An affirming newsletter for the gender variant community

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National News
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Community Events


When:  Saturday June 13 from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight Sunday June 14 from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Where: San Vicente between Santa Monica and Melrose.

All are invited to come out and show their Pride as Christopher Street West launches their latest three-year vision - "PRIDE 365: Power. Passion. Purpose." Thousands of festival attendees are expected in the heart of West Hollywood to revel amongst world-class headlining entertainment.

the center oc

The Center OC is moving June 7th. 
New address : 
1605 N. Spurgeon St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
New phone:
(714) 953-LGBT (5428)

Staff requests that you not visit until their move is complete (unless you are currently signed up as a volunteer).  For more info:  The Center OC
National News

President Obama proclaims June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed a Proclamation designating June as LGBT Pride month. "I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists."
(signed June 1, 2009). To read the White House Press Release, click

Advertisers Pull from KRXQ after GLAAD Call to Action on Anti- Transgender Program

GLAAD contacted KRXQ after a concerned listener completed a GLAAD incident report following dehumanizing remarks that hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States made encouraging violence against transgender children. When the station failed to apologize, GLAAD issued a Call to Action on June 2 that urged constituents to call on KRXQ and hold Williams and States accountable for their remarks. GLAAD also distributed the Call to Action to LGBT advocacy organizations, social networking sites and media outlets.
Read the full article here.
Issue: # 9

Welcome to the June 2009 edition of Pathways.  This month's main article is focused on inner beauty and self-discovery.  I hope you will find it both informing and inspiring.

As the days lengthen and you enjoy the warmth of summer, I hope that you will take time to rest and replenish your energy and your passion. When I return from vacation, I will have some openings for new clients. If you are interested in how therapy can help you along your journey, please contact me for a consultation.

Lisa Maurel, MFT
Lic. 32416

"People are like stained glass windows -- the true beauty can be seen only when there is light from within. The darker the night, the brighter the windows"
- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder
butterfly3The question of beauty is a focal point for many of us during the awkward phase of adolescence. Remember what that was like? Did the mirror mock you or did you like what you saw? Did you magnify your flaws and overlook your strengths. This was a struggle to define yourself, to fit in. It's tough enough the first time around, but for people who live in two genders within their lives, a second adolescence is often part of the coming out process. It is a time of exploration, change, experimenting with looks and yes, the old insecurities that accompany adolescence. Am I pretty enough? Will I have enough facial hair? Are my shoulders to broad? Too narrow?
This isn't unique however to transgendered people. Its everywhere in our culture-especially here in Newport Beach.  There are no letter requirements for the parade of patients seeking breast enhancement and facelifts here in Newport Beach-as long as they are biologically female and further enhancing the image of the feminine.
Perhaps there should be. These surgeries are often sought as a means of repairing what is within- a deep sense of inadequacy and self judgment that one hopes to repair surgically.  But external modifications won't heal wounds of the heart.
There is a kind of woundedness that cannot be repaired through the physical alteration of one's body. Whether it is bio-female seeking a better body, or a trans-woman seeking a more feminine appearance that will help her pass. These modifications will alter our physical appearance and perhaps even provide some emotional relief. But it will be short lived when the roots of our shame based self image regenerate in the familiar sound of our critical inner voice and the feeling of shame.
Real beauty lies within us.
Often, we must work to remove the lies, judgment and false notions of beauty in order to discover our real worth. For the gender gifted person, additional messages about "passing" and our cultural narratives about beauty and gender have to be negotiated. But as human beings, our growth calls us to expand our ideas of beauty beyond the physical, the temporal, and even beyond, gender. The more open we are to many forms of beauty and expression, the more compassionate we can be to ourselves. This allows us to grow into a space of real joy and appreciation for life as beauty and youth always fade.

butterfliesAll of us experience our own way of being male, female, masculine, feminine, androgynous and in between. One exercise I often give my clients who worry about whether they "pass" is to go to a busy, open spot like the mall or an airport and watch people. What they observe is the stunning diversity and non-uniformity of gender expression and beauty. And it gives them more room.
All of us express out unique personhood in ways that transcend our physical appearance. When we seek to address our inner wounding only through physical modifications, we are unable to heal.

A significant portion of the work that my clients in transition are doing is around the wounding they received in childhood and their adulthood-deciphering the messages of shame and wounding from the truth of who they are at their deepest level.
This work is an essential part of transitioning in a way that facilitates a new life in a new gender expression that is rooted in freedom and love rather than fear and shame.What's striking to me is that the physical changes I witness are no more striking than the inward changes of person through this process. And I'm always honored to share in the emergence of the strong and beautiful person within.
On vacation...

Pathways will be on "vacation" for July, but will return with a new issue in August.
lisa - headshotPeace on your journey,
Lisa Maurel, MFT
2009 Lisa Maurel, MFT, Lic. 32416 - All rights reserved.