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The LGBT Thread II

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  • Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Are you saying that sexual orientation and gender identity are something you choose? Not cool.
    No, I say that society is not build only from people of LGBT+ minorities and their point of view. We are minority, for better or worse. Last month I argued with my middle brother ( who is 12 years older than me ) that I should be able to talk freely with my extended family about my relationship with my partner of 6 years - brother pointed out that it can be risking for career of our father, now rector of our local Agriculture University in Lublin, because he needs to sustain close ties with our local Catholic Church. Or that rest of family can shunt my from their lives as Catholic AND Soviet homophobic propaganda on gays was point of last 70 years so they all can have brainwashed - and that we best know what homophobia. Like direct family of my partner that treated him as Nazis treated Jews in first days after they known he is in relationship ( he run to city then to me, disaper for two weeks from their life - and THEN his mother found love for his son to look for him and trate him like human being ). Or that as my partner was beaten up on doorsteps off our previous flat - and we could not invoke crimes against LGBT+ clause as it's not existing in Polish law. Or that we were on one of my cousins wedding and one another of cousins, drank, said to my partner that he will beat him if he break my heart as I risk too much for the family ( or something like that ). I said to my own brother it's my life and I'm not returning to closet - and I will just answer on questions about marriage truthfully.

    We were with my partners many times ostracized and in dangers just for being together. We know that love is the force for good, but - at least in my home Lublin and it's Wojewodztwo ( province ) - homophobia has real faces. And real people that want to literally hit you for living your life as you really like - that is, not hiding your orientation and live as equal to rest of society. And in the end of the year, you should at least talk to them, as they ARE parts of your family.

    World is not black and white - and is not build only from our own minority group. It's hard lesson I learned by my own life. You should be noble in your goals, but understand that you cannot please everyone - as others can, literally, want you dead. On the other hand - you just cannot simply ax everyone that are not agreeing with your believes - and yes, 'living free according to your orientation' is your belief, not part of the orientation itself ( there were people not doing it in millenia before, at least according to our patriarchal society ). You cannot please everyone, but should consider from time to time to look on the things from other perspective. Coming Out is not binary process or thing, in real world.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 08-07-2017, 12:05 AM.


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    • I think most people who actively post in this thread are acutely aware of the fact that coming out is an ongoing process, and that we constantly have to weigh the risks of coming out to a particular person against the discomfort of pretending not to be who we are around them. It'd be nice to be able to come to LGBT-safe spaces and vent our frustrations about a particular choice to come out to a particular person turning out poorly, without having other LGBT people lecture us about how we have to get used to the fact that not everyone will be accepting of our identities.


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      • wyrdhamster, please forgive me if I'm mistaken, but you're cis, right? I feel like you're approaching the subject with a very limited perspective, so maybe I can be of use.

        Being closeted and hiding who you are sucks for everyone, and I don't want to downplay that at all, but being openly trans is different from being very open about your orientation. We're not just fighting for the right to talk about being trans, we're still fighting for our right to simply exist at all, and even in more progressive/liberal spheres the system is rigged against us.

        To speak only of my own experience, I don't come out to random people as trans because I'm eager to share that with them and assume they'll accept me. It's because if I don't, they tend to assume I'm a man and treat me as such, no matter how supportive they might be or how femininely I may present. Having such a basic, integral part of who you are denied hurts horribly. It traumatizes us in a lasting way. It drives people to suicide.

        (Some binary trans people have the genetics or resources to "pass" as a cisgender person of their gender. I don't have the former and I'll never have the latter, and a lot of people are in similar positions. In any case, gendering people based on your immediate assumptions about their appearance is harmful, especially to nonbinary people.)

        If someone's beliefs mean they wish to treat me in a way that violates the law/workplace policy, has a hugely detrimental psychological effect on me, and contributes to violence and discrimination against people like me, why would I possibly want to excuse or even, as you suggest, sympathize with their views? Why would I subject myself to misgendering on a daily basis, when it's the kind of thing that kills trans people? Why would I want someone like that in my life?

        The answer is almost always "for the sake of my own survival." It's an ugly truth, and not one that needs defenders, especially ones who would also like to call themselves allies. Instead, you should be trying to dismantle it.
        Last edited by Manic Pixie Dreamcast; 08-07-2017, 05:45 AM.


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        • I was almost going to post this in the Mental Health thread, but this one feels more appropriate. I'll call this panicked text ramble "Coming Out: Again and Again Forever", because I like giving things titles. I'm sorry.

