Building a Chosen Family in LGBTQIA+ | QRT Podcast

Episode Summary

Host Isaac Archuleta sits with a Denver-based drag queen and talks about the anxiety and depression they have had to navigate for most of their adult life. They take a journey into childhood rejection and adult perseverance and the healing one gains in creating a life filled with love. One they deserved but were never given.

Some of the episodes in our line up are what we call, RelationTips Q&A’s, a safe space for everyday folks to come on the show and talk with a therapist about a problem or topic they are struggling with.

These episodes are intended to highlight queer stories with the hope that others can relate and gain insight into their own journeys.

Guests on these episodes bring vulnerability into the space that allows for a deep, emotional exploration of areas that hit deeply for many queer folks.

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Episode Debrief

Today’s guest brings such a gentle healing with their vulnerability. As someone who deals with anxiety and depression, they have developed such a strong empathy, and I believe their sophisticated sense of empathy has allowed them to not only see the intrinsic value in who they are but in others as well. Within community, he has experienced it and foster it in the development of others. 

As a religious, gender non-binary drag queen entertainer, self-esteem can be a tricky trait to obtain. Placing emphasis on other people to provide stabilizing affirmation places us in a position clinicians might call Other Esteeming, meaning our esteem comes from other people. Other esteeming says, “If you like me, I like me; if you are disappointed with me, I must be a disappointment; and if you’re not there to tell me who I am, I have no idea if I am worthy of love and acceptance.”

When our guest described the narrative they swim in all day, “not good enough, not good enough, not good enough…,” as the root to their depression, I was so eager to find words that might provide some sort of relief. A magic bullet to reverse that internal dialogue. 

As queer people who live closeted lives for years, if not decades of our lives, we have no choice but to assume we are less then and, well, not good enough.  

As we create a chosen family and a community that supports us—without conditions—we are able to learn something different about ourselves. The lessons instilled in us by trustworthy loved ones help us rewrite our script. In other words, love, unconditional love, helps nurture our sense of self-esteem. We can grow from the denigrating mantra, “I am not good enough,” to, “I am worth it!” Now that is a dramatic life change. 

To borrow an old adage, those who lose their life will find it. In this conversation, I am reminded that to lose all those old narratives that feel like protective barriers means we will actually find our true identity. Then we are able to create the love lives and relationships we truly crave!

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