Archive for March 27th, 2007

I’ve never had a problem with these two areas intersecting and creating any “conflict,” for lack of a better term, in my life. Well, hang on. Let me back up a minute. In my own mind, I’ve never had any issues with the two.

Personally, being disordered has wreaked havoc on relationships but this post is more about clinicians, professionals and therapists.

I suppose I have been rather lucky in this regard. I don’t feel that I have been discriminated in any way from any practitioners while I have been open about my sexual identity. Except for one, many years ago, prior to being diagnosed with Bipolar. He could not understand why in a panic, one day a self-proclaimed “lesbian” would need “the morning after pill” or emergency contraception. Yes, the telltale hypersexuality of (hypo)mania strikes again! And I probably wasn’t pregnant but in my out of control mental state, best be sure!

I can’t say that I always have actually been open about my sexual orientation in every mental health setting as it may or may not have been relevant at the time (i.e. when asked during an inpatient stay, perhaps.) But I do understand that for some other members of the GLBT community who have mental health problems it can add an enormous strain on all the other issues that are already impacting them.

Alicia Lucksted has written a summary report that you can read here.

Reading some of it just made me feel so terribly awful. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have not experienced such discrimination. Even outside of a clinical setting and in the “real world,” I have been relatively untouched by being “gay” (or whatever you wish to call me–I sometimes really hate labels but perhaps they must be used at times.)

I have not lost any friends because of it, I have not lost any family members, I have not been discriminated in the workplace. I can even marry in my country if I so choose. I have never been assaulted or even stared at or called names for public displays of affection.

However, we still have a long way to go. Just because I may be one of the more blessed ones of my community doesn’t mean that the fight is over. Far from it.