Johann Hari (author of “Chasing the Scream“) has another interesting piece out: Four Reasons Gay People Might Have Better Insight Into Addiction and the Drug War
I have always thought that those of us in the drug policy reform community could learn from the rapid revolution that happened in recent years regarding gay rights — the progress made by gays certainly helped give me more hope that such a revolution in our area was feasible once public opinion reached the right tipping point.
Johann, as a gay man who has studied and written about drug addiction and drug policy has added his perspective to the connections in a way that I think is insightful.
But hereâ€™s the weird question. I am gay, and I never thought of it as having any relevance to this subject. But somebody who read the bookâ€”somebody I likeâ€”said: â€œDo you think being gay gave you a different insight into this question?â€ She pointed out that some of the most high-profile people to champion the bookâ€”Glenn Greenwald, Elton John, Stephen Fry, Andrew Sullivanâ€”are also gay.
At first I felt a bit indignant. Although the person who said this is definitely not a homophobe, most gay people know what itâ€™s like to sometimes have the uncomfortable feeling of being poked into a pigeon-holeâ€”of being told that the experience you regard as universal should in fact have flashing neon lights and a big sign saying â€œGAY!â€ above it.
And yet, when I went away and thought about it, I began to wonder if gay people might have a particular insight onto this question. All of these insights are, of course, accessible to straight peopleâ€”but I suspect we might have short-cuts to them, for four reasons.