Still so far to go...

As a community, we’ve faced some immense challenges. Some, across our world, are still facing untold tragedies and discrimination. Sometimes, however, the worst issues can come from within.

So when Reddit user dprince1988 asked “What gay social problems do you see which aren’t talked about enough”, the AskGayMen community did some soul searching and came up with a list.

Here are some of the issues it raised.

Suicide Rate

The LGBT+ community has one the highest suicide rates of any minority demographic.

The Trevor Project details how suicide is one of the biggest killers of young people, and that Lesbian, Gay and Bi youth are three times more likely to contemplate suicide over their heterosexual counterparts.

One commentator added, “I should submit a picture of my arm. So many cuts that I can’t even differentiate between normal and scar tissue. When meeting new people I have to wear long sleeves or else they freak out”.

Sober spaces

The lack of sober social spaces was also raised. However, there are services such as meetup.com which are helping to facilitate social situations that don’t centre around drinking.

Loneliness and isolation

At the moment, thanks to COVID-19 many people are facing isolation, but for many in the LGBT+ community, loneliness is a real issue outside of lockdown.

Rural Isolation

Outside of large cities and towns can be a real issue for LGBT+ people. Sometimes hook up apps and chat rooms are a vital lifeline for LGBT+ people who don’t have a local scene.

Domestic Violence

In a recent article for THEGAYUK.com legal expert, PAULA RHONE-ADRIEN shared, “…sadly, in such a small minority of just 1.1 million, at least 1 in 4 victims of domestic abuse are lesbian and nearly 1 in 2 victims are gay. The figure rises to nearly 80% if you identify as transexual”.

Bottom shaming

On bottom shaming one user-added, “Bottom shaming is internalized homophobia and societal view of women (the feminine) being less-than.”

Lack of LGBT sex education

As schools don’t tend to offer gay sex education there is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding STIs, the purpose of PrEP and consent.

Ageism

One user added, “Gay men are notorious for being disgusted and belittling older guys… even older guys do it to each-other… there’s an old cliche called the “gay death” which means once you turn 30 you’re ugly, old, and undesirable.”

Ableism

One user added, “Pretty tragic given how much more likely queer populations are to suffer psychological or physical ailments.”

Drugs and Chemsex

PNP and HnH orgies are becoming more and more commonplace and normalised on dating apps.

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Racism

User HereForHope wrote, “This 100%. Racial dynamics are never talked about introspectively. Be that homophobia in communities of color to the fact that it’s apparently totally fine to have racist shit like “no blacks no rice” in your dating profile”

Erasing the T

User Atlask wrote, “I don’t know if it fits what you are looking for but that whole lgb movement who focuses mostly on erasing the trans…”

Aesthetics

Not conforming to a few very specific aesthetics” Another used also noted that eating disorders were rife in the community, saying, “

I know so many gay men with eating disorders. They either are or have been out-and-our anorexic/bulimic, exercise bulimic, or take hard drugs to stop themselves from eating.

“Others are on steroids to build up muscle.

“And they’re all still unhappy, even the ones that have great bodies”.

Friendships without sex

Gay friends without sexual interest

Bi-erasure

Bi Erasure is a form of erasure directed towards the bisexual community It can take many forms including when society sidelines bisexual stories for gay or lesbian stories.

Bi Erasure is also the ignoring or rewriting of LGBT+ history where bisexual people of note are effectively erased from the LGBT+ movement.

Hookup culture

Which could lead to invalidating other communities such as asexuals.

Political Persuasions

What happens when you’re not a democrat? One user suggested, “Gays assumed to be liberals/democrats. I know a lot of conservative/ republican gays and they always get the “but you’re gay!” attitude and called Uncle Toms. Really I think this is the biggest prejudice against gays now in the US. Gays are capable of free thought, not mindless hive mentality”

Use the comments below to let us know your thoughts.