Taking A Look At The Effects Of ‘Queer Cancel Culture’

Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey

Psychotherapist Matthew Dempsey takes a look at where our instinct for “queer cancel culture” comes from and explores other options that might be healthier for our heads and hearts.

Taking a cue from his own experiences as a young gay, Dempsey says he realized that, as bad relationships fell away, he made mental notes to “never let that happen again.”

But as he started having healthier relationships, echoes of those harmful experiences would show up and he would “pounce on the littlest thing that felt like it was a reflection” of his past trauma.

Dempsey admits some of those reactions might have been a little ‘out-sized’ for the moment even if they were a protective response. But he realized those feelings might have kept him from meaningful relationships.

This brings him to the topic of ‘queer cancel culture’ and how it may (or may not) be the healthiest reaction every time the LGBTQ community is attacked.

“‘Cancel culture’ is when a person or an entity does or says something that we just viscerally disagree with,” explains Dempsey. “And we don’t just write them off but we kind of rally the troops to boycott or shut them down.”

To be sure, Dempsey isn’t saying we shouldn’t stand up for ourselves when companies like Chick-fil-A take our consumer dollars and donate to anti-LGBTQ organizations. Quite the contrary.

“For a community that has long been oppressed and silenced, us queer people need to make sure we continue to use our voices to assert our right for equality anytime it’s challenged or ignored,” says Dempsey.

He points to companies like Chick-fil-A and eHarmony, or performers like Kevin Hart, who learned first-hand the backlash they can expect when they were unwilling to acknowledge their contributions of inequity to LGBTQ+ people.

Considering recent events, it’s impossible not to think of a certain disgraced former congressman in this line of thinking, no?

“Calling out any discrimination is a must,” asserts Dempsey.”But is canceling entire companies and public figures who misstep an even more effective strategy to let the larger society know what is no longer tolerable?”

“We don’t want to just keep putting out fires, we want to make sure we teach people how to not even start them.”

He also wonders if there are “overlooked costs” to the community and to the mental health of the people doing the canceling?

Trust and believe, he isn’t advocating that the LGBTQ community lay down our arms. As he says, “F*ck no.”

“Of course we need to make sure that we’re being really assertive in our need for equality, but we also want to have some openness so we are able to win over the people who ARE able to learn and make some changes with us.”

Check out Dempsey’s latest video, “Queer Cancel Culture,” and his thoughts on the responses that can either maintain or help heal trauma both community-wide and individually.

And then sound off in the comments section: Do you agree? Disagree? We want to know.

Sherry Pie Disqualified Just Hours Before RuPaul’s Drag Race Debut

Sherry Pie (image via World of Wonder)

RuPaul’s Drag Race has canceled Season 12 contestant Sherry Pie after numerous allegations of catfishing young men for nude photos went viral.

Aspiring actor Ben Shimkus posted on his Facebook account an emotionally jarring story regarding Joey Gugliemelli aka Sherry Pie, who makes her Drag Race debut tonight.

My Instinct Magazine colleague Mickey Keating first broke the news of Shimkus’ story with an exclusive interview with him regarding his experience with Gugliemelli.

Posing as a casting director for a prestigious theater company in New York City, Gugliemelli would entice young male actors to send explicit photos and video clips as ‘audition’ materials for a new play to be presented.

After Shimkus’s post went viral, several others came forward with similar stories. Eventually, Gugliemelli took to Facebook himself and copped to the accusations.

“This is Joey, I want to start by saying how sorry I am that I caused such trauma and pain and how horribly embarrassed and disgusted I am with myself. I know that the pain and hurt that I have caused will never go away and I know that what I did was wrong and truly cruel. Until being on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I never really understood how much my mental health and taking care of things meant. I learned on that show how important “loving yourself” is and I don’t think I have ever loved myself. I have been seeking help and receiving treatment since coming back to NYC. I truly apologize to everyone I have hurt with my actions. I also want to say how sorry I am to my sisters of season 12 and honestly the whole network and production company. All I can do is change the behavior and that starts with me and doing that work.”

In the wake of Gugliemelli’s admission, RuPaul’s Drag Race announced that, while the bulk of Season 12 has already been filmed, Sherry Pie “will not appear in the grand finale scheduled to be filmed later this spring.”

Sherry’s entre to RPDR and ‘cancel culture’ begins tonight on VH1.

