Grief in 2SLGBTQ+ communities is often deep and multi-layered. Some losses are directly related to a death, while others are the result of historical and ongoing discrimination and oppression. These losses may be unrecognized by others or by the person experiencing them, sometimes due to feelings of shame or invisibility.
Examples of losses that may not be acknowledged or understood include the death of a spouse or partner; a death due to pregnancy loss; a reversed adoption or unsuccessful surrogacy; changes in gender identity or expression; and disconnection from families or communities of origin, or from a shared history/culture.
If you have also experienced discrimination or losses because of your ethnicity, religion, ability, or age, your grief will reflect the ways these losses are interwoven with your experiences as a 2SLGBTQ+ person. If you are a trans person, youth, Indigenous or Two-Spirit person, a senior or elder, or an immigrant or refugee, you are likely to face additional challenges and risks specific to those parts of your identity.
Your losses can build up over time and lead to increased feelings of isolation, distrust, or fear. It’s important to reach out for support in order to prevent additional difficulties that may negatively affect your health.
Trauma can be the result of a suicide death or an act of violence, whether experienced by you or someone else in your community. If you have experienced trauma, it can significantly affect your grief. It’s important to seek support from a trained professional who has experience working with 2SLGBTQ+ people.
Despite the challenges, many 2SLGBTQ+ people have found ways to cope with their losses, relying on support from within and outside their communities. Remember that you are not alone, and take heart that there are people who are willing to see and hear you as the person you are.