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OUTthink Podcast – Imagine Waking Up and Finding Yourself Disabled

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OUTthink Podcast – Imagine Waking Up and Finding Yourself Disabled Imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to wake up one morning and to find yourself in a position where you have become so disabled, you are no longer capable of walking. Imagine what that would feel like if you had reached this point after years of great health. In the latest OUTthink podcast, this is the exact scenario that our guest had found himself in. About Joe Joe Busuttil had been the picture of perfect health. He had been a personal trainer and had spent considerable time working out to ensure that he had a body he would be proud of. He had worked on the gay scene and was also a hypnotherapist who realised the importance of the mind matching the body. A little over two years ago, Joe was about to embark on an Atlantis Cruise in Asia, when he experienced a weakness of the muscles in his leg that prevented him from being able to walk. Upon further exploration, the diagnosis was made that Joe had Vasculitis; a nerve condition that, while debilitating, is also curable. This began a journey for Joe, learning how…

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OUTthink Podcast – Episode 4 – Sexual Fluidity (Part 2)

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The second half of our chat with Lisa Torney is out today, continuing our discussion on sexual fluidity and even touching on the topic of why heterosexual people may sometimes pretend to be ‘change sides’. It’s a great conversation and provides some insight into the world that exists between straight and gay. Click below to listen to the show. You can also check out our podcast page, subscribe on iTunes or listen to the previous episodes on our Youtube Channel. You might also like to read: OUTthink Podcast – Episode 3 – Sexual Fluidity (LGBTQIA+) Why I Created OUTthink. OUTthink – Chat with Daniel Book Review: The Velvet Rage

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Book Review: The Velvet Rage

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Book Review: The Velvet Rage Dr Alan Downs, PhD There is something about The Velvet Rage that feels almost as though Alan Downs is sitting down to an intimate chat with you, exploring the seemingly common themes amongst gay men’s lives that are influenced and often impacted from the effects of toxic shame and inauthenticity. I often found myself going back over certain passages due to the beautifully poetic feel of the writing, allowing both the meaning to resonate with me as well as the feelings and thoughts that came up as a result. When it comes to ‘self-help’ books, Dr Downs has managed to create something special in ‘The Velvet Rage’; a book that can truly impact and change the lives of countless gay men while also being an engaging and touching body of work. As you may have read from some of my previous blog posts, we are all touched by shame. Some of us are capable of dealing with that shame in a way that is positive for us, allowing us to feel guilt to change or understanding that we have more to learn and keeping an open mind. Some of us are also challenged and limited…

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Can you name 86 ‘sexual labels’? Sexual Fluidity and the LGBT Community

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OUTthink is a podcast that talks about issues that affect LGBTQIA+ mental health. The following is a transcript of a chat with Lisa Torney, Sex Therapist, regarding sexual fluidity and the LGBTQIA Community. OUTthink is now available to download or stream now from iTunes, Youtube and Podomatic. Lawrence Akers: Hi, welcome to OUTthink. I’m Lawrence Akers. I’m a clinical hypnotherapist, member of the LGBTQI community, and a passionate advocate for mental health. These podcasts have been made in hope of sharing insight into issues that impact on the LGBTQI community and I’m going to pass it over to my guest for this week to introduce herself. Lisa Torney: Hi Lawrence, my name is Lisa Torney, and I’m a counselor and sex therapist. LA: Excellent. So that’s going to make this one perhaps a little bit more saucier than usual we can expect. This week’s episode is looking at sexual fluidity and the pros and cons around that. So I guess the first obvious question is what is sexual fluidity? LT: Well, that’s a term that describes the way people feel about their sexuality, sexual interests, there was some thinking once that you only were attracted to men or women and…

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OUTthink Podcast – Episode 3 – Sexual Fluidity (LGBTQIA+)

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In the latest OUTthink podcast, Lawrence talks with Lisa Torney about the topic of sexual and gender fluidity. In this part one, we explore what is sexual fluidity as well as taking a closer look at the labels which people choose to identify who they are sexually. Given that the list is ever-expanding, this podcast serves as a great introduction to the range of non-standard ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ labels that exist and are used to help make the many diverse groups that fall under the banner of LGBTQIA+. About Lisa Lisa has over 20 years counselling experience as a social worker prior to pursuing her Master’s degree in Sexual Health Counselling at Sydney University. She has counselled people over many years in a variety of settings and have extensive experience in sexual health counselling, trauma and crisis counselling, and working with individual and couples. She is the Victorian Branch President of the Society of Australian Sexologists and committed to maintaining professional ethics and standards within the field of sexology and sexual health. Lisa has also worked extensively with the LGBTQIA+ community, being experienced in assisting transgender people and their partners dealing with gender dysphoria, identity difficulties, changing relationships and transitioning…