Colton Haynes Shares On Social Media & Mental Health

Colton Haynes (via Instagram)

Sunday evening, Arrow star Colton Haynes took a different tone on his Instagram account as he addressed how projecting “a curated life” has taken a toll on his mental health.The post, which he labeled ‘Throwback,’ included a collection of selfies from what appear to be past hospital stays. The images are a stark contrast from his Instagram’s usual fare of frolicsome, sunlit beach moments and model-perfect photos.

And that would be the point.

“I don’t want worrying about if I look hot or not on Instagram to be my legacy,’ penned the 31-year-old. “I don’t want to skirt around the truth to please other people or to gain economic success.”

The former Teen Wolf actor shared with his 6.4 million followers that today he feels “immense joy” when someone shares that his “willingness to open up about depression, anxiety, alcoholism, & addiction has helped them in some way.”

In March of this year, Haynes openly addressed his struggles with mental health and addiction with Attitude Magazine saying, “In 10 years, there were maybe 25 days I didn’t drink.”

Colton Haynes says worrying whether or not he "looked hot" in Instagram posts was a "complete waste" of time.
(image via Instagram)

He added that he had achieved six months of sobriety at the time.

In his recent Instagram post, he admits that while he’s “struggled the past year” with trying to “find his voice,” he regards the journey as “the most beautiful struggle I’ve ever had to go through.”

Pointing to his social media accounts, Haynes says he regrets the time he’s spent worrying about “what time to post on social media so I can maximize my likes,” calling those concerns ” a complete waste of why I was put on this earth.”

The point of the hospital photos, which he says were taken a year ago, is to “let y’all in on my truth.”

Reflecting on what he describes as “dark” times, he offers candidly, “I’m a human being with flaws like you.”

He closes the note with a word of encouragement to his fans: “If ur in the middle of the dark times…I promise you it doesn’t have to last forever.”

You can read the full Instagram post from Haynes below.


Throwback. I don’t want worrying about if I look hot or not on Instagram to be my legacy. I don’t want to skirt around the truth to please other people or to gain economic success. I have far more important things to say than what magazine I just shot for or what tv show I’m a part of (Although I’m very thankful I still get to do what I love). I no longer want to project a curated life. I get immense joy when someone comes up to me & says that my willingness to open up about depression, anxiety, alcoholism, & addiction has helped them in some way. I’ve struggled the past year with trying to find my voice and where I fit in & that has been the most beautiful struggle I’ve ever had to go through. Worrying about what time to post on social media so I can maximize my likes or being mad at myself that I don’t look the same way I did when I was addicted to pills is a complete waste of why I was put on this earth. I’m posting these photos to let y’all in on my truth. I’m so grateful to be where I am now ( a year after these photos were taken) but man these times were dark. I’m a human being with flaws just like you. If ur in the middle of the dark times…I promise you it doesn’t have to last forever. Love y’all ❤️
A post shared by Colton Haynes (@coltonlhaynes) on Aug 18, 2019 at 4:04pm PDT

The practice of chasing ‘Likes’ on Instagram has become an issue of late as Facebook (which owns Instagram) recently announced the platform is currently running a test in seven countries where ‘Likes’ will no longer be visible to followers.

Instagram says it wants viewers to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”

More Than One Third Of LGBTQ Youth Have Seriously Considered Suicide

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, has released the results of its first-ever National LGBTQ Youth Mental Health Survey, and the results are deeply concerning.

The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, has released the results of its first-ever National LGBTQ Youth Mental Health Survey, and the results are deeply concerning.

Conducted between February 2018 through September 2018, the massive survey includes responses from 34,808 LGBTQ young people.

The results show a staggering 39 percent of respondents had seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous 12 months.

When looking at just transgender/non-binary respondents, 54 percent said they’d seriously considered suicide.

Eighteen percent of the respondents admitted to attempting suicide in the past 12 months; 29 percent of trans/non-binary youth reported a suicide attempt.

Sixty-seven percent reported someone had attempted to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ 

Of those who underwent conversion therapy, 42 percent admitted to attempting suicide.

When you break down the numbers, 32 percent of LGB youth who underwent conversion therapy reported a suicide attempt in the last 12 months, while the number jumped to 57 percent for trans/non-binary youth.

Conversion therapy has been discredited as ‘pseudoscience’ and widely denounced by leading professional medical associations including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association.

Currently, 18 states have outlawed conversion therapy involving minors.

The research also showed that 71 percent of LGBTQ youth reported being discriminated against, and 21 percent reported experiencing physical threats or abuse.

