Top Five Struggles of the LGBTQ Community That Lead to Addiction

Top Five Struggles of the LGBTQ Community That Lead to Addiction

Top Five Struggles of the LGBTQ Community That Lead to Addiction

Table of Contents

Addiction takes the lives of thousands of Americans each year. Although close to 21 million Americans struggle with addiction, only 10% receive the necessary help. As a result, drugrelated deaths have more than tripled in the past 30 years. 

Addiction is especially prevalent in the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ members are often bullied and cast out from their families. In many cases, they turn to drugs or alcohol as a mental escape from the hardships in lifeFortunately, numerous therapies exist to help LGBTQ individuals overcome addiction.  

Who is in the LGBTQ Community?

The initials LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay (man), Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning.

Lesbian: A lesbian is a woman who is attracted to other women.

Gay man: A gay man is a man who is attracted to other men.

Bisexual: Bisexual refers to people who are attracted to both the same sex and the opposite sex as themselves.

Transgender: A transgender person identifies with a gender that differs from the gender they were assigned at birth.

Queer or Questioning: A person that is queer or questioning may be unsure of their sexual identity. They may be exploring their sexuality before identifying themselves with a specific term or gender.

The community can also be referred to as the LGBTQ+ community. The “+” in LGBTQ+ encapsulates any other ways of sexual or gender identification such as pansexual, asexual, nonbinary, and more. Determining one’s sexuality or gender will be a different experience for every member of the LGBTQ community.

Video transcriptions Text
Hey everyone! Welcome to this super neat Introduction to some concepts Within the LGBT Community 00:06 00:06 There are so many buzzwords, 00:08 Vocabulary and definitions floating around in the media it can be hard to dissect what it all means 00:12 so this Brief Video will Introduce you to some basic Concepts 00:16 Okay, There's a lot to get through 00:19 first the LGBTQ+ Acronym 00:22 Let's Break That Down 00:25 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual 00:27 Transgender, Queer 00:29 Questioning, Intersex 00:30 Asexual, Ally 00:33 Now all of these words deal with one of four key traits every person, queer or not, has 00:39 Biological Sex is the physical anatomy with which you are born 00:43 Gender Identity is the personal feeling and 00:45 Conceptualization of one's own gender on the spectrum between male and female 00:50 Sexual Orientation Is the gender to which a person is attracted either romantically or sexually in relation to their own 00:57 Gender Expression is how a person chooses to outwardly show their gender identity 01:02 In simple terms 01:04 Biological Sex what you have; Gender Identity what you feel; 01:08 Sexual Orientation who you love; Gender Expression how you look and act 01:14 Okay, we just broke down the acronym and we talked about the four traits. Now let's put them together. 01:20 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Asexual 01:23 Refer To sexual Orientation. 01:25 Intersex Refers to differences in Biological Sex Which Can, also be Related to being Transgender and both of those are related to Gender Identity. 01:34 Queer Is an Umbrella Term used by most of the community to refer to anyone who identifies as part of the community. 01:41 Questioning refers to people who are, you guessed it, still questioning their sexuality or gender. 01:47 Allies are non-queer folk who support and love the queer community. 01:51 Now, the first Idea to talk about is that of a spectrum. 01:55 The LGBTQ+ community widely accepts that the four aforementioned traits are all on a spectrum a scale between two opposite Points 02:03 Traits Can Fall on Either extreme or Anywhere in Between 02:07 Alright Let's Jump in and Start With Terms relating to Gender Identity 02:13 First, Biological Sex The Extremes on This Spectrum Are biological Male and Female These are determined Mainly by Hormones and Organs 02:20 for Males This Means Testosterone A Penis Testes and Secondary Sex Characteristics like Body and Facial [Hair] and A lower Voice 02:28 For females This Means estrogen a Vagina and the internal reproductive Organs for Pregnancy 02:34 Female Secondary Sex Characteristics Include Breasts wider Hips and higher Voice 02:40 Intersex is the Term Used to describe [People] whose Combination of Hormones 02:44 Internal Sex Organs and Genitals do not fit Typical Binary Notions of Male Or female Bodies 02:50 Gender Another Spectrum is the Scale between Boy and Girl Boys 02:54 May Use Masculine Pronouns He/him/his and Feel Masculine Girls use she/her Pronouns and Feel Feminine Anyone Who iDentifies 03:03 Outside The gender Binary Falls under The Umbrella Term of Genderqueer 03:07 Halfway Between The extremes is gender-Neutral this means someone Who iDentifies as Neither a man nor a woman they often Choose Neutral Pronouns 03:15 They/them/their Or A Variation of the Invented Pronouns Ze/zir/ze 03:19 Someone who is gender Fluid May Identify Differently at Different Times. 03:24 A Bigender Person lives Their life at both extremes at Different Times Living both as a man and as A woman 03:30 With Both gender Fluid and bigender People it is important to listen and Respect the Appropriate Pronoun for the Situation 03:37 Agender People don't identify With Any Gender and often use gender-Neutral Pronouns 03:42 So we Already established that gender Identity Is the gender you Feel inside when your Internal gender Identity Matches your Born 03:50 Biological Sex That's Called Cisgender 03:53 if They don't Match, Transgender 03:56 Transgender People Experience Gender Dysphoria Or the Uncomfortable Feeling that Their mind and Body don't Match 04:03 often Trans People will Choose to Transition 04:05 Using Hormone Replacement Therapy and/or Various Surgeries to Change Their Bodies to Match Their Identity. 04:11 It is never okay to ask a trans Person Where they are in Their Transition if They want you to know they'll tell you? 04:18 Mind Body Alignment also lies on a spectrum 04:22 Gender Expression Is how People choose to Show Their gender to the outside World 04:26 This Refers to the Ways in which 04:28 We each Manifest a masculinity or Femininity it is Usually an Extension of gender Identity? 04:34 Each of Us Expresses a particular gender Every day the Clothes, We wear how, We style our Hair Or even the Way We stand. 04:42 Drag Kings and Queens Are People who Explore gender as an Art Form Their Cross Dressing is A form of gender Expression 04:48 But you Cannot Assume Anything about Their gender Identity or sexual Orientation based on how they choose to dress 04:56 Speaking of Sexual Orientation 04:58 That's our Last Spectrum and it Refers to whom you are attracted. 05:02 on One end we have Heterosexual Or Attraction to someone of The Opposite Gender 05:07 Opposingly There is homosexual Or Attraction to the Same Gender 05:11 In Between is bisexual Attraction to both Genders 05:15 Pansexuality is Attraction to all genders 05:18 Including Those That Lay Outside The Binary someone who is asexual Is not Attracted to any Gender 05:24 Attraction Can Be broken Down Even Further Into Both Romantic and sexual 05:29 One Is an emotional Attraction the other is Physical These Attractions do not always have to align 05:35 for example Someone Can be Panromantic, 05:38 Emotionally Attracted to all genders, but asexual, not Physically Attracted to any gender. There Are several other more Nuanced Prefixes 05:46 Demi, Skolio, Poly, to name A few. other genders Such as Third Gender and Two-Spirit 05:53 Also exist some of These IDentities Can be Confusing and Hard to Understand if You've Never Been Exposed to them before 05:59 But if A Person defines Themselves in A way that is new to you it is okay even 06:04 Important To Respectfully Ask What that Identity Means to them 06:10 These are Just A few of some Offensive and Hurtful terms that are used [to] describe some People in the lgbtq Community 06:17 These Terms are Mostly Old-Fashioned and are often Used out of ignorance rather Than Malice 06:22 However They Can all be Slurs used Maliciously on Purpose to hurt People's Feelings 06:30 But The biggest message you Should Take away from this Video is the importance of letting someone define Their Own Gender and Sexuality 06:38 Respect Their Pronouns 06:40 Respect Their Chosen Name 06:42 Respect Their Appearance and 06:44 Respect Their Choice in Partners 06:48 Share This Video on your Favorite social Media Platform and Spread the word. Use These new Vocab Words to define Yourself! 06:55 I am a gay cisgender Female 06:58 Who are you? English

