Gay and with Mental Disorder: double discrimination

Illustration © Sergi Balfegó

I was surprised watching television, specifically, Gran Hermano VIP in Telecinco. The declarations of Los Chunguitos have scandalized me: “I’d rather have a misshapen son than a gay son”.

If just because of the fact of being gay I am discriminated, you will understand that I hide my mental illness and I have only talked about it to the people most connected with me. If you are gay and you have a mental disorder you are doomed to the double discrimination.

IN 2003 I was admitted in a day hospital and given the diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia. There I joined a group that organized some meetups, we were around ten people.  As time went by, all of them started to criticize me behind my back. Why? Because of my sexual orientation.

Even among the different people, I was the different. Everyone is going to criticize you if you are different. What surprises me the most is that this rejection started when I was young, while I thought that in the 20th century we were above these things; even more when we are working on empathy, understanding others, putting yourself in other shoes. But it was easier to have recourse to insults and humiliation. There was a point in which I stopped going with them. In fact, only one of them is still my friend.

In conclusion, I don’t have to come out of one closet but of two.

Let’s talk, first of all, about my sexual orientation. In 1999, after suffering a terrible psychotic break, I was admitted in the emergency department in Sant Boi. I was 24 days in the Acute Care unit. When I was discharged, I promised myself something: not to lie anymore. Yes, I’m gay. I’m gay and there is no remedy. I’ve kept my promise since then and when I’m introduced to someone I try that the other person knows it as soon as possible. I’m not afraid of the rejection. Nonetheless, I’m more reluctant to talk about my mental health.

Do I have to inform everyone about my double condition? I think the answer is yes, but I’m so used to the rejection that I prefer to suffer my mental disorder in silence. However, this silence, is broken today. I recover the promise that I did to myself when I left Sant Boi: not to lie anymore. Anyway, it doesn’t necessarily imply to explain everything.

Would I like to be braver? Yes, it’s exhausting to be constantly rejected just because of being different from the majority. So I listen, I say nothing and I write this notes. If you are in my situation, you will understand me; if not, I invite you to think about it.

Kevin López

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