          Anyway, I'm having a full psychological evaluation today! Hooray! I'm switching medical providers and treatment plans for a few things, and an evaluation is necessary. No big deal, right? Of course it is! That's why I asked that rhetorical question! It would be a big deal for me, a stressor, even in the least complicated circumstances. These are not those circumstances. Here's the thing: according to my medical documentation, I'm a straight, cisgender man. Period.

          I've had to have a lot of emergency psychiatric intervention over the course of my life, but have gotten little to almost no non-emergency therapy or even long-term counseling. I've never really had the luxury of giving therapy a priority, so the opportunity to discuss something like my sexuality or feelings about gender wasn't there. It's here today. This is going to be the first time that I assert my identity to my medical providers, and really, to anyone in a legal capacity. I'm excited. I'm.. terrified. Actually, I'm mostly terrified.

          I know that this is what is right for me personally, as a human being. I can't say that it won't impact the quality of my care, though. I don't know if that's paranoia, or fears gained from stories told by friends in the community, but I wish I could feel confident here.

          I'm confident about who I am. I know that part about myself well enough to not question it. What I don't know is if someone treating me might believe that, say, transgender and non-binary people are simply mentally ill or pushing an "agenda" beyond "please just respect me enough as a sentient human to treat me with basic dignity and kindness". Another scenario I've actually run into, and I wish I was kidding because of the context: A therapist/psychologist in an 'acute psychiatric unit' questioning my sexuality on the grounds that, since I was abused as a child, the trauma "made that kind of sexuality ok for you". Yeah. A person with a doctorate and a human brain said that to my face. Don't ask me to explain that thought process, because ugh. I was hospitalized for attempting suicide after a traumatic experience.

          So, that's what I'm working with today. I'm getting ready to drive over to a bunch of strangers and be more honest, more vulnerable, than I've ever been to any medical professionals. All in hopes of some proper medical treatment. I'm still swaying between feeling hopeful and freaked out enough to go off the grid and hide in a hidden bunker, but maybe writing this down did something.
          Last edited by AzraelFirestorm; 08-09-2017, 12:09 PM.


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          • Do you have the opportunity to choose your therapist? I've never been to one myself, but my partner and their sibling have both had significantly better experiences with therapists who are women, particularly when it comes to gender and sexuality related subjects.


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            • I had to wait a month to get in with a primary care doctor in the town I moved to a few months ago and everyone at the clinic misgendered me at every possible opportunity even when I corrected them. I have multiple chronic health conditions that require routine medical visits but honestly I'm just considering giving up on going to the doctor any more.


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              • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                Do you have the opportunity to choose your therapist? I've never been to one myself, but my partner and their sibling have both had significantly better experiences with therapists who are women, particularly when it comes to gender and sexuality related subjects.
                I apparently can't choose my therapist with my current medical services, and they've already scheduled me with a male therapist who mostly sees male patients. The woman who's managing my psychiatric care ignored me as if I hadn't spoken when I mentioned my gender related issues and told her how I identified. Twice. It was unreal. I don't know what to make of the entire experience. At one point, I had to remind her of my own recent sexual assault right after I'd finished crying in front of her while recounting it. The entire thing was confusing bullshit that only served to ruin my day and schedule me for what I hope are appointments with more thoughtful human beings.

                @Manic Sorry to hear about that awful treatment.
                Last edited by AzraelFirestorm; 08-09-2017, 08:26 PM.


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                • Fuck, that really sucks.


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                  • I just came back to this thread, and well I don't know what to say. I feel bad for the struggles trans individuals go through on a daily basis, and as a pansexual/bisexual cisgendered male, I honestly can't fathom it and probably should not try to, It's not my plight and I won't weigh in on the aspects specific to the trans community, but on the issues of mental health in general, I can offer some advice.

                    I've struggled with mental illness all my life. I am bipolar and mildly autistic (I was originally diagnosed with Asperger's as a child back in 2000, been retested several times, and the diagnosis has since been re-classified as Autism Spectrum Disorder), and I've also suffered from clinical depression (I still take medication for it) and attempted suicide several times in my life. I currently have a good therapist and I take several medications to help with my various problems. I'm on Medicaid now, but I used to be on my parent's insurance until I was around 19, when I went off my parents' insurance and got Medicad, around this time I qualified for SSI, I'm only qualified for part-time work, and I need my Medicaid to afford my medication and treatments. In Virginia, there was no expansion of Medicaid, so if I got a part-time minimum wage job, I'd lose access to my medications and therapist visits). For anyone who is seeing a therapist, I do have some tips.

