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.
Even more painful to me is that my own community is unsupportive of one of us being abused and hurt. As small as our community is often abuse will travel fast within our circles and sides may be taken as well as disgust of the abuse from within our social networks. This makes the abused even more exposed and vulnerable.
We are trying to fight so hard for society to accept us, many want to maintain or create an image that there exist no problems or disturbing behavior in our community. There is a fear in us if we give this world any more reasons to set us aside we will never reach freedom, so we hide our parts of the dysfunction found in our community instead of building bridge to get healthier and fight a greater more supported fight! Which is again what drives me everyday the need to help my community healthier, happier, and supported?
If we don’t acknowledge that gays have serious problems such as drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, abuse like any other community, resources will remain limited and we will continue to suffer!
I have been met with support as well as resistance to my new journey on building a link and bring together and connecting as many LGBTs as possible but if we don’t know each other and that we are there for one another we will feel isolated. I don’t want to feel that way, alone, why would I want anyone else especially one of my own? I am no better then anyone else and I don’t deserve anymore or any less then anyone else and neither do you!
~The Lesbian Guru
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