No Fats, No Blacks, No Fems, And No Asians.
You have read articles, and seen the statements written by “LGBT friendly” people on dating social media apps. And if you have been watching “Rupaul’s Drag Race” (RDR) Season 8, top three contestant Kim Chi, of South Korean descent, brought awareness to this discriminatory and prejudicial behavior during their drag challenges, as well as the final performance on the hit show. After a time people of color would develop an emotional complex, but it can be magnified in stressful situations as in Nina Bonina Brown’s case when she debuted this past Season 9.
People have argued that racial discrimination is part of the fabric of American society, and as a result it affects every person of color, both mentally and physically. But this form of racial bias also exists within the LGBT community as well. Nina Bonina Brown is smack dab in the middle. In order to move from pity, to empathy and understanding we need to take the journey of how and why people of color are so affected.
RDR’S Nina Bonina Brown Is Not The Ambassador Of Mental Issues Affecting People Of Color, But She Is A Mirror Image Of Understanding
Nina was “going through it” during this past Season, and he still did not seem to fully recover. In case you were wondering what “going through it” means, it connotes mental and physical stress. While the drag mother Rupaul gave sage advice to Nina about overcoming the inner voice that tries to sabotage your way of thinking, it was not enough to get Nina to block it out. As a result, it manifested itself in the form of paranoia and conspiracy: Nina thought the other drag performers were out to destroy her. And this manifestation also eroded Nina’s self-esteem. Do not underestimate Nina, she is still a talented drag performer and entertainer, the stress of the competition magnified these underlining emotions that already existed.
But the reaction that Nina received from her fellow contestants and fans of the show was not at all fair. If Season 7 contestant Katya, who suffered from anxiety a form of mental illness, and the fans of that particular time showed support for him, why could Nina not have received the same amount of empathy. Katya who happens to be Caucasian could arguably have played a role. There is one catch though, people of color are in the majority of sufferers when it comes to mental illness.
Minorities Are In The Majority Of Those With Mental Health Issues
We are not attempting to box Nina into a category or statistic, but he is an example that we can learn from. According to data, 20 percent of Black American adults are more likely to experience mental health issues than the rest of the populace. Asian American adults come in at 8.6 percent of those who sought mental health treatment back in 2010. Among Native Americans, Alaska Native men and women, and Hispanics the numbers are especially staggering.
Forty percent of Native Americans die as a result of suicide between the ages of 15 and 24. Almost 30 percent of Alaskan men and Native American men account for every 100,000 people who died of suicide in 2014, while 10.3 percent of Hispanics also account for every 100,000 who died from suicide. For Hispanic adults this figure has remained the same since 1999. And, Native American and Alaska Native women are at 89 percent of those who committed suicide, this is an increase from 1999 to 2014.
For people of color, with mental illness, who seek treatment those percentages are smaller in comparison. White children and white young adults, 5.7 percent of them, seek out support for their mental health. Black Americans or young Hispanic people only search for help 2.3 percent in any given year. It is not as Black and White as we perceive it to be when it comes to seeking mental treatment; 40 percent of white individuals seek help, only 25 percent of Black Americans do so. For Black Americans what attributes to this head scratcher is misdiagnosis by doctors, socioeconomic status, and lack of Black American health professionals.
There is hope. Rupaul did her drag best to reassure Nina, but no advice or outside help from fellow contestants, drag makeover participants, or anyone could have helped him to overcome it. And the fans were not as receptive or empathetic enough.
We will talk more about Nina Bonina Brown as she too falls smack dab in the middle of LGBT people of color who are victims of crime.
Articles Referenced: Huffington Post