I’ve been getting more and more frustrated with certain aspects of the gay community. In fact, it’s now reached a point beyond frustration and peaked at outrage and it all culminated with my friend. I have never in my life looked at someone and said “We have to part ways because I disagree with you” ‚Äî until now.
I’ve known my friend for a few years now, and like any relationship, as time goes on, you see patterns and behaviors. You learn to read your friends. You learn how to tell when they’re sincere, overreacting, sharing a deep and honest moment, and when they’re bullshitting you. I’ve turned a blind eye to some things. In part, because I didn’t understand them. And, in part, because I didn’t really care. That’s where I went wrong. I lacked the conviction to define my stance and hold myself to my own personal standards.
Now, let me say for the record, I do not approve of drug usage. I don’t use drugs and I’m not invested in a friendship with those who use. It is exactly because my friend uses drugs that I have chosen to part ways. Is that harsh? Too bad. I don’t owe you or anyone else anything. I already heard every justification from everyone else in the community. Am I taking a moral position on drugs? Yes I am. There’s no equivocating that point. I am frustrated that I am constantly pressed to engage in dialog, to seek understanding, and overlook these “indiscretions”. After all, no one is perfect, right? Spare me. This isn’t like any other “indiscretion”.
My former friend has accused me of “fighting demons” and that I’ve used him as an excuse or bully pulpit to expound the ravings of my lost soul against. To that I say now, as I said before, to all those who share a similar philosophy: FUCK YOU. I am more clear about who I am, what I am about, where my convictions lay, and what kind of legacy I will leave to those who follow me. By mere association with this “friend”, I have had to answer to situations that I should never have to. It’s not my drug usage, it’s his. A person is known by the company they keep, so I am choosing to change several people in my life for good reason. However, to continue to define myself, I must also hold myself accountable to my principles. As a leader in the community, I am hopefully inspirational and set a role for others to follow. That said, this is where KidRacer-X draws the line in the sand. For some, you’ll be offended. That’s your baggage.
As I explained to my former friend, do I walk away from those who use drugs? Yes, I do. It’s a time bomb waiting to explode. And know this, I won’t be there to help pick up the pieces. This isn’t a simple matter of helping a friend with a flat tire. We’re way beyond any reasonable level of “acceptance” and “understanding”. My friend stated to me that I should “embrace the sinner without embracing the sin.” I agree with him to a point. I will help a friend who falls. Everyone makes mistakes and falls into bad patterns. I will not, however, stand by or take part of a friend’s pattern that repeats endlessly. As an analogy, there’s a big difference between helping someone who falls once and being dumb enough to hang around a stumbling drunkard for a lifetime. Embrace the sinner without embracing the sin? I guess that perverted notion gives license to do anything.
There are those out there who explain to me that they only use drugs on special occasions, and that it’s not an addictive habit. I’m not here to debate whether it’s addictive. And I’m not here to debate the short-term or long-term physiological affects of drugs on the body, either. Believe me, I have my views on all of this, but it’s irrelevant in this article. Whether you use frequently or infrequently, you still use. I’m reminded of my ex-boyfriend who was an alcoholic. Did he drink every night? No. But when he did, he disappeared on me for days on end. It impacted his job, our relationship, his self-respect, his pride, and kept him in spiral downwards that ultimately led to a bitter end. I still love him and think of him often, wondering if he was able to find a better life for himself somewhere. I hope so. I wish that for him and everyone.
Do you have your drug usage under control? Maybe. I’m not here to debate whether it’s you or the drugs that are in control. What do people need to see the bigger picture? This, sadly is the issue I have with my friend. There were several areas of our relationship in question that I hoped would be resolved, but he gravitated to this topic. He won’t let this one go. He won’t engage in other topics. I had several issues with my boyfriend that I hoped to work through, but every time I mentioned alcohol, he seemed to gravitate solely to that topic. Why is that? Is there a sense of shame? Is there a sense of trying to justify illegal behavior? Is it so socially unacceptable that users must try to defend their character? Why is it so important that I think highly of you? Who are you trying to convince? Me? Yourself?
Let me be very clear : I don’t hate or despise users. You are on your own journey through life. Hell, I’ll even admit that your quality of life may far exceed mine. But you have to understand that this is where I stand. Like it or hate it, I will not budge. I’m here to say “no on drugs”. I’m not saying who has a “problem” and who doesn’t. I’m not making character assessments. My former friend is an awesome guy, but I can’t be in that circle anymore. I’m not saying users are evil. Perhaps that’s the whole crux of it. Drugs don’t discriminate. Perhaps it’s best to say drugs are evil and not your friend. That’s the whole perverted nature of it. Decent people are falling into this abyss. Maybe that’s part of my frustration. When I look at my friends, it would mean more to me to see them as they are, rather than through the dirty colors of the affects of drugs.
Drugs pose a serious risk to the user and everyone around them. That’s a really simple statement, but the power of it is beyond comprehension. Drugs are illegal. They create dependency. They alter senses and impair judgment. So, what if you only use one or twice? What’s the harm? I’ll tell you. I often imagine someone sitting defensively in front of Doctor Phil and touting “But he only beats me on the weekends!”
