In the past ten years, there have been constant trials and challenges that the LGBT community has faced on equal rights. Bullying, abuse, and discrimination primarily because of the existing stigma have led the community to be highly vulnerable to various kinds of mental, behavioral, and emotional problems. If they seek the help of mental health professional, they should choose the right therapist who can capably deal with and have experience in reaching out to the gays, lesbians, and transgenders who in reality are unique in their own ways. They, too, are entitled to personalize and efficient mental health services.
One mental health condition that is prevalent among the LGBT community is depression, with anxiety just a close second.
It is generally normal for teens and adolescents to explore and learn the love for freedom. However, LGBT teens are mostly stressed in an environment that is not so accepting of them, especially in the home and at school. An article from the Mental Health in Family Medicine stated that teen gays and lesbians are among the most common victims of bullying and physical abuse and usually suffer from extreme stress, depression, and anxiety.
Despite the cultural and social developments in first world countries, adults in the LGBT community continue to be bombarded with many challenges and difficulties. The Journal of Women’s Health states that the higher likelihood of depression among LGBT adults is largely due to the discrimination and lack of support from society. A study done by The Gerontologists focused on the healthcare provisions that the LGBT adults are in crucial need of. It is a sad truth that this group has very little access to proper care and therapy.
Understanding Sexual Identity
Sexual identity is such an extensive topic that involves our points of view and our personal opinions when it comes to sexual and romantic relationships. There are misunderstandings and even violent reactions when discussing this topic.
One must remember that sexual identity is different from gender identity, as sexual identity refers to sexual or romantic attraction towards other people and gender identity is an individual’s personal view of self – of whether he is male, female, gay, lesbian, or both. It can be different or the same as the gender assigned to them at birth.
The Stigma Around LGBT
The LGBT community is among the most prevalent groups that are victims of stigma by other people and even by their own families, friends, and coworkers. A major reason for this is that the general population still lacks knowledge, comprehension, and empathy. Also, others somehow practice a strict belief for them to reject people who do not belong to the normal male and female categories.
Bullying also makes up a large percentage of the pie on the major matters that cause LGBT anxiety and depression. It seems that prejudiced students, parents, and other individuals still haven’t gotten tired of criticizing those who are different from the rest, despite their skills and what good they can offer to the community. Teachers and other educators should act upon this immediately if this is present in their classrooms or school surroundings. They must help prevent this violent act from happening and educate their students about the concept of equality and discrimination.
The Need For Therapy
Aside from the issues mentioned above, LGBT individuals also experience other equally devastating problems, such as PTSD, social discrimination, and suicide. This puts them at a tremendously higher likelihood of developing mental health illnesses and suffering from low quality and access to therapy and other types of mental health care. However, as more and more studies reveal the importance of these services for the LGBT community, a lot of programs are now established to allow the community to access the services of therapists, psychologists, counselors, and even social workers.
Since depression is on top of the list of the most commonly seen mental illnesses in LGBT individuals, the need for professional help has been recognized and eventually appropriately provided.
The Right Therapist
If you are gay, lesbian, transgender, or someone who had chosen to be different from the gender assigned to him when he was born, do not be ashamed to seek therapy. And for you to get the full benefits of mental health therapy, find someone well-acquainted with the problems that you and your community have been facing. He should also be capable of understanding your sentiments and what has caused you to be anxious and depressed. Finally, the therapist must have an open mind and an empathic heart that can reach out and help you break the barriers that have been keeping you from growing into the best you can ever be.
The idea of building a family with the love of your life is not only common for opposite-sex couples. Even lovebirds of the same sex think of it too; that’s why they consider getting married. While some find it a bit scary, others seem to want to pull the hours so that it will come fast.
The LGBT community, more commonly known as the gay community, is a group that pertains to the gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexuals who have come together as an organization bound together by a common culture. These communities are comprised individuals who practice freedom by celebrating gay pride, individualism, and diversity through rallies, parades, and campaigns.
Gay villages, LGBT conformist groups, gay student organizations, and LGBT rights groups are considered part of the LGBT community, although not all LGBT individuals are not active participants and do not consider themselves a part of this community.
Like most men and women, there are also distinct LGBT individuals around the world who have made a difference one way or another. They have not only become famous for their unique appearances and personalities but also because of their ability to fight for their rights and excel in their careers of their current positions.
Here are some of the LGBT individuals/conformists/activists who have ignited change and made a name for themselves.
Ellen DeGeneres. Before she became the rich and famous TV show host that she is today, Ellen was ridiculed and lost her advertisements when she went public about her sexuality. In an interview a few years ago, she said she was so afraid to come out and let the world know that she was a lesbian, but she did – and in no less than her TV show!
Lynn Conway. Lynn Conway was an important property of IBM until she came out and spoke of her desire to become a female. IBM immediately fired her, a clearly biased move, which encouraged Conway to seek the help and support of the Board of Directors of the world’s biggest engineering professional society, the Institution of Electrical And Electronic Engineers. Her action was successful.
