I have depression and anxiety, I always have and chances are I always will. Some of this is biochemical, to do with the way my brain processes seratonin, and some of this is due to trauma from a deeply dysfunctional upbringing. I have been suicidal in the past and while my mental health is not at that level now, and I am in counselling which is (I hope) helping, I still have good days, bad days and some very bad days. I wrote about my experiences with depression on my old blog, Endless Erring.
I also identify as “Queer”. For me, using the word Queer is an act of reclaiming, taking a word used as a bullying slur and claiming it as my own, using it as armour against those who would still try to weaponise “Queer” against anyone they don’t like.
Queer is expansive: it doesn’t pigeonhole me into a specific and “fixed” understanding of sexuality and gender identity. It allows for my experiences to shift and change, ebb and flow, grow and fall back, taking new and different forms. I’ve also written on Endless Erring about my experience of gender, or lack thereof.
Just like the word “Pagan” was originally a derogatory term, a joke that meant roughly the equivalent of “country bumpkin” or “redneck”, and has now evolved into a term that millions of people around the world are proud to identify with, so too the word “Queer”.
Queer means “strange”. Strange is good. “Normal” is not only meaningless, but utterly boring. Looking at the Pagan community, the metal community, the LGBT+ community, I see a vibrant and colourful world of “strange” people who found each other and found themselves.
We are the weirdos, mister.
So, whether you’re dealing with mental health difficulties, or coming out, or both, or neither and simply wish to engage with people where they are without judgement, it’s worth remembering that we can decide who we are and how we create ourselves.
There is no shame in being queer. There is no shame in having mental health issues.
There is no shame in being human.
For mental health help, here are some resources:
For LGBT+ support, here are some resources:
Sorry about this post being a day late. Yesterday being World Mental Health day was actually quite a difficult day for me to deal with.