Photo: If you want something, ask for it! This might seem obvious, but sometimes we get so comfy with how things are in our relationship, that we forget.
Today I talk with Dr. Frankie Bashan, renowned relationship coach and dating expert.
Dr. Frankie Bashan (or, just Dr. Frankie) is the founder of Little Gay Book, the most successful exclusively lesbian (and bisexual women) matchmaking agency in the United States.
I wanted to interview Dr. Frankie Bashan because of her authenticity, her dignity, and her courage to serve her community. She leads by example. If I am reincarnated as a lesbian, I hope to be exactly like Dr. Frankie Bashan.
She is an optimist who believes that everyone deserves to love and be loved.
Mentioned in the show:
Full Episode Transcript:
Mike Gerle 0:01
Hello GerleMen. Welcome to the show. I wanted to interview Dr. Frankie Bashan because of her authenticity, her dignity and her courage to serve her community. She leads by example. As I told her in the episode, if I am reincarnated as a lesbian, I hope to be exactly like her. Dr. Frankie Bashan or just Dr. Frankie is a renowned relationship coach and dating expert. She is the founder of Little "Gay Book", The most successful exclusively lesbian and bisexual woman matchmaking agency in the United States. Dr. Frankie launched the Little Gay Book and quickly became their premier lesbian matchmaking service in San Francisco area, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, San Diego, Hawaii, Denver and growing. She is now expanding the cities she serves and the client base she helps. In addition to her traditional lesbian and by women client base, she is now helping everyone regardless of sexual identity or orientation find heart centered connection. She is an optimist who feels that everyone deserves to love and be loved. Now with two decades of experience in therapy and matchmaking, she appears as the resident expert on MTV's "Are you the one?", the first reality dating series with a completely sexually fluid cast. Find Dr. Frankie on Instagram @DrFrankieBashan, Facebook @FrankieBashan or at Little Gay Book, on YouTube @LittleGayBook or her website, just simply drfrankie.com, that's DRFRANKIE.COM. And you can find all of that in our show notes. Enjoy the show.
The moment you realized you were a gay man, you were forced onto the path of the other. So you know oppression inside and out. the calling of otherness has led You on your own hero's journey. And that journey has prepared you for greatness. You were a man entering the cult of brotherhood to conscious sex into heart centered connection. Welcome home brother.
Dr. Frankie has been working for nearly 20 years on, you know, specializing in the LGBT community, with couples and individuals with relationship difficulties and what I liked what I saw you saying that you know, you bring happiness to their lives by becoming a professional matchmaker. I just hinted that to my friend and editor, who's a lesbian and all of a sudden there's an avalanche of questions for you, guys. So welcome to the show.
Dr. Frankie 2:49
Thank you for having me.
Mike Gerle 2:51
I do want to mention that it's April, it's Monday, April 13th. What is this the third week of pandemic And you know, that just really shapes so many things, especially what we're going to talk about, but it doesn't feel authentic unless I just say, you know, how are How are you? How are you doing with this?
Dr. Frankie 3:15
I'm hanging in there. It's definitely tough. That I really I think I've created new routines, which helped me right get through the day and feel productive. The biggest challenge for me is working out, like I normally do high intensity workouts, I can't access my gym and I can't get access to heavy weights. And I can't drop the weights that I have at home on my floor. Otherwise I'll break my living room. So that's been really hard for me the figuring out how to get my workouts to set to a high intensity, so you know, you improvise make the best.
Mike Gerle 3:54
Is there some of your routines you could share?
Dr. Frankie 3:56
Sure. So I do Olympic lifting, I like to lift heavy weights. And I do CrossFit.
Mike Gerle 4:02
Well it shows
Dr. Frankie 4:04
Mike Gerle 4:05
In your photos and stuff. Awesome.
Dr. Frankie 4:08
Thank you. I am fighting aging. I am, I want to be active and I want to be able to do lots and stay healthy for a long time. And I hear that that is the closest thing to the fountain of youth. So I'm buying into it full on.
Mike Gerle 4:20
Awesome. So let's talk into like how this all got started. And I noticed that you said you just left Kaiser and I just have to give props to my... I've been in therapy a long time I really I'm a huge fan of therapy. I believe that it's it's getting us back to our naturalness, like, I think that we're, we grew up in tribes around the fire. We're used to having mentors, shaman, leaders, I mean, people that we could bounce things off of, I think that's a perfectly natural way to handle things cognitively and our modern situation separates us from those people and I always said that I hired mine and but can you tell us how you got to where you are now and what little game book is about?
Dr. Frankie 5:06
Sure. So I started at Kaiser as actually a resident like I was doing an internship there. And Kaiser is a great place to start because you see everybody I was it's a generalist model. So I worked in clinical, the psychiatry department, adult and children and I had exposure to every presentation, every type of mental illness and you have a lot of support. There's a big team. And if you, you know, find that you're like, when you're not at work, you don't have to worry about crises. They take care of it. So it's good when you're just beginning to get it's kind of I describe it as like a boot camp. And I did that for around seven years. And it's limited, right? Like I wasn't able to see my clients weekly. I was doing a lot of crisis management and I had a lot of training in trauma work. So I was seeing clients who had PTSD and acute Stress Disorder mainly, which is intense, to mainly just be working with that population every day. And with Kaiser, the therapists there are, they're churning it out right? They're seeing client after client after client with not a lot of breaks. And it just fall on me and I, I started to think a little bit outside of the box like I knew that I needed to think of some somehow to transition because I was getting burnt out. I was getting kind of I was getting vicarious traumatization, which is basically where the therapist starts to experience trauma symptoms.
Mike Gerle 6:34
Dr. Frankie 6:35
Hearing so many disturbing stories again and again, because part of the treatment for trauma is exposure work, so we would sit in here seeing traumas repeated again and again to help heal the patient. So I was like living and breathing them right there in
Mike Gerle 6:51
Dr. Frankie 6:52
Do your best to take care of yourself, but over time, it's like, you know, you're if you're really in the work and you care, it gets into yourselves.
