^a short pamphlet on my project^
^click on title for zine^
‘To what degree do cultural norms create and exacerbate mental illness?’
I am researching the effect the COVID 19 pandemic has had on the mental health of the LGBTQ community, compared with the rest of the general population.
Within my project, I wish to normalize talking about mental health.
I will create a booklet that provides a space to learn about the mental health of LGBTQIA. And I have created an Instagram during Covid and share and connect stories of mental healthcare.
Through exploring with an illustration I can encourage change in the way we
collectively deal with stress and mental illness.
These illustrations will deal with the topic of mental health, and then
progress toward how mental health is a problem of society as well as the individual,
and finally, end with illustrations that change the way mental health is traditionally
The queer communities have experienced increased anxiety since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Studies have found even those who have not experienced anxiety before who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or transgendered have felt rising anxiety since the start of COVID.
Coping with social isolation has been very difficult for everyone, but especially for the LGBTQ community as equity in healthcare is an ongoing problem.This community is particularly at risk due to health and economic factors like fear of being stigmatized.
Mental health as A Problem of Society
Capitalism’s atomizing powers systematically and permanently cripple a class of people. Mental illness is often made worse due to the free market system that does not support mental health programs. The priority of society must undoubtedly be changed to where the highest goal is the person and not the profit.
Homosexuality as an Illness
Removing being gay from the American Psychiatric Association of mental illnesses was a pivotal moment for LGBTQ equality. Without this win progress towards equality was difficult. There were demonstrations at psychiatric annual meetings. Activism was key to bringing about this important monument of change for the LGBTQ community. The activists rejected the idea that they need to be cured of their desire. They wanted the stigma of insanity to be removed from the definition of being homosexual. Some call this the most important moment in gay liberation history. Were it not for the legacy of activism, this liberation of the Queer community would not have happened.
LGBTQ individuals are twice as likely to be vulnerable towards mental illness like anxiety and depression. The stigma that encompasses mental illnesses can make people wary of seeking help. Some examples of people not seeking mental health care due to stigma are10% delayed care or didn’t get it due to discrimination and treatment with less respect from their mental health care providers. Stigma needs to be alleviated by normalizing talking about mental illness. This way people can accept their identity without complications.
Karl Marx’s theory of alienation describes the social estrangement of people from aspects of their human nature as a consequence of living in a society of social classes. The worker loses the ability to determine the course of their life when deprived of the right to see themselves as the director of their own actions. Through the free market system we are alienated through our labor. “The history of humanity is the history of alienation and the transcendence of this alienation. Illness is neither a part of, nor the form, of alienation but rather is the alienation, but subjectively as the experienced conditions of physical and psychological needs of the individual.” ( Marx, 5).
LGBTQIA people are at a Greater Risk from Covid
Long standing health and social inequities have put minority groups and demographics of racial and ethnic minorities as well as class minorities at an increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID 19. Historically, marginalizedgroups of people like LGBTQIA have been prevented from having fair chances for economic, physical, and emotional health. They are unable to access quality health care.
LGBTQ has a strong legacy of activism rooted in the Stonewall riots as the pivotal moment for social change. The Stonewall riots were caused by police raids on gay bars, and the uprising of the LGBTQIA community in response. This event was a key component in the gay liberation movement.