Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Meeting your new guy’s friends By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

Things are great when it’s just the two of you. But then one day your new beau utters the phrase, “I’d love for you to meet some of my pals” and you know it’s time for the Friend Test.
Don’t panic. This is actually a good thing. He’s seeing you as someone who might stick around for a while, and he’s ready to gauge how you fit with the pieces already in place (i.e., his social circle). But that’s also precisely why it’s very important to make a good impression at this juncture in your relationship.

“In the gay world, meeting a new beau’s friends for the first time is like meeting his family,” says Joe Kort, MSW, a psychotherapist and author of 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do To Find Real Love. “A gay guy is going to look for his friends’ approval before moving towards exclusivity.”

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It's All Because (The Gays Are Getting Married)

Funny video by singer Oded Gross about why trouble in his life occurs all because of the gays getting married!

Gay Affirmative Therapy Promotional DVD

Here is a DVD promotional piece about the gay affirmative therapy work I do with the GLBT community.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I talked with a journalist in the June issue of Metro Parent Magazine in the Detroit area about helping parents talk to their children about sexuality.

On the Birds and Bees:

Royal Oak psychotherapist Joe Kort adds that if parents are uncomfortable with their own sexual feelings, they are going to be uncomfortable with their kids.“They don’t want to see their child as sexual,” Kort says.

On Masturbation:

Royal Oak psychotherapist Joe Kort says that throughout history, masturbation has been associated with shame, guilt and all-out fear. “You’ll go blind!” was a common threat, as parents slapped chastity belts and other medieval contraptions on their children to prevent them from the sinful act of “spilling their seed.”

(I am reminded of the joke where the father says to his little boy, "Don't masturbate you will go blind" and the boy responds, "Can I do it until I need glasses?"

On Having Gay Children:

“You can really end up making them feel they don’t belong,” says Kort, warning that the more disapproving you are, the more you’ll damage their self-worth and send them into hiding. “Often a child will turn to the Internet, pushing them to do dangerous behavior,” Kort warns. He says that gay teens can be vulnerable to sex abusers because they have no one else to talk to. He recommends if parents feel uncomfortable, or cannot discuss the topic in a respectful manner, they should seek out assistance, such as family counseling or a sex education class.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I went to see, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry this weekend at an east side theatre in the Detroit Area. The line was filled with people between the ages of 16-15-years-old. The east suburbs of Detroit, Michigan are not the gay-friendliest so I expected to hear a lot of snickering, laughing at parts that were about gay couples and booing if anything was close to a scene of tenderness and romance between men. But, that was not the case.
I was updated to how people are today in terms of seeing and hearing gay issues. The crowed did not boo or hiss or snicker at any parts that I thought would be standard to do during scenes which were pro-gay.
I remember seeing, Midnight Express as a teenager and there was a scene where two men in a Turkish prison kiss. The audience booed and when one of the men in the scene stopped the kissing protesting that he could not do it, the audience applauded and cheered.
That was 1978. This is 2007. Perhaps thing are changing.
I even challenged the woman who took our movie theatres. I went with a straight friend of mine who cannot be mistaken for anything but straight. When the woman taking our tickets showed us the line (which was very long) I said to her, "Are these people all gay seeing this movie" to see if she would laugh. She didn't. Instead she gave me a dirty contemptuous look which normally would have angered me. However it was comforting. Even she was tolerating any anti-gay material that night.
Still, the skeptic in me thinks perhaps the movie did not get jeers because the two main characters were both straight--in the movie and in real life--and were not really gay. Maybe I should have seen Brokeback Mountain at an Detroit east side suburb movie theatre. That would have been the real test.
This audience of youngsters made my inner gay little boy feel safe and welcome.
I loved the movie. Two gay thumbs up!

Friday, July 20, 2007

In Memoriam: Maud Cramer-Kort 1995-2007

I received more than 100 emails from people after I emailed out the death of my dog Maud. I was touched and delighted that so many people felt the desire to send me sympathies. I received pictures of peoples dogs, stories and even the dogs themselves typed me email sending their condolences. That was one of my favorite emails!
I just learned that Oprah lost her 2-year-old dog to a choking accident. It touched my grief about my beloved dog, Maud, who died suddenly of a heart attack June 30, 2007. I wrote an article about it called, "And Then There's Maud"

And Then There's Maud!
Terriers and the People They Own
by Joe Kort, MSW

©2007 All rights reserved.

Have you ever heard of a dog that gives you the middle finger, snubs you when you call, believes that you exist to please her and that she doesn’t have to please you (unless she feels like it)—and channels the worst parts of your mother to boot? A dog that intentionally tries to trip you when you walk downstairs and in the middle of all of your hard work, intentionally shuts off your computer by sitting on the outlet? A dog that laughed at you when you yelled and screamed for obedience? Well that was my dog, Maud, who owned my partner and me for 12 years.
In August, 1995 my partner, Mike, and I purchased a Welsh terrier. At the time, we’d been together for two years and lived together for seven months. As we were nesting, we thought a dog would be a good way to start a family together. Mike is allergic to dogs with dander, so we had to stick with breeds that have no dander, and terriers were one of those.

I see straight people!

I feel like the kid in the movie "The Sixth Sense" when people ask me if I see straight people in my practice. They ask because I am an out gay psychotherapist and wonder if I can translate my work toward straight people.

I understand their thinking as gays and lesbians as well as those in 12-step recovery programs ask therapists if they are gay or in recovery for their need to know the therapist knows something about their situation.

My practice has always been--and still is--65% heterosexual. The reason is that I specialize in imago therapy, sexual addiction, sexual abuse and over time receive heterosexual referrals from clients.

I also receive referrals of straight male clients who want to address sexual issues and feel that because I am gay I will understand. While I do understand sexual issues it is dangerous to believe it is only because I am gay.

There are plenty of unqualified gay therapists who say they be of help and are inadequate. While I have had to address my own sexuality more closely because of my homosexuality, my expertise with sexual issues comes from my professional training.

So, yes I see straight people and welcome any and all referrals.