Mike Gerle 7:00
Yeah, I would say so.
Dr. Frankie 7:03
Yeah, so and I'm somebody who is in it, like I love to help people, I love to connect with people and I care immensely. And that's how you help heal people is to really be in it, right? You can't. If you're in it, you're either in it, or you're it's not, you're not going to have a significant impact.
Mike Gerle 7:19
Well, that's what this whole podcast is about is like heart centered connection. And you're describing that as being in it. And you you were in it, and so then you're taking on all that. I mean, you're experiencing their trauma through them.
Dr. Frankie 7:34
Exactly. And I was fine for years. And then I started to feel like I couldn't stay present with them in the room and I couldn't figure out why because my heart was invested. It was because my mind was starting to shut down because it just couldn't tolerate it anymore. It was like I had been full, I got my full, okay, I fail and I couldn't take it anymore. So I was brainstorming at the time with my partner and we were trying to figure out what I could do to continue to do the kind of work that I do, but make it manageable, and still enjoyable. And she had suggested to me she said, Well, why don't you Why don't you do what you do as a hobby? Make it a career, because I had been doing matchmaking for fun. I I'm very social, and I love to bring awesome people together. So I was doing matchmaking on the side as a hobby. And she said, Why don't you give it a go? And I was like, that's such a good idea. I have the clinical experience. I love human behavior. It would be I would be focusing on doing things that are like bringing happiness to people. There's less therapy can be pretty long term. So it like would be something that would happen sooner. So we didn't it didn't have to be so prolonged. And I thought the community also needs it. Like we were having a really hard time meeting quality when we were coming to my office telling me I'm having a hard time meeting quality women and I'm like thinking to myself, I wish I could introduce you to my client that I just had three hours ago. Yeah, give it a go.
Mike Gerle 9:04
Especially with that with that kind of empathy and intuition that must have been just screaming in your head, oh my god
Dr. Frankie 9:12
Screaming and it's totally unethical. I couldn't do it because of confidentiality. I thought: Alright! this is brilliant. So I put together a website and I got my first client and I started off with, you know, a database of 10 of my friends and basically pounded the pavement. So that's how a Little Gay Book was born. And it was really hard in the beginning, but you know, it's when you believe in it, talk about like, being invested. I believed in it, and I was fighting for it, and I fought for it for years. And then finally, the community got on board and they were like, ah, I understand Frankie, what's your whole plan was and what your intention is, and we back you.
Mike Gerle 9:56
What was that passion behind that? Why were you so motivated? To do something, especially, you know, I've listened to you tell your story on a couple other podcasts and you said there might have been been a little pushback, and yet you still move forward. What was that spark inside of you? What needed to manifest?
Dr. Frankie 10:17
Yeah, I just, you know, when you know, something, I just, I knew that I could help people in this way. I happen to be working primarily with lesbians and bisexual women because it was a niche, but I can work with anybody this way. And it was a poll that I couldn't ignore. And I knew that if I stuck with it, and persisted, even though people were laughing in my face, and they were totally Pooh poohing what I was doing, and I think because it just there wasn't a frame of reference for it. We had dating apps and we had online dating sites, but there was nothing really out there about matchmaking in the straight world. Yes. Or in the Jewish community, for sure. And in the Chinese culture, yes, but in our culture, not really. So they didn't really know what to do with me. And they would just kind of laugh at me. And I just, I felt like there's no, I just there was nothing that could convince me not to keep pushing forward and I listened to my gut a lot and I talked about it in a lot interviews, my intuition and my gut, I have honed like, I really I listened to it and I definitely value it, it helps guide me. So that's why I stuck with it. I just couldn't I couldn't give it up, no matter how much pushback I was getting.
Mike Gerle 11:32
Can you talk about that connection to your intuition and your connection to your gut? Because especially with men, I think, well, society in general is is trained to like, just talk about the your plastic feelings, your your facade, as supposed to being really in touch with your gut. Can you sum that up? Because I think that's so important, especially for queer people who are kind of afraid of following their gut. Cuz that can get them shamed or arrested or
Dr. Frankie 12:04
Yeah, and and we don't trust ourselves like if we have if things happen because of choices that we've made that have injured us or harmed us in some way, then we start to really not listen to our gut. We don't trust it. We don't trust our intuition or we question it. And I just for me the way it's very abstract, so it's hard to articulate sometimes, but it's about getting really quiet and, and getting quiet kind of on a daily basis. I would say when I worked out there are points throughout my workout where I get really quiet. And I'm getting energized. There's lots of chemicals going through my brain, adrenaline and endorphins and I'm feeling really good. And at that time, I can stop. You know, I sit down, I breathe, I deep breathe in between sets, and I just try to check in with myself and it's time for me to get quiet. So we got to get quiet. We're living in a really hectic busy society, and our lifestyle is just it is not conducive to getting quiet unless you are intentional about it. And when you get quiet you can hear, you can hear your internal voice giving guidance, but you got to listen for it and you have to create space for it.
Mike Gerle 13:16
Yeah, I don't think we a lot of people even articulated the yeah there's the physical the working out the making your muscle stronger and whatnot. But there's that mental spiritual thing in there too. And that'll lead us to our intuition and I just recorded and episode that'll come out this Friday on. I'm starting a "Being a man" series. The first one is "Feel your feelings", Because if you feel your feelings, that's where all your information is. That's where your wisdom is. That's where what you're talking about. Like, would you say that you're living in your genius now? Do you feel like this is where you want to be that you love what you're doing?
