I wasn't good
You weren't all bad
But that wasn't love
And that I understood.
I can sit at my bed and binge 12 episodes straight, finish a full meal, speak and laugh with someone I love for hours on end. But by the end of the night, it’s only that demon under my bed who knows my truth. When I lay awake for hours, thinking back to what could’ve been and what could be. It’s that demon who sees how truly lonely I am.
Michael Hobbes in his popular HuffPost article titled The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness writes “gay men everywhere, at every age, have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, incontinence, erectile dysfunction,? allergies and asthma — you name it, we got it.” Which he further into the article attributes to “minority stress.” Minority stress as the name suggests, is the chronically high levels of stress faced by members of stigmatised minority groups.
The treatment gap of any mental health disorder in India is about 83%. (NMS, 2016) The WHO had predicted that by 2020, 20% of the population in India would suffer from mental health problems when the available number of mental health professionals for this demographic is a mere approximate of 4,000.
In a country like India where both mental health and non-binary identities are topics that are neglected despite being essential parts of an individual's identity, it can be quite challenging to navigate through issues regarding the same.
Despite the gloomy mood and prevailing uncertainty, I made a decision right at the beginning of the lockdown on March 25 – I would use this period to heal myself.
Gay men’s desire to emulate these standards of perfection often induce negative feelings towards their body and physical appearance.
Mental health problems become more pronounced when they are discussed in the context of the queer community. Although official statistics of India’s queer population are not available, it has been estimated that 6-8% of the country’s total population comprises queer people.