poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

To be gay and disowned
Fiji Times

In his last year of high school, Jim attempted to commit suicide. I met him the following year (1973), when he was a first year university student in the United States of America.

Jim's parents sent him to see a psychiatrist but he never told the psychiatrist why he tried to commit suicide.
You see, Jim was gay and was afraid that if he told the psychiatrist, the psychiatrist would tell his parents and he would be disowned. Jim's fear was not entirely unfounded.

In the 1970s, gay teenagers were commonly disowned by their parents. Surveys of street children revealed that many of them were gay and had been disowned by their parents.

At the time Jim attempted suicide, he had never knowingly met another gay person and had never had a sexual encounter with anyone.

That was not unusual. Gay persons commonly recognise themselves to be gay before meeting another gay person.

Many mental health professionals believe the suicide rate among gay boys and girls is much higher than the suicide rate among non-gays.


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