Dr. Frankie 13:50
I am definitely living in my genius. I like that. That way, yes. And I didn't really, I wasn't strategic about it. Really. I just followed again. I followed my gut and my heart. And it just if you listen, it will lead you there. And sure, are there barriers or obstacles that kind of present themselves that may give you pause and make you question if this is the right path. But if you're listening and your feeling is telling you it's right, it's right. It's right. And you can't come up with evidence. That's another thing is like, can you come up with evidence that doesn't support this feeling? Because sometimes our feelings give us the wrong information, right? Yes, because we feel something doesn't mean that it's actually 100% true, it might be based in fear that we're feeling that and trying to protect us. So this is why you've got to kind of sit with it and challenge it and really look at it closely to see is it just something that's fear based or is it real, like should you be pivoting and going in the opposite direction, so I am right where I should be. And I hope to continue to reach more people in my career. That's my goal. Now I'm kind of expanding what I do to reach a broader audience through television. And just not specifically working with lesbians and bisexual women anymore. Yeah, I work with everybody. Because people are people. I just happen to start right. It was a niche. So it was a way for me to get in. Oh, and just begin. And now it's just it's really I hope to keep growing.
Mike Gerle 15:20
That is awesome. I want to circle back to you said the pushback. And do you think people are confused with the difference between dating and hooking up? I mean, because you were saying that, you know, people, you know that, oh, there's apps out there. And all this stuff. But that's to me, I don't even know. Well, I haven't been officially single for a very long time. I haven't been on a date. So a really like a classic date. Yeah.
Dr. Frankie 15:55
Yeah. It's kind of a shit show.
Mike Gerle 15:57
Dr. Frankie 15:58
It's a shit show right now.
Mike Gerle 16:00
The look on your face. You believe that?
Dr. Frankie 16:03
I do. Because it's really hard to ignore at this point. If all day long I'm hearing about the shit show calls with clients, and I just see people spinning their wheels and struggling in their search to find a quality interaction. They're just there's a lack of quality interactions. It's very superficial.
Mike Gerle 16:21
Dr. Frankie 16:21
And when you feel like you have just had a quality interaction, it's very elusive all of a sudden that person disappears. You know, you get ghosted or they benched you, right. They put you on the side because they have five other people. They're juggling. It's like we all have a serious case of ADHD and addiction to the serotonin hit we're getting from swiping and matching with somebody so it doesn't go it stays very superficial. It doesn't delve in and any deeper than that, and it's very unsatisfying and keeping people in a place of isolation and loneliness.
Mike Gerle 16:56
Yeah, well, you've described what I was watching. But I was, yeah, I'm really glad that I'm not into it. I read on the Psychology Today website that you said: self actualization is growth motivated rather than deficiency motivated. And in the terms that I work with, kind of with somebody that I'm doing work with right now he talks about, we're either going towards something like going towards love or going away from something going away from trauma. And I thought that that might be self actualization is growth motivated, rather than deficiency motivated? What do you mean by that?
Dr. Frankie 17:35
A lot of our life experience has to do with perception, right? And the lens that we look through, right, the way we view ourselves the way that we view others in the world, and one easy way to kind of think about it is: think about somebody who has experienced a traumatic incident in their life. They could either look at themselves as a survivor or victim.
Mike Gerle 17:53
Dr. Frankie 17:54
Right. If you're a survivor, you've overcome and you're you're leaning into the positivity, and the growth and self actualization like thinking about how that traumatic experience can either define them or help to shape them. But they're taking that and they're making it into something positive. Right? Like, I'll use an example for me. So I had a pretty difficult childhood and which I'm open about, I talk about it. My mom had bipolar disorder, and really struggled and she was also an alcoholic, although in her later years, she managed to maintain sobriety for a significant amount of time, which I know how hard that was for her. So it's just yeah, so I want to just mention that but I use my childhood experience and observation of the struggle and human condition to propel me to like think how can I this is not going to define me this is not gonna I'm not going to repeat this cycle. Like, I'm not gonna, I'm going to pay attention to alcohol. For example, I know that I'm predisposed to addiction, right? You take that information and you use it to help you make better choices. Do I drink? Sure, you're not going to see me pounding alcohol, right? Like just because I can probably get addicted. Basically you want to you want to think about how you can grow and take difficult experiences and use them for to propel you and help you to be a better version of yourself. So every day I'm striving to be a better version of myself. We all know right are like we have facets or kind of carbonated parts of our personality that comes from childhood.
Mike Gerle 19:30
Dr. Frankie 19:31
Yeah. And I'll say to my clients, like Yeah, sure. I'm not perfect. Like I've had plenty I've been life I've been in therapy, right? Yes. But let me tell you, I am an imperfect being and and I make mistakes. Right? What do we do we try to look at that don't ignore it. It's not going to go away, look at it and grow from it and stretch yourself. And so that's, that's what I'm touching on. Like, I work from that viewpoint, or like, the way that I think about work with my clients is very much through that lens of like self growth and positivity and how do we get to a place of self actualization?
Mike Gerle 20:06
So like a big part of that is how I tell my story about myself.
Dr. Frankie 20:10
Oh, yeah, the narrative the story you created.
Mike Gerle 20:13
Dr. Frankie 20:13
Created and about who you are today.
Mike Gerle 20:15
And I'm really big on this idea now that I've had a hero's journey, the classic story arc of you start in the normal place, you go someplace unusual, you go through troubles and tribulations and then you come back to normal, but you're a different person, you've evolved. That's the classic hero's journey, but it could also be the victims journey, if you talked about it. You know, if all those trials and tribulations were still active, unresolved trauma, I think that queer people are forced on a hero's journey, like it or not, and that really, if we can frame our story, a particular way, we can actually see that we're we were forced into boot camp. We were forced to go through this learning experience that other people who are just part of the dominant culture aren't forced to go through.
Dr. Frankie 21:10
Mike Gerle 21:11
Would you think that that'strue?
Dr. Frankie 21:14
And actually it makes me think of, are you the one that show that I was an expert on? on MTV?
Mike Gerle 21:19
Yeah, I haven't seen it.
