The Journey of Being LGBTQIA+ and Living with Psoriasis
Growing up gay can still be difficult in 2023. I know what you’re thinking, it’s the twenty-first century, why are people still struggling to be their authentic selves? There are layers of difficulty which some LGBTQIA+ people have to overcome in order to feel confident in being who they are and being happy to be who they are.
I’ve written about my own struggles with this over the years, but I just want to say that living with psoriasis can add even further difficulty.
Facing stereotypes and stigma
Not only do you have to grapple with who you are, telling people and fearing their reaction, but you also have to tell them about your skin condition, which could make any potential dating partner run a mile. In this aspect, it doesn’t matter who you love, you may still have difficulty being yourself.
Let’s not forget, though, the gay community gets a bad rap, and there are still stereotypes around how a gay person lives, dates or chooses to express themselves. You have to remember, however, that everyone is different and people live their lives in the best way they see fit. And that should be applauded.
The insecurity that comes with psoriasis
Going back to psoriasis then, if you’re gay, like me, and you have psoriasis, you may think it is going to be impossible to find love. I certainly did, for a time. I had confidence issues, meaning I wouldn’t even like to be seen with a guy, and then I had this terrible condition, which made me hate everything about myself. Not cool.
Take time to get to know yourself further. Don’t do what I did and rush the process. Rush coming out to feel better. Don’t do it. Rush getting into a relationship to better understand yourself. Don’t do it. Take time. Appreciate each day. See a therapist to go through your psoriasis and deal with any underlying internalised homophobia.
Find connection in community
All I would say is educate yourself and love yourself. Read books on LGBTQIA+ topics. Read books on psoriasis. Look at YouTube videos from LGBTQIA+ people. Look at YouTube videos from those struggling with psoriasis. Take a look and see if there are any gay people with psoriasis who can share their experiences.
Talk to people. Even those who don’t identify as LGBT, how do they find dating with psoriasis? This feels strange to write after years of denial. But I love being gay. I'm still working on not minding my red psoriasis patches. Both make me who I am. Being gay is a valid sexual orientation and psoriasis is a incurable condition.
Listen to yourself, always.
Learning to appreciate my psoriasis and appreciate my queerness is an ongoing journey. You will have moments of laughter and joy and other moments of sadness and upset. You will want to share being gay with others, and have times where you don’t want to.
Learn to appreciate everything about yourself. You’re you. And that’s amazing!
Do you get frustrated with your psoriasis treatment plan?