Does the LGBTQ Community Have a Higher Rate of Addiction?

Research has shown that adults in the LGBTQ community have a higher rate of addiction as opposed to their heterosexual counterparts. A 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Drug Health found that more than 37.6% of adults in the LGBTQ community used marijuana in the past year. This statistic is in comparison to 16.2% of the overall adult population that states they used marijuana in the same time frame.1 The same study shows that LGBTQ individuals are more likely to use opioids than heterosexuals. Around 9% of LGBTQ adults reported opioid drug use as compared to 3% of heterosexuals. Approximately 12.4% of LGBTQ adults also reported drinking alcohol in comparison to 10.1% of the overall population.

Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and harassment play a significant role in pushing members of the LGBTQ community towards drug use. Often, sexual minority adults turn to drugs and alcohol to block the pain felt from hurtful words and actions. Addictive behaviors can occur and send the individual into a downward spiral.

A 2016 study was conducted to investigate the role of school counselors, primarily in how they attended the LGBTQ community. The study found that, although sexual minority bullying was prevalent in schools, there were no specific anti-bullying interventions, state laws, or policies to address these issues.2

When children are bullied, it sets the stage for prolonged problems that can carry into adulthood. Bullying can trigger depression and anxiety, and it can lead to low self-confidence and low self-esteem. Unfortunately, these issues don’t always cease once an individual leaves the school system. Sexual minority members are often called out and ostracized by the way they live.

Video transcriptions Text
- I feel like bullying is something 00:01 we really need to keep talking about 00:05 and it can't just be shoved under the rug into this box 00:08 of like, well that's snowflake stuff, you know? 00:18 If you were to visualize bullying, 00:21 what does it look like to you? 00:23 - I've experienced bullying all throughout growing up, 00:25 unfortunately, and it's taken many different forms. 00:28 A boy, who I was trying to hide my sexuality behind, 00:32 asked me for nude photos at age 14 00:36 and would not stop asking me for over a year 00:39 until I finally sent him the photos. 00:42 And then he posted the photos online 00:44 in retaliation for me coming out as being queer. 00:47 For me, bullying has taken so many shapes 00:51 in the fact that it's meant to silence me. 00:53 It's meant to harm me and humiliate me 00:56 and shame me into submission. 00:59 And even though that happened to me when I was 14, 01:01 it still lives with me today. 01:03 - I do think that is important to acknowledge 01:06 that bullying doesn't necessarily 01:07 look like it does in movies. 01:09 It's not always physical. 01:11 - I can definitely say that in middle school, 01:14 my grades were like trash. 01:15 After transitioning, there were a lot 01:19 of micro aggressions that students said 01:20 but it was just seen as bullying, you know. 01:23 And since I didn't feel that it was a safe space 01:25 to go to teachers and that I didn't feel safe from my peers, 01:32 I began to retract in class. 01:35 I didn't want to be a part of the school community 01:40 and I started doing really bad in class. 01:44 - It's irresponsible of anyone to expect someone 01:48 who is going through that much trauma 01:50 to then be able to pick themselves up, 01:52 wake up at seven a.m. and go to school and be successful. 01:56 - I believe the suicide rate of trans teens 01:59 is four times that of their cis-gender counterparts 02:03 and that's because we're, nope, 02:05 bullying is just a part of growing up. 02:07 Well, it's not and that's why so many beautiful trans teens 02:11 aren't getting to grow up. 02:12 And if you're bullied all through high school, 02:15 all through middle school, and you are just 02:18 negativity's being spoken into your mind 02:21 and you are just constantly being degraded, 02:24 that is going to become your mindset. 02:25 And I know that I've suffered from that. 02:28 - We're here at Hetrick-Martin Institute, 02:30 which is also the home of the Harvey Milk High School, 02:32 which creates a safe space for LGBTQ teens 02:35 who've experienced bullying. 02:37 Did either of you ever feel that you had to 02:39 hide who you are to avoid bullying? 02:41 - Growing up in a small town, 02:43 I've always been ridiculed for my appearance in some way 02:47 whether that be wearing too much makeup 02:50 or having hair extensions and dying my hair 02:53 and just wanting to express myself. 02:55 But ever since I started to be open 02:58 as a gender non-conforming person 03:00 and truly feel good in my appearance and in my body, 03:03 it's also subjected me to ridicule. 03:06 - Bullying doesn't just magically end 03:08 when you leave school, right? 03:10