Dr. Frankie 21:21
So the reason why I'm bringing it up is because the cast I don't want to say cast whatever the the, you know, the awesome superstars that were on the show. Yeah. 20 plus year olds, I think there were ages Was it 21 to 28 year olds. And so the house there was so much depth to their character to who they are as individuals that it was just it was harder than in previous seasons where they had all straight folks on the show. Oh, wow. So much. You see, just so much juicy stuff going on in there that had it was multi layered, and it had so much depth, and it's because they've all they're, they're sexually fluid and they're out And one person actually came out on the show, but she knew she was going to need to come out right nationally on the show. But they have dealt with adversity because of their own challenges of being part of the LGBTQ community, right and dealing with their own sexuality and gender identity and sexual orientation, that there was so much that they were forced to. So it speaks to what you're touching on that we are forced to kind of deal with shit early on.
Mike Gerle 22:29
And it's my judgment that it forces our minds to expand
Dr. Frankie 22:33
I think it's more interesting, right?
Mike Gerle 22:37
Dr. Frankie 22:38
it's boring if you've lived this, like perfect, serene life in a bubble, like where some of those rough edges makes us interesting. It gives us depth and capacity and
Mike Gerle 22:49
Yes, yeah, yeah. And that's what I want. I want queer people to see that a lot of people I think still, especially I live right in West Hollywood and Hollywood. You know, you're from the Bay Area. I know what you think of us.
Dr. Frankie 23:02
I love it! I go for a weekend and I just, I weaved is dancing.
Mike Gerle 23:08
Yeah, I've just added him I like to poke that is our sister cities and we treat each other like siblings. But it is true that we can get kind of hyper attached to the superficial here. And when we're attached to the hyper superficial we don't see ourselves the depth that we have, that we've come we see that as those struggles as deficiencies that we don't want people to see when in fact that's some of our true goal. That's things you were just talking about.
Dr. Frankie 23:42
Yes. Well, there's shame right we have shame we try to hide it but it just if you really flip that on its head and instead of feeling shame about it and look at and go you know what like this has forced me to look at myself to reconsider how I want you know what relationships are important to me how I want to be seen in this Life how even it just forces you to look at yourself more deeply. And it's all good, good stuff.
Mike Gerle 24:06
Yeah. Yeah, I think that's recent. So many of us become teachers, psychologists, even I noticed even queer I think the reason that people are touching into that is because we were not afraid to feel and have other people feel we're gatekeepers to the, to that scary place. I think computers, people intuitively have an intuition about us that they know we've been to the scary space, so they trust us to lead them there. Yes, you know, okay, let me ask this question I wanted to ask about well, with regard to dating and matchmaking. What do you think gay men and lesbians have in common? If anything?
Dr. Frankie 24:44
Oh, my gosh, that's a hard one. I've never had anybody asked me that. What do I think gay men and lesbians have in common?
Mike Gerle 24:51
Dr. Frankie 24:54
I think now more than ever, there is... I think the lesbian community is more open to open relationships and polyamory and you guys in your community I'm totally generalizing but you can you can you'll tell me if I'm wrong.
Mike Gerle 25:11
I can tell already. So...
Dr. Frankie 25:13
you got you have been at like practicing this open relationship concept and polyamory concept for years way before we did. And it's something that I'm seeing more of in the lesbian community and we're getting better at being more accepting of it and open to it. So I would say there's some overlap there.
Mike Gerle 25:34
Okay, in the poly. So this gets me into this other thing about specialization. Like, well, you started specializing with LGBT community, most lesbians and bisexual women, not to it seems weird to compare this but you know, I was an active person in the fetish leather community here and there's the LA leather coalition which has everybody meets once a month and every time the men had a party, that was just for men, we would have people women really push back, oh, why are you having just we're all into kink and whatever. And my point with that, especially is that a special magic can happen when we're very specifically getting together and doing something like it's very easy to see in a hypersexual situation like a BDSM play party. But I also think that specialized places are also really important for building people's safety and self esteem and well being and strength when it comes to support groups like I used to be. I've been HIV positive since 1987. And it wasn't until like five years ago, 2008 - 2009 before people ever thought about having it, we had HIV positive discussion groups, we didn't have HIV negative discussion groups. And once we had those, I was dating guys like that. Those were hugely edifying, but then people would attack that, Attack. Why are you having a specialized group for negative guys, where you have a specialized group play party just for men? Why is this, you know, a woman's only thing?
Dr. Frankie 27:10
People don't want to be excluded. They have FOMO
Mike Gerle 27:13
Yeah, I know they do. But I also have this pets principle. This is me, okay. I'm supposed to be interviewing you. But um, but I think we have these four layers that we're we confuse our private space. We think that the rules that our living room should apply to all society. Right? People forget that the rules in my living room can be radically different.
Dr. Frankie 27:33
Exactly. Than the rules in my living room.
Mike Gerle 27:36
Yes, yes. So I just want to say that what I think is specializing it with women and bisexual women is a huge service to that community, because you know them and they know you and there's a certain kind of trust there that they might not get from general society. And I would argue that general society is ready to trust you, because we just talked about that where the shop and we're those people.
Dr. Frankie 28:04
We're getting there. We're getting there, which is really exciting. And they're curious general society is curious about how you do what we do. And I mean, we're all over television these days, I don't even watch TV. And recently with COVID-19, I've been watching it more. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, there's so many gay, queer characters.
Mike Gerle 28:22
No, everywhere now. Yeah,
Dr. Frankie 28:24
Mike Gerle 28:24
because because we are everywhere. But I just want to see, I know that it's difficult in a business model to stay in your niche. But can you talk about one of the positive things of serving a very specific community and explain why that's not hurting the rest of the community? Because you're providing a service that never existed before, and you're serving these people, but somehow people will come in and say, since I'm excluded, it hurts me.