Discrimination definitely had an impact on suicidal thoughts as 23 percent of those who experienced discrimination reported a suicide attempt in the last 12 months as opposed to 11 percent of respondents who did not.

The survey is part of The Trevor Project’s commitment to compile data and research to aid in improving the organization’s life-saving services for LGBTQ youth.

In sharing the results, The Trevor Project aims to elevate the voices and experiences of LGBTQ youth and shed more light on the dangerous practice of conversion therapy.

You can find the full results of the new survey here.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, reach out to The Trevor Project 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1-866-488-7386 or www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help

Report: Serious Concern Inside The White House For Trump’s Mental Capacity

Michael Wolff, author of the upcoming Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House, has penned a new column for The Hollywood Reporter today sharing more insight from his book set for a January 9 release.

Just a snack from the tasty piece:

There was, after the abrupt Scaramucci meltdown, hardly any effort inside the West Wing to disguise the sense of ludicrousness and anger felt by every member of the senior staff toward Trump’s family and Trump himself. It became almost a kind of competition to demystify Trump. For Rex Tillerson, he was a moron. For Gary Cohn, he was dumb as shit. For H.R. McMaster, he was a hopeless idiot. For Steve Bannon, he had lost his mind.

Everybody was painfully aware of the increasing pace of his repetitions. It used to be inside of 30 minutes he’d repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories — now it was within 10 minutes. Indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions — he just couldn’t stop saying something.


Steve Bannon was openly handicapping a 33.3 percent chance of impeachment, a 33.3 percent chance of resignation in the shadow of the 25th amendment and a 33.3 percent chance that he might limp to the finish line on the strength of liberal arrogance and weakness.

Donald Trump’s small staff of factotums, advisors and family began, on Jan. 20, 2017, an experience that none of them, by any right or logic, thought they would — or, in many cases, should — have, being part of a Trump presidency. Hoping for the best, with their personal futures as well as the country’s future depending on it, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all — 100 percent — came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job.

At Mar-a-Lago, just before the new year, a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends.

While most folks are focused on the wild and wacky doings at the White House, I think the most worrisome information coming from the book is that everyone around Trump knows he’s unfit for the presidency.

Another new revelation in the book: Mark Corallo, spokesman for Trump’s lawyers, quit his job telling friends privately that the discussion he witnessed on Air Force One as Team Trump figured out a response to the news that Don Jr. had hosted a meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian government attorney constituted obstruction of justice.

Texas Church Shooter May Have Been Motivated By “Domestic Situation”

With 26 dead and 20 more wounded after the deadly shooting massacre at a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, investigators believe the attack was possibly motivated by an ongoing “domestic situation” for the shooter.

Via Washington Post:

While authorities have not publicly identified a motive for the attack, they emphasized Monday that the shooting did not appear to be fueled by racial or religious issues. They said the gunman’s mother-in-law had attended the church but was not there Sunday, and that the shooter had sent “threatening texts” as part of the family dispute.

“This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs,” Freeman Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety said at a news briefing. “There was a domestic situation going on within the family and the in-laws.”

Investigators have scoured the gunman’s background since he opened fire Sunday morning on the pews of the First Baptist Church outside San Antonio, searching for a possible motive as the stories of those massacred began to emerge.

The shooter, identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, had served in the Air Force but was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and child.

He was sentenced to a year in military prison and received a bad-conduct discharge.

President Trump called the shooter a “deranged individual” and called the shooting massacre a “mental health problem at the highest level.”

That would be an interesting choice of words considering in February Trump signed a bill into law that rolled back regulations that made it difficult for people with mental health issues to acquire guns.

Take a hike…

Who wouldn’t want to take a walk here?

A few pounds have crept back on my waist as well as some tension in my shoulders and neck.

Lately, I haven’t been at the gym as often as I’d like mainly because “I don’t have time.”

I know we all say that.  So I’m trying to do five minutes here and there for my mental and physical betterment.  I won’t get pumped up probably but I’ll feel better.

For the past week, in the middle of the day I walk for 10 minutes around my neighborhood.  Not a big deal, I know.  But it’s something.  And mentally it feels much better to look around in the sunlight for just a few minutes than sit in my office.

I’m also challenging myself to stop, drop and do 25 pushups at least four times a day.  Takes 30 seconds and even that little amount of exertion makes a difference.  If not, pushups then it’s 50 crunches.

Little bits.  Little bits.

Just those small changes and I lost 3 pounds in a week.

I’d love to hear what small changes readers here make to improve mental and physical health.

Let me hear from you.