In Memory of Dr. Beth Firestein

Mar 1, 2024 | 2024 Spring - Letters to Myself

On Jan 21st we lost a bi+ leader, Dr. Beth Firestein, bisexual psychologist, and author. She died at age 66 from pancreatic cancer—far too young, and she was passionate about LGBTQ+ and women’s issues. For those outside of the field of psychology, she wrote two important books: Bisexuality: The Psychology and Politics of an Invisible Minority and Becoming Visible: Counseling Bisexuals Across the Lifespan. Her last major publication was Women Sharing Wisdom:  A Facilitator’s Guide to Starting a Wise Women Group. I used Becoming Visible as the required textbook for my one-day “Bi+ Affirmative Psychotherapy” course at Antioch University Los Angeles from 2012-2020. 

I had the privilege of meeting her at a speaking engagement many years ago where she spoke about her clinical work. I remember being starstruck and calling her a role model, and she humbly played it off. Two years ago, I emailed Dr. Firestein to invite her to speak on a bi+ mental health experts panel for our LA Bi+ Task Force Bi-alogue series, but I was not able to reach her. I had been hoping to get the chance to interview her as one of my sheroes and geek out with her about bi-affirmative therapy. Now I understand she was already battling cancer at the time. 

She lived in Loveland, Colorado with her life partner, Gene Arts. 

May her legacy carry on.

Submitted by Dr. Mimi Hoang, a psychologist, life coach, author, and grassroots activist specializing in the LGBTQ+ and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and a bi+ leader since the 1990s. 

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