Today’s post is going to be a little short because we spent a big portion of yesterday evening at a great restaurant run by chef Vitaly Paley. Check out his menu for a sample of the kind of cuisine he serves … but keep in mind that it’s different every week. I had the mixed greens, duck and apricot Galantine with fig mustardo, quail stuffed with chanterelle mushrooms and a red wine reduction, and a cheese plate with Hannah, Midnight Moon, and Caciota de Bufala. Dessert was a chocolate souffle with honey vanilla iced cream *and* a home made gingerbread with poached pears and bay leaf iced cream(!!) with a light glaze of buckwheat honey.
Well. Back on topic. One of the common talking points among the conservative anti-gay Christian population is that the LGBT community suffers from a higher rate of mental illness, depression, suicidal tendencies, and drug abuse … suggesting by their omission of references to medical journals or their immediate segues into some nonsense about Christian morality that we are to infer that it’s their “lifestyle” that is to blame.
I bring this up because yesterday I saw a video on BBC News about the Ruth Ellis Center – a shelter for LGBT teens in Detroit. (You’ll have to click on the link to get the video … I can’t seem to directly embed it or find it on YouTube.) We get a brief glimpse into the lives of Aaron Brown, who is gay, and Emani Love, a transgender woman. They are currently living there because they have nowhere else to go after having come out to – and then been rejected by – their families as a result of their conservative Christian mindsets. Jerry Peterson, who runs the center, comments on the reality of the situation after dealing with enough of these kids coming through his shelter:
The negative impact of depression, suicidality, increased drug use, increase in risky sexual behaviors, is driven not by the identity – not by the emerging identity of the young person – but it’s driven primarily by the response of the family.
This is substantiated by other studies that show little effect of other factors such as “internalized homophobia” influencing suicidal ideation and tendencies. Even the study that LifeSiteNews touted to make their connection between mental illness and the LGBT community clearly states that homosexuality isn’t a mental illness, and the likely cause is rejection by family and friends as well as societal discrimination (even in fairly socially liberal societies) subsequent to coming out.
It’s also little wonder why, given these factors, that LGBT teens make up about 40% of the homeless population of the United States. Read that if you want to be depressed for a while.