The stigma of mental health in the queer minority.
Mental health is an illness that can affect anyone and there is seen to be high extremities of this in the UK. However, if we are talking about this issue on a global standard, according to the Mental Health Foundation, ‘1 in 6 people have suffered from a mental health issue in the past week’ https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-uk-and-worldwide.
So, let’s say it can affect anyone and it does not matter how you identify yourself, whether that is from the colour of your skin or the sexuality you choose to be, but with this in mind, is it more of a strain for some people than others? Do people without mental health problems look down on those who do have them? Especially those part of the LGBT community…
Those who identify in the Queer community can perhaps have double the backlash when it comes to dealing with both their sexuality but also being known as having mental health problems.,
19-year-old, Robert Twaddle describes his way of ignoring any hatred towards him, especially the way he dresses, “I do get some negative attention from what I wear but its mainly from strangers.” he goes on to say, “I have not suffered direct bullying from the way I present myself but I have had a lot of threats sent to me in the past, over Facebook messenger mainly. I tend to just block these people and brush the comments aside.”
What with the death of US rapper Lil Peep being caused by an overdose of drugs, there can be a highly evident correlation between both aspects. Both mental health and the need to wanting to take illegal substances as a way to commit.
23-year-old James Williams identifies as being queer and definitely sees a link between both factors. “I think sometimes people use mental health as a ploy to disregard the overlay of them just being sad. But from what I have dealt with in the past, I do believe that those suffering with mental health problems sometimes use the drugs as a way of expressing themselves.”
Robert Twaddle taken by himself
While mental health can badly affect day to day life, and especially being exacerbated for Robert Twaddle by the way he dresses, it can always be empowering to overcome and ignore what happens next.
“I absolutely see an increase in people expressing themselves and loving themselves.”
Coming from Scarborough, Twaddle believes that where he’s from is a predominantly UKIP area, so it was difficult for him to express who he wanted to be, but moving to the South changed it all for him.
In regards to the Mental Health Foundation, ‘The higher prevalence of mental ill health in LGBT people can be attributed to a range of factors such as discrimination, isolation and homophobia. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-lgbt-people
Featured image- @nathgphoto
“Four in five LGBT people who have experienced a hate crime or incident didn’t report it to the police”, according to Stonewall LGBT facts and figures. https://www.stonewall.org.uk/media/lgbt-facts-and-figures