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Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Serious Topic for All My Younger (and older) Gay Friends

Guys, most of the time you'll see me spout off here in my best imitation of David Sedares. I try to be witty and sarcastic even when I am wanting to get a serious point across. But this next topic is one that can stand no bullshit, so I am going to be direct. I hope many of you read this and take it to heart.

In the past year, I have seen two of my friends, under the age of thirty, die because of their involvement with drugs. I know that the gay life is often synonymous with the party life, and no one likes to stay out all night having a good time more than I do. But let's sit down together here and take long look at why so many in our community see the need to escape into a world of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and other illicit substances. Hey, it's bad enough that we drink ourselves silly every other night on Cedar Springs isn't it?

I know it's cool to party. But the consequences of drug use are substantial. They include excessive wear and tear on your heart, a wasting of your facial muscles which makes a 29 year old look 50, permanent brain damage, the possibility of getting yourself or someone else killed in a car accident, or, in the worse case, landing in a copper box before you're thirty. Drug use lowers our inhibitions and it dulls our common sense. Far too many of my gay brothers (and some sisters) are fighting HIV infections because they made stupid choices while under the influence of drugs.

In addition, you risk jail time, an end to your career and the loss of your friends and family.

Let me say here that I am the most liberal person in the world when it comes to altering your state of being. I do not believe that mind altering substances should be illegal, and I believe that our government, with its medieval political mindset is fighting a losing and costly battle in its so-called war on drugs. Having said that, I also believe that it is our individual responsibility to look after our own well being and the best interests of all of us in our community. The excessive and careless use of substances which have no oversight as to their content, safety or dosage is irresponsible behavior, period. It is a risk that could cost you your life.

Our gay community is full to the brim with brilliant, talented, beautiful and gifted men and women. We have so much to offer a world that needs change and good leadership and direction more than it ever has before. We need each and every mind and body to help us win our fair rights as citizens,We need every talented person to continue to create the world's most beautiful art, music, design and architecture. We need the scientific and medical genius that runs like a river through our community. How can we possibly know what we've missed when a life is cut short at twenty-three because of a bad choice with drugs? We will never know what potential might have lain ahead. We will never know, because those people are gone, forever.

Please take a moment to think about what I have had to say here. Think twice before you do that bump or decide to spend the night rolling in the bars. Think about who you are and what you have to give. Think about how much better we all can be if your talent, your gift, your genius is allowed to mature into its full fruition. Think twice before you succumb to unfettered hedonism. Your worth lies in your potential, please don't kill it before it blossoms.

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