Join The Finding Freedom LGBTQ Symposium!

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Are you prepared to treat the new generation
of people with co-occurring disorders?
Learn from 30 experts at the Finding Freedom LGBTQ Symposium
January 13-15, 2017
Riviera Hotel • Palm Springs, CA
Register today and receive a FREE gender-neutral T-shirt!
Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 12.12.03 PM18 CE credits for therapists, addiction professionals and psychologists 

 

Join me on January 13th from 10:00am-11:30am for Breakout Sessions 1.5 CEC

Royal l ––Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong

Everyone makes mistakes in relationships at one time or another. Sometimes they learn from those mistakes. Other times, they return to those behaviors and cycle through failed relationship after failed relationship. Sometimes those behaviors become an addiction to love that may leave a person feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, lonely, or worse. LesbianLove Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and How to Heal When Things Go Wrong makes visible the elements of love addiction that many lesbians suffer from.
Love addiction for lesbians comes in many forms. Some struggle by sexually acting out and others are serial relationship junkies, jumping from one relationship into the next. Some are addicted to the high of falling in love and once that wears off don’t know how to handle the day-to-day realities of a committed relationship. Some may avoid intimate or sexual relationships altogether while still wanting love. Some may even vacillate between all of these. The underlying component and common denominator in all of these scenarios is the “urge to merge.”

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What It Means To Date Someone Who Looks Exactly Like You

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By Zara Barrie on QUEER CULTURE

“What’s your type?” I asked him, because I’m Jewish and it’s in my genetic makeup to constantly try and set single people up.

He bit into his burger, delicately patting the grease on his chin with a floral-printed cloth napkin. “I am my type. I’m a twin fucker,” he purred, his voice as sweet as sugar.

I didn’t even need to think about what he meant by “twin fucker” for a hot second. I instantly knew exactly what homeboy was talking about. My good friend Natalie* is a sure-fire twin fucker. We incessantly make fun of her for dating her mirror-image all the time. Natalie’s last girlfriend looked so much like her, in fact, strangers assumed they were twins. Twins. Not sisters, but twins. When I called her the other day, I couldn’t tell if I was speaking to Natalie or Natalie’s girlfriend, so I avoided using names altogether. That night, I went to bed scared I actually might a twin fucker myself.

My mind circled back to my last three girlfriends, and I realized in horror that we all wear the same bra size.

Not only do I go after women with the same boob size as me, but my last three girlfriends have all had the similar shade of chocolate-brown hair.

What’s my hair color? I’m glad you asked, honey: CHOCOLATE BROWN.

 

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The next morning, I explained the concept of twin fuckers to a straight friend of mine who thinks all things queer are wildly fascinating (unlike my gay friends who usually yawn and roll their eyes when I try to break down the obscurities I observe within our community).

As expected, she was intrigued, giving me all the undivided attention I crave. (I love straight people; they make me feel so exotic.)

“Does this mean I’m a narcissist?” I asked, my voice weak and trembling. I’ve secretly feared I might be a narcissist for many years.

There was a long, pregnant pause. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

Shit! This was not looking good. Needing answers, I spoke with licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Lauren Costine, author of one of my favorite books, “Lesbian Love Addiction”.

I discovered her through my favorite podcast “The Mental Illness Happy Hour,” which probably gives you some insight into my constant obsession with disease and mental health.

“Most LGBTQ people have a type (or types) that they are attracted to. Who we are attracted is innate and comes from an intricate set of circumstances that include physiological, sociological, historical and psychological components,” Dr. Costine explains.

So is narcissism totally out of the window? Not necessarily. Dr. Costine explains that generalizing twin fuckers as narcissists is a “complicated situation.”

“It does not mean that there is no narcissism — many people in our community suffer from narcissist traits due to our collective trauma (which can be helped by healing the trauma). But looking alike is not a sign of narcissism per se – more a sign of all the things I just discussed,” Dr. Costine says.

So, I still could be a narcissist because I’m definitely a traumatized gay (what gay isn’t?), but going after girls with the same boob size as me is probably not direct evidence that I’m a narcissist.

My best friend Owen is also sort of a twin fucker like me. He goes after burly, unshaven cubs like himself.

