MISERY DOES NOT WANT COMPANY
Thank you for choosing the topic of suicide – it’s so important in today’s gay world, because we’ve become so isolationist – many no longer go to gay events, clubs, pride…instead they sit around online all day hoping to find someone nice, creating fantasy names and profiles, leaving out their flaws and other qualities that would lead to a possible rejection. Unfortunately, every other gay person seems to do the same thing, nobody says anything, and thus nobody ever meets anyone. There is no motivation to get out there and see real, live gay people and get to know them. We are constantly fed images of porn models who are college athletes posing nude because that’s how financially desperate they are. In turn, gay people online now expect other gay people to look like this, then come out and see nobody like that in the gay world. They’re either devastated (and continue to isolate), or feel as if they’ve been lied to and in anger, want nothing to do with the GLBT community. The gay world is still anonymous, ‘don’t ask me my name and don’t acknowledge me in public’, so right off the bat we don’t trust each other, nor do I think gay people find each other very attractive or interesting.
What needs to be understood regarding suicide for gay people – not just youth – is this blurring of fantasy (the partners we wish we had who we see in online ads for gay entertainment) and reality (the majority of gay men who are twenty years older, aren’t athletic and often come with a lot of emotional baggage – so after meeting someone for the first time, it’s not uncommon that both men bolt in the opposite direction). We have the right to get married yet hardly any of us know how to go on a date, or know what keeps a relationship working after you’ve found someone. Marriage does not solve the fact that the majority of our relationships have a six-month lifespan, and I don’t know what can be done to change this. We live in this illusionof endless supplies of money, university degrees, high social status, very expensive materials and if that’s not you, then (in their eyes) don’t bother coming out.
This is important to stress because it takes a lot for a gay person to finally come out. Often there are years of ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ and guilt and despair – there’s this need to finally see people who have the same attractions you have. Again, what’s so shocking is the unexpected rejection, hostility and indifference we find from other gay people who can’t be bothered with someone else’s life. For me, that’s when life became very dark. Now not only do I have no support from non-gay society, but now gay society, who I’ve waited to find for years, is even worse. Unless you wear $600 sweaters, own a nice car, have an expensive condo, have a doctorate degree and are the best of the best, they have no time for you. This contradicts the ‘coming out is a statement of differences being okay, and a good thing – so good, in fact, that we celebrate those differences on gay pride day. I no longer believe this is the case. We’ve become very mean to each other. We
are just as much at fault as straight bullies when it comes to suicide. When you are gay, and it dawns on you that you’re not meeting anyone, you can’t afford to live in the affluent gay-populated metro areas, and then you’re not seeing any gay people who have an interest in friendship, you question the point of being here. If this is going to be the rest of your life, it’s easy to think that life has nothing good to offer. Sure, you can be happy alone, but you can be terribly lonely.
As humans we need companionship, we need love, we need affection. Over the past ten years it seems as if everyone’s taken to the internet and set up their ‘filters’ so they only find the best of the elite – while everyone else finds nothing and in time they give up trying. If it’s going to get better, it starts with us as gay men and gay women. There is no way we have any right asking society to accept us when we treat each other so badly.
When it comes to gay men today, I’ve discovered that misery does not want company.
– Jonathan Lund, Fort Frances, Ontario
THE COAT STATEMENT SAYS: ANIMAL CRUELTY
OutWords magazine has now published two issues in a row that have promoted the fashion statement of fur as acceptable. As someone who has worked in fashion and costume this is simply not necessary or acceptable. Curve went fur free and so can OutWords, until it does this is one queer household that isn’t interested in what you have to say.
To admonish one form of cruelty while promoting another is more than a little hypocritical.
Jo, Winnipeg, Manitoba