Nearly 50% of men with eating disorders are gay, and we need to talk about it
New research compiled by Plus Magazine shows that nearly half of men with eating disorders are gay. This may seem shocking at first considering our culture still hardly recognizes that women aren’t the only gender that deals with disordered eating, but if anything, it’s proof that we need to broaden our scope to include both non-binary people and men when we’re talking eating disorders.
Plus Magazine explained that more than 15 percent of gay and bisexual men have suffered anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorders, and that 42 percent of men who have eating disorders identify as gay.
Like, whoa. This is definitely something that needs more attention that it’s getting.
According to Dr. Tyler Wooten, Medical Director of Eating Recovery Center in Dallas, LGBTQ+ people and queer folks are specifically likely to have eating disorders because of the negativity still surrounding the community.
Dr. Wooten explained,
"One thing that makes LGBT people susceptible to this is that we are folks that really want to be liked and accepted.
Too, when you consider the “positive” stereotypes surrounding gay men, one of the first that comes to mind is that gay men are somehow better looking than straight guys. Is it really so surprising that gay men would feel pressured to live up to this stereotype?
But being trans also impacts the prevalence of eating disorders.
Plus reported a trans college student named Megan who explained how being genderqueer also impacts eating disorders. Megan explained,
“Being genderqueer [and] androgynous made weight restoration particularly difficult because as I gained weight, my body became more distinctly female. I went from having a boyish body to having breasts and hips. So I would relapse again.
Long story short? It’s *so* important for medical professionals and those who support folks with eating disorders are also aware of issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. There’s really no way to justify being involved in the medical field and having zero understanding of what it means to be queer today, and this research just further proves the importance of understanding marginalized identities.