Highlighting LGBTQIA+ experiences of eating disorders
Health and social care organisations in the UK should be doing more to relieve the unique pressures that LGBTQIA+ people face when accessing eating disorder support.
By promoting the stories of LGBTQIA+ people with eating disorders through the creation and public launch of a zine, we aim to help health and social care organisations adopt a different approach to thinking about LGBTQIA+ eating disorder services.
We are currently looking for LGBTQIA+ people with eating disorders (or complex relationships with food and/or their bodies) who may want to submit art or writing to a new zine, which showcases their unheard stories. It will be shared with healthcare, eating disorder support and LGBTQIA+ organisations via online and print publication and a launch event in March 2020.
For details of how to submit to the zine, see below.
Eating disorder services and LGBTQIA+ organisations in the UK are not giving enough attention to LGBTQIA+ experiences of eating disorders. A Stonewall report states that one in eight LGBT people and one in four non-binary people have experienced an eating disorder in the past year, but when researching for this project, we couldn’t find a single support service or research paper dedicated solely to this issue in the UK.
LGBTQIA+ young people are at significantly higher risk of developing eating disorders than their heterosexual peers, but LGBTQIA+ experience is not reflected in health policy, resource allocation or research areas. By showcasing personal stories in an authentic and creative way, we hope to bring healthcare organisations and LGBTQIA+ support groups together, heighten their awareness of the problem and encourage them to start collaborating.
How to contribute to the zine
If you identify as LGBTQIA+ and have (or previously had) an eating disorder, we would welcome your contribution to the zine. You can reflect on any aspect of the topic, but areas to consider include treatment, recovery, identity and community.
Look at the criteria below and send your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 December 2019.
If you have any questions, send them to the above email address.
Criteria for contributors
- Contributors must identify as LGBTQIA+ and have personal experience of living with an eating disorder at some point in their life.
- Contributors must be aged 18 or over.
- Contributors should be UK residents, as the zine hopes to primarily reflect and impact UK health and care.
Criteria for contributions
- Written contributions should be no more than 500 words.
- If you are contributing artwork, this should fit on an A5 page.
- Written pieces should be editable documents, preferably .docx or .odt.
- Images should be in jpeg format.
- Submissions can contain content of any medium, including art, poetry, articles, comics, photography and creative writing.
- Any submissions that appear to be advocating or promoting eating disorders will not be included as this could be harmful to readers.
- Contributors maintain ownership of any material they submit, although we would appreciate this being its first place of publication.
- We retain the right to alter the format and content of submissions for publication. However, we won’t make substantial edits or change the meaning.
- You don’t have to give us any personal details if you don’t want to. However, if you want us to credit your work, please provide your name and pronouns. If you want your work to be published anonymously please state this.
This project is a part of Kaleidoscope’s Perspectives Programme, an internship scheme focused on promoting unheard voices in health and care. It is led by Kaleidoscope team member Seren, and inspired by their own personal experiences navigating the healthcare system as a queer person with an eating disorder.