Jun 22, 2005

"Some of our problems are self-inflicted, but..." [LINK]

From an article by Patrick Moore in the Village Voice that concerns an epidemic of crystal methamphetamine use among gays:

Some of our problems are self-inflicted but others are a direct result of America oppressing, demonizing, and isolating gay people. The very serious effects of oppression on gay people have been long apparent — those of us living on the West Coast know that crystal meth has been steadily killing gay men for years. Historically, gay people have had significantly higher addiction rates than those found in the straight world. In short, too many of us have been torching our lives for decades now with coke, Special K, GHB, poppers, and even good old alcohol. But the real story is not told in the media, because that would require straight people to take responsibility for the harm they have caused us.
UPDATE: In case that link seems tenuous, here to spell it out for you is Michael Specter, author of an article on crystal meth in The New Yorker. According to Specter, "over the past several years, nearly every indicator of risky sexual activity has risen in the gay community," a trend that can be traced to widespread use of crystal meth and casual Internet hook-ups. The following is from an accompanying on-line interview conducted by Daniel Cappello:
DANIEL CAPPELLO: You report on some people who point to other problems that may be contributing to the rise of H.I.V. among gays, such as sustained anti-gay attitudes in the country, and feelings of guilt among H.I.V.-negative gays who have to “closet” their negative status. Are these contributing to the problem?

MICHAEL SPECTER: Absolutely. One of the clear problems with crystal is that people take it to feel better. And gay people in this country have had a horrible time of it lately. The Bush Administration is openly anti-gay, and in November millions of Americans voted to deny gay men and lesbians the right to live legally as married couples. There is no way that can’t contribute to a sense of despair.

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