HuffPost Highline: The epidemic of gay lonelinessEntertainment News, Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Saturday, March 4th, 2017
From the outside, the gay community has made more progress on legal and social acceptance over the last 20 years than any other demographic group in history. On the other hand, the rates of depression, loneliness and substance abuse among gay people remain stuck in the same place they’ve been for decades. In the latest edition of HuffPost Highline, Michael Hobbes explores why that is, and the state of gay men right now.
Hobbes brought to light important facts about the gay community. Perhaps most startlingly, gay people are now, as always, between 2 and 10 times more likely than straight people to commit suicide. For ethnic and religious minorities, living in a community with others like them is linked to lower rates of anxiety and depression. For gay men, it’s the opposite. A survey of 740 gay men in New York City found that the ones who lived in gay neighborhoods and had predominantly gay friends were more likely to use drugs, had higher rates of risky sex, meth use and had worse relationships with their partners.
“The drugs were a combination of boredom and loneliness,” he says. “I used to come home from work exhausted on a Friday night and it’s like, ‘Now what?’ So I would dial out to get some meth delivered and check the Internet to see if there were any parties happening. It was either that or watch a movie by myself.”
In one qualitative study of HIV providers, a nurse at a gay men’s clinic in D.C. told researchers: “It’s not a question of them not knowing how to save their lives. It’s a question of them knowing if their lives are worth saving.”
Read Hobbes full Highline piece here to learn the reality of what it’s like to be gay in 2017.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=77984