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Serendipitydodah for Moms – Home of the Mama Bears is a private Facebook group for moms of lgbtq kids. This series will address common questions that often get asked by members of the group. For more information about the group email lizdyer55@gmail.com

 

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I’m often asked why it seems that LGBTQ people have more mental health issues than heterosexual and cisgender people.

Some have even asked “what comes first? the chicken or the egg”

That’s a really good question because being LGBTQ is not a mental health disorder and it is very important to emphasize that being LGBTQ is not the cause of any mental health illness.

Homosexuality was removed from the list of mental disorders in 1974 and being transgender was removed from the list in 2018.

There is one small group that takes a different view but it is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and is fueled by conservative anti LGBTQ views. The group is called the “American College of Pediatricians” (ACPeds). It is a fringe anti-LGBTQ hate group that masquerades as the premier U.S. association of pediatricians to push anti-LGBTQ junk science, primarily via far-right conservative media and filing amicus briefs in cases related to gay adoption and marriage equality.​ Though it sounds official, the ACPeds is not the leading organization for U.S. pediatricians; that designation goes to the 66,000-member American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It appears they chose their name to try and confuse the public.

However, even though mental health issues are not caused by being LGBTQ, there absolutely are issues to consider around being LGBTQ and mental health.

While being LGBTQ is not a mental illness in any way, studies do show that LGBTQ individuals show greater levels of anxiety, depression, substance use disorders and suicidal feelings. However, the reason is not because they are LGBTQ but due to the discrimination and stigma that they face.

In other words, the increase in mental health issues for LGBTQ people are not caused because of their LGBTQ identify, but rather by how the world reacts to their identity.

LGBTQ youth are especially at risk, as young people are especially sensitive and vulnerable when it comes to “fitting in” and “belonging” and don’t have the psychological resources or personal independence to handle things themselves that they will have when they are older.

Even when LGBTQ youth have supportive families they are still impacted by the stigma and discrimination they hear about and face in their community, their schools and in society in general.

Some things that can help LGBTQ youth include:

* having supportive parents

* when parents are not supportive having at least one supportive adult to talk to and confide in

* having supportive educators at their school

* Gay Straight Alliance organizations at their school

* comprehensive bullying and harassment policies and laws in place in their community

Some things that can help LGBTQ adults include:

* having more affordable health care

* easier access to health care

* health care professionals that are LGBTQ friendly and knowledgeable

* companies that have LGBTQ inclusive policies

* sensitivity training for employees and management

* having at least one supportive person in their lives to talk to and confide in

Please share your own thoughts and/or resources regarding this subject.

 


Serendipitydodah for Moms – Home of the Mama Bears is a private Facebook group for moms of lgbtq kids. Our official motto is “We Are Better Together” and our nickname is “Mama Bears”

The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and as of January 2019 has more than 5,500 members. For more info about the private facebook group email lizdyer55@gmail.com

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