jacques

Mental Illness + LGBT Identity = confusion and identity issues?

8 posts in this topic

As someone who's been dealing with these problems recently, I'm curious. What are your experiences with how your LGBT identity intersects with your mental health? How'd you figure things out? Are you confident in your identity?

I know I've thought I was asexual because of a depressive episode before, thought I was a gay trans man for awhile (over a year and a half) because of a lot of confusing hoops, and I recently wound up going from gay trans man to nonbinary lesbian. OCD and mania are probably somewhat to blame in all this mess.

But yeah, what are your experiences?

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Hm... I don't think my MI has really influenced my sexual identity much. However... I do think my very traumatic coming-out at age 15 activated my MI, because I started struggling with depression soon after that. These days I feel pretty comfortable with either "lesbian" or "queer" as labels. Whichever someone prefers. 

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For me, I think dealing with sexuality in my teens had a huge impact in the development of MI. I battled with it for years (from age 13 - 18) and completely rejected the possibility of being gay. I suppressed it as much as possible, and as one would expect, during this time I suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety. But once I accepted my sexuality, this coupling sort of dissipated and I really haven't noticed an intersection since.

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For me there is a huge difference between being trans and its effect on mental health issues, and mental illness. 

The mental health issues I face come from discrimination and society, laws and the world view towards trans people. But they are not mental illness. 

Then there are the traumatic events/abuse I faced because of how other people thought about me, and how me being trans made them feel. This lead to various views and beliefs being developed about myself, that I still believe. However I know that being trans is no reason for anyone to abuse me, regardless of if that is the excuse they make about it. 

Then there is dysphoria. Mine is mostly body dysphoria, but I do still experience various social and legal issues because of the world view, politics where I live and certain laws. Human rights problems also effect my mental health, but again not in regards to illness. 

 Confident? I am what I am. Wouldn't say I am proud of it, and it makes my life absolute hell most of the time. So it depends what your view of confident is. 

There really wasn't any figuring out to do, I just knew. So yeah. 

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I realized that I was gay rather early: age 5 or 6. And I was sexually active (oral only) starting at age 7. But I had a very bad gay sexual experience when I was just barely 13 (I lost my previous partner at age 10 when we moved) when I was testing boundaries with a friend 2 years older than myself, and that sent me into the closet for years (he called me a pervert, and I thought if that's what he thought about me while sucking my dick, what must everyone else think?) My MI, on the other hand, started when I was 10, and had no relationship to my sexual orientation. I think some people link the two because the realization for each often comes at around the same time. But I honestly don't think there is any connection. On the other hand, there seems to be more LGBT people here than IRL. So maybe there is a connection after all. 

Edited by Flash

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i've had signs of not being straight since i was a child, no joke. my parents told me my bisexuality was just of course, a "phase" - and they weren't the religious type. my mom whom is bipolar did actually have some sort of "episode" where she thought she was a lesbian for like a week or so, and she has zero interest in women. i don't know the entire story, just what my dad told me honestly and well parts of my own memory. but she could have just been experimenting but the fact it was outside my parents marriage, wasn't healthy at all. they were monogamous. there have been times i thought i might be gender-fluid, because whenever i would date women i was "the guy" and i basically took on a role of "the boyfriend". so it made me feel like i was a guy, i started dressing like one for about a month when i would go out. but i realized i'm just a bisexual female. experimenting with what you are isn't a bad thing, some people don't figure it out until way later on in life, especially those whom come from earlier generations; as well as those who come from very religious home lives that don't want to dissapoint their families. there are so many variables it's not even funny. i don't think my MI has anything to do with my sexuality, i wasn't really diagnosed with anything officially until a few years ago. so my entire childhood, aside from being diagnosed with ADHD and possibly bipolar but came to find out those were false, hasn't made much an impact on who i am in terms of what i'm attracted to. i think i might be more pansexual than bisexual, because i do also have an attraction towards transgender men and women. when i was in high school still, i found out someone i had a short long distance relationship with was planning on transitioning, they hid it from me at first, and damn did they do a hella good job of looking like they gender of the pronouns they preferred - of course. when they told me, it didn't phase me. i would date a trans person, gender isn't a huge matter to me. i care more about emotional connections - even as a sex addict.

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I personally feel that the amount of trauma that men have caused me, and my resulting PTSD, was a huge contributor to why I am gay.  I strongly wonder if, minus the abuse, I'd be straight.  And I wonder, if I fixed my PTSD, if I'd develop an interest in men.

Given how totally ineffective my efforts to fix my PTSD have been, I'll probably never know.

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Gooosh what an interesting question.. to be honest I was one of those people who was a lesbian before I realised I was bi. Well, I kinda knew I was bi, but when I went to an LGBT event someone assumed I was a lesbian and I was so socially anxious I didn't have the courage to correct them ha. At one point I thought I was queer or pan, but I read some description of bisexuality along the line of 'attraction to two or more genders' and I was sold. I'm way too picky to be pan or queer, ironically :lol: I have pretty similar levels of attraction to NB folks and women, but men... eh. You'd have to be a pretty special guy.

I have a lot of issues with the set of sex organs whatever deity or genetic marker decided to give me, but it's not a gender identity thing (sorry- I'm not trying to universally equate being trans with trauma or it just being about your body, I just don't know how to phrase this less awkwardly. Feel free to say if this is a crappy way of putting this). It has a huge amount to do with shame and disgust, the root of which I haven't discovered. It was like this even before I was in an abusive relationship. A doctor once tried to look at a rash I'd developed near my crotch when I was six and I screamed blue murder so he couldn't even have a look. 

After abusive relationship I thought I might be asexual, or a-spec. I don't think that'd be accurate though, considering it's 100% rooted in trauma. Luckily I mostly don't have any OC-esque hang-ups about being bi (intrusive thoughts or compulsions or whatever). There is a level of shame and not wanting to discuss it though. When I was a younger teen I desperately didn't want to be gay. I didn't hear the words 'trans' or 'bisexual' being used until I was in my mid teens. Half my damn life, I didn't know what LGBT meant, let along non-binary, gender fluidity, pansexuality, etc. I genuinely thought I was gay one moment, straight the next. A lot of early crushes came with serious red flags. As an adult it kinda made me think about whether I was actually crushing on them or just wanted to be treated badly. Had to learn the hard way.

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