Monday, August 2, 2010
“All The Lonely People, Where Do They All Come from”?
I worry about the health of the Gay community. There seems to be a lot of lonely Gay men out there. Having a Psych background of sorts, I know that chronic loneliness can take its toll on both physical and emotional health.
I think sometimes loneliness is a symptom of discrimination. Discrimination can be isolating for a Gay man. Whether you live in a big city or a rural area, discrimination can instill us with fear, a fear that prohibits us from being ourselves. When we can’t be ourselves, we must always hold an important part of ourselves in reserve, locked away and hidden. If this is how we go through life we have built ourselves a prison where we are the sole prisoner. We never let people in. We hide who we are from family, friends, and potential same sex lovers. Even though there are thousands of us sharing similar cells, we can not find camaraderie here either, as it would mean revealing ourselves with all the risks involved. Risks that are so worth taking but risks whose fear has been beaten into us making it almost unthinkable for some to utter the words, “I am Gay”.
Loneliness can also be caused by discrimination within the Gay community. There is plenty of that to go around. Whether it is age discrimination, body type or maybe because a Gay man is too feminine of too butch, he might find himself not welcome in certain circles of Gay men. Some get ignored because they just don’t seem Gay enough, choosing to shop at Wal-Mart instead of the current overpriced trendy store. Some are rejected because they have a faith in God and go to church. After all how can you be Gay and love God. Doesn’t God hate the Gays?
Sometimes loneliness comes from choices we make ourselves as Gay men. We always seem to be waiting for that hotter guy to come along. Perhaps we erroneously think we would have to give up the club scene if we settle down with one person. Maybe our alcohol and or drug abuse has made us undesirable to our Gay peers. Friendships based on chemicals are not very deep, are they? Perhaps it’s the lack of respect we have for ourselves because of the lies we believe about who we are that promotes our own loneliness. Confidence and self respect are attractive and the absence of them is not. Maybe it’s our constant striving to fit Gay relationships into the molds that heterosexuals use, that leads to our loneliness. Why do some Gay people think that heterosexual life styles are the Gold standard for our relationships and friendships?
Gay people are intrinsically different from heterosexual people. It’s not just about who we are attracted to or whom we fall in love with. It’s the way we experience the world and allow the world to experience us. Trying to fit our friendships and loves into heterosexual ideals is the cliché of putting a square peg into a round hole. Holding onto that notion may be what leads to all this loneliness. Not all Gay men need to marry; we just want the right to. Some of us will form families through our friendships. Some or us will be in monogamous relationships and some not. It’s when we feel bad about our desires, and how they differ from society’s Gold standard that` we fall under the false notion that we are inferior and perhaps not worthy of happiness and fulfilling relationships.
Here in lies the urgency of putting an end to discrimination and to those who tell us what we need to be before we are fully accepted. Each minute that passes without equality, damages us as a people. Each minute that passes where we believe a lie about who we need to be so as to palatable to society, damages us as unique human being in this world. Each time one of us is prevented from, or chooses not to be who our heart tells us we are, the fabric of society frays a little more, because Gay people are vital to its strength and survival. One might argue that human beings as a race will never live up to their full potential as long as society oppresses any one group of us. Our hate stunts our growth.