Dr. Frankie 28:53
Yes. And it's happening now more than actually ever before, because I'm getting now with how incluesive we've been, we're becoming in terms of, and the gender fluidity and all of that there are people that are feeling excluded from my events because they're events for women. But anyway, that's a whole other thing. So I'm dealing with that at the next level, which Little Gay Book is trying to work through that and not offend people and help people feel safe and comfortable. But what it did when when I started in 09 is that it basically I initially just focused on lesbians because that was the community that I was in and I had the most access to. And I had already built up trust in that community, because I was pretty involved in many ways in advocacy around that community. But I realized that bisexuals they were excluded and they were they didn't have a place they weren't feeling welcome amongst lesbians. They weren't feeling welcomed necessarily amongst heterosexuals, because they kept getting fetishized. And I thought, you know what, this is going to be disruptive to our community but necessary to give them a safe get. We need to start being inclusive and supporting one another and creating a safe space amongst queer women in general. So I just I feel like they women in general in the queer community have always been really once I got fully pretty established and they understood my mission and my purpose, showing you so much gratitude and appreciation, because they feel seen. They feel accepted. They feel it's a safe space. Mm hmm. And it repeatedly, it's not something that just came in and went out. Right. It wasn't a fly by night situation. I've been here now going on 11 years, creating community across the country. So it just, they feel a lot of love and they're feeling like they're people too. They matter, that they're wanted that their desire that people you know, just because you're bisexual, you're there are lesbians who would be very happy to date you.
Mike Gerle 30:48
Dr. Frankie 30:50
But for a long time, they didn't. They didn't feel that.
Mike Gerle 30:52
Yeah, you gave them a space to feel that. And I know that and I just I make up that those women are... they're. edified and strengthened by that kind of thing. And then that exclusive kind of focus makes them better citizens when they go out into the world. You know, their interactions with a checkout clerk or an Uber driver or their employees might be leveled out once their core essence is being spoken to an athlete.
Dr. Frankie 31:24
Exactly. Yeah, there's a ripple effect.
Mike Gerle 31:27
Dr. Frankie 31:27
And that is what keeps me here doing what I'm doing and giving me purpose every day. So if I leave a footprint, it's going to be the footprint of just empowering people to just be as authentic as possible and following their gut right, following that intuition and doing trying to do the right thing as they can for themselves and others. Yeah.
Mike Gerle 31:46
Awesome. I want to ask you three questions that I asked everybody on the show because I want the men and everybody else who listens to my show to focus on those three things. And then I want to get some questions from the women I know.
Dr. Frankie 31:59
Mike Gerle 32:00
First of all, how do you invest in yourself? You know, how do you invest in your own well being, your own dignity?
Dr. Frankie 32:07
I would say that I try on a daily basis to one, figure out how I can continue to grow and stretch myself. So I engage in things that make me uncomfortable that I know are good for my well being or for people as a whole, I'm infusing positivity. So however I can, like we all have that negative space we can get into I'm very hyper aware of that space. And then I catch myself and I figure out how can I proceed forward with positivity? So again, it's I slow myself down, and I try to really think about is this a decision that is respectable, honorable? Does this maintain my dignity? Is this reminiscent of really my core values? So a lot of just checking on myself and keeping them in the forefront of my mind on a daily basis. It's a deal. It's a practice every day.
Mike Gerle 32:56
Hmm. In yoga, we got that Dinara. It happens right, Dinara is trying to focus on something and knowing you're going to lose it, and then going back to it exactly, then you know, you're gonna lose it and then go back to it.
Dr. Frankie 33:09
Exactly, yes. So it's got to be very intentional. It's not, you can't just have that, you know, thought and then expect that it's going to be there every day. You know, it's something that you have to think about and make a concerted effort to have a part of your life
Mike Gerle 33:25
To practice like, working out or hundred percent. Yeah. Who do you consider family, either by or chosen? Like, who's gonna be before this started? I said, who will visit you in the hospital? Who will put you in the ground? Who's that family and how do you invest in those relationships?
Dr. Frankie 33:44
Yeah. So my children are my son and daughter who are turning 15 in May our family, my dad is who lives in Israel is in the 70s. I'm very close to him. My mom passed away going on three years now. So she's not here. But I would say mainly when I think about family, it's really my immediate, my dad, my sister, I have a sister who's 21, a much younger sister who I'm incredibly close with, and a few extended family relatives, but it's very small. I have a small family.
Mike Gerle 34:18
And then not to put you on the spot by but you want to identify any chosen family, people that are there all the time?
Unknown Speaker 34:26
Plenty of chosen family I've created. I've moved 3000 miles away, right? I'm from New York. Yes, yeah. And I live in California now. And I've had to create a chosen family here because holidays, right? My family's not here. And I'm not going to travel back east for every holiday. And so I have very close friends that a small group actually, I would say, less than 10 people that I try to really maintain a close relationship with so I talked to them weekly. I try to see them, now it's harder than ever, but I would make sure to see them at least once a month. So Less than 10. I think I like quality relationships, so it's more than that. There's just not enough time in this life to invest in order to have that with more people. But if I could, I would.
Mike Gerle 35:10
And how do you think they became your core circle?
Dr. Frankie 35:14
That's a good question.
Mike Gerle 35:15
Dr. Frankie 35:16
Mike Gerle 35:17
That's what I love about being a host, I can ask impossible questions that I couldn't answer myself.
Dr. Frankie 35:21
Yeah, that's a good one. And you're asking questions, questions that I haven't been asked before, which is always fun, because I've been interviewing.
Mike Gerle 35:27
Dr. Frankie 35:29
So people that can be honest, even if it's hard for them, and even if it's something they feel might hurt me, but they're willing to invest in our relationship. enough to be honest, even when it's hard. People who are authentic, aren't afraid to show their vulnerability like to show those carbon spots I was talking about that, like, I'm still gonna love them and be there. They don't have to be perfect all the time. And then people who I can laugh with. So everybody I'm really close with can just laugh at themselves and laugh at life and try to maintain positivity more often than not. Those are the people that I have in my bowl foxhole.
Mike Gerle 36:11
That sounds like a great recipe. It really does.