Over a whiskey ginger one night, he explained to me that while he’s definitely a twin fucker, he isn’t attracted to cubs because he’s a narcissist. Rather, he thinks unshaven cubs are the definition of sexy, and he wants to look like the definition of sexy, too.

I tried so desperately to believe him. Maybe I keep my hair chocolate brown because I find dark hair to be sexy, and I want to fit my own definition of attraction?

I couldn’t help but think Owen’s quick denial could possibly be rooted in his own deflection of his own narcissistic tendencies.

Maybe we’re safe. Maybe we’re just both two good people trying to find a soul that we can goddamn connect with, and our tendency to twin fuck is direct evidence of precisely that.

But what about couples, like my friend Natalie and her girlfriend, who so closely resemble each other that their voices sound the same?

Every gay person knows about those couples. They’re in league of their own. They’re the couples who are so alike, they sound exactly the same, they dress exactly the same and essentially morph into the same person.

Dr. Costine explains that this is more about losing your own identity when you’re in the throes of the “infatuation phase” of a relationship.

“When couples start looking and sounding alike, it might possibly be a sign of merging to the point of losing their sense of self, but not necessarily. It really depends on the individual’s sense of self going into the relationship,” Dr. Costine says.

She talks about the “urge to merge” in “Lesbian Love Addiction,” which explains that during the infatuation phase, the couple “basically melts into one being.”

However, Dr. Costine says it isn’t healthy to morph into one being, as so many of us gays are inclined to do. I mean, what lesbian hasn’t found her identity blurred when she’s in love (at least once)?

“This is not a sign of a healthy connection, despite the fact that it feels amazing during the honeymoon period and is part of the bonding phase. Unfortunately, merging can be quite destructive to the couple if not dealt with as soon as possible,” Dr. Costine says.

I felt a shudder go up my spine. After all, as I type this, I’m wearing my girlfriend’s goddamn jeans.

Luckily, Dr. Costine says we are not totally screwed. “It is very healable, thankfully, and with the help of a qualified therapist or community resources, an LGBTQ person can stop unconsciously merging with new partners or the couple can learn how to un-merge in a healthy way.”

Dr. Costine’s expert advice made me realize that narcissism is probably not the problem, but lesbo love addiction probably is! Luckily, there is nothing a little bit of good old fashioned therapy can’t fix. Right? Right…?

*Name has been changed.

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This Is Why Lesbians Are More At Risk For Love Addiction

elitedaily-giorgio-fochesato-woman-huggingLove addiction, my sweet kittens, is no joke. It’s a very real thing, and, like any addiction, it can really screw up our fragile little lives.

I used to vehemently fear that I was a love addict, and then I feared I was a sex addict, and then I finally concluded that I was a love and sex and fantasy addict.

But I’m also a hypochondriac who has convinced herself at least 17,000 times that she’s HIV positive and pregnant. (I know I’m a lesbian, but does being a lesbian make you immune to immaculate conception? I DON’T THINK SO.)

I’m also the kind of girl who, every single time she has a hangover, is convinced she has a drinking problem, and Googles the closest AA meeting. I’m not trying to make light of addictions; trust me. I have a real fear that I might, indeed, be an addict of some sort.

But that’s neither here nor there. The only thing this rant is really proving is that I’m self-obsessed and think any of you give a shit that some whiny Upper East Side lesbian princess thinks she’s an addict. Ugh. I hate me too sometimes.

Anyway, the other day I was walking to work in the 4 million degree Manhattan weather when I started to listen to my favorite podcast, the delicately titled “The Mental Illness Happy Hour” with comedian Paul Gilmartin.

Well let me tell you babes, I almost lost my shit when I realized that Dr. Lauren D. Costine, author of the book “Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge,” was the guest, and they were going to discuss LESBIANS and our epidemic of U-Hauling (which is really just a lighthearted way of saying “moving in together after the third date,” or “love addiction.”)

Dr. Lauren D. Costine, a total femme babe lez who is in fact a psychologist (for once it’s not just me drawing from my haphazard, screwed up life), has struggled with love addiction her whole life. On the podcast, she candidly discussed why lesbians are at such effing high risk for it.

I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. I’m starting 12-step next week, I PROMISE.

