Whenever the story of a gay man falling in love with a straight woman becomes public, it always baffles people. They may ask, “Why will you go in that direction if you already announced your homosexuality?” Some even fear that the queer will eventually get tired of the relationship with his wife and look for another man.
Isn’t it delightful to be in a serious gay relationship these days?
The world has become accustomed to the nonconformities that queer folks bring to life. Fewer people will frown or bat an eyelid if they see two guys holding hands on the streets. You do not need to pose as a heterosexual to either retain a job or receive a promotion. More importantly, a growing number of countries are legalizing same-sex marriage, so you may tie the knot with your long-term partner anytime – and almost anywhere – you wish.
Society at large should be more accepting of men who show their emotions, their feelings, and of those men that openly seek help. The stigma against men who show their vulnerability should be eradicated. Regardless of gender, it should be okay for anyone to ask, find and eventually accept help. In a still mostly patriarchal society in which men are expected to be invincible, it could be challenging to ask for help. Gay men, on the other hand, not only experience the stigma against showing vulnerability, but receive twice as much hate because of their sexual orientation. Because of this, when they need help, they’re forced to look for therapy online.
Gay men need access to quality mental health care. Findings in a scientific study revealed that gay men are especially vulnerable to depression and suicidal tendencies. Furthermore, the study adds that the prevalence of depression among gay men is at least three times higher than the general population. Depression is a risk factor for suicide. It causes the most number of male deaths.
Gay Men In Our Society: Everyday Struggles With Mental Health
“Some people, particularly men, are more likely to externalize their depression,” says Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD. And as a part of the LGBT+ community, gay men share the struggle with the rest of their peers. They are constantly trying to live their lives being true to themselves. Though the world is a lot more accepting now than it was before acceptance for the members of the LGBT+ community was brought to attention, it doesn’t mean that everyone shares the same sentiments.
In fact, because of fear of being abandoned and not accepted by their family and friends, a lot of gay men remain closeted and have to live their lives under a veil of protection. It, of course, leads them to a cycle of self-hatred because they’re lying to themselves all this time. Self-destructive thoughts of never being good enough arise. The fear of being ostracized from society constantly remains in their mind. Because of this, and the stigma against being men and being a member of the LGBT+ community, depression may develop.
““Coming out” can be an emotionally charged time punctuated by numerous transitions and changes.” Joseph Manera, PsyD said. Some studies suggest that, although most sexual minority individuals are well adjusted, non-heterosexuals may be at somewhat heightened risk for depression, anxiety, and related problems, compared to exclusive heterosexuals
Depression, PTSD, and anxiety are among some mental illnesses gay men are susceptible to. Aside from mental health problems, gay men are also at risk with other health-related threats. Because of all these risk factors, gay men have tried seeking assistance. However, even in the industry providing health care, they still face discrimination. With nowhere to go, gay men and other members of the LGBT+ community are forced to overcome their problems, fears, and concerns alone.
How Can They Safely Ask For Help?
If traditional treatment methods aren’t readily available, you can always turn to online therapy. With online therapy, you don’t have to worry about seeing other people you know, physically driving towards the therapist’s office, adjust to a new surrounding, face possible discrimination, and a better chance at having the treatment done covertly.
Through online therapy, patients undergo the same methods done through traditional therapy, but an online medium. Therapy sessions can be done through voice or video calls. You can also do it through texts or email correspondence, and either individually or by a group. In an online setting, there are fewer risks, which is why online therapy is recommended for you. It’s safe, cheap and can be customized to fit into your mental and emotional needs.
Gay men, bi men, men, in general, are urged and encouraged to attend online counseling if they can. There’s less pressure when the online realm acts as a buffer against human interaction privy to fear, discrimination and abandonment. A licensed professional will still guide you through your journey and talk to your concerns and fears with you.
Traveling toward a healthy mind is difficult. Nicole Issa, PsyD said, “Much of the information they are exposed to is negative and harmful, and thus only reinforces the feeling of isolation.” You’d have to practice the art of self-care and to learn to be more open about yourself and to others. As a member of the LGBT+ community, revealing yourself can be tough. But to heal the past traumas you’ve developed through the years, you’ve got to learn how to let go and embrace yourself for who you are—regardless of what others may think.
Education is a basic human right that every parent, non-government sectors and government agencies must help children to attain. With this, the school has become the second home for students. Being considered the second home and spending almost half of one’s life in school, there is much responsibility towards providing the right education and instilling correct life behaviors and values in the minds of young individuals. This article will examine the role of schools in the life of the LGBTQ students.
