If you attended The Hun School in the mid-90s, chances are you will remember Frankie Bashan ’95. She was, and is, an energetic life force. Outgoing with a perpetual twinkle in her eyes, she describes herself as a “networker,” but at her very core she is a connector. “I’ve never been a surface dweller; I like to go deep with people.”
She not only connects with people, but she enjoys connecting others to each other. Case in point? More than two decades ago, she orchestrated a love connection for her father, introducing him to her optometrist who later became her stepmother. Little did she know that it was a harbinger.
After graduating from Northeastern with a degree in film production, she yearned for a career as a television talk show host. She earned her chops working for hit programs such as The Montel Williams Show and American Journal, but soon the world of TV drama left her feeling empty. She turned to her therapist (“every New Yorker has a therapist,” jokes the former Hun boarder) who helped her realize a path to psychology. She moved west to Berkeley to attend The Wright Institute and never looked back.
After earning her degree, she spent seven years working with victims of trauma. “It was rewarding and I helped heal so many people,” but it eventually took a toll on her. She still wanted to help people make positive changes in their lives, though, so she turned her attention to dating and relationship counseling. She saw that nobody was occupying the space connecting lesbian women. “Professional women have a hard time finding love. They’re busy and career driven,” she explains. Already connected to the LGBTQ+ community in San Francisco, she harnessed her ability to connect others and built a business—starting The Little Gay Book for lesbian women. That was twelve years ago and since then, her business has expanded to include both queer and straight matchmaking.
Lest you think she waves a wand and magically discovers a mate, think again. She used her psychology know-how and science-backed research to create a proprietary software that really drills down into a client’s personality. Clients are never simply checking boxes as to what they want in a mate; instead, they are learning more about themselves and what makes them happy.
As a dating and relationship expert and coach, Dr. Frankie is skilled at guiding people to be their best. It is something she takes to heart, challenging herself to get out of her comfort zone, whether that means realizing her dream of being in front of the camera, as the therapist on season eight of MTV’s Are You the One? or in public speaking engagements, including a recent TED Talk on sexual fluidity and the secrets of an LBGTQ+ matchmaker.
Dr. Frankie may be good at connecting people, but she is equally talented at connecting with them, providing expert advice for people around the world as a licensed therapist. “I coach clients in places where it is dangerous for them to be who they are (lesbians). If they sought help locally, they would be told they were mentally ill, but to be able to tell them they are not crazy—that is rewarding.”
“I have a gift of connecting with people and seeing a path out of whatever difficult, challenging experience they are enduring. I love that people trust me and come to me for guidance and support and I believe it’s what I was put on this earth to do.”
If it sounds like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders, it is likely because she does—at least in her spare time, as this mother of teenage twins enjoys Olympic lifting as part of her six-day-a-week Crossfit regimen.