How Do Bullying and Harassment Lead to Addiction?

Bullying and harassment drive behaviors such as:

Instead of opening up about their problems, many choose to bottle their emotions. This is especially common in the LGBTQ community where individuals feel like there is no one they can talk to. Many choose to self-medicate instead of healthily dealing with their issues. They turn to drugs and alcohol, and such actions can bring harm to themselves and the people around them.2

The best way to help someone with an addiction is to encourage them to find treatment. Many treatment programs start with detox, so the body overcomes physical addiction, followed by customized therapeutic methods so patients overcome issues of low self-esteem and low self-worth.

Family Conflict and Rejection

Usually, one can turn to their family when they have an issue. They know their relatives will provide unconditional love and stand next to them no matter what problems they are experiencing.

However, many people in the LGBTQ community are not so lucky. They may have mothers, fathers, and other relatives who don’t understand their sexuality. Their relatives may reject them and even refuse to speak or interact with them. Not only does this increase the likelihood of addiction, but it also makes recovery more challenging.

LGBTQ adults who experienced parental conflict due to their sexuality were 3.4% times more likely to do illegal drugs as opposed to LGBTQ adults with healthy parent-child relationships. LGBTQ adults with strained family relationships were also 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide, 5.9 times more likely to experience depression, and 3.4 times more likely to have unprotected sex.3

Video transcriptions Text
00:00
[Music]
00:02
there shouldn't be a reason for you to
00:05
not love your son
00:07
[Music]
00:17
and my mom's house it's God first and
00:20
then family and my family it's just like
00:22
a man is supposed to be masculine and a
00:24
woman is supposed to be feminine since I
00:26
was raised in the church I honestly
00:28
thought being gay was wrong
00:29
[Music]
00:44
they gather around the family table and
00:47
they sign a piece of paper basically
00:49
saying I'm no longer a part of this
00:51
family and if I step foot on the
00:53
property they'll call the police and I'm
00:55
basically disowned and they don't
00:56
recognize me as my mom's child anymore
01:00
[Music]
01:08
you
01:08
[Music]
01:10
I just walked around for hours an hour
01:14
it's Todd this was like I need to fall
01:16
asleep and I just once I find this one
01:18
street and I was like really quiet there
01:20
was no one else there and I was like a
01:22
little corner and I was like wow I'm
01:24
about to do this right now like I'm
01:26
about to sleep on this dirty-ass
01:28
sidewalk
01:51
so it's like it's bad enough being
01:53
homeless but like if you're homeless and
01:55
your youth or you're homeless and you're
01:57
gay or let's say if you're homeless and
01:59
you're person of color or you're trans
02:01
it just keeps putting you more in danger
02:12
[Music]
02:19
like people will say Oh like you have to
02:21
like really try to be homeless to be
02:24
like actually homeless because
02:25
apparently there's so many resources out
02:27
there and it's so easy to get back on
02:29
your feet and stuff in the city such as
02:32
LA but since there's such a high
02:34
population of homelessness here beds are
02:37
being filled up like that you can't even
02:39
get into a winter shelter
02:55
I can't be mad because if you if you
02:59
stay mad at someone do you just become
03:02
bitter you know and it's like I just
03:04
gotta remind myself that like I'm out
03:06
here across the country I have my own
03:08
family that loves and support me here I
03:10
got what I need
03:11
family is people that love and support
03:13
you it's not always your bloodline you
03:15
know
03:17
[Music]
03:31
I just had enough I'd like fighting
03:33
every day waking up when you're in a
03:36
place like that where people don't care
03:38
you don't have to like pretend or act or
03:41
like put up your guard or anything you
03:42
can just like relax and the speech so
03:44
like you know cuz like when people don't
03:47
care you're gay you don't care you're
03:48
gay like you're your pride in it you're
03:50
like you're proud of who you are as a
03:51
person
03:52
[Music]

How Does Family Conflict and Rejection Lead to Addiction?

For most individuals, parental approval means a lot. Without this support, people may find themselves feeling worthless or depressed. Many turn to drugs and alcohol to ease these negative emotions. Substance abuse ultimately intensifies a downward spiral that can be difficult to bounce back from without a strong family base.

Arrow Passage Recovery provides a variety of therapies that can help patients overcome addiction and reduce the risk of relapse. We help patients understand the source of their problems and how to overcome it. In the case of a family conflict, we help patients understand that their family’s rejection is not due to anything they have said or done. We offer supportive, sympathetic counselors and peer groups that let patients know they are not alone. In this way, we can stand in for family members who may not offer individuals the care they need.