It needs to be said that drug users want their fix without regard to consequences; expected or unexpected. There is no planning to expect the unexpected. At the very week I parted ways with my friend, my point was illustrated. My friend was back east, on vacation, away from home, friends, and resources, and he left the bar drunk and got into a car accident. What was unique here is that it wasn’t his fault. Another drunk hit him. Remember those old high school driver’s education films where the drunk kids get into the car? You think for sure they’re gonna crash, but irony steps in and some other drunk kills them. Ahhhhh, my point is illustrated. The police came to the scene and arrested my friend. He spent a night or two in jail for being caught DUI. MY POINT: YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS IN CONTROL.
Now, what if on this night he had his pipe in the car. Maybe a little bag of drugs; meth, weed, pills, whatever. And what if I had been in the car with him? As I said to him, can you not see the potential risk I am put at because of your drug usage? What about your roommate? You live in an apartment. As many of us know by living in apartments, we are occasionally”surprised” when management has to enter your dwelling when your gone. Maybe the tenant above you has a water leak. Maybe there’s a fire downstairs. Maybe an appliance kicked on when the power returned after some accident down the street and there was noise complaints from the neighbors. Maybe there was a noise complaint, but they had the wrong apartment. Maybe you put your pipe and drugs in a backpack to keep it concealed, but one night a friend comes over and you lend him the pack without thinking. Maybe you leave the bar and have your friend drive you home, but you take your stuff out of your pockets and put it in his glove box. Shit happens. You know it. Those of you who use can certainly recall some close calls, I’m sure. Can you not see the warning signs?
Are you guys catching my drift? Drug usage creates risks. So, yes, I am being selfish and saying FUCK YOU and keep you and your punk-drug-ass away from me. I am further appalled at my friend’s lack of understanding about my position. After failing to win me over to the dark side with his personal and eloquent verbal masturbation, he switched the whole defense to another area; accusing the society’s beginning failure with the Reagan administration’s “Just Say No” campaign as a weak and total failure. Really? It’s their fault? Who are you blaming? Did Nancy Reagan put a needle in your hand? No. You were weak and said “yes”. Was it that really hot fucking guy who gave you your first slam of Tina that hooked you? No. It was you when you were weak and said “yes”. Maybe it started with experimentation, just wanting to know one time what it was like. But then, did you stop? No. You were weak and kept saying “yes”.
You want to know how I have stayed drug free? Just say “no!”
It really does work. I haven’t been arrested. I haven’t lost my job. I haven’t been pinged on a drug test. I haven’t had my vehicle impounded. I haven’t accidentally gotten an innocent friend in trouble because of my habit. I’m not facing thousands of dollars in legal fees. I didn’t get led down some path of drama when my seller needed help with something before selling it to me. My circle of friends doesn’t include those who have freak-outs on a work night. I’m not paranoid. I’m not running through manic highs and lows. I’m not coming down off Tina at 4am with a nasty bout of ugliness around me. My friends don’t have to deal with my strung out behavior.
You want to know how I have stayed drug free? Just say “no!”
Don’t like my argument against drugs? Then make your drug deal in the middle of a crowded mall in plain sight. Do it within 100 yards of school yard. Make your purchase on the steps of the local police department. Why are you guys always sneaking off to the bathroom stall or passing it back in forth with slight of hand like some bad-ass-gangsta you wanna be? Stand on top the bar counter and shout out to the bar patrons you’re looking for a supplier. You want a fix at the next warehouse party? Do it right there on the dance floor, needle and all! Better yet, why don’t you put a sign on the back of your car? You know gawd-damned well why you won’t do it.
You want to know how I have stayed drug free? Just say “no!”
So why don’t I talk about the physiological affects of drugs? It’s useless. Well, it’s useless to a point. My experience so far is that users reject being preached to. I can’t save those of you are aren’t committed to your health and happiness. I can’t be more invested in you than you are yourself. You already know how it affects your body. You’ve already heard your friends and former friends tell you the stories, your drama, what you’re like when you’re coming down. You already know about the health risks, the needle stories, the chemical reactions, meth mites (sores that develop due to toxic levels), addiction levels after first usage, etc. Like I said, you don’t want to hear that, do you?
I understand and empathize with certain reasons why drugs are so prevalent in our community. Hell, I even understand those who say “I just want to try it once to see what it’s like.” But the sad fact is that many of us, our friends, and those I’ve never met yet are struggling to find themselves as gay men. In truth, I think this struggle begins with the wrong questions one first poses to himself.
Don’t ask how to be a gay man.
Ask how to be a man and the rest will follow.
You want to know how I have stayed drug free?
Just say no!
Help is out there. You have to want it and put forth the effort. If you can take the time to call someone for your fix, you can take the time to call for help. There is no shame. You’ll have my respect and support. More importantly, you’ll get control of your life again. Every community has different resources available, so seeking help requires a bit of research on your part.
Realizing that gay men use drugs for a heightened sexual experience, many guys may feel that addressing their addiction means coming out to a straight doctor or therapist. The gay community has fantastic resources for gay men, offering places of support and understanding from many gay men who have dealt with their addictions as well.
I urge you to do some internet searching using keywords such as: gay, drugs, recovery, help. Use your hometown or state in part of your search. Many sources of help operate through state funding or corporate donations, making your recovery a reality.