The good and the bad
The moment children enter school, parents have tremendous fears that their children will be bullied, will get easily intimidated by bad influences, and will suffer irreversible psychological effects. Although it is expected that the school environment will help in the development of the youth’s intellectual, emotional, moral, physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions, it is also considered as an avenue or place where children can be ruined, especially if the child is known to be an LGBTQ youth. (more…)
Being an Ally: The Personal Level
If a friend, family member, or any other close person in your life confides in you that they identify as something within the LGBTQ community, it’s important that you respect them by being a good friend. Remember that they are more than likely struggling. They were probably extremely nervous to tell you, but they probably trust you. This makes it crucial to be there for them as much as possible, as they are going through a very fragile and tumultuous journey of self-realization and acceptance. Here are some tips on what to do to help a loved one who has come out to you:
There are countless different sexual identities and sexualities, which usually defines what gender or genders a person is attracted to. There are also different terms that define a person within the LGBTQ+ community. Although it is often called LGBT, LGBTQ+ is more inclusive to the many different sexualities that aren’t defined by just an acronym. These definitions include, but are not limited to:
- Lesbian: a woman who is physically and romantically attracted to women. (note: some lesbians may also define themselves as “gay”
- Gay: a person who is physically and romantically attracted to their same gender, though it’s usually used to describe men
- Bisexual: a person who is attracted to more than one sex (note: although it has typically been thought that bisexual people are attracted to both men and women, gender has proven that it isn’t restricted to just men and women, so this definition has been proven to be more appropriate)
- Asexual: a person who usually feels no sexual attraction and has little to no desire to have a sexual relationship (note: there are some asexuals that do have sex, as there are many different subsets of asexuality, but this is the most common definition)
- Queer: used as an umbrella term for LGBTQ+ and is used to define anyone who has a fluid gender identity or sexual orientation. Sometimes used interchangeably with the term LGBTQ+ (note: it’s important to remember that there has been a history of controversiality with this word. Do not use it to describe someone if they haven’t expressed that they accept the term, as it can be offensive to some individuals)
- Pansexual: a person who is attracted to all gender possibilities, and often are more interested in the personality than the gender. Some use it interchangeably with bisexuality, but it more accurately is focused on looking farther than gender
- Kinsey Scale: a scale created by Alfred Kinsey to define one’s sexuality on a scale of one to six. One is completely heterosexual and six is completely homosexual, making it a useful tool for bisexuality and sexual preference.
- Closeted: describes a person who isn’t open about their sexuality
- Coming Out: the process of understanding and accepting one’s self and eventually, if desired, telling others about their sexuality or gender
Understanding the Pros and Cons
Like any other major decisions, coming out should be preceded by acknowledging both the positive and the negative outcomes. It’s important to remember that with each person that you tell, there will be a different reaction. However, it’s up to you to determine whether or not you are in a safe, accepting environment. Your circumstances will warrant the best and most positive possible outcomes. With that being said, here are all of the positive outcomes of coming out to your family and friends:
- being able to be open and honest about your true self
- lifting the stress of having to hide your identity
- being able to openly be a part of the LGBTQ community and making friends who can relate to you
- creating stronger and more honest relationships by diminishing secrets about your life
- becoming a role model and example for younger LGBTQ individuals and for other people who are also in the closet
It has been twenty years ago when Ellen Degeneres publicly announced in her self-titled sit-com Ellen that she’s gay. This was seconded when she officially guested at The Ophrah Winfrey show. It created a media frenzy and mixed emotions from the public on whether to support or reject this self-confession. To some, Ellen’s coming out served as an inspiration and they also followed steps towards self-liberation.
Nonetheless, despite this radical move and the openness of the LGBTQ nowadays, there are still teens and even adults who are afraid to admit about their real identity. Why so? Let’s discuss in this article…
Overview: The Basics
The LGBTQ community as a whole is drastically more susceptible to mental illnesses and disorders when compared to other demographics. This higher vulnerability can be directly linked to prejudice, lack of support, and discrimination against the community. Often referred to as “minority stress,” LGBTQ individuals find it difficult to cope with the stigma and harassment that target them. In addition, they also have to deal with the stress of understanding their identity and the general stigma surrounding mental health disorders.
On top of this, individuals often have great difficulty seeking help, especially if their sexuality or gender identity is not in public knowledge. As Sal Raichbach, PsyD emphasizes, “Sadly, only a small percentage of people actively seek professional help for their mental health problems.” There is a great fear of being discriminated against or ridiculed when attempting to find support from family, friends, and even the health care industry.
Health care providers have a history of being unwilling, unhelpful, or unequipped when it comes to treating LGBTQ individuals that have some kind of mental health issue. Transgender and transsexual people have reported quite a lot of disparity within the health care industry. Since their gender and sex may not match up, or their physical appearance may not reflect their gender identity, doctors and health care professionals have difficulty treating them. They are also much more susceptible to unhelpful or unwilling mental health care.
Of course, this gap in modern health care is nothing compared to the history of the relationship of mental health and LGBTQ. As recent as 1950, homosexuality, bisexuality, and other sexualities were considered to be a mental illness in itself. Because of this, it was common for individuals in the 1950’s and 60’s to have been given unwanted, harsh treatments. Common treatments of this time included electroshock therapy, aversion therapy, and hospitalization. (more…)
Today, sexual identity is a common problem among teens. You wonder if your child could ever have that kind of problem. You know that your kids listen to music about gays, see movies about gays, and watch comedy television shows about the gay lifestyle. “For sure” you tell yourself, “this would never happen to my son and daughter.” If it does and you have no idea how to cope, contact a professional for advice through free online counseling.
“Online therapy is also known as teletherapy, online counseling, distance therapy, internet therapy, e-therapy, telehealth, telebehavioral health, email therapy, text therapy, phone counseling.” –Sena Moran, LMHC
You would like to get someone else’s ideas about this, but it’s not something you feel comfortable bringing up, especially at church. You hope that the church youth minister and Bible study teachers will teach the kids what the Bible says.
“Therapy gives you permission to allow you to feel the pain and know that it’s valid.” Carmen Gehrke, LMHC said. But as you try to reassure yourself, you can’t help but be concerned. You might even want to ask your teen if sexuality is a problem or if they have ever been attracted to the same sex. But you don’t know how to approach such a topic.
Sometimes, teens have doubts and need to talk to an adult or to an online counseling professional. But most will be afraid to approach the subject with an adult. Instead, they may talk among themselves and may get inaccurate information.