Dr. Costine says women emit the feel-good chemicals oxytocin and dopamine when they fall in love. Men do not emit oxytocin the same way women do. So when two girl creatures fall in love and are both practically oozing oxytocin and are wasted off dopamine, it’s double the trouble. It’s what Dr. Costine calls an “oxyfest” and baby, it’s wildly intoxicating.

I remember the first time I fell in love with a girl, I felt literally high on drugs. At the time, I was partying way too much, basically treating my life like it was a game of Russian roulette because I was numb and disconnected after a sexual trauma.

But once I met this blonde-haired, wild-eyed bartender chick, my world changed over night. I didn’t even need to take the shot or snort the white powder because I already felt tanked from my feels for this girl. We both did. And being away from each other was a withdrawal like nothing I had ever experienced. It physically hurt.

In an interview in Psych Central, Dr. Costine also says (among MANY things),

Women are also wired to connect to others, because this improves our chances of surviving in hostile environments. In other words, we seek relationships because our brains are wired to need them. This explains, in part, why two women might be more inclined to connect more quickly than men traditionally do.

This insight helps us understand how, following directions from the brain, lesbians suffering from love addiction slip into merging behaviors that are destructive later on.

They commit to each other too quickly, move in too fast, and find themselves in relationships they didn’t expect once the honeymoon is over.

This has happened to me more times than I care to count on all ten of my polished nails. It happens to all my other dyke friends, too. We meet and we have an INSTANT connection, one that feels almost ~magnetic~.

It’s addictive to feel that kind BAM, CRASH, BOOM connection so quickly with another human being. And you feel oh-so-bonded oh-so-quickly that you drive that U-Haul to the second date, all high on oxytocin. The next thing you know, you’ve adopted four shelter pets and share a bed and clothes and are slowly merging into the same person and have lost your identity entirely. You even start to look alike.

Then, one dismal morning, you wake up and roll over to gaze at your sleeping partner, only to think, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!

You realize you don’t know the ins and outs of this person because you never gave yourself the chance DATE and get to know her SLOWLY. You just got caught up in the throes of the instant passion and connection, and have been living in one oxytocin fest.

Don’t you know you shouldn’t drive when intoxicated, especially a big ass U-Haul?

And now, you’ve burned through the oxytocin and you realize you made a mistake, except it’s SO hard to let go because the withdrawal is so painful.

It’s a tale as old as time. Which is why, my lovely, fellow lesbians, queer girls, bi girls, dykes, leather daddies, however you choose to identify, sister, it’s not really my business, we need to be wary of lesbian love addiction when we’re in new relationships.

We need to realize that while yes, the thrill of a new body and all the electric feels that come with a sparkling, fresh connection are amazing, they aren’t enough to sustain a long-term relationship.

Unfold into her slowly, girl. I promise you it’s so much sweeter that way. I’ve only recently started to take it slow, and let me tell you, the slow burn is much sexier than the rapid fire romance. Rapid fire burns until it scorches your skin raw and you’re left with nothing but a scar (that was poetic in an acne-ridden, gothy middle school way, wasn’t it, kittens?).

Slow burns get hotter and hotter every time. You ease into the fire. You end up falling in love with someone for their awesome integrity, incredible sexiness and unique humor. Qualities that are so solid they will be there once the rose colored fantasy wears off.

Editor

LGBTQ PRIDE & PULSE STUDY

This study is being conducted by gay & lesbian identified researchers affiliated with the HeadsUp! Lab at Loyola Marymount University

If you would like to be a part of the study click the link below.

http://q-r.to/PRIDEandPULSE

For questions, comments, or more information, please contact
Darin Witkovic at 310.568.6681 or headsup@lmu.edu

Pride and Pulse Ad

Taming Your Inner Critic | Dr. Lauren Costine

Taming the inner critic; where it comes from, and why it’s necessary.

Sophia Silva is a positive psychology coach and speaker who created www.sophiasilva.org to promote a positive way of life in which people can thrive. She also has a YouTube channel where she streams her “videoblog” with tips and advice, as well as interviews with leading figures.

Her latest project, What the Flow!, interviews experts on topics related to health, happiness and how to overcome life’s challenges. It can be found on www.sophiasilva.org, YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher.

