Pink Therapy Queer Desire Conference 2020
This year’s Pink Therapy Queer Desire conference was, as always, excellent and full of good things. This year, 2020, was a particular triumph as, due to Covid-19 and the necessity for social distancing, it was held entirely online. What we lost in terms of face-to-face networking we gained by the fact of the conference happening at all. I felt very proud to be involved in it.
My talk – ‘Queer Menopause – Where Gender, Sexuality and Age Collide‘ – was the first outing of some of my research from last year (‘How can therapists best support their Queer Menopausal clients?’). While that piece of work was focused mainly on LGBTQ+ menopausal clients’ experiences in therapy and the healthcare system, as you can probably imagine, sex and relationships came into it fairly often.
Menopause isn’t going to go away
So much is happening in the world right now that, totally understandably, it’s hard to look at anything else but our own survival, that of our communities, and the future of society. However, like all other health-related issues of the body and mind, menopause isn’t going to go away. The issues I have discussed in my talk, and the unacceptable lack of information and support I have underlined here, are going to remain – until we collectively do something about them.
Whoever you are, wherever you go
Whoever you are, whatever age you are, whether you have ovaries or not, menopause is going to affect either you or someone close to you. Remember, oestrogen can start to fluctuate (in other words Perimenopause) in your 30s, so it’s not just a ‘middle aged thing.’ And if you have your ovaries removed surgically, menopause can start almost immediately, however young you are.
To be informed about this is to care for yourself, and others too.
The US sex educator and activist Heather Corinna is doing a LGBTQ+ Menopause survey for queer folks. Please fill it out and help bring all this much needed research into the spotlight.
MORE RESEARCH NEEDED!
If you’re a LGBTQ+ identified researcher, or are thinking about doing research, and something in my talk inspires you, go for it. The more folks work on this, the less it can be ignored and sidelined and the more visible it can be. (And of course the same goes for cisgender heterosexual menopause research too – that is still very needed.)
Further Queer Desire conference videos
Everyone is experiencing Covid-19 differently, but if you do have some spare time for watching videos, and are interested in sex and sex therapy, here are the four other conference talks. They are great and I learned something from all of them:
- ‘Desire – What’s missing from our practice?’ (Cyndi Darnell)
- ‘Too Much Desire’ (Silva Neves)
- ‘Discrepancies of Desire – what Asexuals can teach us’ (Jo Russell)
- ‘I love you don’t touch me – Sex & Sensory Processing Disorders’ (Samantha Manewicz)
If you’re struggling with any aspect of menopause, or someone close to you is, therapy can help. if you would like to work with me, please contact me on the link below. And if you work with menopause yourself and would like to make your offering more gender, sex and relationship diversity inclusive, I also offer consultancy.