Strike the pose...
Because it adds drama?
Someone mentioned to me that I could be trying to cause 'moral panic' in the way I speak about the behavior of gay people. As if I even made any mention about the evils of smoking tobacco.
The myth of the healthy gay lifestyle* ...
I came across this very funny article from Slate this morning:
Why Do So Many Gay People Smoke?*
The author seems to believe it is internalized homophobia, specifically self-loathing:
If anyone has a reason to smoke, gay people do. Gays have higher rates of PTSD,depression, and anxiety—all of which lead to the urge for a cigarette. And a tragically high number of gay people are told that they are diseased, aberrant, intrinsically disordered throughout their youths, fostering a self-loathing that can lead, if not to suicide, than to nearly suicidal activities.
"... will gay teens feel less tempted to exorcise their agony with risky behavior like smoking. But until gay people are truly welcomed in all facets of society, gay kids will keep turning to those vices that, in the midst of such overwhelming bleakness, provide a fleeting (and ruinous) moment of relief."All Americans know that cigarettes kill you, LGBTQ people included—and in a sense, that’s part of the problem. We can wave CDC morbidity studies around all day, but a gay person struggling with self-loathing won’t particularly care. In fact, in a perverse way, the hazard is the draw for gay kids who see no reason to continue living. Merely reminding the LGBTQ community that smoking is awful will do nothing to curb it. The root of the problem—self-loathing cultivated by years of being told you’re a disordered monster—goes too deep to be resolved by scolding PSAs, tempting as that quick fix might seem.Instead, the solution to the LGBTQ smoking crisis is, essentially, to do nothing—nothing more, that is, than we’re already doing to promote gay rights across the country. Every time a states’ citizens give the thumbs-up to gay marriage, every time a federal judge grants basic equality to gay people, a new generation of LGBTQ youth becomes a little less prone to self-hatred and self-destruction. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s insistence that gay people deserve equal dignity probably did more to curb smoking among gay youth than any anti-smoking ad ever could. As gay people become more accepted in mainstream life, so, too, will gay teens feel less tempted to exorcise their agony with risky behavior like smoking. But until gay people are truly welcomed in all facets of society, gay kids will keep turning to those vices that, in the midst of such overwhelming bleakness, provide a fleeting (and ruinous) moment of relief. - Source
That is completely nuts.
*I'm not sure why people bother with these stories intended to point out unhealthy aspects of the gay lifestyle. Health cautions or concerns have little effect upon young people in general. Gay or straight.
Song for this post here.