Abuse and Trauma

Abuse and trauma are all too prevalent in the LGBTQ community. Abuse could come from a high school bully who harasses people they don’t understand. It could be the parent who refuses to accept that their child is different. It could be the sexual partner who feeds on negative emotions. Whatever the source of abuse and trauma may be, it is hurtful to individuals on a physical and emotional level. It often drives a person to drink or do drugs to numb the pain.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects (NCAVP) estimates that half of the transgender and bisexual female population will experience sexual violence at some time in their lives. LGBTQ people are also more likely to deal with poverty, marginalization, and stigma, all of which put them at great risk of sexual abuse.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse doesn’t always occur in adulthood. A 2001 study research on 942 adult participants showed the 46% of homosexual men experienced molestation as a child as compared to 7% of heterosexual men. 22% of lesbians reported molestation issues as opposed to 1% of heterosexual women.4

Video transcriptions Text
I didn't deserve to be attacked and I
00:01
definitely don't deserve to be made to
00:03
feel like it's my my own fault I felt
00:05
confused powerless and helpless little
00:09
traumatizing
00:16
I was nine at the time I had never
00:19
understood how people were supposed to
00:21
treat my body while I was being violated
00:23
and I was trying to understand how I was
00:24
being violated that was really
00:26
complicated for me out of nowhere he was
00:29
standing over me he was pulling me down
00:31
and pulling my pants down all of a
00:33
sudden the conversation switched he
00:36
started to like kind of move forward
00:38
toward me and became violent after just
00:40
talking to this man his forearm as and I
00:43
throw and I'm up against this storefront
00:44
we only feel sorry for certain women we
00:47
only believe certain women for trans
00:49
women and for Femmes because we're not
00:52
seeing in the binary especially trans
00:55
women like a mockery of womanhood people
00:57
don't believe us or our claims against
01:00
sexual violence isn't legitimized the
01:03
Miche movement it was a little bit
01:05
disheartening the fact that this was a
01:07
woman's work for eight years and there
01:09
wasn't really any recognition of that or
01:11
even where it came from there's like a
01:13
legacy of you know black feminism that
01:16
the me2 of the movement is a
01:17
continuation of specifically tarana
01:20
burke and she's been really great at
01:22
mentioning queer and trans people so to
01:24
see privileged white women within
01:26
Hollywood essentially co-opting that and
01:29
turning it into a different narrative
01:31
was a little difficult for me to see in
01:34
the me2 movement a lot of black women or
01:36
black films are angry is because it's
01:40
like we have to like shout from the top
01:41
of our lungs where Asus white woman can
01:44
write op-ed or just make a claim and the
01:48
world burns the me2 movement doesn't do
01:51
a lot to include trans women because
01:53
there are a lot of situations where
01:55
trans women are not just afraid of going
01:57
out and reporting like something bad
01:59
happened to them sexually you're also
02:00
afraid of you know the way that the cops
02:02
will treat you when your trends I don't
02:05
know a lot of women who have to deal
02:06
with that there was just such judgment
02:08
about how did she get in the situation
02:10
why were you sleeping with someone that
02:13
you'd only just met like I wasn't acting
02:15
in a way that they deem womanly we was
02:17
at all that were being very deceitful
02:19
being who we are and it's destructive
02:22
you know it doesn't make me feel like a
02:24
person
02:25
it's just victim blaming and all women
02:27
go up against that but when you add the
02:29
trans level that's an intersection and
02:32
that means that I'm gonna then
02:35
experience what sis women experience
02:37
with them with another layer
02:39
there's sis able-bodied white women out
02:43
there who what they're doing I think is
02:45
amazing but there are black trans women
02:47
out there or screaming me too from the
02:51
ground that they've just been beating up
02:52
on some of them are screaming me - from
02:54
the hospital that delaying in and some
02:56
of them can scream because they're dead
02:57
realizing that the ability to campaign
03:01
the ability to march in the streets
03:03
ability to scream out loud until your
03:05
story is a privilege with that privilege
03:07
you can tell your story but you also can
03:10
uplift stories in all of this
03:12
conversation surrounding abuse and rape
03:15
and sexual crimes really there hasn't
03:18
really been any mention of the fact that
03:20
trans women are being killed at a higher
03:22
rate than ever before need to ask
03:25
ourselves why that's the case and who's
03:27
killing us and why are people killing us
03:30
it's lack of information lack of
03:32
understanding for lots of trans women
03:35
especially if they're women of color
03:36
there are lots of more barriers to
03:38
walking down the street avoiding street
03:40
harassment than just making sure that
03:41
they're not wearing things that could be
03:43
sexualized I don't feel like trans men
03:46
are allowed to be sexually empowered
03:48
without it being a thing I feel like
03:51
that's a privileged thing that you know
03:55
a woman can be sexual she can be
03:56
gorgeous he can be attractive and that'd
03:59
just be her but for a trans woman to do
04:03
that it feeds into a whole narrative of
04:05
us being fetishized having to defend my
04:09
identity is it's tiring
04:11
exhausting it's like our never-ending
04:15
fight I think I have privilege sometimes
04:17
with passing I think people tend to kind
04:22
of brush it off because they're not
04:24
reading me as a woman so they look at me
04:26
as like oh you can handle yourself or
04:28
you're strong enough to do that and I
04:30
think that's sort of like the dangerous
04:31
part is I don't think that people are
04:35
ready to be for the nitty-gritty of like
04:37
the daily lives of trans women's lives
04:39
which includes sexual violence at the
04:41
hands of police officers which includes
04:43
murders I would love sis allies and
04:47
straight eyes especially to be making
04:50
making sure that the message is
04:51
inclusive of queer people of trans
04:53
people of everybody that doesn't really
04:56
fit into the narrative that's going on
04:59
at women if everyone realized that all
05:01
of our battles individually are part of
05:04
like a collective human experience the
05:06
things that trans women of color face
05:07
are about white women too and are about
05:10
white men too and that if all of us are
05:13
free then it's a much better world and
05:15
if one of us is left behind them that
05:17
means that there's no real justice it's
05:19
difficult to understand what everybody
05:21
has been through but it just takes
05:23
listening I don't think that anybody
05:25
knows everything we get things wrong and
05:27
there's no shame in getting things wrong
05:30
but it's where you go from there is how
05:33
you listen to your sister and if you're
05:35
open to listening to what someone else
05:37
has been through there no one can fault
05:39
either about
05:45
you

