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In the Netherlands, where gay marriage has been legal since 2001, gay men remain three times more likely to suffer from a mood disorder than straight men, and 10 times more likely to engage in “suicidal self-harm.” In Sweden, which has had civil unions since 1995 and full marriage since 2009, men married to men have triple the suicide rate of men married to women.All of these unbearable statistics lead to the same conclusion: It is still dangerously alienating to go through life as a man attracted to other men.For years I’ve noticed the divergence between my straight friends and my gay friends.

And just like the last epidemic we lived through, the trauma appears to be concentrated among men.In a survey of gay men who recently arrived in New York City, suffered from anxiety or depression, abused drugs or alcohol or were having risky sex—or some combination of the three.Despite all the talk of our “chosen families,” gay men have fewer close friends than straight people or gay women.Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea he used anything heavier than martinis.He is trim, intelligent, gluten-free, the kind of guy who wears a work shirt no matter what day of the week it is.

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