Since coming out on a public scale, both as a gay man but also as a genderqueer, nonbinary person not many TV shows can hold my interest long enough for me to stay. Unless that list includes shows I've already seen like the original Charmed, Sailor Moon (again original), or any LGBTQIA shows that are as inclusive as possible like my most recent find, #Heartstopper

Quick synopsis, young man Charlie, who is quirky, nerdy, and musical in British all boys school falls for "rugby king" Nick. What is subtly mentioned or sometimes overtly mentioned depending is eating disorders (subtle) and coming out of the closet in any way, be it lesbian, gay, bisexuality, transgender (overt). What I hadn't anticipated when first watch through, nor second or third, until I researched the graphic novel basis, and watched with my husband, was the wave of memories all the way back to that time in my life. I have suffered with eating disorders and was officially diagnosed at one point with anorexia nervosa when I was admitted in hospital for mental health. We don't talk about it much in my family considering my very own grandfather is a hallmark of that disease. This show also deals with bullies, panic attacks, and mental health in ways that are subtle enough for a teen and tweens show but overt enough to make it across. Not to mention that I am gravitating to this show above any other when I myself am having to be put back on Xanax for stress and panic, I'm treading water at work with just my head above the choppy water every day, and trying to get my husband his license in cosmetology, and attempt to achieve a better paying position.

I love this show because in all sense and practice I am Charlie and my husband is Nick with how our dynamic works, he's my savior, protector, and guardian and also a football boy, which is in theory rugby with a whole lot of padding. But none of my high school, college or cosmetology school friends knew the extent of the eating disorders and didn't at a time when mental health was only just coming to the forefront, understand my struggles nor really seem to care unless it was really bad.

The only people who know especially about the anorexia are my husband and someone I recently confided in at work. I didn't even remember that diagnosis. But the fact that it is also a learned behavior in my family, you eat once a day at dinner and if you don't like what's being served you don't eat, that makes it so much worse. And as a assigned male and still use male pronouns though will prefer nonbinary ones, we're taught not to talk about this, ever. Don't cry, don't show emotion, don't show weakness. And that's not okay. I should be able to approach my own family and be able to speak about such matters but I cannot. I should be able to even say them out loud, be able to be seen holding hands in public with my husband etc, but I can't.

This is the very level of not only toxic masculinity but also toxic feminity, and toxic positivity that pervades our society as we see it today. I'm not saying guys have it worse, not by a freaking long shot, in fact what I'm saying is the fact that the only safe "space" I have to put voice to my thoughts is on an app with complete strangers, with none of my family or friends on here to see it should say a whole hell of a lot. This app has been the only space where I have found both men and women are truly and completely equals. No one is more justified, or gets upset. Everyone is here for support when we all have limited support. Everyone who has ever commented on a thought I've shared, or reacted to it, I appreciate you all so much, you have gotten me through some pretty rough times. And this is no different, just again long, vague topic posting, and need the support as we all do.

#LGBTQIA #MentalHealth #AnorexiaNervosa #PTSD #SchizoaffectiveDisorder