Drug Use Stereotypes Among Gays

By Jared Woods

There is a lot of false information and stereotypes in place about drug use amongst the LGBTQ community. Gay people especially may face more pressure than the general population to party and do drugs as part of the scene to meet other gay people in safe places, like gay clubs and bars. However, there is a lot of misinformation about drugs and the gay community. Below are some of the common stereotypes about the LGBTQ community and drug use, and the facts behind the stereotypes.

  1. All gay people attend gar bars and abuse substances

All members of the LGBTQ community do not do drugs or have a substance abuse problem. While they are at increased risk due to having a higher rate of mental illnesses and being more likely to self-medicate due to struggles with acceptance, this does not automatically mean every LGBTQ individual will face these problems.

  1. Gays prefer club drugs like ecstasy and cocaine

Just like the general population, LGBTQ substances issues are varied, and no one drug is the most chosen by the LGBTQ community that distinguishes them from the rest of society. Alcohol is easily the most commonly abused substance by both gays and straights, possibly due to its legality, accessibility, and social acceptability. Marijuana, which is not technically a club drug, is also popular amongst both the gay and straight communities.

  1. Gays are at a higher risk of STDs because of anal sex

While research shows that gay men do have a higher likelihood of contracting an STD, this could also be due to drug use. Injectable drugs require needles and shared, or dirty needles come with the risk of infectious diseases. Anal sex is not the only reason while the STD rate is high amongst gay males.

  1. Gays use drugs to have and enjoy sex

Some drugs can enhance libido and increase energy and stamina, but others can cause impotence or make sexual activity impossible in other ways. Depending on the drug and the individual, drugs can often have more of an inhibitive effect on sexuality. However, it is true that some drugs can lower inhibitions and make risky sexual activity more likely.

  1. Gays do drugs to feel better about being gay

In a sense, this is true, but not entirely accurate. The gay community is more likely to self-medicate the pain of their struggles and rejection from society. This doesn’t mean that they do drugs to try not to be gay, or to feel better about being gay. It is more accurate to say that individuals who are self-medicating do so to numb the pain of struggles they have faced as a result of being gay. Although substances may provide a temporary escape, the issues have to deal with to honestly stop hurting for good. Talk therapy is one of the best ways to come to terms with sexuality and gender identity, as well as group meetings with other LGBTQ community members.

  1. Gays pressure each other and others to do drugs

Gay bars and clubs are often associated with rampant drug abuse. This is undoubtedly the case in some places, but just like other bars, it is not true for all or even most of them. Gay people may be drawn to bars and clubs more often to meet other gay people, but that does not mean they are abusing substances every time at every place. Many gay bars foster a sense of safety and community, including keeping drug use in check.