By Meghna Mehra
TW: Mention of domestic abuse, dysphoria
Image credit: shuttershock
Let’s face it, not all parents are accepting and accomodating. They still think that the LGBTQIA+ community is a “lifestyle” or worst, a “disease”. Surviving with them during quarantine is hard, almost unbearable. Most of us are with them right now, and mostly we don’t have a choice that is why we have to stay with them.
- Find your coping mechanisms
Everyone has a set of coping mechanisms. Find yours, sometimes you might identify them. Many of us feel better when we go out and that is our coping mechanism, we cannot do that right now but can try to talk to other people on call or text to have a sense of emotional safety.
Many of us cope up by pursuing a hobby or our talents, if you can do them at home, try them. If your parents target you over them, avoid your parents while doing what you love by closing doors or hiding your artwork, etc.
We all know that this is a temporary phase. Emotional and problem solving coping mechanisms are needed equally right now.
- Social and emotional closeness
As you all know, our community have each other, if not anyone else, during times like this. We all have our own set of issues with each other but most of us care about the community at large.
Stay in touch with your friends and therapists. AIQA has a support group and spam group where you can join, vent out, discuss issues or just plainly talk to fellow community members.
Try to seek online and on-call therapy if something overwhelms you. You can also engage in different groups and volunteer virtually. Some of us cope up with difficult scenarios by working.
- Maintaining Distance from abusive family members
We know they are abusive, we know that they intend to hurt us. Our goal right now is to be safe. Both physically and emotionally. Try to avoid confrontations with them, avoid talking to them if they say something offensive. Resist and seek help in the case of physical violence or intimidation.
Abusive family members cause immense stress to everyone, especially visibly queer people. Many trans, gender non-binary and gender non conforming individuals will feel dysphoria due to the stress of being something that they are not at home. The stress for out of the closet members staying at home is also skyrocketing right now.
It is ideal to avoid abusive family members right now. Maintaining as much distance as you can is necessary for your well being. If you can live somewhere else then check your options and possibilities of that.
- Finding a sense of safety
Find what makes you safe. Do you have enough resources to leave once all this is over? This is also a time for introspection, are you ready to leave once it is over or are you going to be more cemented with the issues and abusive family?
This is the time to study, updating your resume, learning new skills online to ensure that you come out of this situation stronger than ever. Once you are ready to leave this cage (metaphorically), you can fly like a bird and built your own nest (a safe space for yourself).
Unfortunately, underage queer people cannot do much about it due to certain laws and the current TG Act also forces trans children to stay with their parents. But they can find coping mechanisms, support groups, and therapists to prepare themselves for their bright future, away from abuse.
Remember, we have been taught that life is not a bed of roses. But, it isn’t a bed of thorns either. Nobody can make you inferior, you are an individual who has a better tomorrow. There are times where there is absolute darkness and then there are times when the sunshine comes. This isn’t a philosophical piece or lecture, but a message from our organization that we all are in this together.
STAY STRONG, CONTACT US IF YOU WANT TO JOIN GROUPS OR SIMPLY TALK. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK.