On 15 May 1997, I said “Yes” to James Kim when he asked me to be his life partner.
Today he honoured me by saying “Yes” when I asked him to marry me.
Vlogger Ethan Hethcote offers some thoughts about the scars that bullying leaves on young gay people, offering a powerful personal story that may resonate with a few of you. His remarks are a reaction to an article by Michael Hobbes published by Highline on HuffPost entitled Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness, which is about that subject, but also about the pressures of rejection faced by gay men once they are "out". Notwithstanding advances in rights and legal equality, Hobbes notes, "e;the rates of depression, loneliness and substance abuse in the gay community remain stuck in the same place they’ve been for decades."
Gay people are now, depending on the study, between 2 and 10 times more likely than straight people to take their own lives. We’re twice as likely to have a major depressive episode. And just like the last epidemic we lived through, the trauma appears to be concentrated among men. In a survey of gay men who recently arrived in New York City, three-quarters suffered from anxiety or depression, abused drugs or alcohol or were having risky sex—or some combination of the three. Despite all the talk of our "chosen families," gay men have fewer close friends than straight people or gay women. In a survey of care-providers at HIV clinics, one respondent told
researchers: "It’s not a question of them not knowing how to save their lives. It’s a question of them knowing if their lives are worth saving."
Ethan has some interesting and heartfelt thoughts about his own experience:
My two Christmas requests; a little late, but it is not yet Candlemas, it is but the fourth day of Christmas: (1) May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. (2) The complete obliteration of Santa Claus and and everything to do with him.
… this is the picture that I will remember in grief for the rest of my life.