An affirming newsletter for Lesbian Women
and their Partners
August 2009
In This Issue
Army of Women
OC Pride Picnic
The Comfort of a Good Book
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Army of Women
It is widely known that a breast cancer diagnosis can have far reaching effects both socially and emotionally. Less well understood are the ways in which a breast cancer diagnosis impacts the well-being and quality of life of women who have historically been underserved by the medical community. Lesbian and bisexual women are one of these underserved populations, and little research has been done to assess their health and well-being as breast cancer survivors. Identifying their unique needs by asking questions related to health and well-being in a survey will help researchers to develop culturally appropriate survivorship programs for these women.

The researchers conducting the study have already recruited all of the heterosexual women they need for this study, and now they need your help to find all of the lesbian and bisexual women who are needed for this call to action.

You can sign up for the Variations in the Health Needs of Breast Cancer Survivors study if you match ALL of these main categories:
� You identify as lesbian or bisexual, or as a woman who partners with women.
� You were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2000-2005
� You were at least 21 years old at the time of diagnosis
� You were diagnosed with DCIS, or stage I, II, or III breast cancer
� You have only been diagnosed with breast cancer one time, you have not had a recurrence
� You have never been diagnosed with ANOTHER invasive cancer, other than breast cancer

If this study isn't a right fit for you, but you know someone who might be interested in participating, please pass it on. It is a tough study to fill and we need everyone's help.
OC Pride - Picnic in the Park

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
Welcome to the August 2009  edition of Reflections.  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

Reading-philip greenspun

"The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame."
-Oscar Wilde

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 lesbian women as they have discovered their sexuality while dealing with the social, religious and familial realties of their lives.

photo credit: 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 women 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 of women and receive inspiration, encouragement and vision for our own lives. Here are a few inspiring reads from my bookshelf....
A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.
~ Henry Ward Beecher ______________________________________
The Well of Loneliness: A 1920s Classic of Lesbian Fiction
by Radclyffe Hall by Anchor
Paperback ~ Release Date: 1990-10-18
List Price: $15.95
Our Price: $6.73
Buy Now

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.
This Bridge Called My Back: Radical Writings by Women of Color by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua
This book is in its third edition and is a groundbreaking collection of works by lesbians of color and working class backgrounds. Through story, poetry and essays the authors examine culture, class, race and homophobia.

Married Women Who Love Women, Second Edition
by Carren Strock by Routledge
List Price: $24.95
Our Price: $15.97
Buy Now
Discovering your sexuality while in a heterosexual marriage is life altering to be sure. Carren Strock's book explores the realities of sexual fluidity and the reality of married women coming into awareness of their sexuality. Her accounts from interviews with these women and their families will strike a chord for any woman who finds herself in this situation.
Songs of the Gorilla Nation by Dawn Prince-Hughes, Ph.D.
Dawn's autobiography relays her experience of a profound disconnection from people from a very early age.  In her 20's, she encounters the world of primates while working at the Seattle Zoo. Through her experiences in relating to these huge beasts, she is able to emerge from her solitude and find meaningful connection. Along the way, Dawn discovers her sexuality and a deep capacity for love that she had never known. While this story focus a great deal on Dawn's undiagnosed Asperger's, it is a story about a woman coming into her self.
Stone Butch Blues: A Novel
by Leslie Feinberg by Alyson Books
List Price: $14.95
Our Price: $6.00
Buy Now

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.  
lisa - headshot
Peace to you on your journey,

 Lisa Maurel, MFT 
"Growth is in your hands" 

  2009 Lisa Maurel, MFT, Lic. # 32416 - All Rights Reserved.