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Old 06-17-2013, 06:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do you the alcohol is more accepted in the gay community?

Hey everyone,
My name is Patrick, I am 2 years sober, but used to have quite the drinking problem. I worked in a gay bar actually, as a DJ at one point and looking back.....I feel like alcoholism is something that is widely accepted as the "norm" in gay culture. I remember my bar friends being drunk nightly, and it was just something everyone there seemed to do, including me. Then there were the one nigh stands, and things of that nature.

I understand plenty of str8 people get wasted too, but it seems much more prevolent in gay society, and that its just accepted as the thing to do. Why do you think this is? I sort of think it comes from some of us having lower self esteems or what not from growing up feeling different or whatever. There seems to be a lot of self abuse behaviors in gay culture, and I guess I am asking why you all think this is?

For me, this is the first time in my life (I am 32) where I feel content with myself, who I am, and what I want out of life. Lord knows it took a while to get here, but I am feeling pretty amazing. I had no idea that would come through recovery and removing alcohol from my life.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The short answer in my opinion, yes. The long answer, HELL YES! I don't know the general consesus as to why it's more acceptable, but for me, when I would go out and have a few drinks it was to lose my inhibitions. I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I could have some drinks and shed that skin and let my freak flag fly. It also was because of my self esteem. I didn't seem to care so much if someone didn't find me as attractive as I thought they should have. I'm not an alcoholic but I was definitely headed down that path, I was lucky and stopped before it got to that point. But I am married to one. Almost all our gay friends are alcoholics to one varying degree or another. They all say the same thing. It started as a way to be more comfortable in the environment of a gay bar and then spiraled out of control.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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At least for many in my generation (in my 50's) bars were our sanctuary, the only place we could be ourselves relatively safely. I know many gay people who had to hide in heterosexual marriages or deny who they were to keep a family, job, etc. But a jaunt to the local gay bar (usually in a sleezy part of town) and a couple of drinks and all was ok... for a moment. The easy access to alcohol and its lowering of inhibitions surely led to more heavy drinkers if not alcoholics in general among gay people.

Just my opinion.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrakeCKC View Post
At least for many in my generation (in my 50's) bars were our sanctuary, the only place we could be ourselves relatively safely. I know many gay people who had to hide in heterosexual marriages or deny who they were to keep a family, job, etc. But a jaunt to the local gay bar (usually in a sleezy part of town) and a couple of drinks and all was ok... for a moment. The easy access to alcohol and its lowering of inhibitions surely led to more heavy drinkers if not alcoholics in general among gay people.

Just my opinion.
I completely agree. I am nearly 50 and this was also very near my experience. I hid in a heterosexual marriage for my early 20's and even after I divorced I struggled with coming out to my family and friends. I also did not know anyone who was gay or so I thought because so many of us were still hiding in the closet. I eventually met a few people who introduced me to gay bars which were like you said usually located in a sleazy area. It seemed like alcohol went hand in hand with meeting other gay people for me.

I do see a difference in what I grew up with and the world my lesbian daughter is growing up in. She has never felt the need to hide in a closet from what I have seen, neither at home, nor school, nor work. She also seems to meet other gay people quite easily and does not attend gay bars regularly nor does she drink excessively (she is someone who can drink half a beer and walk away. I always told myself that was alcohol abuse...lol).

So yes, I do think alcohol has a history of being more prevalent in the GLBT world but as society has become more accepting of us and we are working our way out of the closet alcohol is becoming less and less of a focal point for us.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't agree that it's more prevalent in gay culture. Here's why.

I have been going to gay bars since I was 17. 47 now and yes.... Back then bars were the sanctuary. The only place to really feel safe. I have been witness to the culture of accepting drunks and drug users as a norm.

Then I lived in an area with one gay bar. One that I did not like. So I hung in straight bars. (And got more action there... Lol) for a decade I was not in many gay bars.

The patterns and behaviors of the average alcoholic are not dissimilar based on sexual orientation. It is what it is.

I saw the same feeling of self worth. The same notion that everyone drinks. Sure they do when you surround your self with drinkers. Same default reason to think less of ourselves.

So I don't think alcoholism runs deeper in gay culture. I think that thinking only serves our addictive voice.

As nandm said... We are moving out of the bar scene and now more than ever into main stream. This change is great in that it takes focus off drinking to fit in. It's wonderful to se this generation grow up so differently.

It just does not look different from bar to bar... Gay or straight.... Sadly bars look like bars. A collective of people needing something they are not getting outside that bar.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do think it is.

Beyond the fact that bars and clubs have traditionally been the social hub for the LGBT community for decades...

- Homeless youth are multiple times more likely to be LGBT.

- Persons in rehab are somewhat more likely to be LGBT.

- Drug use is more prevelant among gay & lesbian teens.

I think it does come down to the basic truth that if you grow up LGBT as a teen you're more likely to have a horrible experience within family, school, etc.; more likely to develop depression or other mental illness, and therein become more susceptable to turning to drugs and alcohol for comfort/escape.
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Old 09-30-2014, 12:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes. In some places an entire LGBT "community" revolves around the bars or dance clubs, partying, and drinking or drug use.
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