5 Ways to Cope If You're LGBTQ+ and Struggling During COVID-19
While 2020 has been rife with stress of all kinds, the LGBTQ+ community is dealing with a unique set of challenges during COVID-19.
"For some, particularly those who were in the midst of a coming out process in terms of their sexuality or gender identity, there has been a pause on their ability to self actualize," Danna Bodenheimer, LCSW, DSW, founder of Walnut Psychotherapy Center, told POPSUGAR. "This is largely because COVID-19 has displaced many members of the LGBTQ+ community from colleges and other locations where they felt safe to explore themselves, back into homes with families of origin that are not accepting." Bodenheimer explained that her team — which provides mental health services to the LGBTQ+ community in Philadelphia — has also had clients who haven't been able to access hormone replacement therapies that allow them to present as their gender identity.
Mark Leondires, MD, medical director and founder of RMA of Connecticut and Gay Parents To Be, and partner at Gays With Kids, told POPSUGAR that there have similarly been strains on LGBTQ+ couples hoping to start families. Parents going through fertility and surrogacy treatments are fearful about how COVID-19 will affect their pregnancy, while other prospective parents have experienced delays in the already-emotionally-trying process of adoption.
On top of this, Pride month has been disrupted for a number of reasons, including fraught relationships with local police departments and the cancellation of celebrations because of social distancing. With so much compounded stress, it's essential to find mental health resources to get the support you need during this time. Ahead, some tools to get you started.