Because while the first round of damage happens before we come out of the closet, the second, and maybe more severe, comes afterward. These restrictions make it so much harder for kids to cope with their minority stress. All of us were deeply confused or lying to ourselves for a good chunk of our adolescence.
The campaign to make us suffer worked. By , that was up to 70 percent. But it was really horrifying. Simply pointing out these patterns yielded huge results: Our distance from the mainstream may be the source of some of what ails us, but it is also the source of our wit, our resilience, our empathy, our superior talents for dressing and dancing and karaoke. They ask a teacher for help and get shrugged off, so they stop looking for safe adults altogether. And just like the last epidemic we lived through, the trauma appears to be concentrated among men. None of this fits the narrative I have been told, the one I have told myself. If he went into art and still got bullied, could he tell his parents about it? It was either that or watch a movie by myself. A cluster of health problems, none of which can be fixed on their own. I barely knew at that point. Several studies have found that living in gay neighborhoods predicts higher rates of risky sex and meth use and less time spent on other community activities like volunteering or playing sports. Feminine gay men are at higher risk of suicide, loneliness and mental illness. One of his kids, for example, was under pressure from his parents to major in art rather than finance. Maybe you end up with a friend out of it, or at least something that becomes a positive social experience. Once, at a water park, one of my middle-school friends caught me staring at him as we waited for a slide. But he never brought it up. If he gave up on finance, was that surrendering to stigma? We replay our social failures on a loop. At least 70 percent of gay men now use hookup apps like Grindr and Scruff to meet each other. These restrictions make it so much harder for kids to cope with their minority stress. A study published in found that rates of anxiety and depression were higher in men who had recently come out than in men who were still closeted. The first time we met, three years ago, he asked me if I knew a good place to do CrossFit. Did they tell anyone else I said it that way?
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