How Do Abuse and Trauma Lead to Addiction?

Abuse and trauma can lead to feelings of low self-esteem and low self-confidence. Abuse can also cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disorder that makes it difficult for people to recover from experiencing a traumatic incident.

It is difficult for many to speak about traumatic incidents. They may feel like they are somehow at fault or they may not want to relive the episode. They may also feel uncomfortable blaming their aggressor, especially if it’s a family member. Without the ability to report abuse, many people internalize their problems and turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, which only worsens their condition.

At Arrow Passage Recovery, we create a safe and soothing atmosphere that helps people overcome traumatic experiences. We find the root of their problems and provide assurance to our patients, so they learn that they are not at fault with such incidents. We suggest positive behaviors that replace unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drug or alcohol use.

Unemployment and Homelessness

It is not unusual for LGBTQ members to experience homelessness or unemployment. This is especially common among youth who don’t feel comfortable living with unaccepting parents or whose parents kick them out because of their sexuality. Many sexual minority members also have mental issues due to rejection and discrimination, making it difficult to find a job and shelter.

According to Williams Institute, homelessness in the gay community is a major issue in America. Their statistics show that around 40% of homeless youths identify as LGBTQ. In terms of adults, 43% of homeless in drop-in centers, 30% of street outreach clients, and 30% of those utilizing housing programs identify as LGBTQ.5