Dr. Frankie 36:14
Thank you. It's working so far, I think. Yes. But you know, they love me nonetheless.
Mike Gerle 36:23
Well, that's part of it. Right? That's part of the dance. When you have that kind of set of criteria. You're gonna Yeah, there's gonna be some pain in other places
Dr. Frankie 36:33
But it makes it interesting, right? And real. Because what's the human condition all about? It's about suffering, right?
Mike Gerle 36:40
Dr. Frankie 36:41
So we kind of suffer together,
Mike Gerle 36:42
That's what the Buddha says. Yeah, life is suffering.
Dr. Frankie 36:45
That's my belief. Yeah.
Mike Gerle 36:47
So close it out with some very lesbian stuff. You know. I feel like my last job I worked at West Hollywood City Hall, so I was there with my supervisor and my manager and my director, we're all lesbian. And we work special events. So we would like stand around at events for 13 hours at a time and we got to know each other.
Dr. Frankie 37:11
Got lots of estrogen!
Mike Gerle 37:13
Well, yeah, and I got to see that the pluses of, you know, managing as women and stuff. I never, nobody ever shush my feelings and whatnot. So for all of them, I'm interested in your wing woman service. What is that still happening is that?
Dr. Frankie 37:34
Oh, it's a bad news about right now. It's not, it never quite fully got off the ground. And I think it was because there's so I have so many ideas. I'm an entrepreneur, right. I'm definitely a psychologist and a matchmaker, but there's a big part of me that's also an entrepreneur and I have like many entrepreneurs, a lot of ideas. So that was one that came from a lot of like women were asking about a service like that. So a lot of what I do actually is coming from...
Mike Gerle 37:37
Dr. Frankie 37:47
expressing the need for something and I try to manifest it. So I didn't put in enough time and I will resurrect it at some point right now I have too much going on in other areas for the company that I can't do it. But it's an amazing, it's just the concept is brilliant, right? Like, a lot of us are single. And we have friends that are partnered already, that don't have a lot of free time or interest to go to singles events. And it's really hard to break in to an, you know, an event on your own and make conversation with people solo. It's hard for most of us, and especially for those of us who are introverted, it's incredibly hard. So I basically it's like it's like renting, renting a person who has great social skills, and who's fun to go out to events with you for three, four hours and to help you mix and mingle and meet people,
Mike Gerle 39:02
That is awesome.
Dr. Frankie 39:04
And there are plenty of women that wanted to do it. I thought I would have trouble finding wing women Oh, and no, they were like, emailing me, please add them to the list.
Mike Gerle 39:16
I was just thinking, Oh, my former colleagues would be like: "Oh, sure that they would totally do that". Absolutely. They were all in relationships, but two of them were married and one was
Dr. Frankie 39:27
But it's perfect for somebody who's married, you get to be out there, they get to see all this stuff. It's happening in the single life that you, you know, that you don't have to deal with anymore.
Mike Gerle 39:37
And I have to think that I don't know if that would work with men. I don't think it would.
Dr. Frankie 39:42
Mike Gerle 39:45
Because men are just so well, I don't know, it depends. It would have to be a very formalized. Okay, guys, this is not about hooking up. This is about dating and we'd have to have a whole like sit down
Dr. Frankie 39:57
Educational process. It's like there's an hour didactic required
Mike Gerle 40:05
to understand what we're doing. It's not about looking at it. It's more than that. Yeah. You want to like, feel this. Feel this.
Dr. Frankie 40:17
You can say that, I can't.
Mike Gerle 40:19
I know that's why I'm saying it
Dr. Frankie 40:20
I would not. I would not dare but yeah,
Mike Gerle 40:23
Okay. Yeah, you don't you know? Yeah, just don't disagree. That's. So can I ask you some questions from my, from Lesley? Lesley asks, Who is the most difficult kind of lesbian to match?
Dr. Frankie 40:39
I would say somebody who's very, very pretty rigid. Somebody who's rigid who has a huge laundry list of must haves and deal breakers because no one's good enough for them.
Mike Gerle 40:51
Dr. Frankie 40:52
Somebody who has unrealistic expectations and it's pretty rigid, the more flexible and fluid we can be, the more we can recognize that we're all imperfect, the greater chance you'll have to finding somebody and being in a relationship.
Mike Gerle 41:07
I'm just laughing because that's what a lot of hookup apps and stuff look like and all these lists.
Dr. Frankie 41:13
Yeah, that's ridiculous. It's just it's like it keeps you single. It guarantees your singlehood. So make sure to have, the longer the list is, the longer you're going to be single.
Mike Gerle 41:23
I love that. That's like my dad, Bill Gerle, says stuff like that. You can either have a list or you can have a relationship.
Dr. Frankie 41:30
Exactly! You know, that just know that and you're fine.
Mike Gerle 41:36
Yeah. That's awesome. Okay, next question. What aspects of a match make them successful in the long run? What's the magic bullet I guess
Dr. Frankie 41:47
Communication, patience and commitment. If you are willing to, you're committed to that relationship. You're willing to do the work on that relationship. You're willing to communicate when things come up, right? work through it, and recognizing that like, we're all works in progress. Like you're that's a recipe for success.
Mike Gerle 42:08
Dr. Frankie 42:08
One of my clients will say, I don't ever leave the course. Like, right that she's in it.
Mike Gerle 42:13
Uh, yeah. Yeah. Always being open and curious. Know what's happening
Dr. Frankie 42:21
Yes. And committed to the process. It's what I hear a lot about is that people when it when it gets difficult, they're out there ready to go on back on the app and start swiping again. Because, yeah, it's easier.
Mike Gerle 42:34
Because well, and that's the fantasy we've all been told. Yes. Who's that singer who says, I've been poisoned by these fairy tales. But we're all we're all raised on these fairy tales that it's difficult to get at the beginning and then you get together and everything's great. When it's just the reverse of that.
