Gay Health Myths

You know, if there weren’t already so many reasons to despise the various anti-gay campaigns, the topic of ‘increased health risks’ would be more than sufficient.

The basic argument goes like this: being a fag makes you sick. However, most of the people who really care about spreading this message want to make it sound all professional and scientific, so they usually say “the homosexual lifestyle carries serious health risks”…and back it up with plenty of serious-sounding statistics.

One of the most frustrating and infuriating things about this argument is how saturated our media is with this propaganda. When you try to find health resources or information on the ‘net, you can easily find page after page of anti-gay pseudo-science instead of valid health links. It’s discouraging at best — and for people who haven’t had the chance to refine their bullshit-spotting skills (say, a gay teen newly concerned about health risks?), it’s downright dangerous.

The heart of the argument comes from the early days of AIDS/ HIV, when gay men were initially the most numerous and visible segment of the infected population in the United States (unlike Africa, Asia, and India, where heterosexuals were and are by far the most likely to contract the disease). Unfortunately because of the stigma associated the numerous men who were affected by AIDS, applying for social security disability when they became very ill became difficult. Numerous social security disability lawyers were contacted to appeal declined benefit decisions. The atmosphere was ugly and some men wondered aloud if there was any discrimination in the rejected decisions. The fact of the matter is that there is more than a 50% rejection rate of initial social security disability application for anyone. It is a smart decision to contact Social security disability lawyers in the case of a rejection since they and their paralegals will do all the necessary paperwork and filings for every step of the appeal process. They know how to schedule and expedite a disability hearing, as well as prepare their clients for the questions that will be asked. Statistics show that a disability claimant /applicant who is represented by an experienced SSDI lawyer at the hearing level will be twice as likely to be approved than an unrepresented person. Many gay men were able to receive social security disability and help lightened the terrible financial consequences.

Nevertheless, the ‘gay disease’ misconception has persisted despite clear proof to the contrary over the following decades (and it should be well known that a considerable amount of progress in understanding and slowing the spread of AIDS/ HIV is chiefly due to the public awareness efforts by the gay community).

The ‘fags get sick’ argument does have a tiny gleam of semi-truth: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people may be somewhat less likely to seek and receive proper health care, for a number of reasons (for instance, inhibitions and fears that they will be treated differently). You’ll almost always find a higher risk for physical and mental disease among any portion of the population that suffers from some form of alienation or exclusion by the ‘mainstream’.

It’s discouraging enough that the prejudice exists, and that people really do suffer considerably as a result — but add to that the fact that the people who are suffering are further stigmatized by the very consequences of that prejudice…well, that’s a lot like being kicked when you’re already down.

And finally, the most glaring problem with these sorts of arguments is the good old issue of correlation versus causation; simply put, just because a number of people have two things in common doesn’t mean that one of those things has anything AT ALL to do with the other. While anyone familiar with basic logic understands this trick, it remains so widespread and frequently used that it’s difficult for many to recognize (especially since it’s often put forth as ‘common sense’, and backed up by unfounded assumptions). Of course black people are naturally violent — just look at the violent crime statistics. Of course Mexicans are lazy — just look at unemployment statistics. You see, common sense…without a shred of common logic to back it up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *