I believe in the importance of self-care, especially for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. But I wasn't always this way. In fact, until this past year, I'd heard about the self-care movement but dismissed it as "narcissistic" or "selfish." I also thought that I didn't deserve to take care of myself when I could spend that time helping others.
Depression – The life: LGBT
No one likes to be rejected. Unfortunately, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) people experience a lot of rejection and oppression that lead to depression and other mental illnesses. As a pansexual, I have experienced my fair share of biphobia and homophobia in the past. While it certainly isn’t easy or fun to talk about, raising awareness is the only way of abolishing discrimination towards the LGBTQ community and reduce the rejection queer people face and their depressions.
I find myself in a paradox lately. I have always been extremely accepting of others who are different, especially those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). But it's been extremely hard for me to accept that I am genderqueer. While this is common with people who suffer from mental illnesses, it is a huge problem with LGBTQ individuals. LGBTQ people have a much harder time with self-acceptance thanks to a hostile environment that does not accept their sexuality and gender identity. In short, gender dysphoria affects my depression.
Dealing with depression and other mental illnesses is very hard. But when an individual identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ), the struggle can become alienating. Many LGBTQ individuals find themselves disconnected between their true identity and the person they are forced to be in public. This is why many LGBTQ people have depression and contemplate suicide. Being genderqueer, too, can lead to depression. Sadly, many go through with suicide because they see no better option.
For the past few months, I have struggled to accept my gender identity and the fact that I am genderqueer. I've been having a hard time trying to label my gender identity, especially since our society puts only two labels to gender: man or woman. Thanks to the social websites like Tumblr, though, I am starting to see that there are other people just like me out there.
How can you love yourself and have self-acceptance and yet deny part of your true identity? Is such a feat even possible? This is a problem that is common among many people within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community (LGBTQ). Unfortunately, many LGBTQ individuals cannot come out due to safety reasons. If they were to come out as gay or transgender, they risk the scary chance of getting kicked out and ending up on the streets. They can even lose their jobs. So while the world proudly declares that we must be unashamed of our true selves, society’s reaction toward many LGBTQ people is a contradiction. And it has very negative effects on the mental health of LGBTQ individuals. A lack of self-acceptance can even worsen depression in LGBTQ individuals.
Have you ever tried being something that you’re not? I think it’s safe to say that all of us have gone through this at some point in our lives. It makes us feel as if we are a fake, and that we’re being untrue to ourselves. It may also lead to deep depression and low self-esteem, especially when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) individuals. Those who identify as LGBTQ have a higher chance of self-harm, substance abuse, and eating disorders, for example, which are all linked to depression.
As a person who identifies as pansexual, I've met my fair share of ignorance and discrimination when it comes to my sexuality. I have rarely seen positive depictions of bisexual people; instead, we are seen as chronic cheaters who have sex with anyone. This is extremely problematic because it directly affects the bisexual/pansexual community. Even within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) community, bisexuals often meet resistance and ridicule. We don't fit in with the straight world, yet we find isolation within the LGBTQ community, too. Where do we truly belong?
Hi, I am Vanessa Celis and I consider myself a loving and compassionate person. You can usually find me reading or writing prose and poetry. I identify as pansexual and support the lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community one hundred percent. I'm Hispanic, vegan, a feminist, and a lover of animals. I also suffer from depression and anxiety, but I am trying my best to not let it define me.
You can feel yourself slipping away. Again. You don't feel anything. You don't see the dirty laundry and dishes that have piled sky high. You don't hear the kids yelling, the dog barking or your wife talking. Life is on mute. Or quite the opposite, you find yourself in such emotional chaos that you see, hear and feel everything simultaneously. You can't think straight. You don't care about anything or anyone anymore. Except you really do which is why you decide to seek support in addressing your mental health issues. However, finding LGBT friendly mental health care can be very challenging, particularly for the uninsured. I've been there.