LGBT Rights

Alex Karydi's picture

LGBT Discrimination: Legal Rights and Mental Health

As LGBT individuals we already experiencing the shame and guilt of abuse but we may feel also now the pressure to hid our true identity so that we can use services such as shelter, support groups or crisis lines. The belief is if I pretend to be heterosexual I will get more acceptance and care for my situation. Or there is the pressure to “come out” to get help and risk that information not being kept confidential and losing your home, job, custody of children etc. With our LGBT status made public, as nothing in treatment is absolutely confidential especial when law enforcement is concerned, negative life changing events may happen due to lack of local and/or state laws. We have limited protection compared to our abused heterosexual counterparts. Disheartening is that even with me sharing this information with you, they will be many that will not take it further and seek help!

Often LGBT victims are not joined financially to their partner, so ending the relationship is met with little resistance in the money sector. What if though there is conjoined financial responsibilities, such as paying mortgage, there are no legal structures in place that assure that assets are divided equally. Heterosexual have no idea how much laws protect them and how we are seating ducks risk everything for who we are.

Conventional resources for domestic violence often lack training, expertise and sensitivity in understanding LGBT relationship and abuse. We have to deal with other bias, stereotypes, and homophobia. Society also uses the information of finding out that gays hit each other as another reason why homosexuality is immoral and dysfunctional, which makes finding genuine and help difficulty as well as making us feel even further isolated and alone in our pain.

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