Issues Faced by LGBTQ + Youth During Quarantine
As we head into week (9) of quarantine I think greatly about folxs who are potentially stuck at home right now with unsupportive parents. It can be difficult to navigate through the world as an LGBTQ+ youth, especially during a time like this.
For many, school, extracurricular activities, a local coffee shop, or community center is a safe haven for youth who feel misplaced at home. There, they are fully allowed to be themselves and be seen by the world in a genuine way.
It can be difficult stuck at home with parents who struggle with calling you by your name or using your correct pronouns.
It can be difficult not seeing someone that you love, in fear of being rejected by the family that is supposed to always love you.
It can be difficult to be reminded every day how much you have to hide pieces of yourself in order to blend into a world that your family has created for you.
Ways to cope during this difficult time:
Connect to local community groups in your area that you know will be affirming and accepting no matter what. There you can find the support of just having folxs to talk to on a daily basis and to be able to connect with others in the LGBTQ+ community. (Many Centers are closed to the public due to COVID-19 but many do offer tele-therapy options).
Resource: The Pride Center of NJ
If connecting locally does not feel safe for you, try out digital platforms that can also provide you similar support but with more of a national community! Resource: TrevorSpace is a social networking site for LGBTQ+ under 25 and their friends and allies.
Identify at least one person that you can talk to virtually (at least 1x a day or 1x a week) that you feel will be supportive and a great listener. This can be a best friend, a therapist, a mentor, whoever. Having an outlet to share what’s going on at home and how you are feeling emotionally is important and will help you get through.
When connecting with this individual take a walk around your block, go to your garage, or a safe place in your home where you can have privacy. If that is difficult – texting is always a great option!
Try to remember that your safety and wellbeing is top priority. If your parents struggle greatly with accepting you, please don’t put your safety in danger by getting kicked out of the home or hurt.
If you are struggling with feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or depression and feel like harming yourself please reach out for support. The Trevor Lifeline is available 24/7 with trained counselors to help support you during a crisis or if you need a supportive, judgment-free zone.
A sense of community provides a much needed safe place for teens within the LGBTQ+ community to not only thrive as their authentic selves but to also provide a lifeline to connect youth to feeling like they belong. COVID-19 is, unfortunately, forcing us to create our own communities as we navigate through these very difficult times. If you needed to be reminded today, you are doing great. You are doing the best that you can in this difficult time and I am rooting for you.
CFCE is always here to support if you would like to speak with a mental health professional as we all navigate COVID-19 together.
Ashante Taylorcox, MA-MHC, LAC is an LGBTQ+ identified and affirming therapist serving teens, young adults, and adults struggling with trauma, loss, adoption, attachment, and folxs within the LGBTQ+ community. Ashante is located at our Marlton Office and is currently accepting new clients for online therapy