                    Be as open and honest with them as much as possible, They are here to help you, and if you are struggling with any issues related to your gender or sexuality, let them know. There is a Doctor-Patient confidentiality law, if you are worried about coming out. When I was a teenager, I withheld information from my therapists because I was afraid of getting committed or locked up (the fact that my parents constantly threatened to have me committed back then didn't help) and as a result, my conditions only worsened, at least in regards to both depression and mood. It wasn't until I entered adulthood that I realized I needed to inform my therapist on issues that concerned me and troubled me (such as my feelings of self-hatred and past suicidal ideations) and also take my meds more regularly. While I still hate myself somewhat, I no longer feel suicidal and my depression and mood issues have gotten less severe.

                    I've only recently come out as a bisexual to my brothers, my mother and therapist still don't know about it, but I do intend to let them know before my next visit. Coming out for me was a relief, but I understand that coming out as trans has a whole lot of other issues and baggage that coming out as gay (or bi in my case) doesn't have. However, you should make the best of a bad situation and be open and honest to your therapist. If you're not comfortable letting it all out at once, inform them over several visits.

                    Forgive me if I'm coming off as intrusive, I just wanted to lend my advice from the perspective of someone who has dealt with mental health issues and the mental healthcare system my entire life. I'm just trying to help as best as I can, and I apologize for any upsets I may have caused. It is not my intent.

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                    • Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                      Be as open and honest with them as much as possible, They are here to help you, and if you are struggling with any issues related to your gender or sexuality, let them know. There is a Doctor-Patient confidentiality law, if you are worried about coming out.
                      While this is very good general advice for dealing with mental health professionals, it is much more complicated with gender-related healthcare (including mental healthcare). Believe me, I wish the issues were limited to that of doctor/patient confidentiality and risk of being outed. The real issue is that the majority of the medical community has harmful, backwards views on gender. Even if you're lucky enough to have a therapist who recognizes your gender as valid, they're still the gatekeeper of you gender-related medical care, which means if you don't fit their view of what your gender means, you might not get access to the support you need. A lot of trans people have to put on a show for their healthcare providers, to make themselves seem to fit into the narrative that their cisgender gatekeepers consider valid. The ability to be open and honest with healthcare providers is, more often than not, a privilege transgender individuals don't have.
                      Last edited by Charlaquin; 08-11-2017, 01:03 AM.


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                      • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                        While this is very good general advice for dealing with mental health professionals, it is much more complicated with gender-related healthcare (including mental healthcare). Believe me, I wish the issues were limited to that of doctor/patient confidentiality and risk of being outed. The real issue is that the majority of the medical community has harmful, backwards views on gender. Even if you're lucky enough to have a therapist who recognizes your gender as valid, they're still the gatekeeper of you gender-related medical care, which means if you don't fit their view of what your gender means, you might not get access to the support you need. A lot of trans people have to put on a show for their healthcare providers, to make themselves seem to fit into the narrative that their cisgender gatekeepers consider valid. The ability to be open and honest with healthcare providers is, more often than not, a privilege transgender individuals don't have.
                        To get more specific: many healthcare providers will refuse transgender-related service if you mention that you're also mentally ill or have endured any kind of trauma.


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                        • Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                          To get more specific: many healthcare providers will refuse transgender-related service if you mention that you're also mentally ill or have endured any kind of trauma.
                          Precisely.


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                          • Both of you are American, right? American psychiatry is in general a bit backwards and outdated compared to the rest of the Western world, but in this case I can confirm that at least the gatekeeping is not just a local issue.


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                            • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                              While this is very good general advice for dealing with mental health professionals, it is much more complicated with gender-related healthcare (including mental healthcare). Believe me, I wish the issues were limited to that of doctor/patient confidentiality and risk of being outed. The real issue is that the majority of the medical community has harmful, backwards views on gender. Even if you're lucky enough to have a therapist who recognizes your gender as valid, they're still the gatekeeper of you gender-related medical care, which means if you don't fit their view of what your gender means, you might not get access to the support you need. A lot of trans people have to put on a show for their healthcare providers, to make themselves seem to fit into the narrative that their cisgender gatekeepers consider valid. The ability to be open and honest with healthcare providers is, more often than not, a privilege transgender individuals don't have.

                              I hadn't really considered that, and I am sorry if I came across as condescending or offensive, I was just trying to help out as best I could.

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                              • Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                                I hadn't really considered that, and I am sorry if I came across as condescending or offensive, I was just trying to help out as best I could.
                                I can only speak for myself of course, but you didn't come off as condescending or offensively to me at all.


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