Navigating the Chapters of Bankruptcy

Due to COVID-19, record numbers of businesses, families and individuals are struggling to fulfill their debt obligations. Filing for bankruptcy can be a very helpful tool, with several options available. Chapter 7:  Individuals and families Chapter 7 can be a quick, easy way to eliminate credit card debt, tax debt, personal loans, old balances from car repossessions and early termination of apartment leases. There is no limit on the amount of debt that Chapter 7 can eliminate.  Chapter 7 does not mean that individuals and families must give up their home, cars, jewelry, bank accounts or other assets.  To qualify, […]

Is the Housing Market Going Mad?

We are in the middle of the first truly worldwide pandemic in a century. The economy is returning the worst unemployment numbers since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Businesses are closing, reducing their workforce, and economists have their hair on fire. So… why is the housing market going like gangbusters? Like so much of what we’re experiencing in 2020, it doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense. From actual experience in the Baltimore metro market, and discussions with real estate agents in other places, there simply are not enough homes on the market to meet current demand. Prices […]

Do you pee in Morse Code??!?

September is prostate awareness month which is why I decided to focus on it for a moment. Most people have some level of awareness of prostate cancer, so I will start there.  It has a very high survival rate in part because men get checked regularly after the age of 50 or 55, depending on the comfort of your PCP, other health risks and family history.  I must take a moment to remind all of my trans women friends that regular prostate checks apply to you too, because the prostate is not removed during a vaginoplasty.   The prostate starts out […]

How Bankruptcy Can Bring a Fresh Start

Bankruptcy is a sensitive subject to discuss – especially now during the COVID pandemic when unprecedented numbers of people and businesses worldwide are facing financial hardship. An unnecessary stigma is associated with the word, “bankruptcy,” and many people have the false impression that it means failure. As children, we are taught that bankruptcy is how people lose in Wheel of Fortune and Monopoly. The reality is that bankruptcy can be the best financial decision for individuals, families and business owners. The purpose of bankruptcy, as stated by the Supreme Court in 1934 is to give “the honest but unfortunate debtor…a […]

Playing it straight

James Sweeney’s queer rom-com Straight Up (Strand), now available on DVD, has more in common with Woody Allen’s Annie Hall than you might expect. Like Allen did for Annie Hall, Sweeney wrote, directed and stars in Straight Up. Like Allen’s Annie Hall character Alvy, Sweeney’s Todd is a nerdy, obsessive compulsive, in therapy, who is in search of companionship. Similarities between the two probably end there. In Straight Up, gay millennial Todd is undergoing a severe sexual identity crisis, or so he tells friends Ryder (James Scully) and Meg (Dana Drori) in an L.A. diner. He believes he could statistically […]

Mental Health Moment – September is Suicide Prevention Month

By Deepak Prabhakar, M.D., Medical Director of Outpatient Services, Sheppard Pratt September is Suicide Prevention Month. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. was facing a suicide epidemic. Each day, we lose 132 lives to suicide—the highest suicide rate in more than 30 years, with a particularly disturbing increase in young people dying by suicide. This equates to about 48,000 lives lost each year to suicide. Now consider what COVID-19 and its accompanying uncertainties related to education, employment, financial struggles, and other issues have exacted on an individual’s mental health. The heightened uncertainty and anxiety coupled with the stress and […]

Flu Season 2020-2021: When Covid Meets Flu

Are there any changes to flu vaccine recommendations because of Covid? Is it more dangerous to get the flu vaccine during the Covid pandemic? Flu vaccine prevents or decreases the severity of influenza, which is a viral infection that mainly affects the lungs. Influenza, or “flu,” is a dangerous illness. It causes severe fatigue (“feeling like you’ve been run over by a truck”), headache, sore throat, dry cough, stuffy nose, and body aches. The flu can cause pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of medical conditions like heart failure, emphysema, asthma, and diabetes.            The word “flu” is often wrongly used to describe other […]

Where Are We Now?

A few months ago, when everything started to close and leather events were being canceled or postponed for months, I titled my column: “Where Do We Go from Here?” It is now early September and we are still waiting for the coronavirus to “magically disappear.” Major events that were postponed are now having to rethink their decision. Cleveland Leather Awareness Weekend (CLAW) traditionally held in April was rescheduled for November. CLAW now will not happen in November and will be held April 20th – 25th, 2021. The Westin and Hampton hotels are offering full refunds and event package holders may […]

Dry Eyes Have Many Causes

Dear Dr. Eva, I am having awful problems with dry eyes.  My eyes feel really dry all the time and sometimes they hurt. It’s been going on for months. I thought it might be allergies, but allergy pills didn’t help. I’ve tried different kinds of eyedrops, and they didn’t help much. I don’t have medical insurance. Can you suggest something? Dry Eye   Dear Dry, There are two major causes for dry eyes. The eyes make several different kinds of fluid that work together to keep the surface of the eyes moist.  When there is not enough of any of […]

Democratic Party platform is the most pro LGBTQ ever

Washington, D.C. – The Democratic Party has unveiled its platform for November’s elections and it is the most LGBT+ inclusive ever. The party makes major pledges to reverse President Donald Trump’s anti-LGBT+ policies. Meanwhile it pledges to ban “conversion therapy”, pass the Equality Act and make America a world leader in LGBT+ rights. It recognizes the differing needs of various parts of the community in more detail than ever before. In particular it refers to “non-binary” and “non-conforming” people and recognizes intersectionality, talking about “trans people of color”, for example.             Symbolizing this commitment to tackling discrimination in the US, […]