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Opening My Heart and Doors to You

By |2015-04-30T09:00:00-04:00April 30th, 2015|Opinions, Viewpoints|

Dr. Laurel A. Sills, Licensed Psychologist (Copyrighted April 14, 2015)
For those of you who may never have heard of me before, I am a gay-supporting, straight Psychologist who has advocated for the rights of gay men, lesbians bisexuals and all people openly and in writing since I was in high school. I wrote a paper advocating gay rights during the Harvey Milk days when Anita Bryant (The “Orange Juice Lady”) was spouting anti-gay sentiments, and Billy Jean King played Bobby Riggs in a sexist-fighting tennis match. Now you know my age!
I lectured at a Consortium of Catholic Schools to teachers on the subject of “Enhancing Your Students’ Self-Esteem” and said “Gay people are not sinners, don’t choose this lifestyle, and the great majority are born, hard-wired, to be attracted to whomever they feel attracted to…just like heterosexuals.” Additionally, I mentioned, “The American Psychological Association does not consider ‘homosexuality’ or bisexuality to be ‘abnormal.'”
Having been in practice since 1987, I’ve seen just about every issue we face as human beings. I think gay, bisexual or transgendered men and women have it harder than the rest of us due to the added layer of anticipated rejection by others that has far too often been witnessed or experienced, not just assumed. The typical life struggles we all face for love, self- acceptance, approval, confidence, overcoming addiction and finding healthy intimacy, get amplified because of widespread ignorance, misinformation and false beliefs about GLBT people that causes fear, hatred, suspicion or automatic rejection.
While the world is slowly coming around and becoming more aware and accepting of GLBT folks, there is still much to do to get people comfortable with the fact that this gang is as human and deserving as anyone else. There has been a ton of growth since the Anita Bryant and Harvey Milk days. Adorable and hilarious, Ellen DeGeneres is widely accepted and appreciated today (the Second time around!), and shows like “Modern Family” are popular. THAT’s PROGRESS! But, there’s still a lot of hiding, fear of ridicule and rejection around that adds to GLBT self-hatred, over-dependency on mates, self-destructiveness through reckless behavior. Much of this condition results from an overabundance of outside hostility and discrimination directed unfairly against them.
It takes courage to go against the grain and stand up for people’s rights in the face of opposition that is judgmental, rejecting, and hostile. Consequences for GLBT men and women can lead to job loss, rejection, legal sanctions; even legally supported death in some countries. THAT IS SCARY! Our world continues to need a lot more education about what is factual and justly deserved – equal rights, protected by law, to live, love, raise families, take care of our loved ones and be free to be ourselves.
Let’s come out with our problems and resolve to be happier, healthier men and women who are each free and proud to be ourselves! Please write or call me with topics and questions you have about life. We will incorporate your concerns in this monthly column. Dr. Sills can be messaged during normal business hours at: 248-788-4230 or contacted via her website at:

About the Author:

Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.
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