An affirming newsletter for the gender variant community

In This Issue
OC Pride Picnic
Gender Spectrum Conference
The Comfort of a Good Book
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List

Quick Links

Community Events
oc pride picnic

The Orange County Equality Coalition invites all members and friends to enjoy a day in the park.

When: Saturday, August 15, 12-4 pm.
Where: Mason Regional Park, Irvine, CA

Everyone is welcome! Food will be available for purchase, or bring your own picnic. Explore the booths of Coalition partners and listen to a variety of speakers.

Continue the fun at the after-party at Steelhead Brewery, 4175 Campus Dr., 4-8pm.

For more info:click here
Gender Spectrum Family Conference

I am looking forward to presenting at the Gender Spectrum Family Conference over Labor Day Weekend, in Seattle, Washington. I'll be talking with parents of gender variant and transgendered children about parenting, dealing with fear and discrimination and family transition.

This gathering allows families from all over the country to come together to share in their journey, meet new friends and encourage each other in the unique and rewarding experience of loving a gender gifted child.

For more info:

Issue: # 10

Welcome to the August 2009  edition of Pathways.  This month's main article is focused on the comfort and discovery that can be found in a good book.  I hope you will find it both informing and inspiring. 

Lisa Maurel, MFT
Lic. 32416

"Books are humanity in print"
-Barbara W. Tuchman
The Comfort of a Good Book
There is nothing like a good book. The feel and texture of the pages, the comfort of words which illuminate and inspire, for me, this is one of the greatest joys in life. I will probably never own an electronic book device, simply for my love of the page. I owe a great debt to countless authors who have opened my heart, my mind and my imagination.
In my own journey, books have made their way into my hands through friends as well as my therapist. There were some dark places in my journey in which the right book gave me the light I needed to find my way.
And I have learned the value of sharing a poignant book at various points in the process of the work of therapy. Books open doors in the heart and mind that facilitate the process of growth and further the work that is done within the session. I have found it particularly helpful to share books that relate the stories of gender questioning people as they have explored and expressed their gender identity; while dealing with the social, religious and familial realties of their lives.

These stories, whether fictional or historical, provide a context for our own lives today. We are part of a larger community that has forged a path, and we are on the cutting edge of that path. Our own lives, are forging the path for those who will come after us. We can take pride in our heritage, because we have inherited a legacy of people who stand in the world, on their own terms, and speak out for justice, equality and compassion.

When our lives and struggles are viewed in this context, we join this circle and receive inspiration, encouragement and vision for our own lives.
Here are a few inspiring reads from my bookshelf....
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
by Julia Serano by Seal Press
List Price: $15.95
Our Price: $8.85
Buy Now

Transwomen often struggle to find a place among bio-women and face mysogyny from all sides. Applying feminist thought and social critique, as well as her professional insights as a biologist, the author makes a strong case that much of what transwomen face in the way of discrimination from the non-trans community, as well as the LGBT community, and other trans folks, is rooted in the negative cultural views of femininity.
The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
While this book is usually characterized as "lesbian", I think the story beautifully illustrates Stephen's struggle with gender in a time when language related to gender non-conforming folks was non-existent.
This book was banned in 1928 for "obscenity" as it portrays the love story of Stephen and Mary. Stephen is female and feels trapped in the conventions of her gender. She experiences her first happiness in her love for Mary, but understands the societal impediments to pursuing this relationship. This book is loosely based on Hall's life and is window into LGBT history.
Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us
by Kate Bornstein by Vintage
Paperback ~ Release Date: 1995-04-25
List Price: $14.95
Our Price: $6.17
Buy Now

Kate Bornstein writes in  a way that challenges all of our cultural assumptions about gender. While telling her story, without apology, she gives voice to the importance of personal power and the freedom to be human, outside of the boxes of gender as we have understood them.
Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg
This is a classic book for the LGBT community as it relays the story of Jess who is trying to survive as a working class butch lesbian, who then begins to live as a man in order to survive in the workforce. Set in the 60's and 70's, this book opens our eyes to the complexities of sexuality, gender and the challenge of navigating that internal landscape for a butch lesbian who identifies as male.

Becoming a Visible Man
by Jamison Green by Vanderbilt University Press
List Price: $24.95
Our Price: $15.72
Buy Now

Green's book is a highly personal account of his transition and his struggle with gender. This book gives attention to the subtleties of female socialization and the experience of transition with regards to navigating the world as a male, and the importance of male socialization. Jamison Green continues to be an important leader in the fight for Transgender Rights today.
lisa - headshotPeace on your journey,
Lisa Maurel, MFT
2009 Lisa Maurel, MFT, Lic. 32416 - All rights reserved.