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.


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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