A lot of gay men are smokers, and it has always been that way.
Why do they? Why is it such a stereotype? Is it a stereotype at all? Unfortunately, it is, among other things.
But let’s go deeper into the subject.
Being a gay man myself it is very clear to me why we smoke. Of course I’m making a generalization here, as not every gay man smokes, but a great portion of them do, especially the young ones.
First of all, there is a huge pressure to begin with being gay. It’s incredibly difficult, and it’s not an easy life at all.
It’s not a choice, and it never was.
Yet the majority of people are straight, almost 90%.
There is a lot of bullying that goes on, directed towards gays and lesbians. Because they aren’t what society deems as normal, they are picked on and made fun of at every given turn.
This leads to a lot of built up anxiety.
When they’re young, they try so hard to fit into the crowd, to make friends, to be happy. Sometimes this leads to the wrong crowd, but it’s a crowd nonetheless.
I didn’t have any gay friends all through high school, as the school itself was very small.
I wanted to fit in and be friends with people. I didn’t want to be alone.
Insecurities also play a huge role. Not only do gays and lesbians get picked on all through high school (and college and beyond), but because of all this, they feel that they are not as good as they should be.
The bullying creates insecurities.
They feel they aren’t normal enough, not pretty enough, and they are the black sheep of the family.
Smoking takes away the stresses of life (at the beginning). This is why they smoke. Being gay is stressful enough to begin with.
Cigarettes relieve the stress, or so they think. Quite the opposite, really.
Once addicted, the smoking leads to anxiety.
They smoke because they have a lot on their plate and a lot to deal with. Cigarettes help them deal with situations because it takes away stress.
In reality, it doesn’t, it creates it, but that’s a hard concept to understand if you’re young and trying to fit in with the crowd and make friends.
Plus, smoking runs rampant in the circuit scene.
Gays notoriously like to party, and we all know that smoking and drinking go hand-in-hand. That goes for all sexual orientations and the establishments in which they go to.
For the most part though, it’s because they have a lot to deal with and they think it helps them cope with life.
That’s the main issue.
The bar scene will always come secondary as a main culprit.
I always felt a huge pressure from society to be funny and laugh and to have fun and party. I was always the person my friends could turn to when they wanted to go out on the town.
Since I was constantly partying, even though I knew smoking was bad and I wanted to quit, I simply didn’t have time or the ambition. I was always going out.
I wasn’t ready.
Maybe if society wasn’t so overbearing we wouldn’t feel so stressed out. Maybe if we were treated as equals we wouldn’t feel so insecure.
Not necessarily pointing fingers, but it does have some relevance.
Gays have a full plate on their lap, and it’s a very difficult life. I can attest to that.