I recently went to Gaymerx, a gaming convention focused on LGBT issues. When I mentioned I was going two separate friends of mine had the same reaction “it seems so unnecessary.” Did they say that in those exact words? No. One person wondered why “we need all these labels. We should all just be people.” The other stated that the Bay Area would be a place where something like that would be of such importance as to merit a conference.” Now, it’s true, maybe they meant no harm by their statements but that’s just it: those statements are harmful. They erase an important part of someone’s identity. Yes, we ARE all people but only certain identities have been represented in mainstream American media.
Studies have shown a higher use of marijuana among LGBT folk than their heterosexual counterparts. Unfortunately, there has not been much research into the factors that contribute to this phenomenon. However, we do know that being marginalized increases negative feelings like depression, helplessness, anxiety and anger.We also know marijuana is often used to cope with these negative feelings. All of these are facts we know and yet no one talks about them. When no one talks about things that are supposedly “acceptable” because “we are all people” it shows we are not truly accepting of things changing the status quo. This is unacceptable. So, I encourage you, as proud marijuana users, to go ahead and talk about it. Be safe, be respectful but be out there to say “I use marijuana and I will not hide in the shadows.”