Minding Your Health - Marriage Equality: A Glorious Opportunity and Challenge

This summer’s historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling mandating that all states must allow for marriage equality represents a huge step forward for our civil rights, legal rights, economic well-being, relationship equality and recognition.
Many readers probably thought they would never see the day when same-sex marriage would become the law of the land. It was not that long ago that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was a common solution, both in the military and in families. It was not that long ago that we were still considered to be sexual outlaws and perverts unworthy of recognition.
In 1996, gay marriage had a 27 percent approval rating among U.S. residents in a Gallup poll; in February 2015, a CNN/ORC poll found that 63 percent of Americans believe that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. The world is changing, and now we are challenged to change.
Many more of us are in longtime committed relationships than most people believe. Those in long-term relationships are less visible, and myths persist that we are less capable of lasting, stable relationships. In fact, just as many straight couples fall into difficulty; problems with communication, disrespect, trust and addiction pay no regard to sexual orientation.
We have wonderful pioneers and role models in our community, with Kansas City couples enjoying long-term loving relationships for as many as 20, 30, and yes, even 60 years together!
As we contemplate this new-found legal recognition of our commitment, we would be wise to ask the right questions and to be clear in our intent.
Make an informed decision: Get the facts and take the time to discuss your decision with your partner. Now that our love can be legally recognized, we are challenged to appraise our relationships and needs realistically and to act responsibly.
Do we understand and embrace the full implications of marriage on our financial options, tax options and inheritance? Do we understand how this might affect credit, loans, and property ownership? Do we understand how this affects our involvement in each other’s health decisions? Do we know how this affects Social Security? Access to health insurance? Our children? Immigration law? Future financial planning? Retirement? Our standing in our church?
Do we want our relationship to be similar to a heterosexual marriage, or do we want to create our own model and contract? The possibility of legal divorce is a new reality. Are we prepared to handle the financial and social ramifications if our relationship does not continue?
As we journey toward authenticity in relationships, social acceptance and cultural inclusiveness, the option of marriage challenges us to confront the destabilizing influences of addiction, learning to be more open and honest in our most intimate relationships (most of us learned to lie to survive before we came out, and even bad old habits persist), and improving our skills in validating, empathizing, understanding, and supporting each other.
Just because we have the option to marry does not mean that this is right for all people. Some may prefer to be single. Some may prefer to continue serial monogamy. Some may prefer more than one partner without a primary marital commitment. Some of us just want to have fun and are not looking for a serious commitment.
The option of marriage does not detract from embracing our relationship, social, cultural, racial, gender, and sexual diversity.
Jason Carrigan is a licensed professional counselor and marriage and family therapist practicing in the Westport area and is active in the leadership of the Greater Kansas City LGBT-Affirming Therapists Guild.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less