Dear Ari is a bi-monthly advice column written for the LGBTQ Community by Arlene ("Ari") Lev, LCSW=R, CASAC, a therapist in the Albany area for over 25 years. Ari Lev Is the Founder and Clinical Director of Choices Counseling and Consulting (www.choicesconsulting.com). We look forward to your questions and comments...
How Can I Be An Ally?
My best friend just emailed me that he is transgender and would like to begin living as a woman publicly. How can I support my friend when I’m so confused about how he kept this secret from me for so long?—Surprised
At My Wits End
I am a single mother of 2 teenage boys, 12 and 16. I have been in same-sex relationships off and on for almost 10 years now. I am in a new relationship that is very open and my son is not handling it well. He has become withdrawn, agitated, aggressive, verbally and physically abusive. I have tried to talk to him about my choice and my relationship with him but it doesn’t seem to help. I don’t know how to help him handle this transition. Any advice or resources that I can use to get my house back would be greatly appreciated. I don’t want to alienate my son but I don’t want to live a lie anymore. Please help!—At My Wits End
Coming Out to my Partner's Kids
I am a 46-year-old lesbian. About a year and a half ago I fell deeply in love with what feels like my soulmate. She feels the same way, and has never been in a same-sex relationship before this. She left her husband to pursue a relationship with me. She has two beautiful children, ages 3 and 9, and we all have a great time together. She shares custody with her husband. He knows our situation and is living with a new girlfriend who has two children of her own. The problem is that my partner feels she cannot tell the kids the truth about us because they might get teased and/or they won’t want to live with us. We do not live together yet, but would like to in a few months. We would have a 4-bedroom house and act like roommates when the kids are with us. I think that being dishonest is going to hurt them more in the long run. Any suggestions?— "Patient"
You Have Options
Over the last decade there has been a significant rise in the number of LGBTQ individuals and couples building their own families through adoption, foster care, donor insemination and surrogacy. There has also been history of judgment against same-sex and gender nonconforming people becoming parents. Although we’ve come a long way in supporting gay and lesbian couples in starting families, significant prejudice still exists against transgender people. As result transgender individuals are often hesitant to access services for fear of judgment and rejection...
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