Dealing With Self-Harm While Being Queer
Wednesday, May 27 2015 Vanessa Celis
Dealing with self-harm while being queer can be challenging. For many people with depression and anxiety, the only way out of the pain is through self-harm. This is especially true for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ). The connection between people who identify as LGBTQ and who self harm is alarming, but not surprising. When we are surrounded by a society that is not LGBTQ-friendly, it is easy to see why so many queer people choose to escape the emotional torment through self-harm. Here are some tips on dealing with self-harm when you're queer.
Bisexual Stigma Fuels Self-Harm
Even though it's hard to admit, I can't deny the shame I felt in identifying as bisexual in my younger years. It definitely added to my feelings of isolation and rejection. I felt like I couldn't be my true self, and that added to my worsening depression and anxiety. I felt so lost and like I had no control of my life. When I cut, I felt in control of my life somehow. I controlled the physical pain, which was more bearable to me than the emotional one.
Self-Acceptance is Key to Dealing with Self-Harm When You're Queer
Accepting that I am queer has definitely helped me in my journey of self-acceptance. Now that I accept that I am pansexual, I am starting to see that my sexual identity is not wrong. I shouldn't feel ashamed for the person that I am. Society wants to make me feel bad because I am not straight, but I know, deep, down inside, that there's nothing wrong with me. Thankfully, because of my self-acceptance, I have been dealing with self-harm much more effectively.
Lingering Biphobia Fuels Self-Harm Urges
I wish I could say that I no longer want to cut myself, but I'd be lying if I did. My gender identity problems definitely contribute to my self-harm urges, and I can definitely say that biphobia contributes to it as well. A lot of times I find myself wondering how I can be a good, faithful wife if I identify as pansexual. When I really think about it, though, what does my sexuality have to do with my faithfulness as a wife?
Dealing with Self-Harm is Very Difficult, But Not Impossible
Whenever I feel the urge to cut, I think about my loved ones. How would they feel when they see my ugly, angry wounds? I look down at my body and see all the scars left over from my past self-harm episodes, and it urges me to set the razor down. I don't want to keep marking myself, over and over. The scars I have are a sobering reminder of the pain I have endured, but I don't want new ones. I want to find better ways to deal with the pain and frustration I often feel.