Real man can be gay! Stay happy. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Real man can be gay! Stay happy.

The mental health issues which are faced by gay men are more severe and go beyond discrimination and stigma. When gay men spend years exposed to homophobic rhetoric, stereotypes myths, there is a portion of them who internalize this negativity and- consciously or subconsciously believe it is true.

It seems that the majority of gay and bisexual men have and maintain good mental health, but gay men are at greater risk of mental health problems. Because it is hard to be different from the crowd. Being gay stands at the extreme as there are people who are larger in number, they treat LGBTQ as 'mentally sick'. 
Coming out is the hardest part, and suppression from speaking the truth leads to bad mental health. 

Gay men even get severe health threats, death threats as socially, people consider them to be lesser in physical strength, and this is totally factless and not a 'universal truth'. 
In various regional movies also, the portray of gay men is shown as they are 'defected' and only lust oriented. This again creates self-doubt in the mind of the gay people, until the parenting is right. 
Another aspect is that, while the younger generation is far more tolerant towards gays, the older generation still carry the load of 'negative opinion'. 
Gay men are a higher risk of suicide  
As gay men face other severe health threats that usually happen along with mental health problems. These include more use of illegal drugs and a greater risk for suicide. 
Gay men are more likely than other men to have tried to commit suicide as well as to be succeeded at suicide.

Gay men are at a higher risk of HIV
Gay and bisexual men are the population most affected by HIV in the United States. In 2016, gay and bisexual men accounted for 67% of the 40,324 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and 6 dependent areas. 
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Therefore, HIV is another issue that has a huge impact on the mental health of gay and bisexual men.  

According to the report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  

1 in 6 gay and bisexual men with HIV are unaware they have it. People who don’t know they have HIV cannot get the medicines they need to stay healthy and prevent transmitting HIV to their partners. 
Therefore, they may transmit the infection to others without knowing it. Among African American gay and bisexual men who have HIV, a lower percentage know their HIV status compared to HIV-positive gay and bisexual men of some other races/ethnicities.
Most gay and bisexual men get HIV from having anal sex without using condoms or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV. Receptive anal sex is 13 times as risky for getting HIV as insertive anal sex.

Gay men are more likely to be in denial or it’s just due to compulsion?
According to some findings, most common statements stated by gay men are -
1.    I have tried to stop being attracted to men in general.
2.    If someone offered me the chance to be completely heterosexual, I would accept the chance.
3.    I wish I was not gay.
4.    I feel being gay is a personal shortcoming for me.
5.    I would like to receive professional help to change my sexual orientation from gay to straight.
6.    I have tried to become more sexually attracted to women.
7.    I often feel it is best to avoid personal or social involvement with other men.
8.    I feel alienated from myself because of being gay.
9.    I wish I could develop more erotic feelings about women.

Revealing Sexual Orientation

Keeping your sexual orientation hidden from others (being in the closet) and fear of having sexual orientation disclosed can add to the stress of being gay or bisexual. 
In general, research has shown that gay and bisexual men who are not open about their sexual orientation with others have better health outcomes than those bisexual men who do not. 
However, being “out” in some settings and to people who react negatively can add to the stress experienced by gay sexual men and can lead to poorer mental health and discrimination.

Conflicting pressure to be masculine or feminine

The pressure for gay men to be masculine can cause to have difficulty being emotional and affectionate, according to a study published in the U.S Library of Medicine. 
Some gay men find the pressure to be fit and devaluing of feminity frustrating because it contradicts the openness.
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This is what gay men experience. They are often caught between these forces:
1.    Natural desires or tendencies to exhibit qualities and mannerisms people believe are feminine, pursue stereotypically female careers, etc.
2.    Other gay men pressuring them to display stereotypically masculine qualities
3.    Other gay men pressuring them to display effeminate qualities, sometimes in an effort to counter the aforementioned force
4.    Family members pressuring them to be masculine
5.    The media perpetuating effeminate gay stereotypes
6.    Certain gay outlets presenting masculinity as ideal for gay men

Social and cultural issues

Many gay men themselves or suffer from social anxiety because they fear the possibility of others judging, bullying or rejecting them. Given the history of discriminating against gays, it sometimes seems easier and safer to limit interaction with people.

For some gay men- especially in urban areas- there is pressure to compete with other gay men dates. This can be overwhelming and tedious to the point where some become anxious and exclude themselves from that social scene.

Countries like India and Pakistan are more dangerous places for gays

According to new research published in the peer-reviewed, academic journal of interpersonal violence, south Asia’s honor culture is the prime culprit behind such hounding of the LGBT community.
More than a citizen of most other countries, Indians were likely to think that being a member of this group brought dishonor to their families? 

Many even approve of anti-gay abuse.
The study’s sample consisted of over 900 college students across India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran, and the UK. Participants read a brief vignette depicting a man whose relatives verbally abuse and intimidate him with life-threatening violence after suspecting that he is gay and knowing that he has joined an online dating website to meet men. They then rated this anecdote on a scale of 1-7, ranging from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.”

Pakistan was the only nation whose participants believed more strongly than Indians that the victim had damaged family honor.

There is a heavy sense of duty for all individuals to maintain family honor and to conform to culturally defined and collectively prescribed honor values, despite personal beliefs,” the study’s authors noted. Members within the culture are expected to ensure that norms are being observed and respected.

Unacceptance in families and bullying

In the worst cases, gay men deal with family members who disowns, abuse, neglect or criticize them because of their sexuality. Gay men are being forced by their families to do arrange a marriage with a girl. 
They face mental trauma and eventually they become suicidal. This is a very common scenario in developing countries like India or other Islamic countries. In several Islamic countries, gay couples have been killed brutally.

The bullying gay males experience while they are young adults can be traumatic and impact them for the rest of their lives. It shapes negative beliefs they can develop, leading to mental illness or lower quality of life.

There is Less Expectation for Gay Men to Raise a Family and Structure Their Lives as Heterosexuals Do

There is a clear standard for how society expects heterosexuals to structure their lives:

1.    Build a career

2.    Get married

3.    Have kids

4.    Retire

5.    Your spouse, kids, and grandkids can take care of you

It isn’t fair to expect anyone to follow this path, but there is at least comfort in being able to cling to it. For gay men, there is not much agreement on a standard path or set of milestones.

How People In and Outside the LGBT Community Can Support Gay Men’s Mental Health

Talk with Them about Their Sexuality More Than Once

Friends and family members of gay men often treat the coming out conversation as something to be checked off a list rather than a continuous discussion.

Provide Unconditional Love

If you treat a gay male friend or family member differently after he comes out, his sexuality becomes a condition for your love. To prevent this from happening, show you love him the same way you did before he came out. Provide the unconditional love he needs.

Become Educated and Spread Awareness about the Issues

By reading and sharing articles like this, you can learn about the issues gay men deal with, spread the word and gather more support. This will offer more people in and outside the LGBT community a chance to understand these issues.

Support Organizations and Centres that Help Gay Men Improve Their Mental Health

Here are some organizations you can support, donate to or spread the word about to support gay men dealing with mental health issues.

Recommend They See a Therapist

If you are worried about the mental health of a gay male friend, colleague or family member, you can recommend he see a therapist. So you can make the recommendation without hurting his feelings or damaging your relationship with him.

Many gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men may not seek care from a mental health provider because of a fear of discrimination or homophobia, it is important to keep this as an option and to find a provider that is trustworthy and compatible.
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