Video transcriptions Text
- So there are these really interesting patterns
00:02
in the labor market where gay women
00:04
tend to make more money than similar straight women,
00:07
and gay men tend to make less money
00:09
than similar straight men.
00:11
So it's not just kind of discrimination
00:13
based on sexual orientation.
00:15
You also see gay women overrepresented
00:18
in male dominated fields and then gay men
00:20
overrepresented in female dominated fields.
00:23
And so, you kind of have these interesting differences
00:25
that are flipped from each other.
00:27
It's not just sexual orientation.
00:31
And so, one thing that I was really interested in
00:34
is whether or not some of the behavioral prescriptions
00:37
that we see facing heterosexual women in the labor market,
00:41
like these negative reactions
00:43
to traditional masculine behavior, you see kind of pushback
00:47
against women when they try to negotiate
00:50
for higher salaries, or if they're self promoting
00:52
in an interview, or even if they're just really successful
00:56
in a traditionally male job, people tend to react
00:59
really negatively to this, particularly men.
01:02
And so, I wanted to know whether or not gay women
01:06
were also subject to these prescriptions
01:08
because, if they're kind of exempt,
01:10
then this might explain why they're more able
01:12
to capture some of these gains in the labor market.
01:14
My name is Marina Maria Gorsuch, um,
01:16
and I'm an Assistant Professor at St. Catherine University.
01:19
So I did a very exciting study.
01:21
I think it's very exciting, of course.
01:24
I created kind of these fictional resumes.
01:28
I pulled information from real resumes
01:31
that were publicly listed, and then I manipulated
01:34
the perceived sex and sexual orientation on the resumes.
01:37
So some would appear to be from lesbian women, from gay men,
01:41
from heterosexual women and heterosexual men.
01:45
And then, I also altered the adjectives
01:47
that people used to describe themselves.
01:49
So some of these resumes would say,
01:51
"Oh, I'm an aggressive go-getter."
01:53
Should be kind of a traditionally masculine set of terms.
01:57
And then other resumes would say,
01:59
"Oh, I'm a cooperative team player."
02:01
So more traditionally feminine.
02:04
And then, I had people evaluate them on a number
02:06
of different kind of employability measures.
02:09
And what I found was kind of as predicted
02:12
by the previous literature.
02:14
When the perceived straight women used feminine adjectives,
02:19
they were rated much more highly
02:20
than when they used masculine adjectives,
02:23
but that didn't happen for the resumes
02:25
that were, had this LGBT organization on it.
02:28
So as soon as you put that on the resume,
02:30
or as soon as you were a perceived gay woman,
02:32
you didn't have this difference
02:34
based on what adjectives you were using.
02:36
And so, these perceived lesbian women
02:39
were really being treated
02:39
much more like the perceived heterosexual men.
02:43
So, that tends to be kind of the main reason
02:47
that people tend to go to for these types of differences.
02:50
So if you know that you're gay while you're growing up
02:55
and you're a woman, you might not expect to partner
02:57
with a higher earning man.
02:58
So you're gonna invest in human capital.
03:01
It's gonna make you more money, for example.
03:04
Or if you look at division of labor within households,
03:09
you tend to have more egalitarian divisions of labor
03:11
in same sex couples than you do in different sex couples.
03:14
So that's going to tend to benefit gay women
03:17
compared to straight women, or I should say
03:19
it'll benefit women in same sex couples
03:21
compared to women in different sex couples.
03:24
So a lot of the previous research
03:26
has really focused on those two elements.
03:28
And this paper is really kind of looking
03:30
at this third element of,
03:33
do gay women actually face different expectations?
03:37
Are they treated differently by potential employers?
03:41
So I use what's called a finite mixture model.
03:43
So what this allows you to do is identify latent classes
03:46
within experimental participants.
03:49
So, rather than just finding the average effect,
03:52
I was able to see whether or not
03:54
this was kind of driven by a few bad apples.
03:56
so, a couple of participants who were really discriminatory,
04:00
or whether this was kind of a broader theme.
04:02
And so, what I found out
04:03
was that about 60% of the male respondents
04:07
had a pretty strong discriminatory effect.
04:09
So they rated LGBT resumes worse,
04:13
and they also had this stronger effect
04:15
of like a larger difference
04:18
for the perceived heterosexual women
04:20
between masculine and feminine adjectives.
04:23
And so, this was saying that this is really most men,
04:27
and it's the same men who are having this negative reaction
04:31
to the LGBT resumes as are having
04:33
this new kind of very strict behavioral response
04:36
or behavioral prescriptions
04:38
for the perceived heterosexual women.
04:40
So it's really all going together,
04:43
and it's really all about masculinity and it's about
04:45
these are two different threats to masculinity.
04:49
And so, people are, well, I should say, men
04:51
are responding really negatively
04:53
to these two different types of threats.
04:55
And so, it's really, specifically, harming gay men the most,
04:59
that they had stronger negative reactions
05:02
to the gay male resumes than the gay female resumes.
05:05
And then, also, kind of these
05:06
really strict behavioral prescriptions
05:08
for the perceived straight women.
05:10
The average effect among the female participants
05:13
was much smaller.
05:14
They really had, they had a negative
05:17
but not statistically significant response
05:19
to the LGBT resumes.
05:20
They did tend to rate them worse
05:22
on personality characteristics, so that women participants
05:26
saw the LGBT resumes as more pushy, for example.
05:30
But that didn't tend to affect the employment outcomes.
05:35
And even when I split them into latent classes,
05:37
neither of the latent classes among the female participants
05:39
had a discriminatory effect.
05:42
So they just, women just discriminate less
05:44
in this particular setting.
05:46
I would really like to explore more policy elements here.
05:50
I think that one of the things that's really important here
05:52
is to think about what we think of
05:54
as fast thinking versus slow thinking.
05:57
So, a lot of these things are just happening really fast.
06:01
Employment decisions tend to happen
06:02
very quickly at the first stage.
06:04
You're looking at a resume.
06:05
You're making kind of this impression
06:07
of this resume very quickly.
06:10
And one of the things that was very worrisome to me
06:14
was that, when I was in this, doing this lab experiment,
06:18
and I actually asked the participants to rate the usefulness
06:21
of the work experience on a separate page
06:24
after they'd viewed the whole resume,
06:26
and male participants actually rated
06:29
the perceived gay men's work experience
06:32
as less useful than an identical work experience
06:35
when it was on a straight man's resume.
06:39
And so, that's the type of fast thinking that is happening,
06:41
where it's like this negative association
06:44
about their sexual orientation
06:46
then leaks over into other elements of the resume,
06:48
when they're evaluating the work history, for example.
06:52
And so, what I would really like to be able to test
06:55
in the future is whether or not
06:56
slowing down the evaluation process
06:59
can help reduce some of those kind of fast associations
07:04
that people are making.
07:05
Now I teach at a liberal arts college
07:06
and so I'm usually talking to undergrads,
07:08
trying to go into a major in economics.
07:10
And so, one approach is
07:12
economics is the highest paying major (laughs).
07:16
I teach at a women's college, so we do try
07:18
to kind of promote more women in economics
07:21
and also trying to get women
07:23
to go after those higher paying jobs.
07:26
The second thing I say is I think economics is,
07:31
people don't realize how much economics can help the people,
07:33
like how much we can use economics
07:34
to make the world a better place.
07:36
I think people think of economics as something that you do
07:38
if you want to go into finance,
07:39
if you want to go and work at an I-bank.
07:41
And it's like, no, this is what you do
07:43
If you want to have less discrimination.
07:46
If you want to make the world a more equal place,
07:48
you need to understand the tools.
07:51
Whether that's statistics or economic modeling
07:52
or all of those things,
07:54
in order to kind of reduce the negative things
07:56
that we see, you have to understand them first.

How Do Unemployment and Homelessness Lead to Addiction?

Unemployment, homelessness, and addiction can go hand in hand. Many LGBTQ individuals turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, which can cause them to lose their jobs and their homes. In other instances, LGBTQ members may use drugs and alcohol to escape from the stress of homelessness and unemployment. They may turn to unhealthy substances to bury feelings of anxiety and depression and take them away from a less than perfect reality.

Arrow Passage Recovery gives people the tools they need to deal with addiction. We provide our clients with the capability of finding a job and housing. We set every one of our clients on a path to independent living and we help keep them off the streets.

Higher Rates of Depression and Anxiety

With all the trauma and rejection that LGBTQ people experience, they are likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. Those with anxiety or depressive disorders will continuously feel these negative emotions throughout their life. These disorders can keep one from getting out of bed in the morning, keep one from being productive, and harm their relationship with others.

