jacques

Mental Illness + LGBT Identity = confusion and identity issues?

18 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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Posted (edited)

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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Sorry if I sound uninformed, or uneducated, just wanted to try and figure out what I guess I should "label myself".

From what I have read, I am going to wager a guess that I am non-binary.

"Picture it: Sicily, 1922…"

I am 51 male and all my life I have only thought of males as attractive sexually. My earliest memories of grocery shopping with my Mother, maybe 3 years old, and having a crust on Dustin, the bag boy.

I relate more to the feminine side of many/all things in life.  I have never been with a woman or been attracted to one.  I know what a beautiful woman is as well as a beautiful man.  There is or never has been a part of the female body that has ever been sexy or attractive to me.

I was experimented with by neighborhood boys when I was young, but not before I thought and felt this way. I have not let that define me or my life in any way.  I just wrote it off as youths experimenting.

I have no desire to live or dress as a woman, but like to be treated like one.  I guess...  Sound weird...?

If I was born a anatomical woman, I think I would have been a total tom-boy/perfect farm wife.

I have done a drag show or two back in the 80's/90's and while it's nice to be made up and feel super pretty once in a while, I have no desire to live like that or do it on a regular basis.  Who odoesn't want to look pretty once in a while?

My major and only issue is that I am not attracted to the gay lifestyle, or feminine acting men.  I am only attracted to straight life styled males.

{Aaaaaaand SCENE!}

That's it...

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What on earth is the 'gay lifestyle?' 

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I came here seeking help and answers, not debates.

If that's all you have to comment on out of 300+ words, then you probably can't help me.

10 minutes ago, Flash said:

What on earth is the 'gay lifestyle?' 



 

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3 minutes ago, Puzzle Dust said:

I came here seeking help and answers, not debates.

If that's all you have to comment on out of 300+ words, then you probably can't help me.



 

I'm not looking for a debate. People use that term all the time, and I honestly don't know WTF it is. It's usually a pejorative term used by conservatives, but it doesn't seem to have any substance to it. So if you have any idea what it means, I'm all ears.

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Posted (edited)

@Puzzle Dust this is a forum for mentally ill people, and this specific thread is for LGBT people who's identity has been affected (in some way) by their mental illness. I imagine Flash is asking because the 'gay lifestyle' is pretty broad, and I don't fully understand what you mean either. Are you against gay marriage? Is it internalised homophobia? We can't necessarily tell you who you are or what to do, so I imagine Flash just wants clarification (sorry if I'm getting this wrong Flash). To be honest, saying you aren't attracted to 'the gay lifestyle' is a bit weird, seeing as how every gay (and bi etc) person makes their own lifestyle? 

What is it you want help with? Because it sort of seems like you are saying you are attracted to men, but don't want to be gay and don't want to be a woman in a straight relationship. Not questioning you being non-binary I just want to understand what specifically you want help with, other than labelling yourself.

(EDIT: Sorry Flash started answering then noticed you replied)

Edited by ananke

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I think you articulated quite well what I meant, @ananke.

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(old thread, but I'm gonna answer) my anxiety has manifested in identity insecurity. I'm always worried I'm wrong about who I am and who I like. going by "queer" right now to try and alleviate some fear, but the anxiety is still there :(

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Posted (edited)

---

Edited by nervousbat
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@huntforbravery No worries about it being an old thread. It's kinda meant as an ongoing discussion, and everyone's answers interest me.

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I don't know what I am. 

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