Happy Pride and Resources on Intersections of Eating Disorders, Sexuality, and Gender to Share
I LOVE pride month.
While the month’s origins are rooted in a very painful history of violence and oppression, it also reflects a movement towards celebration and freedom. Freedom to be one’s self without apology or shame.
I understand we have a long way to go in creating a world where true equity and safety exists for our LGBTQIA+ friends.
This is born out in the numbers:
- Transgender and non-binary individuals are significantly more likely to attempt suicide as compared to lesbian, gay, homosexual, and cisgender folks.
- Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are far more likely to not only develop an eating disorder, but far less likely to receive treatment. Check out this article for those stats and more.
- Members of the queer community face amplified risk for mental health disorders, including substance use disorder.
- Queer youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness compared to non-queer youth.
My clients and colleagues have taught me so much about the specific ways queer people are at risk for the development of an eating disorder. While everyone’s experience is different, what I have heard time and again is that when it feels unsafe, wrong, or shameful to be who you are, it often takes extreme measures to bury your truth. The eating disorder can become a mechanism to mitigate the deep shame that one experiences in being made to feel wrong.
Eating disorder recovery is about so many things. But for my LGBTQIA+ clients, it is often about owning the right to claim who you are and occupy the fullness of your truth without the shield of the eating disorder.
To learn more about the intersections of eating disorders, sexual, and gender, consider the following resources:
- The FEDUP Collective
- A Clinician’s Guide to Gender-Affirming Care: Working with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Clients by Sand Chang, Anneliese Singh, and lore dickey
- A Clinician’s Guide to Gender Identity and Body Image by Heidi Dalzell and Kayti Protos
- Queer Body Power: Finding Your Body Positivity by Essie Dennis
Also, Walden Behavioral Care has the nation’s only treatment program for the LGBTQIA+ community. The virtual program is called Rainbow Road and is led by the amazing M Reim Ifrach. Click here for more details.
At Marci RD, we strive to provide affirming, anti-oppressive care. Click here to learn more about our commitment to anti-oppressive practice.