While depression is common among the general population, it is especially prevalent among sexual minority children and adults. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents are twice as likely to commit suicide as heterosexual youths. Other studies have shown minority stress to have a significant negative impact on the wellbeing of LGBTQ youth and adults.6

Video transcriptions Text
hi everybody I'm dr. Amelia there I'm a
00:02
Yale trained clinical psychologist and
00:04
I'm also a former research professor and
00:06
high estate I used to be the director of
00:08
a labs telling anxiety and depression
00:10
and today in honor of Pride Month I'm
00:13
gonna be talking about key research
00:15
findings about mental health in the
00:17
LGBTQ community let me tell you about
00:20
about my experiences recently I'm in New
00:22
York City
00:23
I've been walking around a lot and no
00:24
matter where I look I seem to find a
00:26
pride display by the way if you're in a
00:28
different part of the country I would
00:30
love to hear your experience so please
00:32
leave me a comment below
00:33
but anyway everywhere I look every store
00:36
seems to have some sort of pride flag or
00:38
logo or some sort of message about
00:40
acceptance or love and I think this is
00:43
fantastic I think it's amazing that
00:44
every year more and more people and more
00:47
and more companies are supporting pride
00:48
we know that more visibility leads to
00:51
greater acceptance so that's all very
00:53
good however it is also the case that
00:56
the LGBTQ community continues to face a
00:58
number of struggles so we need to talk
01:00
more about that as well and this is
01:02
particularly the case when we look at
01:04
mental health we have twice as much the
01:06
likelihood of having a mental health
01:08
disorder as our straight or cisgender
01:10
counterparts in these differences become
01:13
even more pronounced when we look at
01:15
suicidality or high-risk behaviors so
01:18
today I want to talk more about mental
01:20
health in the LGBTQ community we need to
01:22
inform ourselves and I'm gonna be
01:25
telling you about three different things
01:26
first of all the prevalence of disorders
01:29
so we can better understand the
01:30
magnitude of the problem second I'm
01:33
gonna be telling you about some of the
01:34
most interesting findings in the last
01:36
few years trying to understand what is
01:38
driving is higher rates of mental health
01:40
problems in start I'm gonna be telling
01:43
you about adaptations of CBT protocols
01:45
so they can better serve the needs and
01:47
the specific challenges of LGBTQ folks
01:50
at the end I'm gonna be sharing some
01:52
tips with you on what you can do to help
01:55
your friends who are in the LGBTQ
01:56
community so let's get started so first
02:00
what is the prevalence of mental
02:02
disorders in the LGBTQ community well as
02:05
I mentioned before we are twice as
02:06
likely as I'm straight and sistren
02:08
counterparts to have a mental disorder
02:10
and this cuts across the world anxiety
02:12
depression substance abuse psychosis you
02:16
name it so it's indicative of very
02:18
marked differences and it reflects a big
02:21
problem in these differences are even
02:24
much more pronounced when we look at
02:26
suicidality so for example LGBTQ youth
02:29
are five times as likely as are straight
02:32
and cisgender appears to have attempted
02:35
suicide and there's this really
02:37
interesting survey from The Trevor
02:38
Project and there's a link below showing
02:41
that 18 percent of LGBTQ youth reported
02:44
attempted suicide last year not 10 years
02:48
ago not 20 years ago last year so even
02:52
though we're making a lot of progress in
02:54
a lot of ways it's very clear that we
02:56
still have a long way to go when it
02:57
comes to mental health and also when we
03:00
look at the transgender community
03:00
suicidality is a huge problem 40% of
03:05
transgender people have reported
03:07
attempted suicide at some point in their
03:09
lives that's one in two and that's nine
03:13
to 10 times higher than the average for
03:15
the population okay
03:16
so we're making a lot of progress in a
03:18
lot of ways but it's very clear we still
03:21
have a long way to go second what
03:25
accounts for differences in mental
03:27
health between the LGBTQ and the
03:29
straight and cisgender communities well
03:31
we don't quite know we don't have a
03:32
definite answer it's a very complex
03:34
question and it's gonna take a long time
03:36
for us to figure it out but what I can
03:38
tell you is that a lot of researchers
03:40
have been doing very cool work in the
03:42
past decade or so so I'm gonna be
03:44
telling you about some of my favorite
03:46
studies right now I'm gonna start by
03:48
telling you about - minority stress
03:50
model this is a really cool and elegant
03:52
model that has influenced a lot of the
03:54
research over the years and it's quite
03:56
simple
03:57
basically we've known for a very long
03:59
time that stressors are associated with
04:01
and lead to mental health problems so
04:05
what my order is identify different
04:07
types of stressors that place an extra
04:09
burden on the mental and emotional
04:11
health of the LGBTQ community and
04:14
there's two types of stressors
04:15
the first one are distal stress
04:17
these are things that sort of happened
04:19
out there and they happen to us like
04:22
victimization or bullying or violence or
04:25
discrimination and then the second type
04:28
of stressors are stressors that have
04:29
more to do with how we react to
04:31
situations for example concealment of
04:33
our identity or internalized homophobia
04:36
or shame or excessive fear of rejection
04:39
and you can imagine how these two types
04:42
of stressors are constantly interacting
04:44
with each other in placing a really
04:46
strong burden on the mental health of
04:49
LGBTQ folks so the studies that I'm
04:52
gonna be telling you about right now
04:53
have actually tested different pieces of
04:56
this model in a number of populations
04:58
within the LGBTQ community some buckle
05:01
up
05:02
so the first tell you this one is coming
05:04
from the University of Washington and
05:05
it's called the impact of minority
05:07
stress on mental health and substance
05:09
use among sexual minority women it's a
05:11
survey of 1,400 women who identify as
05:13
lesbian or bisexual and what the
05:15
researchers found was that internalized
05:17
