As They Navigate A Complicated Society Many Gay Men Struggle With Loneliness and Depression

Written by Michael Hobbes


For years I’ve noticed the divergence between my straight friends and my gay friends. While one half of my social circle has disappeared into relationships, kids and suburbs, the other has struggled through isolation and anxiety, hard drugs and risky sex.


This feeling of emptiness, it turns out, is not just an American phenomenon. In the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal since 2001, gay men remain three times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder than straight men, and 10 times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.” In Sweden, which has had civil unions since 1995 and full marriage since 2009, men married to men have triple the suicide rate of men married to women.

All of these unbearable statistics lead to the same conclusion: It is still dangerously alienating to go through life as a man attracted to other men. The good news, though, is that epidemiologists and social scientists are closer than ever to understanding all the reasons why. MORE


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