Mental Health Month

Trigger Warning: depression and suicide. Plese proceed with caution if this is triggering for you.

October is known as “Mental Health Month” in Australia (I’m not sure about other countries). It’s about bringing awarenes to the issue of mental illness. The reason why I’m doing this post on this blog in particular (I did another one in another one of my blogs read here if you want: Mental Health Month) is because LGBT+ youth are statistically more at risk of mentla health issues and suicide than non – minority groups. I also know from experience that identifying as asexual can be scary and quite isolating.

When the Trevor Project started in the US a few years ago, which was originally aimed at preventing suicid among LGBTI youth, apparently they also got calls from young people who idnentified, or at least suspected, that they were asexual. I get why it does your head in. First, the confusion that asexual young people can go through, sometimes for years, can be really hard. When I suspected that I was asexual, there seemed to be less visibility than what there is now.  It was mentally hard. I have to say though, that i haven’t been through many of the experiences that others have been through, which is explained by Julie Decker on Youtube. I admit I’m lucky that way. Although, I’ve got to say the invisibility can be hard.

Whoever you are, if you are experincing mental illness, or suspect you are, please, please get help. Find some support from family, friends and professionals to help you get through it. Nobody, regardless of sexuality, gender, or any other factors should have to suffer in silence. Please get support.

For people in Australia who need support:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: Beyondblue.org.au- Visit beyondblue

KIds Helpline (for those under 25): 1800 55 1800

Mensline: Mensline Australia: Help, Support and Counselling Services …

 

Anyone who knows any services from a home country other than Australia, feel free to post the links/ numbers in the comments section below. Thanks.

 

 

Advertisements

Diversity Exists… So Does Discrimination

 

CONTEXT: On this episode of the show Studio10, they were discussing accusations that controversial columnist, blogger and TV host Andrew Bolt made about Sydney Swans player and Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes for being divisive in his speech. As Joe Hilderbrand said in the clip, the perception is that Bolt would prefer it if we could just be united and not be separated by labels, including race (he has also added sexuality to the list on “One Plus One”).

Now, I read his columns and blog pretty regularly as well as watch his show and, from what  I have seen and read of his, I take his word that he isn’t homophobic or racist. On this issue, though, I disagree with him on the  “melting pot” theory.

People, especially children and teenagers know almost by instinct, whether they fit in or not. In the context of sexuality, for example, when twelve or thirteen year – olds start noticing the opposite sex, people who don’t usually know it ( strangely for me, it was a few years later). In that situation, you can ‘t just become part of a “melting pot” and pretend that it doesn’t exist. It’s impossible to truly fit in, when in reality you don’t, whether it’S because of your ethnicity, you ‘re disabilities, your gender identity or sexuality. Differences can’t always be ignored, and if at all, only for a very limited time.

Secondly – discrimination – it exists in Australia, even if we don’t want to admit the extent to which it goes on (I should point out that Bolt says that racism does exist in Australia, but argues that Australia isn’t a “racist nation”. He says he doesn’t condone it either). However, does it occur here more than we like to admit? I have heard to that the Aboriginal youth, along with LGBT youth, are over represented in youth suicide statistics. Note: Like I’ve said before, I get  suicide is often complicated, but it makes you wonder.

Discrimination exists and it hurts. And it isn’t a successful way to force someone to assimilate. Let’s acknowledge that discrimination exists, accept that diversity exists, let’s learn from what we know happened in the past and try to move forward.

 

Why Is “Coming Out” Such A Big Deal?

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS CONTENT ON LGBT SUICIDE. TAKE CAUTION IF THIS IS A TRIGGER FOR YOU.

Some people are finding the conversation of “coming out” tiresome and are asking the question “what is the big deal?” I think it’s fair to say that many of these people mean well. But the fact still remains that heterosexuality is still the assumed default orientation that people expect and homophobia still exists.

I heard on the ABC News24 about youth suicide in Australia. According to the woman being interviewed, two of the most vuilnerable groups in regard to suicide or attempted suicide are LGBTQI and Aboriginal youth. The figure that shocked me is that according to her, 41% of young people who identify as LGBT admitted that they had tried to take their own lives.

Now suicide is a tricky and often complex topic. However, it seems that LGBT are way over represented in suicide data. Are we as “tolerant” or “accepting” as we like to think we are? So there is no need to “come out” or is it that people just prefer it if people did keep their identity to themselves? Again, I’ll stress, I don’t think everyone is malicious when they say things like that, it’s just a point ot ponder.

It made me think of the time I came out as asexual to a cousin through a Facebook message. When I sent it, I was nervous (even though we do get along). Finally, when she replied to the message and she accepted it without any problems, I was so relieved, I cried hours later.

There is something about opening up about yourself when the risk of being rejected, ostracised or worse is real or seems real. There is a real discomfort, when your out with people and you know that you’re even different from them in a significant way, especially when the discussion comes around to relationships (I realised after one conversation back in 2010 that I was aromantic as well as asexual).

I did read a post from another fellow blogger about the issues asexuals, as well as members of the LGBT face, however, I was just wondering, does anyone know any statistics, data, articles, etc that talk about the extent of issues faced by asexuals? If anyone can post any information in the comments section, even about suicide among asexuals, it would be appreciated. Thanks.