In 2014 a code of regulations and protections for transgender individuals was established. Conway was then included among the top transgender individuals who influenced the American culture by Time Magazine.
Laverne Cox. One of the stars in the popular series Orange is the New Black, Laverne continues her advocacy for the trans community, speaking about lesbians and gays around the world and how they are special and beautiful, just like everyone else.
Richard Isay. One of the headstrong and fierce gay activists in his time, Richard is remembered for charging a lawsuit against the American Psychoanalytic Association for discriminating LGBT individuals. After the deliberation, the association soon allowed lesbians and gays to train as analysts and in 1997 expressed its support for gay marriage.
Harvey Milk. The LGBT’s gay rights icon, Harvey was a politician and the first openly gay Mayor in San Francisco, California. He was also a visionary and a human rights activist. His battle for equal rights was short-lived, however, as he was assassinated a year after being elected. Various books and movies have been made about him, one being titled after his surname, “Milk,” which starred Sean Penn.
Janet Mock. Mock is a trans woman, an LGBT activist, and a bestselling writer. She is an advocate for equal rights of transgender individuals, especially black trans women. Her book “Redefining Realness” topped the New York Times at no. 19, and she continues to shine as an editor at Marie Claire, where it all started for her in 2011.
Although most countries have embraced the transgender community as part of their own, LGBT individuals still suffer from bullying and discrimination, leading to a large majority of them to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. BetterHelp is a reliable website to find more information about mental illnesses. The stigma is undeniably still present but continues to fade as they make beautiful noise in their career and their personal lives.
The Societal expectation of the LGBT community has arisen for more than a decade, and their fight against equality has always been their top priority. Though there might have been some enlightenment on their side of the issue and the world is now accepting them than it was years ago, there are still facts and figures around the world that doesn’t support their advocacies. In most cases, it happens to be the reason why coming out is an unfathomable struggle.
Intersectionality: An Overview
Intersectionality is most simply defined as the overlap of minority identities. For example, a woman who is both African American and bisexual would be a part of three different minority groups: gender (as a woman), race (as a woman of color), and sexuality (as a part of the LGBTQ+ community). The combination of different identities drastically increases an individual’s likelihood of discrimination, marginalization, and harassment.
Particularly in the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and individuals who identify as a woman are much more susceptible to oppression than the rest of the community. This is because of the oppression combined with being a part of more than one marginalized demographic.
LGBTQ+ Celebrity Activists
One of the biggest issues in the modern LGBTQ+ community is the lack of representation in the media. Thankfully, many different LGBTQ+ individuals have become BIG in the public eye, and many have used their fame to bring attention, awareness, and support to the community. Especially in the last ten to fifteen years, LGBTQ+ actors, singers, leaders, and activists, in general, have made their way into the media, which really helps the community to have a voice and the proper representation.
Continued Marginalization: Societal Expectations
Although the LGBTQ+ community has made tremendous strides in the fight for equal rights in the last decade, there is still quite a long way to go. Gay marriage was legalized by the Supreme Court through the Equality Act in 2015, which was a huge step for LGBTQ+ couples. However, members of the LGBTQ+ community are still being discriminated against and oppressed on a daily basis. There are people who are purposely cruel and belittling to LGBTQ+, but there are also a lot of cultural and societal norms that contribute to the discrimination of and stigma surrounding the community.
One of the most common societal norms that are prevalent in our culture is heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is best defined as the general assumption that everyone is heterosexual, or straight. This has been produced by the mindset that being straight is “normal”, while any other sexuality is strange or unfamiliar. These messages are supported by the media. There are rarely LGBTQ+ individuals portrayed in movies, television shows, commercials, and other mass media. Representation has gotten better, but it’s not always accurate or shown in a positive manner. (more…)
Resources for LGBTQ Youth
The LGBTQ community is already a marginalized demographic. But the stress, stigma, and harassment are even worse for younger people within the community, than let’s say, the stigma of growing up without parents and in an institution such as here. In fact, in LGBTQ individuals from the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is one of the leading causes of death. LGBTQ youth are also twice as more likely to be physically assaulted in some way for their sexuality or gender identity. Fortunately, this vulnerable demographic has many resources to give individuals love, support, and opportunities to succeed. Here are some of the most helpful and well-known resources for LGBTQ youth:
Some people are more comfortable and feel safe using the apps installed on their mobile phones and tablets in finding and dating other persons. Dating apps have proven this efficiency and improving the sociability of LGBT persons in connecting, communicating or creating a deeper relationship with same or opposite partners. This article will introduce you to the Top 5 dating apps in the market and will give you some helpful tips in meeting more persons or looking for love.
So, let’s begin. Of course, you will need to have a smartphone powered by Android or iOS system. There are some applications that only work on the iOS and/or Android alone. But the good news is, there are also apps that are compatible with both systems. I suggest that you should look for those types of dating applications that are workable in either type of mobile units.
Next, make sure that you have a good internet connection or mobile data service. Most of these dating applications operate or are only accessible when your phone is connected to wifi or mobile data service. Without internet connectivity, the apps are just mere icons on your phone.