Thursday night’s Together Alone event in Vancouver, a community conversation about gay male loneliness felt anything but lonely with more than 100 men in attendance. Though loneliness was the subject of the evening on June 8, 2017 at XY, panellists and audience members made it clear that loneliness among gay men isn’t necessarily about the number of friends you have or whether you attend social functions — it’s much more complex.
The discussion was co-sponsored by the UBC Men’s Health Research Program and the Health Initiative for Men (HIM), and was sparked by writer Michael Hobbes’ Huffington Post article “Together Alone: The Epidemic of Gay Loneliness,” which struck a chord with queer men around the world when it was published earlier this year.
“This issue was hiding in plain sight for quite a long time,” Hobbes told the audience.
Hobbes’ article explores the fact that despite the rapid advances in gay rights and broader social acceptance, gay men are still more likely than their straight counterparts to take their own lives, have a major depressive episode, suffer from anxiety, abuse drugs or alcohol, or have risky sex.