Trauma in the LGBTQ Community (TAG 2014)


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  • According to the US Department of Justice, 21% of people over age 12 have experienced violent crime
    .011% suicide in general pop
  • Repeatedly called the wrong name in class, at work, in legal settings
    Abuse from police officers etc due to “incorrect” documents
  • Betrayed by your body
  • Trauma in the LGBTQ Community (TAG 2014)

    1. 1. Trauma in the LGBTQ Community Morganne Ray Justice Resource Institute GRIP Community Based Services Trauma Advisory Group 4/29/2014
    2. 2. Genderbread Gender bread image credit: Sam Killerman
    3. 3. LGBTQ Basics Lesbian Gay Bisexual Pansexual Queer Heterosexual Transgender Transsexual Genderqueer Cisgender Questioning
    4. 4. LGBTQ Basics Lesbian: A woman who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender Gay: A man who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender (also an umbrella term) Bisexual: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of their own gender as well as another gender Pansexual: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of any/all genders Queer: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of any/all or some subset of genders (also an umbrella term) Heterosexual: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to people of the other binary gender Transgender: A person whose gender identity is different than their assigned gender (also an umbrella term) Transsexual: A person whose sex identity is different than their assigned biological sex Genderqueer: A person whose gender identity falls outside the gender binary Cisgender: A person whose gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex all align Questioning: A person who is exploring and learning about their own sexual orientation, preferences and/or gender identity
    5. 5. Clinical Definition of Trauma Trauma - event in which both of the following were present: (1) the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others; and (2) the person's response to the trauma involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. (DSM IV- TR)
    6. 6. The Kids Are Listening campaign by the American Bar Association
    7. 7. 2014 LGBT Headlines • Three male teens sexually assault California transgender student in boy’s restroom (3/4) • Minneapolis Man Allegedly Beaten After Leaving Popular Gay Bar (3/5) • Man in Subway Is Injured in Antigay Attack, Police Say (3/6) • Texas dad killed daughter, her lesbian lover because he disliked that she was gay (3/14) • Oregon Mother Beats Son, 4, To Death - Thought He Was Gay (3/28) • LGBT students say they were verbally, physically assaulted by members of anti- gay fraternity (4/1) • Proud lesbian woman marries during TV news report then is brutally beaten for it (4/2) • Man Charged With Attempted Murder After Setting Fire to Lesbian Couple's Home in Miami (4/3) • Texas School Suspends Teacher For Being Transgender (4/9) • Alabama woman guns down son’s gay lover at truck stop (4/15) • Connecticut Dept. of Children and Families places trans girl in male prison (4/16)
    8. 8. Statistics • 30% attempt suicide, and of those 67% report the attempt was related to their gender identity (Kenagy, 2005) • 54% report they had been sexually assaulted (Kenagy, 2005) • 47% report they had been physically assaulted (Wilchins et al., 1997) • 7% call the police after an assault (CDC 2010) • 50% are turned away when seeking support at a domestic violence shelter (CDC 2010) • 20%-30% struggle with substance use (CFAM 2012) • 47% have no health insurance (Xavier, 2000) • 26% report being denied health care (Kenagy, 2005) • 37% experience workplace discrimination including firing, demotions and unjust disciplinary actions (Wilchins et al., 1997) • 56% experience housing discrimination (CFAM 2012)
    9. 9. Other Common Experiences • Perceiving the lack of safety, fear of violence and decreased feelings of power and control due to fear of being “discovered” (Dean, 2000) • Loosing friends, family, jobs or community standing upon disclosure (Israel, 1997) • Consistent reinforcement of societal prejudices through overt and covert derogatory language (NMHA, 1998) • Not having access to social support systems or positive role models (Burdge, 2007) • Facing refusal to treat, inappropriate intake forms, insensitivity, involuntary disclosure and general hostile atmospheres in healthcare settings (Xavier, 2000) • Altering their own life stories to better match the pathologic model favored by the institution and academic physicians and psychologists providing medical care (Israel, 1997) • Dealing with providers who offer hormones, illegal silicone injections, and surgical procedures without informed consent, appropriate standards of care, or adequate follow-up (Dean, 2000) • Self-mutilating, accessing unlicensed doctors and utilizing street hormones due to the inaccessibility appropriate of health care (Burdge, 2007)
    10. 10. How is this trauma? • The repetitive nature of the incidents can make the experience traumatic. One incident alone may not be traumatizing, but multiple microaggressions can build to create an intense traumatic impact. (Bryant-Davis & Ocampo, 2005) • Being targeted by someone who was formerly trusted can be particularly traumatizing even when the incident does not rate as severe from an outsider’s perspective. Part of the violation is based on the emotional experience of being betrayed by someone who was trusted. (Bryant-Davis & Ocampo, 2005) • The severity of the emotional impact due to the incident is increased when public humiliation and perhaps the lack of public intervention are involved. (Bryant-Davis & Ocampo, 2005) • Covert incidents are never far from one’s consciousness and require constant expenditures of cognitive energy, hypervigilance, and coping. (Bryant-Davis & Ocampo, 2005) • Existing models for identity-based understandings of trauma include : cumulative trauma, postcolonial syndrome, postslavery syndrome, intergenerational trauma, and historical trauma. (Bryant-Davis & Ocampo, 2005) However unlike trauma based on religion, ethnicity or race, LGBTQ people often lack the social support available within the family of origin around shared identities.