homophobia concealed identity and
05:20
victimization were associated with more
05:22
symptoms of depression and more
05:24
substance abuse problems what I find to
05:27
be the most interesting on this telly is
05:28
that each one of those three stressors
05:30
was independently associated with the
05:32
mental health problems so that means
05:34
that each one of them was accounting for
05:36
a little bit of more variance every
05:38
stressor matters
05:40
no stressor is too small they're all
05:42
accounting for variance in our mental
05:44
health they all matter on to the second
05:47
study this one is coming from Harvard
05:50
and from Hunter College and it's called
05:52
gender minority social stress in
05:54
adolescence disparities in adolescent
05:56
bowling and substance use by gender
05:58
identity it's another survey study this
06:01
time 5,500 our lessons and roughly 450
06:04
of them identified as being a gender
06:06
minority well the researchers found was
06:09
a being in general minority was
06:10
associated with a greater likelihood of
06:12
substance abuse problems basically one
06:14
point five to two times as likely as the
06:17
non gender minority peers what I find to
06:20
be the most interesting about the study
06:23
be in the victim of bullying mediated
06:25
the relationship between being a gender
06:27
minority and having substance abuse
06:29
problems so what does mediation mean
06:31
this is a statistical analysis and it
06:33
basically allow the researchers to
06:35
figure out that the relationship between
06:37
being a gender minority and having a
06:39
substance abuse problem could be a
06:41
counter force so could potentially be
06:44
caused by being the victim of bullying
06:46
now keep in mind that we cannot
06:49
necessarily draw causal inferences here
06:51
because this is correlational data but
06:53
nonetheless this is a super super
06:55
interesting study so the third study
06:57
it's coming out of Yale University was
06:59
actually done by two of my former lab
07:01
mates in my former research mentor so
07:03
here goes a big shout-out to Mark Hudson
07:05
Muller he's now a professor at Columbia
07:07
and to Kay McLaughlin who is now a
07:09
professor at Harvard in the name of the
07:11
study is emotion regulation and
07:13
internalizing symptoms in a longitudinal
07:15
study of sexual minority in heterosexual
07:18
adolescents
07:19
it's another survey study of about a
07:21
thousand middle schoolers but here they
07:23
did two time points so Taiwan and then
07:25
time two which was roughly seven months
07:27
later and what the researchers found was
07:30
that same-sex attraction was associated
07:32
with more anxiety and more the pressure
07:34
both Co sectionally and over time but
07:37
more interestingly that relationship was
07:39
mediated so was partially or fully
07:42
accounted for by difficulties regulating
07:45
emotions and so this in a way is
07:47
providing support for the minority
07:49
stress model right the link between
07:51
being a sexual minority and having
07:53
mental health problems has a lot to do
07:56
with coping with stressors has to do
07:58
with dealing with the environment and
08:00
with all the things that sexual minority
08:02
teenagers have to face so very very cool
08:05
study and then on to the study number
08:07
four this one is a study coming out of
08:09
Yale CUNY and also hunter and it's
08:12
called daily minority stress in effect
08:14
among gay and bisexual men a 30-day
08:17
diary study so this is a study of
08:19
approximately four hundred gay and
08:21
bisexual men and it has a diary format
08:24
so if I wonder what's a diary study it's
08:26
actually really really cool design so
08:29
instead of actually asking people to
08:30
tell us how they've been doing over the
08:32
past month or a few months in a diary
08:34
study
08:35
every day how are they doing what
08:38
stressors are they're facing how are
08:40
they feeling what the researchers found
08:42
was that one gay and bisexual men were
08:44
encountering minority stress their
08:47
positive emotions sort of went down in
08:49
their experience of negative emotion
08:50
went up but what I find to be really
08:53
interesting about this study is that the
08:55
effects of encountering it stress linger
08:57
to the following day so the more
08:59
stressors they experience say on a
09:01
Tuesday and the more negative emotion
09:03
and the less positive emotion they will
09:05
report experiencing on a Wednesday so
09:07
this is to me is fascinating because
09:09
once again in underscores the lingering
09:11
effects of encountering minority stress
09:14
and for the third part of the video this
09:16
is where things get really uplifting
09:17
we're going to be talking about
09:18
treatment right and how to improve the
09:20
health of the LGBTQ community so what
09:23
I'm going to tell you about right now is
09:24
my most favorite study this is studied
09:27
by John p'chenk is from Yale University
09:29
and it's called LGBTQ affirmative
09:31
cognitive behavioral therapy for young
09:34
adult gay and bisexual men a randomized
09:37
control trial of a trans diagnostic
09:39
minority stress approach so this is a
09:41
study in which John basically took CBT
09:45
protocols for anxiety disorders and
09:46
tailor them to the needs of gay and
09:49
bisexual men as per their minority
09:51
stress model so you might recall from my
09:54
CBT video that CBT comprises two types
09:57
of techniques right thinking about
09:59
stressors differently and behaving
10:01
differently in the face of strong
10:02
emotions so by thinking of the minority
10:05
stress model we can see that you know we
10:07
could think of emotions we could think
10:09
of situations differently by putting
10:11
into perspective all the stressors were
10:12
facing and the role they're playing in
10:14
our thinking and also when we're feeling
10:16
stressed when we are victims of
10:18
difficult situations right it can be
10:20
very tempting to behave in compulsive
10:23
ways to drink a lot to use drugs to have
10:26
a safe sex and so on and so forth so
10:28
what the protocol did is it taught
10:30
clients how to behave differently in the
10:33
face of those strong emotions and it was
10:35
both to those very difficult situations
10:37
the protocol lasted about ten weeks and
10:40
they they found some really interesting
10:42
stuff so compared to participants
10:44
assigned to a wait list those who were
10:46
in the active treatment
10:48
reductions in depression alcohol use