Monday, September 24, 2012

Report: Gays Love the Drugs



Assuming the new study that says "one in five" gays show signs of "dependency on drugs or alcohol" is true, can it be much of a surprise? Nothing like having parents, lawmakers, school leaders, church leaders and the man running for president on a major political party's ticket telling you you're worthless to make you feel like crap about yourself, and seek an escape. Read HERE.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kevin, why is your first instinct to blame the straights? I'm a paramedic, and one of my areas is a gay neighborhood. The number of suicides is appalling, but I can honestly say that in ten years of running 9-1-1 calls I have never had one gay attempted suicide tell me that he did it because of straight people. When they do talk, the story is remarkably uniform: they talk about the hurt inflicted on them by members of our own community. Drug use and self-destructive behavior is a public health issue for the gay community, and we are not making it better by blaming straight people. We have to take a hard, honest look at ourselves and reflect on why it's so rampant. There is a culture in the gay community that equates excess and partying with liberation, and it's dangerous. There's also an excessive emphasis on personal beauty and youth - yes, a greater emphasis than in the straight community. But beauty fades, youth is short. The tragedy for young gay men is that they leave their small towns and come to gay communities in the big city, only to face danger and cruelty from their own. We can address the problem by self-criticism and changing our communities mores, or we blame the Republicans. Blaming the Republicans feels better in the short run, but it hurts us more in the long run. One in five showing signs of dependency? At some point, you can't blame your parents anymore for that crap. We have to grow up.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

Putting aside your unintentionally HILARIOUS line -- "I have never had one gay attempted suicide tell me that he did it because of straight people" (!!!!) -- I do not disagree with your overall sentiment. I just think you're being myopic, and incredibly naive about what a lifetime of government- and church-sanctioned hate and discrimination can do to a segment of the population. Of course people should take personal responsibility and treat one another respectfully. No question. Are gays more obsessed with youth and beauty? Probably so. But is it really any surprise that damaged people treat others poorly? It's like saying there's a lot of black-on-black crime in America, so systemic racial discrimination isn't an issue. I respectfully suggest that you need to dig a little deeper.

-- "Kevin"

Anonymous said...

Being naive comes from lacking experience. Kevin, ten years ago, I would have agreed with you. Maybe you should ride with some of these guys who've tried to kill themselves on the way to the hospital. Or the OD cases. Listen to what they actually say. Do that for ten years. I think that might help you "dig a little deeper." Unintentionally hilarious? You're missing my point. The guys talk on the way to the hospital, while you're fixing them up and trying to save their lives. And I repeat: not one of them ever said he did it because of what his parents said, or a homophobic pastor, or the GOP. It was always a lover, the cruelty of the community, the loss of beauty due to age. There's nothing myopic about a community taking responsibility for itself. You say I'm naive - but I'm the one with experiences that you simply don't have. Naive is saying that gay men are doing lots of drugs just because they're oppressed. Is homophobia a factor? Probably. Are there other factors, coming from within the community itself? The fact that you dismissed that possibility so completely suggests that you're not viewing the community objectively.

Kenneth M. Walsh said...

I said I AGREED with your overall sentiment. But the fact that you still think my name is "Kevin" tells me you aren't really listening to what I'm saying.

Good luck and keep up the good work. I know it's not easy.

Miche Rutledge said...

The effect of societal disapproval wreaks havoc on a subconscious level to the degree most are not aware. The suicidal men and women may not point directly to the lifetime of maltreatment that led them to the ledge, but the one event that sent them over the edge.

James Greenlee said...

Wait, wait, wait. The research was carried out at pride events? Sorry, but there's no way that's a representative sample. In my circle of (aging, coupled) friends, none of us has been to pride in a decade.

I'm always suspicious when a study reports that X% of gays do anything.

When you consider that 1) most of us have been closeted for a time, 2) some of us don't "know" we're gay for a time, 3) some of us would be leery of coming out to a surveyor, and 4) all kinds of other factors, there is no way to count us. All studies are bound to be flawed, if we don't know how many of us there are.

Eric said...

I do change up the supplements quite a bit, depending on what I feel like. Most of them have been legal....