Minding Your Health - Where Have All the Lesbians Gone?

The LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild, Good Samaritan Project, and Truman Medical Center hosted a workshop in January called “Aging Successfully in the LGBT Community.” More than 50 community members and mental health care providers attended, and we spent the day listening, sharing, and laughing about issues related to growing older. It was a positive experience.

But a part of our community was noticeably absent: lesbians. A variety of possible reasons could be behind their absence, but the situation left several of us providers asking: Where have all the lesbians gone?

Of course, lesbians are very much a part of Kansas City’s LGBT community. Women are active in the Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Chorus, Heart of America Softball League, MoKan Comm-UNITY Consortium and many other groups.

But some providers are challenged when women who are newly out or who are questioning their sexual orientation ask them to suggest places to meet other women.
Many, like me, are gay men who are accustomed to socializing in bars. Kansas City’s lesbian bar, Tootsies, closed years ago. Some women are not ready to join a formal organization like those mentioned above. Instead, they would prefer to meet other women in a social setting.

Therefore, we look to the community for guidance. What suggestions would you offer if asked where lesbians can meet other lesbians in the Kansas City community? What would you say to therapists, counselors and social workers to help us improve our connection with the lesbian community or the LGBT community in general?

Please email your suggestions and comments to organizer@lgbtguild.com or use the “Contact Us” form at LGBT Guild. Responses will be shared anonymously in a future column, and resources will be added to the Local Resources on our website.

Kyle Danner is an organizer for the LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild of Greater Kansas City. He received a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City."

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