Gender, Sexuality, and Mental Health
Youth MOVE Indiana
“Alot of people don’t know how to talk about this sort of topic; It’s been sort of a taboo subject in years past, and people are nervous“, explains Madeline Zielinski of Youth MOVE National. At the state level, April Moody of Youth MOVE Indianapolis (YMIN) works to help children with mental and behavioral issues. YMIN’s mission is to inspire and unite youth to bring real change by furthering acceptance, tolerance, and understanding of mental health. Youth MOVE has facilitated LGBTQ trainings for companies across the country, including ICAADA locally. This PRIDE month, we asked Youth MOVE experts April Moody and Madeline Zielinski for a general update on mental health as it relates to the LGBTQ community.
Five Dimensions to Sexuality
April and Madeline are opinion leaders in the field of mental health and sexuality, and their concern is both personal and professional. As the book Headcase explains, “Many studies indicate that LGBTQ communities are at higher risk than heterosexuals for substance use and mental health disorders–eg; 27.6% compared to 10.5%.” This Pride month, we asked April and Madeline to explain the curriculum covered by the trainings they facilitate across Indiana with Youth MOVE. To encourage understanding, they use a framework of five dimensions, organized into a handy meme by transstudent.org:
The aforementioned experts from Youth MOVE like to use the gender unicorn as a basic way to organize our thinking about sexuality.
- The rainbow shows that gender identity is self-configured. It cannot be observed from the outside.
- Then we have our gender expression. This is our appearance, which includes how we dress, walk, talk, etc.
- Sex assigned at birth: This one is not on a spectrum, yet.
- Physically attracted to the male and/or female form, as opposed to
- Romantic/Emotional attraction, as when attraction is distinct from falling in love.
Youth MOVE explains that many other cultures dont rely on a binary, black-and-white model of sexuality. Please like and share this article to encourage understanding and show support for your friend or family member. As April says, “The real goal is to create a culture in which ‘coming-out’ isn’t even a thing. Sexuality is an important part of us, but it does not define us.”
Happy PRIDE Month from Cummins BHS!