Dear Friends, Followers, and Subscribers,
It has been months since I have been able to write anything on The Angry Queer. I have had a lot to say, but to be honest, I have had no idea how to put it in words. The moniker of The Angry Queer just doesn't work for me anymore, and it is preventing me from blogging. For those who don't know me as personally as others, I will give a little back story to the name, and to myself.
When I decided to start blogging, I knew I needed a catchy name, something that would draw readers to me. But the name Angry Queer didn't come just out of the blue and being catchy, but a true knowledge of my personality. My friends, and political acquaintances all thought it was a great name, because they saw me making fun of, and exploiting the part of my personality that many of them resented, were sick of seeing, or couldn't stand dealing with.
I know for a fact that I am not an easy person to work with or deal with. I suffer from Bi-Polar II with severe depression, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and I have been on and of psychiatric medications for most of my life. I was first treated at the age of 11 for ADD before there was even the distinction between ADD and ADHD and before the era in which diagnosing kids with ADD became semi-routine.
Growing up with a mental disability is difficult. Growing up with a mental disability and gay is even harder. It leads one to resentment and anger, poor self esteem, and the sense that one is less important than others.
I know for a fact that the people I have worked with in politics sometimes wish I would never come around. They love the good work I do, but they hate the drama that comes with it. Many of them don't know about my disabilities, and fewer even understand them.
See, mental disability, unlike physical disabilities, is hard for people to accept. It goes against what we are taught as kids, like we can succeed if we just "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" or "boys don't cry" etc. But the truth is, I have an illness, an illness as life threatening as cancer or HIV, and one with stigmas attached to it all its own. People are scared of people with mental health issues. There are also people who want to help, but just don't know how, and often say the wrong things. All this leads a person even more depressed and more angry.
Often times, amidst a large amount of stress, I would blow up, losing self control, becoming loud, confrontational, and demanding. Luckily, violence has not been part of my reactions since childhood, but even still, my actions can be scary.
My actions have cost me many roles in the political world that I otherwise would have been well suited for. See, its not the work that I do, but how it is to work with me that pushes people away. Of course, this only makes me angrier, because I know I am well suited for the role. Last year, I lost yet another chance in the political world strictly because of my personality and actions, not my ability. It was then that I decided I needed to make some changes. The first of which was to find a way to play a part in the political world without having to work with people who couldn't work with me. One person suggested starting a new organization or changing organizations to have a fresh start. While this would be a strong step forward, it doesn't change anything, as in a couple of years, I am sure I would have worn out my welcome there. I realized I needed a place to vent my anger about the political and LGBT world, and I decided the web would be the perfect outlet. Here, I can make the Angry Queer not a scary figure, but a cute caricature, where the anger is a shtick, and I am not seen as a scary individual, but a well spoken person with a lot to say, and a strong voice to say it in.
The problem is, my life cannot be a caricature. Mental illness, like other diseases, at times is easily controlled, and at others, if not handled properly, can destroy everything around you. In December of 2009, my mental state had become worse than it had in many, many years. Thoughts of suicide became daily. My work was suffering because for months; I didn't care about it, because I really didn't care about anything. I knew I needed to make a change, that my life wasn't heading in the right direction at all. The stress at work, which intensified with the fact that I was no longer performing well, was pushing me to the limit.
My mother urged me to go see my psychiatrist and see about getting a few days off of work to try and start things over. Those few days currently have been more than 7 weeks and counting on disability. In that time, I have been undergoing intensive therapy, changes in medication treatment, and an overall restructuring of my life. One thing is obvious, however...
I cannot remain angry the rest of my life. I want to be happy, I want to learn how to laugh, and love, and enjoy everything that comes with life. See, I always thought happy were those few minute reliefs between depressive episodes, or those hypo-mania episodes that come along with being bi-polar. I never understood stability, because that is one thing my life has never had.
With that, I draw a close to The Angry Queer. Don't get me wrong, I am still angry about a lot of things in the political world, I just can't get better while portraying anger as an every day part of my life. I am not walking away from politics, or blogging. But some changes are coming. In the next few weeks I will be debuting a new project, devoted to mental health and the LGBT community. Something much of our community has ignored for far too long. I will be posting on here more about the project, and about any personal choices I make about blogging about political issues in the future, but for now, I can't allow myself the crutch of anger by calling myself The Angry Queer.
Casey H. Robinson
P.S. I can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for the time being if you would like to contact me about this, or my future projects.