Dr. Frankie 42:54
We can thank Disney for that.
Mike Gerle 42:56
Yeah, yeah, just needs poisoned our minds. And this sounds like the same answer. But what do you need? What do you need from your clients in order to make successful matches?
Unknown Speaker 43:08
I need them to be patient. Right? I need them to be open. I need them to be realistic. So like, you know somebody who is overweight that wants to be with somebody who's you know, 5'11 and size four or six and works out, you know, six days a week. That's any blows my mind, why would somebody who's not taking good care of themselves think that somebody who is in top notch shape want to be with them?
Mike Gerle 43:35
I'm not gonna touch that.
Dr. Frankie 43:36
Okay. I'll say it. I will say it, because I hear it and I need to put it out there. You we need to be honest with ourselves about what we have to offer, and we need to be realistic about who would want to be with us.
Mike Gerle 43:51
Dr. Frankie 43:52
Given what we have to offer, so it's like that. So does that answer your question?
Mike Gerle 43:56
Yes, that honesty just keeps coming up over and over and over again.
Dr. Frankie 44:00
With ourselves and others, yes, yes. So to lie on your dating app, and put photos of yourself that aren't even accurate, that don't accurately reflect the way you look, you're setting yourself up for rejection. Stop doing it!
Mike Gerle 44:15
Just be you. Be that interesting person we were talking about. You have this fascinating story of growth.
Dr. Frankie 44:21
And people see it.
Mike Gerle 44:22
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I think I'm gonna paraphrase a couple of these. Is there a difference in the matchmaking between lesbians and I'll just have, like three groups, you know, gay people, lesbians and straight people. And we know everything is completely gray. It's all one thing. We're just picking out three dots and that line, right?
Dr. Frankie 44:43
Yes. So let me see if I can answer this. So with lesbians, what really, really is important that isn't important in other well with heterosexual matchmaking, is the nuance of the masculinity and femininity spectrum. So the way I use a Likert scale, so 10 is high femme, 5 is androgynous, 1 is stone butch. I asked women to tell me where they fall on the scale. Give me a range because we can't buck it. Right? We can't bucket ourselves perfectly. Some days. I look like I'm androgynous. I look like I'm high femme. Like what? You know, I mean, so I'm somewhere in the middle. I'm a seven on the scale or a six seven right? Um, so I think for lesbians that's really important. When somebody is attracted to more masculine women, it matters. I can't introduce them to a femme and expect them to actually be attracted to one another. It's not going to happen. Whereas in the street world, a guy's like just introduced me to a beautiful woman.
Haha, yeah! He shows up as long as she's beautiful.
Right? Make sure she's beautiful and, you know, make sure she's androgynous. No, that's not gonna happen. That's not they're not asking for that. Yeah, and then with gay men, and grants I haven't worked with I initially when I first started Little Gay Book, I worked with gay men and lesbians, I forgot to mention that,
Mike Gerle 46:01
Dr. Frankie 46:02
But when I realized that, I'm going to say you touched on the reason why I did not continue taking on, you know, gay men and clients, it was just too hard.
Mike Gerle 46:12
I'm open to that. You can't hurt my feelings with that. Okay, I know us. You know...
Dr. Frankie 46:15
I had, I was too hard and it's, I have so much love for your community. 100% but it's I'm just gonna speak the truth. It was too hard for me as a matchmaker to match for monogamy. So I think also, like lesbians, gay men they care about you guys have different terms, right? And I don't know them all. And I would butcher them if I even tried but certain type where do they fall? Like more masculine or mass?
Mike Gerle 46:39
Masc / Fem is basically how that goes. Yeah.
Dr. Frankie 46:41
So it's similar. Yeah, I would use the scale even when I was had matchmaking clients that were gay man. I was using scale. So that's the main thing, I think.
Mike Gerle 46:51
Yeah, yeah. From my 54 years deep in the culture, I would agree with you.
Dr. Frankie 46:59
Thanks for that. I get scared to offend or have anybody think that I'm...
Mike Gerle 47:03
Oh, no, no, no, no, that's so much about what, you know, I'm just really hoping this podcast works because I, I you know, it's about heart centered connection between gay men and people are like: What do you mean? And that just you know, that means that you Yeah, that if Corona wasn't happening right now being a very open relationships me and almost all of my core family, or core chosen family is is very open and fluid as far as when it comes to sex. And I would teach naked yoga classes and whatnot. And everybody would agree that the hardest part of the class is I would have people come up and they would touch person's heart with their hand and look into their eyes...
Dr. Frankie 47:18
Yeah, because it's so intimate
Mike Gerle 47:50
for a minute and that was harder than anything else in the whole class. They could do anything sexually with that person, a lot easier than just looking at to their eyes and say I see you. Yes. Yeah. You know, and that's why I love what you're doing. And I agree with you what I'm trying to say is that's the way we built, if we don't start with honesty if we're not honest that yes, I'm like, triggered 90% of like, why I want to hook up with you is physical. And then it's conscious. It takes practice, like you were saying to like, get down and what do I really want? What I really want is connection. What I really want is love. Yes, but I really support
Dr. Frankie 48:12
We all want that.
Mike Gerle 48:36
Yeah, you know, but that's vulnerable. And especially men are taught: Don't be vulnerable, that you're not a man, that you're not valuable.
Dr. Frankie 48:44
Yeah. And you're not strong and it's so it's a lot of undoing programming that we've had our whole lives.
Mike Gerle 48:52
Yeah. Yeah. So...
Dr. Frankie 48:54
We're gonna help, hopefully you're going to help lots of men.
Mike Gerle 48:57
Well, you're going to help by just showing like this. Especially when it comes to queerness. I know that you're transitioning into like a broader thing, but it's honoring who we are and celebrating who we are, as opposed to tolerating who we are. We need to stop tolerating who we are. We need to start celebrating.
Dr. Frankie 49:16
I agree. I love that. Yeah.
