I’m at a loss

I’m at a complete loss as I try to fathom why people do this. From this week’s issue of Newsweek:
“It’s Saturday evening in Manhattan, and three dozen men are crammed into a one-bedroom suite in an upscale hotel across from Ground Zero. After shelling out $20.00 apiece to the man who organized tonight’s event over the Internet, the guests place their clothes in Hefty bags for safekeeping and get down to business and pleasure. A muscular man in his mid-30’s sits naked on the sofa and inhales a ‘bump’ of crystal methamphetamine. Within minutes, he’s lying on the floor having unprotected sex with the host of tonight’s sex party, whose sunken cheeks, swollen neck glands, and distended belly betray the HIV infection he’s been battling for years. In the bedroom, a dozen men, several of them sweaty, dehydrated and wired on meth, are having sex on the king-size bed. There’s not a condom in sight. ‘It’s completely suicidal, the crystal and the barebacking,’ says one of the two attendees who describe the scene. ‘But there’s something liberating and hot about it, too.’” (emphasis mine)
It is suicidal. They know it. They know it before they engage in this kind of behavior. They know it before they take a “bump” of crystal, Tina, snow, whatever you want to call it. “It’s completely suicidal…”
I see these men in Chelsea all the time. Not the exact men mentioned in the article (although, maybe). I see men like them in Big Cup. I see them walking in and out of Rawhide on 8th Ave., a block from the seminary. I see them in the grocery store. There are all kinds of psycho-social explanations of why people, and in this case particularly gay men, do self-destructive things, but most of those explanations just don’t fit here in New York or in places like San Francisco. “It’s completely suicidal… But there’s something liberating and hot about it, too.”
Liberating? I don’t understand. Otherwise sane men playing Russian-roulette, and we all have to pay the price this time. I heard a story out of Trinity Wall St. of a very successful straight, married man who worked in the Financial District. He had all the money he could ever need, status, even a church-goer. He started taking meth, and within a year had lost everything and was living on the streets. He lost everything. The crystal-meth, self-inflicted epidemic is not just a gay phenomena, but coupling the use of the drug with willful unprotected sex because it seems “liberating” and “hot” is just unbelievable to me.
Look in the list sections of HX and NEXT magazines in Manhattan and anyone will see that the whole urban gay subculture, or at least that which is being portrayed and marketed, is nothing but a juvenile, irresponsible, hedonist rampage of sex and drugs. THAT is what being GAY is all about as portrayed in much of the gay mass-media, and we wonder why America is so anti-homosexual.
There is a point where the gay community must take responsibility for its own dysfunction, its extreme dysfunction, and those who aid and abed this dysfunction need to be held accountable. No more caving into the yells and screams of sexual-Nazism, no more letting people off the hook because of some form of rationalization for the suicidal behavior all in the name of liberation and some sort of bizarre notion of pleasure uber-alas. The behavior of those who fuel the sex-crazed and irresponsible sub-culture need to be held accountable, to hell with their cries of censorship, of internalized-homophobia, of puritanicalism, and all that crap. People are encouraging death! no matter how they want to pretty-it-up.
Our culture of no-accountability-despite-reckless-behavior needs to end. Our culture that feeds the idea that we can do whatever we want without being held responsible for our own decisions and actions needs to end. I’m not advocating that we let people die because they chose to act “suicidal,” but no one should be allowed to not take responsibility for their own decisions – no one else is to blame but me!, but the individual!, but the sub-culture!, but society! No excuses, else we really will eventually have a completely drug-resistant form of the retro-virus knows as HIV.
You tell me what is more loving and kind – demanding an end to the cultural that encourages and allows this “suicidal” behavior because it is perceived as “liberating” or “hot,” or telling people to STOP! Demanding that they/we take responsibility for their/our own lives and STOP! The final result of sin (yes, sin) is death. That which is contrary to our own health and survival as people period, contrary to God’s will for our lives, is sin – whether individual, cultural, or institutional.

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