Check out her interview with Dr. Costine.

Today is the Anniversary of The Stonewall Riots – June 28th, 1969

Members of YAWF (Youth Against War & Fascism) carry a banner in the Fifth Annual Gay Pride Day march (Gay Liberation Day), New York, New York, June 30, 1974. It reads 'Stonewall Means... Fight Back! Smash Gay Oppression!' (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

Members of YAWF (Youth Against War & Fascism) carry a banner in the Fifth Annual Gay Pride Day march (Gay Liberation Day), New York, New York, June 30, 1974. It reads ‘Stonewall Means… Fight Back! Smash Gay Oppression!’ (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

Today is the Anniversary of The Stonewall Riots – June 28th, 1969

On the Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we celebrate the heroes and heroines who have devoted their lives to fighting for LGBTQ rights and we proudly acknowledge all that our community has contributed to the bright fabric of the world.

The Stonewall riots happened 47 years ago.  In a spontaneous act of defiance against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York, LGBTQ folk had finally had enough and took to the streets in violent protests.  This is widely considered the day the Gay Liberation movement was born.

Since Stonewall we have accomplished so much.  Starting with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which was overturned in June, 2013, the LGBTQ community has experienced great strides in equal rights.  The Supreme Court Declared Same-Sex Marriage to be Legal In All 50 States almost a year ago this June. Most recently the transgender community has become more visible than ever before and is joining the march towards full equality.

Those who have lived through blatant discrimination and outright homophobia are still suffering the psychological effects of living in the terror of being found out.  Many men and women who were outed, risked social ostracism and loss of employment.  Gay and lesbian people have been out-casted by friends, abandoned by family, suffered humiliation and shame at the hands of bullies, been beaten and killed just for being who we are.  From this oppression has grown activism, community, and the LGBT movement is now stronger than ever before. Through organization, poetry, music, political activism, social media and film making, gay and lesbian stories are being told all over the world.  These stories are heartbreaking and triumphant and have helped to educate the rest of society to see LGBTQ people as what we are–human beings.  Human beings who deserve to love who we wish to love, create families and to live with human dignity.

Today we want to honor the men and women who fought, marched, protested and contributed to the gay rights movement.  But the fight is not over, this liberation movement will continue on until the LGBTQ community has equal rights in every state and every country throughout the world.

Here are just a few of our heroes and heroines.

  • Craig Rodwell founded the first bookstore devoted to gay and lesbian authors, The Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop
  • Laverne Cox is the first openly transgender person on the cover of Time magazine
  • Cell Rorex issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples back in 1975. She was a County Clerk in Colorado.
  • Bayard Rustin who in 1986, while speaking in support of New York’s gay rights bill, he observed, “The barometer of where one is on human rights questions is no longer the black community, it’s the gay community. Because it is the community which is most easily mistreated.”
  • Peter Tatchess: Cofounder of OutRage!
    In 2001 he tried to make a citizen’s arrest of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe for his denunciation of homosexuality.
  • Audre Lorde was a profound writer, poet, and equal rights activist.
  • Mary Daly:  Author of ‘Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism’.
    She was a lesbian feminist philosopher who taught classes in feminist ethics, theology, and patriarchy at Boston College from 1967 to 1999.
  • Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man to serve in public office in California when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978
  • Ellen DeGeneres  was the first lesbian character to come out on national television
  • Richard Isay was a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and gay activist who is credited with changing the way psychoanalysts view homosexuality
  • Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon met in 1950 and were the first people married in San Francisco after the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in 2008. Together in 1955, they helped form the Daughters of Bilitis, the first national lesbian organization in the US.
  • Sylvia Rivera was a bisexual transgender activist and trans woman who was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance
  • Leonard Matlovich was a Vietnam veteran and a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient. In 1975, he became the first service member to out himself to the military and fight their ban on gays.
  • Barbara Gittings was a prominent American activist for gay equality. She organized the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis
  • Harry” Hay a founder of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained gay rights group in the United States
  • Chely Wright became one of the first major country music performers to publicly come out as lesbian
  • Melissa Etheridge–Singer, songwriter and iconic gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993
  • Tammy Baldwin, Tammy is the first non-incumbent, openly gay person to serve in Congress
  • Gladys Bentley was a popular Blues singer during The Harlem Renaissance. Bentley dressed in her trademark tuxedo and top hat.
  • Rachel Maddow is perhaps the most powerful lesbian in the world of media, Maddow doesn’t shy away from acknowledging her sexuality and she regularly incorporates LGBT topics into her show.
  • Margarethe Cammermeyer is the highest ranking military official to come out while in the service. Prior to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” she challenged the military policy banning gays and won the right to serve.

Gay Bars and Their Importance to LGBTQ History

Gay Bars and Their Importance to LGBTQ History

The LGBTQ community has grown in strength and numbers today and support has blossomed across the globe like never before but it wasn’t always that way. It wasn’t that long ago that people who identified with a sexuality that fell outside the cultural norm were outsiders, often unwelcome or shunned in public establishments. Lesbian love, gay love– it didn’t matter. Gay and lesbian bars were either shut down or their patrons routinely arrested. However, LGBTQ bars through the years have been one of the few safe havens available for the LGBTQ community to gather, be ourselves, laugh, have fun, create community and even find some company.

With such a hostile attitude towards a segment of the human population, it was up to our community to create a place where we could be ourselves. The bars are where we found those spaces. While LGBTQ bars have not been known by the dominant culture (except by allies) the bar scene has been and remains today one of the key touchstones of the LGBTQ community.

With June being LGBTQ Pride Month and the recent horrific shootings in Orlando, it seems that LGBT bars and hate crimes against individuals who identify as queer is receiving well needed attention. Forty-nine people were shot dead in the wee hours of June 12, 2016 by a man who allegedly was set off months earlier by the sight of two men kissing in the city, at least according to his father. The incident left many devastated, particularly the friends, lovers, and families of the deceased. The incident went on for hours and was akin to the school shootings that had swept the country. But this was different; this was a deliberate act intended to hurt and ultimately kill gay people exclusively. It was a targeted, well thought out plan. To this man, gay love was not something to be celebrated or respected—but something seen as so disturbing that it had to be violently cut out.gaypride

This was done by Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old male from Fort Pierce, Florida. The young man had been previously interviewed by the FBI twice — in 2013 and 2014, but not found to be a threat. On top of it the shooter called 9-1-1 just hours before the shooting to apparently pledge his allegiance to ISIS. Mateen was well armed, prepared and well organized– he had an assault rifle and a pistol on him as he entered Pulse at two in the morning and started shooting. By the end 49 people were dead and the wounded were estimated to be 53. There was a standoff that lasted three hours, during which the people who were trapped inside with the shooter texted and called their friends and family to let them know they loved them. Many of the people on the receiving ends of those messages would never hear from their loved one again.

Police eventually were able to break into the building using an armored car and stun grenades where they were able to shoot and kill Matee finally stopping his reign of terror. The shooting is the deadliest mass murder in the history of the United States. The act was not random; it was an act of premeditated violence against an all too unprepared community out for a night of fun. And it turns out this man may have been gay himself which begs the conversation about internalized homophobia.

If he was gay, and the investigation is ongoing, then his hatred of himself as gay set off his night of terror. And were does that originate from – our hetercentric society that has been condemning same-sex love for thousands of years –it is a toxic message and gets inside people’s psyches. It is dangerous and can lead to acts of violence if not dealt with.  I will be discussing this more in my next article. Stay tuned.

It’s a desperately sad incident and ultimately preventable. The average person may have thought that the gay community would have used this as a reason to bury their head and stay inside. Instead, they are coming out loud and proud, and gaining more support than ever before– from everyday people who want to show that they support love, not hate.

