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Feminist Psychotherapy with
Jeanne Courtney, MFT


Our community is a complicated web that can get pretty tangled when thousands of us come together at once. Maybe you're afraid you'll run into your ex. Or afraid you won't. Maybe you're having an argument with your wife or girlfriend that seems like it's going to ruin the whole day. Maybe you're single and feeling overwhelmed by all the sexual energy in the air, or feeling lonely and left out. How can you survive this unique social scene?

  • Let go of expectations. The word "should" might pop into your head at any time, whether it's about what you wish would happen around you, or how you think you're supposed to respond. Take another breath and get present with what's actually happening. Starting with how you genuinely feel, here and now, will give you a wealth of information about what you want to do next.
  •  Take care of your body. When your physical needs are met, your mind will make better choices about how to enjoy the day. If the party brings out the kid in you, your inner grown-up may need to remind you of mundane necessities like taking time to sleep, or packing water and food. (Have you seen the lines at the cafes around Dolores Park?) Think about what your body will need before you take it out to play.
  •  Ask for help. Ask a friend to check in with you at various times during the festivities. Tell a therapist or someone you trust about your hopes and fears for the big weekend, and when it's over, talk about how you're feeling then.

​Take care of unfinished business ahead of time, when there's space to talk calmly and be direct. It's easier to communicate that way, than when you're in a crowd.

  • Focus on experiences instead of appearances. Remember that your self-worth is not determined by who you're seen with, or who you're seen by.
  • Don’t try to solve all your relationship problems in one day. In fact, the flurry of emotions swirling around in this super-social atmosphere, might just make this the worst possible day of the year for relationship decisions.
  • Consider celebrating sober. Nothing heightens conflict, confusion, and miscommunication like alcohol and other drugs. Be honest with yourself about whether mood-altering chemicals are more likely to enhance the celebration, or turn it into a day you'll regret.


In queer culture, this is a major holiday weekend. Holidays create pressure to act festive no matter how you feel. It's good to enjoy yourself, of course. But what can you do at those moments when your happy face feels false?

Check in with yourself. This is especially important if you're feeling stressed out or emotionally numb. Slow down. Take a breath. Notice what's going on in your body. Step away and be alone for a while, if you can. Even better, plan ahead to schedule in some down time.

Dyke March Survival Guide

LGBTQ-affirming psychotherapy for depression anxiety relationships body image - Feminist Psychotherapy Jeanne Courtney MFT - El Cerrito, CA