Help at the Auto Store

So, I went to get brake pads for my car today. The woman helping said, “Can I help you ma’am?” I told her in a joking manner, “I needed my car to stop, so I guess I’m looking for brakes.” She thought I was being serious and after getting them, she asked if I had someone to change the pads for me. I said, “No I’m going to change them myself.” So, she got small tube of anti-squeak lube and told me exactly how to apply it on the brakes. She made sure I knew not to put it on […]

My Keystone Experience

In 2010 I went to my first Keystone Conference, as Karen before I transition full time. When I was invited by a friend to go to this conference, I was so excited to be able to meet old friends and make new ones for life. After seeing a few friends, I checked in with the hotel’s registration desk, and to my surprise I was welcomed with smiles by a wonderful staff. I then checked in with the conference registration table for my name tag and program book. A book full of information on workshops schedules, from life stories to Gender […]

Mental Health Moment – COVID-19 and Anxiety

By Jon Hershfield, MFT Director, OCD and Anxiety Center, Sheppard Pratt COVID-19 is a hurricane of uncertainties. How it appeared, how it behaves, how we stay safe from it, and how long it’s going to be a burden on the world are all mired in mystery. While fear is how our bodies respond to danger we can clearly identify, anxiety is how our bodies respond to the more confusing, abstract potential threats we imagine in the future. Both experiences are the body’s normal biological strategy to help keep us safe. Our heart rate goes up for energy in case we […]

Responding Reasonably to Coronavirus #4: Is it too soon to stop social distancing?

Based on everything we know about epidemiology and about this virus, it is not safe to ease up on social distancing now. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Guidance For Governors (updated April 17, 2020) recommends that governors should not back off social distancing rules or begin to allow people to resume normal activities until after the death rate from coronavirus in their state has declined for fourteen straight days, meaning that each day for 2 weeks, fewer people die than died the day before. There are no other published guidelines. However, the governors of many states are choosing […]

Breaking Stigmas

Mental Health Awareness Month during a global pandemic is a quagmire. Even in 2020, the stigma surrounding Mental Health is so entrenched, research leaps from innocuous to half-truths and stereotypes with a single click in the wrong direction. Add the upheaval of every norm within our society, and the result is a population with higher numbers of anxiety, depression, and mental fatigue. Mental health and wellness is already a subject of concern for those who are queer; LGBTQ+ Americans face rates of mental illness twice those of their cis-hetero peers. With everyone struggling more than before, I think it is […]

Conversation With Mimi Demissew from The Pride Center

In the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, businesses are facing dilemmas due to quarantine restrictions, travel bans, event cancellations, and so on. Baltimore OUTloud sat down with the Pride Center of Maryland’s Executive Director, Mimi Demissew, to learn about the latest updates on services, plans for the Pride Center, the status of Baltimore Gay Pride 2020 and more. Charles Smalls: How has the Pride Center, specifically the populations you serve, been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic? Mimi Demissew: The way that it’s most affected us is that we’ve had to close down our center to the public. One of the […]

“Feeling” good: an interview with Pam Tillis

Pam Tillis is country music royalty. The daughter of country music legend Mel Tillis, Pam has had her own lengthy career as a singer/songwriter with hits including “Maybe It Was Memphis”, “Cleopatra, Queen of Denial”, “Spilled Perfume” and, of course, “Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)”. Looking for a Feeling (Stellar Cat), Pam’s 11th studio album and first solo album in more than a dozen years, is the kind of comeback we’ve been waiting for. A compelling combination of modern and traditional country tunes, featuring outstanding originals including the title track, “Burning Star”, “Karma” and “Last Summer’s Wine”, as well […]

Bimix and Trimix

It is estimated that ED effects 30% – 50% of men between the ages of 40-70 years of age, are you in this group? ED has inspired an incredibly huge market of easy remedies with Viagra and Cialis being two of the most popular treatments, but there are several others you may not be aware of. Bimix and trimix are 2 different medications that are injected directly into the penis in order to stimulate blood flow through vasodilation. It is rumored that a popular night club was frequented by a “doctor” who would give guys a injection that would boost […]

Resources for LGBT Emotional Support During Pandemic Isolation

Photo Cutline: Randall Leonard, LCSW-C (left) and Kate Bishop, MSSA (right). By Kate Bishop, MSSA, and Randall Leonard, LCSW-C Beloved community, what a bizarre period of history we find ourselves in. No one currently alive has ever experienced a global health crisis of this magnitude. Stumbling through a wrenching learning curve that has been called a “slow-motion collective trauma,” every person on Earth could probably use some emotional care right now. Every person on Earth includes you, friend. Due to underlying health disparities, employment inequities, and prejudice-related mental health stressors, LGBTQ people are especially vulnerable in this crisis. As the pandemic […]

Responding Reasonably to Coronavirus #3: Denial Is Not a River In Egypt

I’m sure you’ve already heard about as much as you want to about how Americans are not interested in helping each other, and our youth are a bunch of snowflakes who care only for their own interests and special uniqueness. Those are frequently offered explanations as to why it’s been difficult to get some Americans to follow instructions for maintaining social distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus. I’d like to offer some alternative explanations which aren’t more versions of finger pointing and blaming. The reasons for social distancing and the right ways to use protective devices such as gloves […]