path.

Even though it’s easy to forget, today, I do remember.

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