After pouring their drinks, a bartender in Julius's Bar refuses to serve John Timmins, Dick Leitsch, Craig Rodwell (1940 - 1993), and Randy Wicker, members of the Mattachine Society, an early American gay rights group, who were protesting New York liquor laws that prevented serving gay customers, New York, New York, April 21, 1966. (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

After pouring their drinks, a bartender in Julius’s Bar refuses to serve John Timmins, Dick Leitsch, Craig Rodwell (1940 – 1993), and Randy Wicker, members of the Mattachine Society, an early American gay rights group, who were protesting New York liquor laws that prevented serving gay customers, New York, New York, April 21, 1966. (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)

Gay and lesbian bars have also served an important place in the history of LGBTQ culture. They have traditionally been places where people who were lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and attracted to the same sex, or identified somewhere outside the so-called normal sexual spectrum could not only go and feel safe, but find a place they belonged—with their people who understood precisely what it was like to be marginalized, to be on the fringe, to be hated. There was a feeling of community in these bars that were very rarely accessible anywhere else, and one of the only places that they could be together in public. Perhaps that is why LGBTQ watering holes are still so beloved and such a gathering place in the community to this day.

The alleged first gay bar in Europe and the world was in Cannes on the French Riviera– the Zanzibar. Opened in 1885 and only closed in 2010, the bar drew thousands over the years. In fact, Paris itself was a center for gay culture in the 1800s, becoming something of a “queer capital”. Among other early pioneers of gay culture were the Slide at 157 Bleecker Street in New York, a bar for gay men that opened in 1890 and called the wickedest place in New York by the press at the time. Paris entered a period of toleration for gays in the fifties and sixties, but raids on gay bars were frequent.

Gay club Eldorado opened in Berlin in 1932 as well. Berlin became an attractive destination for gay and lesbian nightlife as early as 1900, and by 1920, the scene was swinging. The Schöneberg district near Nollendorfplatz hosted many cafes as well as bars and clubs, an attractive destination for gay people who had fled their countries out of fear of being persecuted. The club was known around the world for its transvestite shows, however, when the Nazis took over in 1933, many of the popular gay establishments were closed. The gay scene revived again after homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969, and West Berlin became a gay and lesbian friendly district once more.

El Dorado Gay Bar 1920s Berlin

El Dorado Gay Bar 1920s Berlin

Another famous bar was The Cave of the Golden Calf, a London nightclub at 9 Heddon Street that opened up underground in 1912. The establishment quickly became popular among the artistic as well as the wealthy, thanks to Frida Strindberg’s avant-garde vision for the club. It would become an influence on later nightclub models as well. Gay bar culture became more openly visible once homosexuality was decriminalized in 1967 in the UK, and Soho became the new nexus of the LGBTQ community with endless bars, restaurants, clubs, and cafes popping up. The area was considered established by the nineties, although other UK cities became known for their queer bars, such as Manchester’s Canal Street, Liverpool’s Stanley Street Quarter, and the gay village in Birmingham.

There have been others, from The Empire (1911 in Amsterdam to the 1930s), to the Café t Mandje, a gay bar opened by Bet van Beeren, a lesbian (1927-1982 and then opened again in 2008). Still more have been found in Copenhagen’s bar Centralhhjørnet (opened 1917), the Atlantic House in Provincetown (1798), San Francisco’s Black Cat Bar (1906), The Double Header in Seattle (1933), Julius Bar in NYC, Webster Hall on 125 East 11th street in New York and Rockland Palace on 280 W. 155th Street were famous for their drag balls. Eve’s Hangout was a speakeasy run out of West Village by Eva Kotchever at 129 MacDougal Street. She was arrested and later deported after an undercover officer found out she was writing a short story collection called Lesbian Love. And let’s not forget Stonewall of NYC – one of the most important bars of all – that catapulted the LGBTQ rights into our social justice movement in June of 1969.

There can be no doubt that the LGBTQ community has been through horrible things. Instead of this event forcing everyone to live in fear, we are determined to not let one deranged person keep us down. We are coming out stronger and louder and prouder than ever before, with cities all over the world banding together to support us. Our pride parades are going on uninterrupted and vigils are happening everywhere. By now it is certain: we will NOT be kept silent, and we will not cower in fear.

Pulse Nightclub Gay Bar

Pulse Nightclub Orlando

Pulse was not the first gay bar that was targeted in history but hopefully it will be the last. Here’s hoping that the rest of the world catches on to what the gay community is really about; the beauty in diversity and sensitivity, self-actualization and love. One act of hate will NOT bring down an entire community. The past few days of pride, courage, kindness, outrage, love and support have shown that all too clearly. Here’s to the LGBTQ bars; long may she reign.