The decision to come out as queer may affect your mental health and is a very difficult and emotional decision. There are many people who do not have the chance to come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) because of discrimination and potential violence. Many young LGBTQ people run the risk of getting kicked out by their parents. When a person is safe and comfortable to come out as queer, though, the results can be extremely positive and can even improve his or her mental health.
LGBT - Bisexuality / Pansexuality
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.
You might not know it, but biphobia -- prejudice against bisexuals -- has harmful effects on mental health. If you identify as bisexual or pansexual, chances are you've had your sexuality questioned or confronted in some way. More than likely, you have experienced biphobia even from friends and family and this biphobia might harm your mental health. It can be an innocent sounding question such as: "How can you be in a committed relationship if you're bisexual?" or "Are you sure you don't want to be with someone from the same sex as well?" These kinds of ignorant questions reflect the biphobic society that we live in. It delivers the toxic message that our sexuality is not valid and reinforces the belief that we must choose between being straight or gay.
There are similarities between panseuxality and bisexual which really came to my attention after a previous post I wrote about the differences between pansexuality and bisexuality garnered some debate and even anger from bisexuals. Some bisexuals have stated that my post was wrong and even rude. Perhaps I did not clarify my views on the issue clearly because I do not hold any disregard toward bisexuals, especially since I used to identify as one for a very long time. I hope this post helps to explain my views on sexuality, the complications of labeling oneself and the similarities between pansexuality and bisexuality.
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.
Have you ever heard someone say: “It doesn’t matter what your sexuality or gender is! Why label yourself?” Didn’t it feel uncomfortable and kind of, well, wrong? While I do see the implied positivity in those words, I can’t help but frown at the mere mention of them. As someone who identifies as pansexual, I find it offensive. Usually, people who are not lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBTQ) would say something like this. Most often, they are people who are straight or cisgender (someone whose sex matches their gender). Personally, I believe that identifying as LGBTQ is extremely important because it makes us visible rather than invisible. When we decide to come out of the shadows and embrace our true identity, it often has a positive, rewarding effect on our mental health.
Many questions arise when one proclaims that they are bisexual. But what about pansexual? Pansexuality is not a familiar term within people outside of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) community. I only learned about pansexuality in a feminism class three years ago. I had never heard the term before but when I learned its definition, I immediately came to like it. While I don’t mind identifying as bisexual, I prefer the term pansexual when it comes to my identity. But how are bisexuality and pansexuality different? Aren’t they the same thing?