3% of gay men and 5% of bisexual men had actually taken steps to take their own life in the previous year.What if we look at just the young men? 10% of gay and bisexual men aged between 16 and 19 actually took steps to take their own life in the last year. 1 in 10. If you go to a gay bar with lots of young gay men, look over into one corner - proportionally - all the gay men in that corner took action to kill themselves last year. If that doesn't shock you, there's something wrong. We could spend hours debating the real reason for this: coming out early, coming out late, permissive society, disapproving society, too many rules, not enough rules, too much drugs/alcohol, not enough, too much internet use, not enough, freedom to be gay, not enough freedom to be gay, too many gay role models, not enough, too selfish, too selfless, being able to marry, not being able to marry, too much coddling, too little, too much religion, not enough. I hope that clears things up. Certainly, I've heard arguments for all the above. We could ask those young men what's wrong but most people aren't good at giving you reasons when they're an emotional mess. Frankly, it could be your phone running out of charge that can push a vulnerable person over the edge. Here's what I think. Think about the changes that most of these men are going through in their teenage/early adult years (most of which only apply to young gay men):
- they are coming out (to mixed reviews!)
- they are going through the difficult years that follow from puberty
- they will likely have their most emotionally charged relationships and break-ups in this period
- they are becoming independent and usually separated from their usual unconditional emotional support
- they are more likely to have moved from home (young gay men move to the cities, actually they run...)
- they are experiencing drugs and alcohol for the first time.
- HIV infection, or constant fear of infection
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