Categories
Bullying Gender LGBT+ Mental Health My Story Sexuality

LGBT+ Related Bullying in the Eating Disorder Community: Krista Sturgeon Blogs

LGBT+ related bullying in the eating disorder community

When you go for eating disorder treatment the last thing you ever expect is to be bullied in this environment, but when you are not a straight, white, female it happens more than you might think. I must admit that things are getting better, but people that consider themselves part of the LGBTQ community still face institutional bullying all of the time.

As we all well know, eating disorders are traditionally considered strictly the domain of white teenage girls…right?

Nothing could be further from the truth, but a large number of treatment centers and stand alone therapists still have this preconceived notion. Quite a few of them will not treat trans individuals at all (a group of people that are already grossly underserved in so many ways) mostly because of a lack of training, but some, because of transphobia.

“Eating disorders are traditionally considered strictly the domain of white teenage girls”

 

Imagine going for residential help and being a lesbian in group therapy, listening to the other girls talk about over-controlling boyfriends and such, and you really don’t fit in with the group at all. You want to talk about one of your major triggers, which could be that you are scared to come out to your family. Two things are probably running through your mind:
1) Your peers and group leader are not going to “get it” or even worse…
2) You are risking some sort of homophobic backlash.
Both of these things would make your treatment ineffective.

I do have an example of a girl who was a lesbian in an inpatient treatment facility (both the girl and the facility shall remain nameless) that had communal showers. She was verbally assaulted with homophobic slurs on almost a daily basis after deciding to “come out” in group therapy. She reported this, but the others were never caught “in the act”.

“She was verbally assaulted with homophobic slurs on almost a daily basis after deciding to ‘come out’ in group therapy”

 

It was brought up in group therapy by the lead therapist who condemned the act, but did nothing to actually stop it. Unfortunately the girl had to leave the treatment program. On the brighter side, she did some research and found a treatment program that was a better fit for her.

Before I go on, PLEASE do not let the above part of my blog stop anyone from reaching out for help! The point of this is to expose the people that bully and to remind you that you should never let other people silence you! I wrote this blog in the hope that it will empower you and encourage you to stand up for yourself and say “you do not have the right to treat me this way and I deserve equal treatment as anybody that you serve.”

I want everybody to practice saying that phrase over and over again because unfortunately we do not live in a world (yet) that is as accepting of the LGBTQ community as it should be. We still live in a place and time where everybody is assumed to be heterosexual until otherwise specified.

“Unfortunately we do not live in a world (yet) that is as accepting of the LGBTQ community as it should be”

 

I wrote this blog for two reasons, one was to open up the eyes of the people that bully, who in some cases are the treatment facilities themselves. Hopefully by showing them how the world is evolving, they too will evolve with it. Hopefully they will come to understand that not everybody who walks through their door is heterosexual, gender-conforming or female.

Lastly, I wanted everyone out there in the LGBTQ community to know that it is okay to reach out for help when you need it. Remember that there are people out there who want to genuinely help. By coming to this site you have begun the process…follow it forward and lead your true, amazing life!

RSS FORUM CHATS

  • Confused
    So I posted something saying feeling better. And asked how do I tell my bf that I rather go by a different set pronouns. But now I keep hearing him talking to his ex. We will call her Lilly. Lilly is bi and has a girlfriend now. I am jealous bc she can pull both […]
  • My vent 😭😭😭😭
    I just want to be skinny without people controlling me telling me to eat, threatening to take me to the doctors if I'm poorly. Well well done because I'm in this unit thingy. Honestly let me live my life leave me alone. I'll be dead If you'd let me do my thing. Leave me the […]
  • Paying for the first date...
    So who pays for the first date. I've heard a many mixed things... The man should pay, the woman should pay, bill should be split, the person that asked should pay as they are then "taking them out"... What are your guys' thoughts?
  • Post your thoughts on Christianity, do you think it's homophobic?
    God says to love all as He has loved you, love your neighbor as thy yourself... Yet he also says adultery and same sex relationships are not His way, that is if you are to love Him. It is very nuanced, but do you think Christianity is homophobic?
  • I don’t know what to do
    Weird things have been happening to me, I don’t know why this is happening to me especially when I finally get the opportunity of a life time. I can’t even sleep an night anymore because this is happening. I could really use a little help right now.
  • How do I convince my mom to let me keep my short hair?
    Its been like 2 years since I had short hair , but like my parents did not have a problem with it because it was a "feminine" length. I honestly always hated having long hair and love the way short hair looks and so, I made a huge decision and I have always been convincing […]