Good Gay Mental Health




"From childhood's hour,
I have never been as others were.
I have never seen as others saw."

Edgar Allen Poe



The views expressed on this page are my own. This page attempts to answers a few FAQs and provide links to resouces within the Gay, Lesbian, Two-Spirited, Transgender, and Bisexual Communities that you may find helpful.

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Being Gay or Lesbian is neither good nor bad, it just is.


It is the way that over 10% of the people on Earth were born. If you feel you are Gay, Lesbian, or Differently Gendered, it is important for you to understand that you are normal, sane and valuable, just the way you are.
The prejudice, ignorance and insecurity of other people may make it difficult for you to feel good about yourself at times. Good Gay Mental Health is essential to seeing through other's prejudices and claiming your life fully. Despite the propaganda from hate-mongers, Gay people who accept themselves, are happy, productive, loving and valuable people.

People who do not like themselves have always looked for those who are different to harass and ridicule. Often times Gay people have been the target for their ignorance and hatred. Jews, African-Americans, Asian Americans, and the disabled, also have been favorite targets for ignorance.




Who knows if I am Gay?. . . . You are the only person who really knows if you are Gay. The answer is inside you. Do not let anyone else tell you that you are, or that you aren't. The only way to know is to dare to ask yourself some hard questions and be honest with yourself.
We are each born as unique human beings with our own sexual and gender identifications. There are many different degrees of sexual and gender orientation, not just Gay or Straight. There are also bi-gendered people, transgender people, bi-sexual people, non-sexual people, and a variety of other identifications. Sexuality and gender identification is like a circle, with may different points of reference, each point is a type of human sexual or gender identification.
Finding the answers for yourself may take some time, but the discovering who you really are is the most important thing you will ever do.



What do I do if I'm not sure? . . . . Give yourself the time to be sure. If you are truly honest with yourself, the answers will come. Make friends with all kinds of people, and take it slow. Do not be afraid to look into your heart. The most important thing is to be true to yourself, whoever that is.
While it is true that heterosexuals seldom wonder if they are Gay or Lesbian, some do, so just because you have a question about your sexuality, doesn't necessarily mean that you are gay.
There are many good resouces on the Web that answer questions about sexuality and gender identification, many of them are listed below in the Links.




I know I'm Gay, but I am afraid to "come out". Should I anyway? . . . . You should always "come out" to yourself if you are Gay, Lesbian or differently gendered. Coming out to family, friends and others around you must be your own decision.
Depending on your age, where you live and the political and religious climate in your area are all things that must be taken into account. Coming out is a personal decision.
Some Gay people feel as if they must "come out" to those around them, and that is the right decision for them. Others are more hesitant and are not ready yet, and that might be the right decision for them at this time.
In the long run, "coming out" is an essential part of having "Good Gay Mental Health." While it is not always easy being a proud and open Gay or Lesbian person, it is a necessity if you want to live your life to the fullest and have lasting relationships.



If I'm Gay do I have to be like other gay people? . . . . What other Gay people are you thinking of? There are as many different kinds of Gay people, as their are straight people. Gays are in all professions, all races, all religions, all economic groups, and all parts of the country. Gays are parents, single people, married people, and clergy.
To be Gay does not mean surrendering any part of who you are. It does mean that you are part of a minority group, and that experience may make you more politically aware and active than if you were part of the majority.
There are Gay Democrats and Gay Republicans, there are Gay Liberals and Gay Conservatives, there are Gay people of all religious and political stripes.



What about sex?. . . . Sex is a natural part of any human's experience. Despite what you may have been told, being Gay is far more complex than who you choose to be sexual with. It is about who you fall in love with, how you relate to the world, and who you are inside.
Yeah, I know you have heard it before, but, If you are sexually active with another person, always practice "safe sex". This is a must for anyone today.
For specific answers on sexuality and safe sex, visit one of the Links below.



What about discrimination?. . . . Sadly, it is still a fact for Gay people, but things are beginning to change. Just as racism is a struggle for racial minorities, homophobia is a fact in the lives of Gays and Lesbians. The more Gays and Lesbians come out and demand to be treated equally in America, the better things will become. There are very few families that do not have some Gay members, but many of them don't know it. In the last 30 years Gays and Lesbians have courageously fought for their civil liberties and have made great progress toward equality.

Being Gay is still more difficult than it should be, but education takes time. Old sterotypes about Gay people are dying and are being replaced with more realistic images of who Gay people really are.



Do all Christians Churches hate Gays? . . . . No, there are many mainstream Christian Churches that accept Gays. There are also Gay Jewish, Pagan, Buddhist, and other religious groups. The MCC, Metropolitan Community Church, is a Gay Christian denomination.
Today the Christian Right is spending millions of dollars to make Gay people feel bad about themselves. Their aim is control, their message is pure poison. Do not allow yourself or your spirit to be diminished by those who spew hatred and prejudice in the name of love.

If the Christian Right were really concerned with the moral climate in America and the teachings of their God, they would be focused on preventing child abductions, hate crimes, violent pornography and abuse of the elderly, not harassing Gay citizens and Women's Health Clinics.



They say Gays can turn Straight, is it true? . . . . No, the Gay Community, medical and psychological experts agree, a person's sexual orientation does not change. Sexual orientation is as much a part of who you are as your eye color. The best scientific information research says that sexual orientation and gender orientation are determined before birth.

A person can learn to "act" heterosexual, but that does not change who they are inside. There is a great deal of evidence that trying to change ones sexual orientation causes mental, physical and spiritual damage to the person.
Some Fundementalist Christian groups have convinced insecure and unhappy Gay people to adopt a straight lifestyle, but the person still remains a homosexual. It is their inability to accept themselves as they were created, that prompts them to seek a life based on the approval and acceptance of prejudiced friends and family.
Acceptance of ones self is a far saner and healthier choice for a Gay person.



But what if my family won't accept me Gay? . . . . You have to decide if you are willing to settle for an illusion.

Is conditional love, that denies who you are, worth having?
Do you think that you will ever really feel loved, if that love and acceptance is given only on the condition you pretend to something you are not?

Will you ever be able to trust that "love"?
These are questions that only you can answer for yourself.





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Links

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force

The Advocate

US Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Issues & Resources

Electronic Gay Community News

Planet Out

The Names Project ~ The AIDS Memorial Quilt

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

An Oral History of Gay Southern Life 1969-1984

Our Own Voices ~ Lesbian & Gay Periodicals 1890-1990

Gay & Lesbian Rights

Gay Network Television ~ A Retrospective

Gay & Lesbian History Month

Coming Out

Grove of the Rainbow Heart

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuals Catholic Handbook

Grove of the Spiral Goddess