Eye Makeup

LGBTQ Mental Health

What is Sex and Gender?

 

In our society majority of people still think that the concept of sex and gender is the same. But in reality they are different concepts. Sex is entirely a biological concept and is defined by one’s biological features. But gender is a social construct and WHO defines gender as, “socially constructed

characteristics of women and men, such as norms, roles, and relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed”.

Who belongs to Queer Community?

In order to know who comes under queer community, it is important to understand two major terms:

 

Gender identity: how an individual views themselves with respect to their gender. If an individual’s biological sex is different from their gender identity, that is when we call them Trans person and they come under Queer Community.

Sexual orientation:

Sexual attraction between male and female genders is called heterosexuality. Those who are attracted to same sex as theirs are homosexuals or gay or lesbian. Those who are attracted to both male and female genders are called bisexual.Queer is an umbrella term used for all gender and sexual minority groups.

Contributed by: Lincy Benny, Consultant Clinical psychologist at Therapeute 

Why do we need to talk about LGBTQ mental health? 

Until recently even in the field of medical science, sexual minorities were seen as “problems to be fixed”. It is important to talk about queer mental health because their life experiences is very different from what a cis, heterosexual person have gone through in their life. They are always discriminated because of their gender identity or sexual orientation at multiple levels. This discrimination starts from their own family and their education is interrupted in majority of the cases due to this discrimination. They are more prone to bullying, harassment and abuse of any nature. It is also important to understand that they have very limited access to economic resources, they have less chance of getting employed thus having financial independence. And all this makes them prone to health concerns, both physical and mental. With regard to mental health concerns, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts are very common among them.

Contributed by: Lincy Benny, Consultant Clinical psychologist at Therapeute 

Gay Couple Eating Popsicles
Young Man in Therapy

What is queer informed therapy? 

We live in a heterosexually constructed society and it is important to constantly reflect on these societal constructs that have shaped our versions of the world.  Therapy is for everyone and needs to be tailored to the queer community by using a critical, reflective, social lens. 

Queer informed therapy uses the right language. The language is queer affirmative, non- offensive and inclusive. We create inclusive spaces from therapy rooms, to discussion groups and abide by principles of respect. We are committed towards reflecting on our own assumptions.

 

Contributed by: Lincy Benny, Consultant Clinical psychologist at Therapeute