Reader Jonatan Lund-Morales responds to Why were Minnesota’s LGBTQ kids so miserable in the tolerant 2000s?
The type of misery this story is referring to missed the target. Gay (not just youth) people are treated very badly by each other.
Imagine feeling rejected, depressed and excluded, only to come out and discover a gay community that treats you even worse, and expects everyone to be young, successful, fit, attractive, have a high-paying job and post-masters' education.
Hell, even the heavily populated gay areas have been so gentrified that the only people who get to live there are rich gay men and their friends. Gay youth and adults who earn minimum wage are no longer making the trek to big cities, because those cities are mostly populated with highly-educated, affluent people. Someone making minimum wage can't even afford the deposit in some of these places.
There is a mean-spirited attitude within the gay community that is terribly judgmental and elitist. It takes nothing into account, such as the number of gay people who were bullied so badly they dropped out of high school and never graduated. When your goal is to get through high school without killing yourself, college and advanced degrees are not a priority.
There are a lot of us with PTSD so bad from school we never want to set foot in a school again. Little did we know that the bullying we endured was nothing compared to the way we have been treated by other gay people.
The one group of people we kept focusing on before coming out, the one group who would accept us and we'd find relationships and friends and feel a sense of community? Never happened. Our community is so broken and isolated from each other there's no question that the deaths from suicide and from opiate addiction have come close to the amount of people we lost to AIDS in those early years.
Unlike AIDS, our community won't talk about how many of us are now dead from suicide, and how badly this opiate crisis is affecting our community.
The fact that marriage is legal hasn't changed the lack of dating prospects or the lack of interest in even seeking relationships. We seem to be mostly stuck in eternal adolescence; no kids, no relationships, no sense of community. I think what's so tragic today is the fact that we no longer stand up for each other. It has become clear that you are on your own in the gay world.