In 2014, a gay activist in England addressed the disproportionately high rate of drug abuse in LGB circles, asking, “Why is drug use higher in the gay community?” His answer: There are negative aspects to the LGB lifestyle that contribute to it. Now, in 2017, a gay writer has addressed “The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness,” asking why gay “marriage” has not cured gay loneliness (among other problems in the gay community), especially among gay men. His answer: “minority stress.”
Strikingly, the 2014 article in the UK’s Pink News did not mention “homophobia” once, while the 2017 article in the Huffington Post, amounting to nearly 7,000 words (and worth reading in full), mentioned it only twice. In other words, neither writer blamed these gay-related behavioral problems or social issues on “homophobia.” Rather, the fault lay with certain realities within the LGB community itself—to which my biblically-grounded, conservative friends would say, “But of course!”
Michael Hobbes, the author of the article on “The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness,” writes with complete candor, noting that, “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.”
But his experience, he claims, is hardly unique, noting that, “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.” And this has continued, Hobbes observed, even though “the gay community has made more progress on legal and social acceptance than any other demographic group in history.”
Yet, he laments, “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.”
Can this be blamed primarily on “homophobia”? Hardly.
Hobbes cites Christopher Stults, “a researcher at New York University who studies the differences in mental health between gay and straight men.” Stults stated that, “Marriage equality and the changes in legal status were an improvement for some gay 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.”
Could it be that, generally speaking, there’s something intrinsically unfulfilling about homosexual relationships? Could it be that, by divine intent, ultimate relational fulfillment for human beings can be found only in heterosexual marriage?