Mike Gerle 49:18
And then, and then we can live in our genius like you're doing and you by taking the risk of living in your genius, are so much more valuable to the world than seeing just one client at a time. And you know,
Dr. Frankie 49:31
Thank you, Mike. Thank you. It's a calling right? It's just, it's pulling me further. Like I'd like I said, I just listen, I'm just getting pulled now to work with just people. Not you know. So, yeah, so I yeah, I've noticed that too. Thank you. Yeah.
Mike Gerle 49:49
You're welcome. You're welcome. And thank you for doing the work. Is there anything else that I didn't touch that, you know, you would like to
Dr. Frankie 49:59
One day when do my podcasts again, when I have time, I'm going to have you as a guest because there's so many things I wanted to ask you, but I didn't want to take over the interview. You ready? I'm coming for you.
Mike Gerle 50:09
Awesome! I'm ready. I'm ready. I want you to know, after just probably 10 minutes of doing research on you, I'm like, Oh my God, if reincarnation is real, I want if I come back as a lesbian, I want to come back like Dr. Frankie. Totally. I'm totally you except for like, I'm a total gay man. I'm very, very gay. And I'm very much identify with my gender. But I'm so late to you right down to the party, like to my partner that I have now. We met at a at an event you guys were talking about motorcycle firings? Yes. But we were talking about we're both in government. And I don't know if you had the same repelling effect that we did on the rest of the party. But we were talking about what our thing was. Yes. It's like you guys are talking about your thing. And it's actually really, really really connected and really connected.
Dr. Frankie 51:01
It's as easy as that. One thing that you can connect on is what can lead right? It's what leads us to the next.
Mike Gerle 51:07
Dr. Frankie 51:08
At that point, I'm like: Oh, wait, she rides bikes and I'm wanting to get a bike right now? It's like she has something to tell me about it. And she's so cute. Yeah.
Mike Gerle 51:18
Yeah. No. I have like a kind of another personal question. Maybe you can help me with. It's about I'm in a business relationship with my ex husband. This studio...
Dr. Frankie 51:28
Mike Gerle 51:29
This condo where I used to live, and we decided what to do with this condo during our divorce. But we're still in a relationship because that's possible.
Dr. Frankie 51:38
Mike Gerle 51:39
But you're also, like, you are raising kids with your partner
Dr. Frankie 51:43
Mike Gerle 51:43
Right? How... do you have any advice on navigating these relations a relationship with your ex when you have an invested other? ours we can get rid of, yours, you're gonna have yours no matter what but...
Dr. Frankie 51:57
It's very, very hard. Especially if you have different communication styles and if you know people move on, right they re partner like my ex is is remarried has a baby. And she has a new family. So there are more dynamics, right more people to navigate. So what I would say is, it's in my kid's best interest to maintain a good relationship with my ex. And while I don't always like the choices that she makes, or the things that she does, I try to see it from her perspective as much as I can, and know that there's not one way to deal with a situation. And my goal is to just be as as caring and protective for my child, like create a very safe space for my kids to thrive. And it's not about my feelings, and it's not about how I think things should be done. It's about what is going to keep my kids thriving.
Mike Gerle 52:52
What's good for the kids.
Dr. Frankie 52:53
Exactly, exactly. It's everything off of Yeah, you have to suspend your bullshit, you just have to, right, to spend your stuff that you get caught up in that you know, you want things done a certain way or you have you don't understand why they would choose to you know what I mean? Like all that stuff doesn't it's like, get quiet again and figure out how do I, how do I help support these two beings that I put on this earth that are my responsibility, and that's what matters. So that's how I do. It's hard. It's very, it's very hard. But I...
Mike Gerle 53:21
Sounds like you pull on your intuition again, there.
Dr. Frankie 53:24
Again, I'm telling you, it's with me, it's my best friend.
Mike Gerle 53:28
That's amazing.That's amazing. I could talk to you forever. I want to thank you so much for coming here and our zooming here. And it's, I knew I would love meeting you, but you're, I just, yeah, you're so awesome. And I love the work that you're doing. I love who you're doing it with. I love how open and honest and authentic you are. You make me really proud to be part of the LGBT community. You're a perfect example of like, and you're being you, and you're offering your blessing other people's ability to couple which is hard. And even though that's like one of the hardest things to do right now, especially with all the technology and all the chaos and all the distractions, and you're doing it and it must be a calling sounds really really really hard.
Dr. Frankie 54:22
Oh, my,Thank you for everything and I'm honored to be here to have met you. Next time I'm in we WeHo, I'm gonna, I'm gonna look you up and absolutely, hang in there.
Mike Gerle 54:34
Well, thank you. You hang in there to you and your family and, and your 16 year old baby.
Dr. Frankie 54:41
Exactly. We will.
Mike Gerle 54:43
Dr. Frankie 54:44
That's for sure. Take care.
Mike Gerle 54:45
Okay, bye. Bye.
Dr. Frankie 54:46
Mike Gerle 54:48
And that, my friends is Dr. Frankie Bashan. Dr. Frankie is a great example of tuning into her intuition to find out what living in her genius looks like and finding joy as a result. Remember you can find Dr. Frankie on Instagram @DrFrankieBashan, on Facebook @Frankie Bashan, and at Little Gay Book. On YouTube at Little Gay Book or her website, just simply Drfrankie.com. That's D R F R A N K I E.com. And you can find all of that in our show notes. Have an excellent day.
Thanks for listening to the show my friend. Now stay connected by subscribing to GerleMen podcast and sharing with your friends on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or anywhere else podcasts can be found. Visit the webpage at Gerlemen.com. Sign up for the newsletter and find more details about each episode. Let's make this a conversation because I'd really like to hear from you. Join us on Facebook at GerleMen. Submit your questions, suggest topics or just chat with your brothers. Want to add your own two cents? Use the voice memo feature on your smartphone. Ask your question or say anything, we just might play it on the podcast. Email the file to [email protected] Until next time.