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OUTthink Episode 2 – Discovering Self-Acceptance Post-HIV

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December 1st is World AIDS Day; an opportunity to reflect upon how far we’ve come in the fight against HIV as well as a chance to continue to bring awareness to the world about safe sex practices. While HIV is no longer the death sentence that it once was, the impact of becoming HIV+ can still have a significant impact on that person’s mental health. HIV doesn’t discriminate either. While HIV has long been associated with the gay and lesbian community, the reach of this virus goes far beyond that. When a person becomes HIV+, there is the likelihood that they’ll be dealing with new issues around shame. Because of the means of transmission, they may feel ashamed to talk openly about their circumstances. They may decide to keep the diagnosis secret initially while they aim to make sense of what they should do next and who they should tell. They may go through a sense of anger or denial or experience a sense of their mortality that becomes increasingly uncomfortable for them. They may find that their own self-talk around who they are becomes quite negative and they may find it hard to reach acceptance that people do make…

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POSITIVE CHANGE Campaign 2016

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This time last year, I set out to make the last few weeks of the year really count. I was completing my Diploma of Hypnotherapy and felt a strong desire to work on real presenting issues and use the skills I had spent the prior two years learning to help make change in people’s lives. At the same time, I felt that I wanted to give back to the LGBTQIA community, of which I had been a part of for so many years of my life. I came up with my own campaign, ‘Positive Change’. It allowed me to see clients, to offer them assistance and to allow their change to help provide assistance to those people living with HIV. As a result, it allowed me to hand over $450 to the Victorian AIDS Council at the end of the last year, made in memory of Kerrie Le Gore, a wonderful Melbourne entertainer and local legend who had sadly passed away a few weeks prior. This year, I’d like to do it all again. This time, I’d love to be able to get in front of more people, help promote more change and, in turn, be able to offer a…

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OUTthink – Chat with Daniel

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The following is a transcript of the first podcast of ‘OUTthink’. It’s the first part of a two-part podcast. OUTthink is now available to download or stream now from iTunes, Youtube and Podomatic. Lawrence Akers: Hi, and welcome to OUTthink. My name is Lawrence Akers. I am a clinical therapist, a member of the LGBTQI community, and a passionate advocate for mental health. I’m going to pass it over to my guest to introduce himself for this week. Daniel Cordner: Good day! My name’s Daniel Cordner. I’m a graphic designer, I’m a bike rider, I like to dig in the garden, vegetarian, I love to train handstands, and I’ve also been living with HIV for 11 years. LA: Thanks Danny. So living with HIV for the past 11 years — obviously it’s something that’s become a part of your life and it’s something that you’re quite comfortable with. Let’s start perhaps by going right back to the start and perhaps talking a little bit about what it was back then to be diagnosed HIV positive. DC: So I was diagnosed 11 years ago. HIV was a very different thing 11 years ago. So when I was first diagnosed, I was…

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Why I Created OUTthink.

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Why I Created OUTthink – An LGBTQIA Podcast It’s an exciting day for me as, today, I publish my first podcast, ‘OUTthink’. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sit down and explore topics relating to the LGBTQIA community with people who can offer an amazing insight. Within those conversations, there are stories of shame, stigma, alienation, abandonment and, most importantly, self-acceptance and self-love. These are stories of people who have been thrown into some unexpected and difficult situations and have managed to make their way to acceptance, understanding, empathy and pride. The reason why I wanted to do this podcast was simple; people often don’t put mental health into the spotlight, let alone some of the added issues that come with belonging to the LGBTQIA community. When we are faced with unresolved shame and stigma in our lives, what holds it in place is keeping it secret. Within these podcasts, we allow the thoughts, feelings and emotions that are often not discussed to be brought to light, to be shared with the world and to allow those often uncomfortable thoughts and feelings to be released. Within these podcasts, you may hear a…

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Why Gays & Lesbians Need To Focus More On Mental Health

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Imagine for a moment that you’re broken your foot or sprained your ankle. You would naturally go to the doctor or your physiotherapist who would then begin treatment. This treatment could take a handful of weeks or perhaps even months, depending on how severe it is. During that time, you may have to walk on crutches and, no doubt, your friends will write witty comments on your plaster cast if you have one. You would receive well wishes from your friends hoping for a speedy recovery and you would follow the instructions of your doctor or physio until such time that the problem was fixed and you were capable of walking on your own again. This makes sense, doesn’t it? Yet consider the difference when it comes to mental health. Now, like a broken or sprained foot, you may not be able to see the issue but you can certainly feel it. Yet how many people are hesitant to go and see a specialist to fix the situation. They sit in fears of shame and guilt that they should be stronger. They sit with fear of what their family and friends will think, scared that they’ll be exposed as weak…

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