Are the Gay “Community,” Our Friends, & Lack of Personal Responsibility Causing Much of Our Pain?
A compelling cover story this week in the LA WEEKLY by Patrick Range McDonald entitled Gay Happiness, the New Frontier: Are mental and physical health problems really a reaction to bigotry? resonates strongly with questions and experiences I’ve tried to explore and express through THE SKIN I’M IN. The article tries to go beyond simply blaming cultural persecution for gay men’s problems, challenging gay men and LGBTQ organizations to explore how the (American, and increasingly globalizing) gay version of “community” with its preoccupation with surface and substance (abuse) foster a large component of the sense of alienation, illness, and self-abuse that continue in gay males.
Feeling outside of mainstream culture, young men turn to the gay community which, as currently structured around bars, design, fashion, physique, and corporate sponsorship, often leads to an equally, but more troubling sense of alienation and outsider-ness from within. Gay men are also searching for a way to explore a sense of spirituality outside of organized religions that so vocally reject them, and this can be a major challenge. Of course, a new brand of spiritualized, self-exploring gays run the risk of becoming as much a trope, commodity, and clique as its nightlife, beauty, and retail therapy counterparts…
Check out the article , and share your thoughts and experiences in the feed for this post.