FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Very sad... From The Huffington Post, of all places:



Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness
By Michael Hobbes

“I used to get so excited when the meth was all gone.”


This is my friend Jeremy.

“When you have it,” he says, “you have to keep using it. When it’s gone, it’s like, ‘Oh good, I can go back to my life now.’ I would stay up all weekend and go to these sex parties and then feel like shit until Wednesday. About two years ago I switched to cocaine because I could work the next day.”

Jeremy is telling me this from a hospital bed, six stories above Seattle. He won’t tell me the exact circumstances of the overdose, only that a stranger called an ambulance and he woke up here.

Jeremy is not the friend I was expecting to have this conversation with. Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea he used anything heavier than martinis. He is trim, intelligent, gluten-free, the kind of guy who wears a work shirt no matter what day of the week it is. The first time we met, three years ago, he asked me if I knew a good place to do CrossFit. Today, when I ask him how the hospital’s been so far, the first thing he says is that there’s no Wi-Fi, he’s way behind on work emails.

“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.”
 
Jeremy[1] is not my only gay friend who’s struggling. There’s Malcolm, who barely leaves the house except for work because his anxiety is so bad. There’s Jared, whose depression and body dysmorphia have steadily shrunk his social life down to me, the gym and Internet hookups. And there was Christian, the second guy I ever kissed, who killed himself at 32, two weeks after his boyfriend broke up with him. Christian went to a party store, rented a helium tank, started inhaling it, then texted his ex and told him to come over, to make sure he’d find the body.

For years I’ve noticed the divergence between my straight friends and my gay friends. While one half of my social circle has disappeared into relationships, kids and suburbs, the other has struggled through isolation and anxiety, hard drugs and risky sex.

None of this fits the narrative I have been told, the one I have told myself. Like me, Jeremy did not grow up bullied by his peers or rejected by his family. He can’t remember ever being called a faggot. He was raised in a West Coast suburb by a lesbian mom. “She came out to me when I was 12,” he says. “And told me two sentences later that she knew I was gay. I barely knew at that point.”
 
Jeremy and I are 34. In our lifetime, the gay community has made more progress on legal and social acceptance than any other demographic group in history. As recently as my own adolescence, gay marriage was a distant aspiration, something newspapers still put in scare quotes. Now, it’s been enshrined in law by the Supreme Court. Public support for gay marriage has climbed from 27 percent in 1996 to 61 percent in 2016. In pop culture, we’ve gone from “Cruising” to “Queer Eye” to “Moonlight.” Gay characters these days are so commonplace they’re even allowed to have flaws.

Still, even as we celebrate the scale and speed of this change, the rates of depression, loneliness and substance abuse in the gay community remain stuck in the same place they’ve been for decades. Gay people are now, depending on the study, between 2 and 10 times more likely than straight people to take their own lives. We’re twice as likely to have a major depressive episode. And just like the last epidemic we lived through, the trauma appears to be concentrated among men. In a survey of gay men who recently arrived in New York City, three-quarters suffered from anxiety or depression, abused drugs or alcohol or were having risky sex—or some combination of the three. Despite all the talk of our “chosen families,” gay men have fewer close friends than straight people or gay women. In a survey of care-providers at HIV clinics, one respondent 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.”

I’m not going to pretend to be objective about any of this. I’m a perpetually single gay guy who was raised in a bright blue city by PFLAG parents. I’ve never known anyone who died of AIDS, I’ve never experienced direct discrimination and I came out of the closet into a world where marriage, a picket fence and a golden retriever were not just feasible, but expected. I’ve also been in and out of therapy more times than I’ve downloaded and deleted Grindr.

“Marriage equality and the changes in legal status were an improvement for some gay men,” says Christopher Stults, a researcher at New York University who studies the differences in mental health between gay and straight men. “But for a lot of other people, it was a letdown. Like, we have this legal status, and yet there’s still something unfulfilled.”

This feeling of emptiness, it turns out, is not just an American phenomenon. In the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal since 2001, gay men remain three times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder than straight men, and 10 times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.” In Sweden, which has had civil unions since 1995 and full marriage since 2009, men married to men have triple the suicide rate of men married to women.
 
