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My Gay Toronto - MGT Hot Topic

Why are so many young gay men on drugs?

BY SKY GILBERT

16 October 2017.


Okay so I know that lots of young men - of all kinds - have been doing drugs for a long time; nothing new there. But it seems to me that there is a crystal meth epidemic among young gay men.

I know this because -.now that I'm an old guy - young guys are always asking me to buy TINA for them.

It makes sense to me though, to be on drugs, if you are a young and gay. Because I can't imagine what it would be like to be a young gay man right now.

It seems to me that since bars and baths and parks and toilets and 'gay men's groups' are over for gay men, there's only two things left: online 'dating' apps and, well, gay marriage. (Of course I know that some young gay men do go to bars and bathhouses, but these places are generally thought of as being 'over.')

Because if all we have is online sex and marriage what kind of future is that?

I know that SCRUFF and SURGE can be fun but it sure is tough to live up to the expectations of online dating apps: most people looking for sex/love or 'friends' online, don't like fats or fems.

Can I be frank here? Most of us are just a little bit fat and a little bit fem. Not if you're Arnold Schwarzenegger. Or Captain America. But the rest of us; the ordinary guys, well, we're all a little pudgy here and there, and yes now and then our wrists go limp and we just wanna be petulant. 

Of course if the pressure of living up to the porn star ab standard and the Sly Stallone masculinity standard doesn't send you to crystal meth, then the pressure to get married will. We, as men (gay or straight) are socialized to capitalize on what our testosterone tries to tell us: that we must compete, and fight, and conquer and win. Unlike women, we are not socialized to be loving and caring; we are socialized to achieve. Good luck having a gay monogamous marriage! Monogamous marriage doesn't work for most straights; I can't see why it would work for gay men.

I certainly don't long for the good old days. But back before AIDS there were not only gay bars but people were beginning to think that maybe there might be other gay social gathering places, and there was a sense of the possibility of meeting new people in a gay community that actually existed, in the real world. Gay coupling didn't mean monogamy; and being a bit femmy was still part of being gay.

I know we've got the new Will and Grace and RuPaul's Drag Grace to remind us of the old days - the days when everyone gay didn't have to be perfectly masculine, built and/or perfectly married. But are those two shows enough to make us happy, healthy gay men? 

Sky Gilbert is a Canadian writer, actor, academic and drag performer. https://skygilbert.blogspot.ca/

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