Dr. Frankie Bashan: “Actively seek out joy, in even the smallest, simplest things; Always choose joy over negativity”
…And finally, actively seek out joy, in even the smallest, simplest things. Always choose joy over negativity. In most situations, you can find the negative, or you can choose joy and focus on the positive. That is how I choose to live my life and how I teach my clients to live theirs.
I had the pleasure to interview Dr. Frankie Bashan.
Dr. Frankie is the CEO and Founder of Little Gay Book. She specializes in Lesbian and BiSexual matchmaking for females across the United States. She is a doctor of clinical psychology and a nationally recognized relationship expert and coach, with nearly two decades of experience.
Thank you for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I saw a need, and I felt like I could help fill it. There were professional women out there struggling to meet other professional women because of their busy lifestyle. There was no service focused on helping lesbian and bisexual women, especially busy professionals, to meet each other.
I care about people deeply. I feel that I have a gift of being a conduit and connecting people with one another. I have a sixth sense when it comes to people being a great match for one another. I see it as a gift that I am lucky to share.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
Initially, in 2009 when I launched Little Gay Book, I would attend professional events to spread the word about my work as a matchmaker and engage with prospective clients or potential matches for my clients. I’d say ‘I’m a professional matchmaker,’ and they’d look at me sideways. Because people had no frame of reference for what a matchmaker does they would approach me with curiosity and confusion. I was disruptive in the way I approached and continue to approach dating and helping facilitate connections for beautiful women.
Ten years ago lesbians and bisexual women were an underserved population. Back then singles had few opportunities to meet outside of bars. While things are different now, there are still only a few women-only events, and it can often be hard to tell if someone is straight or gay. Women may be afraid of approaching someone and offending them if they are actually straight. My events create safe, welcoming spaces for queer folks to kick back, relax and get their flirt on.
Bisexual women have historically experienced a tremendous amount of discrimination from within the lesbian community and many still don’t feel welcome in queer spaces. Since the very beginning, I have made sure that my dating events are inclusive of bisexuals, and we have a policy of not tolerating discrimination of any kind. My events are also one of the first to be inclusive of trans individuals. I have and will continue to always be disruptive. Unfortunately, I’m going to piss people off because of it but you can’t make everybody happy.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
Two people who really made an impact on me and my career path were Dr. Ruth and Dr. Drew. They’re not matchmakers, per se, but they do help people have healthier sex lives and relationships. As a child I really benefited from Dr. Ruth, and as a young adult, I benefited from Dr. Drew. When I think of my own career trajectory, they are both two people I respect deeply and think about as I build my career and brand.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
The first is to be authentic and real. This may sound cliché, but it’s important and essential. As a clinical psychologist, I was taught in graduate school to appear a certain way, and it was not in alignment with who I am. The very analytic Psy.D. program dictated that practitioners’ interactions with their clients be a blank slate with no emoting. I had clients dealing with a death or a birthday, and I was not supposed to show any warmth or any expression whatsoever. I learned very early on that wasn’t going to work for me. Someone said to me, ‘Just be you, you have healthy boundaries, you’re a professional. Just be authentic.’ I learned we have to be who we are. We can’t please everyone, but if we’re real, people will trust and want to be around us. People will know what they see is what they get.
The next is honesty. Radical Honesty, in fact. Even if it’s scary and even if you’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings you have to be honest. I suggest being honest in a kind manner because you will hurt them less in the long run and your conscience will be clear.
And finally, actively seek out joy, in even the smallest, simplest things. Always choose joy over negativity. In most situations, you can find the negative, or you can choose joy and focus on the positive. That is how I choose to live my life and how I teach my clients to live theirs.
How are you going to shake things up next?
I would like to have a book published in 2020. I’ve had articles published, and I’ve been in academic journals, but I haven’t published a book yet.
I’m also launching an online program, for the first time ever, in two weeks. And I’m hoping for more television opportunities, so I can reach a broader audience in 2020 and beyond.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
I enjoy the NPR podcast ‘Dear Sugar Radio.’ I especially enjoy it because it’s Cheryl Strayed, and she’s not a doctor or a scholar, she’s simply a person that’s lived life fully. She is paired up with Steve Almond, and I like the chemistry that comes from the pairing. People call in and share their stories, and it’s interesting. I find that their stories resonate, and the banter between the hosts and callers is educational, since it’s coming from two people who are really smart and actually care, dealing with callers who may be going through a difficult time. A lot of what I listen to is research done by scholars and doctors, and these are just two people who are smart and care, and it’s refreshing to hear their perspectives.
I also enjoy listening to Esther Perel. She’s a clinical psychologist, but she always has a twist, which I love. Her response to clinical questions is never what you would expect. She’s brilliant and she’s able to turn stuff right on its head, in a way that’s unexpected.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Something that bothers me is the lack of education for all people. I see the struggles that exist due in part to a lack of access to education. Right now we are also dealing with a mental health crisis. Here in California, for example, I see a disaster happening. I would like to see mentally ill people gain access to resources that give them a chance. They were loved once by someone and now they’re just treated like garbage. I fully support resources that would facilitate stability and help them to thrive.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote?” Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One that I’ve always said is ‘Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.’ It’s super cheesy, but really in my roughest times, I would say I’m still here…I’m still kicking.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
On Facebook, @LittleGayBook, and @DrFrankieBashan
And on Instagram, @DrFrankieBashan, and @LittleGayBookMatchmaking
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!