Friday, September 14, 2012

Long Lives

I'm STILL watching Q and A.

Now they're talking about the idea of gay people having a shorter life expectancy. 

My gut feeling is that if it's true, I'd agree with the people on the show who say it's caused by homophobia NOT homosexuality.

Feeling ostracized by family, friends, classmates, the community, etc. is NOT good for your health.   There's often talk about suicide; but it's not just thoughts.  There's stress, and stress can lead to physical illness. There's depression.  It's not good.

I did think, though, that MAYBE there's more to it.  I didn't want to just dismiss the idea as being outlandish. Though I do think the intent of the study is nuts.   What if homosexuality does lead to a shorter life span?  Then what?   I'm sorry.  I do love you. But I want as long a lifespan as possible.   I'm going to go marry a woman...even though I know I can never really love her.

If the study was done out of pure curiosity. Fine. It's pretty silly. But a lot of studies are.

From what I'm seeing online, though, I'm getting that the study was done so there'd be leverage in talking people out of being gay.

Or is it to stop the whole gay marriage thing?

If homosexuality leads to shorter life spans, would forbidding marriage reduce the health risk?

I can't see how the hell that would work.

Although I guessed the likely culprit was homophobia, I tried to be open-minded.  Could there be something else about homosexuality that leads to a shorter life?    One idea that came to my mind was genetics. Could there be some kind of genetic cluster.  Something like, those who are born with the tendency to prefer the same gender are also more prone to stomach cancer. Or heart attacks. Or whatever.

When Jack was a toddler and not talkative I got a book about children who are not talkative, yet they're good at music and math.

It's that kind of thing I had in mind.

I don't personally find the idea offensive. Well, obviously it's not to me since I came up with it.

But I'm not offended if someone points out that Ashkenazi Jews are prone to breast cancer. I'd be offended only if they suggested that I stop being Jewish. That would be bad...and silly.

If there truly is a lower lifespan for homosexuals, I think it's important to research it and talk about it.   The purpose shouldn't be to discourage and/or ban homosexuality. The purpose should be to remedy the situation. We should look  out for certain things then. Hey, your kid just announced he's gay?  It's a good time to bring him into the doc to make sure his heart is strong because there's a correlation between homosexuality and congestive heart failure. 

Despite my thoughts on this, however.  I'm not convinced that homosexual folks do have a shorter life span.

I found this website that talks about one of the studies that was done looking at life spans.  I found it to be very insightful and helpful. They say the research was faulty, because it was based on obituaries in gay/lesbian newspapers.   The article's argument is that not all gay people get their death mentioned in the newspaper.  They have a list of good reasons why not. I'll give you one as an example. Not all gay people are part of the gay community; therefore they might not read or contribute to gay newspapers.

The basic idea, of the article, is that the research was faulty.

So for now, gay folks can relax.  They don't have to dump the love of their life in hopes of a few extra years.