The findings of the two studies were consistent with the “hedonistic” lifestyle commonly associated with the gay social scene, David Allison, spokesman for the gay rights organisation Outrage! said. “The gay scene has always been linked with clubbing and drugs have always been available,” he said. “A lot of young gay people start clubbing on Friday and carry on until Monday morning. The need to do something like drugs is spurred on by the existence of hedonistic gay bars and nightclubs.”
As well as the social environment, drug-taking may be linked to the fact that young gay people are frequently under more pressure in terms of their sexuality than their heterosexual counterparts, Mr Allison said.
“I think it’s fair to say that most young gay people are under a lot more pressure than your average straight person and taking drugs will be a form of escapism.”
“The image this silence projects is that being gay is bad,” David Allison, from OutRage!, the gay rights pressure group, said. “The will isn’t there (to come out). Until someone makes a stand, there’s no incentive for anyone to take on the issue, but it would take an enormous amount of courage.”