Quote:So there's something intrinsic to homosexuality that causes suffering and pain. Any educated Catholic could've told you that. It isn't discrimination (though unjust discrimination is evil, of course) or "homophobia" that causes so many gay men to harm themselves, engage in promiscuity, get addicted to drugs and risky behaviors, commit suicide, etc.; it's part of their disorder, just as, for ex., many people with bipolar disorder can engage in those sorts of things when depressed or manic or in a "mixed state."
 
All of these unbearable statistics lead to the same conclusion: It is still dangerously alienating to go through life as a man attracted to other men. The good news, though, is that epidemiologists and social scientists are closer than ever to understanding all the reasons why.
  
Quote:Social scientists these days are postmodernist party hacks and unlikely to shed much light on the genesis of homosexuality and homosexuals' pain. And they sure as Hell aren't going to offer any solutions to help homosexuals overcome their unbearable loneliness. For that last, it's Christ Who has the answers.

To any homosexual person reading this: there IS hope. There truly is. Look to Christ! And know you have a place here to hang out and be who you are as you try to reach Him. Or allow Him to reach you...
 
Powerful!!!
(01-07-2018, 07:46 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:To any homosexual person reading this: there IS hope. There truly is. Look to Christ! And know you have a place here to hang out and be who you are as you try to reach Him. Or allow Him to reach you...
 

I think a lot of people are sick of hoping for an answer to the loneliness and not finding any, with Christ or without him.  I know I am.  It's exhausting to continually reach out to Christ and feel like no one is on the other end.  A lot of people won't wait for him to reach out to them when they think, deep down, that they're already abandoned anyway.
(01-07-2018, 08:52 PM)Melkite Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-07-2018, 07:46 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:To any homosexual person reading this: there IS hope. There truly is. Look to Christ! And know you have a place here to hang out and be who you are as you try to reach Him. Or allow Him to reach you...
 

I think a lot of people are sick of hoping for an answer to the loneliness and not finding any, with Christ or without him.  I know I am.  It's exhausting to continually reach out to Christ and feel like no one is on the other end.  A lot of people won't wait for him to reach out to them when they think, deep down, that they're already abandoned anyway.

It may sound very superficial Melkite, but I know my loneliness and isolation cannot match what someone who is attracted to the same sex must suffer, but the only safe harbour is in the passion of our lord.  Gods plan is perfect Melkite, and it may not manifest itself in an obvious or in a desirable manner, but if you see and accept the will of god in all things - be it good or bad, gods graces will get you to the finish line.
(01-07-2018, 08:52 PM)Melkite Wrote: [ -> ]
(01-07-2018, 07:46 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:To any homosexual person reading this: there IS hope. There truly is. Look to Christ! And know you have a place here to hang out and be who you are as you try to reach Him. Or allow Him to reach you...
 

I think a lot of people are sick of hoping for an answer to the loneliness and not finding any, with Christ or without him.  I know I am.  It's exhausting to continually reach out to Christ and feel like no one is on the other end.  A lot of people won't wait for him to reach out to them when they think, deep down, that they're already abandoned anyway.

Praying for you, Melkite!   :heart: :awww:

I just want to add that heterosexual marriage can also be one of the loneliest places of all.  I know I experienced that and I have many friends who feel the same way.  It's especially a let down when that happens because you had such high hopes.

But every day, week, life has good and bad.  The bad is unavoidable but the good is always there too!
For many years I tried to fill the the hole of loneliness with alcohol. My use of alcohol caused me to abandon my morals. I don't blame alcohol. I blame my inability to deal with life. I used to blame everyone but myself. I needed to look in the mirror.
Married, in the military, surrounded by people. Nothing filled the hole until I came back to the Catholic Church. The hard cold facts about my grave sins turned me around. If it wasn't for the truth and the truth is hard and it hurts, I would still be lost in my sin. This is why we must speak the truth and not sugar coat it. Speaking the truth is not judging.
I also learned my feelings don't matter when it comes to matters of the truth.
The suicide rates for gay youths are especially horrifying.

Hard questions and hard sayings are about all we have to work with right now.