Thinking Queerly by Kristina Furia

At present, LGBT teenagers and adults experience mental illness at higher rates than the general population. This imbalance is due to the additional adversity that members of our community are likely to face at various points throughout both childhood and adulthood. Thinking Queerly is a mental-health column written by Kristina Furia (www.lgbtphillytherapy.com), a local psychotherapist, that focuses on the unique psychological and social experiences of LGBT individuals, couples and families. Each month's column highlights a specific aspect of being LGBTQ in the United States and the various effects it has on our mental health and overall experience in society.


Bisexuality is often a point of speculation, confusion, inaccuracy and even judgment within our community. Some view bisexuals as having an advantage over the L, G and T members of our community: They aren’t limited by gender when looking for a romantic or sexual partner and therefore have better odds of finding a

OutFest is an opportunity for members of our community to come together, to celebrate each other and to show pride in our LGBTQ identities. Coincidentally enough, this year’s OutFest also marks the anniversary of two gay men having been physically assaulted and subsequently arrested by Philadelphia police officers for disorderly conduct and conspiracy, charges that they were later cleared of. Many of you may remember this incident, as it made headlines in our city; however, police roughing up and accusing a young gay couple of a crime they did not commit did not make national news, nor did it stimulate any major discussion around the need for more inclusive hate-crime legislation in Pennsylvania. Why? For that matter, why have none of the other crimes committed against LGBTQ individuals, especially transgender people, in our city become a cause for change?

In case you haven’t heard (I’m not sure that’s possible at this point!), Grindr is a gay, geolocational-based social-networking app that allows its users to quickly connect and meet up with other men. While some gay men use the app to socialize and potentially make new friends, it is widely acknowledged that most often the app is used for casual sex. Click. Chat. Connect. Sex. It’s often that simple.

Have you ever noticed that kids raised by two mommies or two daddies tend to be especially wonderful? Sensitive, empathetic, nonjudgmental, socially competent and creative are some qualities that come to mind. Unfortunately, most Americans are not aware of that array of favorable attributes and instead fear same-sex couples will raise children who, at best, grow up with social and emotional deficits and, at worst, turn out gay themselves (God forbid, right?).

Have you ever noticed that kids raised by two mommies or two daddies tend to be especially wonderful? Sensitive, empathetic, nonjudgmental, socially competent and creative are some qualities that come to mind.

When thinking about mental illness and LGBTQ-identified people, mental-health professionals must ask the age-old question: What came first, the chicken or the egg? Regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, about one in five Americans suffers from a diagnosed mental illness; most relate to genetic predisposition as evidenced by conditions such as depression and alcoholism running in families.

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