Written by Matthew Todd, editor of Attitude, the UK's best-selling gay magazine, Straight Jacket is a revolutionary clarion call for gay men, the wider LGBT community, their friends and family. Part memoir, part ground-breaking polemic, it looks beneath the shiny facade of contemporary gay culture and asks if gay people are as happy as they could be – and if not, why not?
In an attempt to find the answers to this and many other difficult questions, Matthew Todd explores why statistics show a disproportionate number of gay people suffer from mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, addiction, suicidal thoughts and behaviour, and why significant numbers experience difficulty in sustaining meaningful relationships. Bracingly honest, and drawing on his own experience, he breaks the silence surrounding a number of painful issues, explaining:
· how growing up in the closet can overwhelm the gay child with a deep sense of shame that can leave young people with perilously low self-worth and a powerfully negative body image
· how many gay men overcompensate for childhood shame by pursuing unobtainable perfection, aspiring to have perfect bodies, boyfriends and lives
· how gay culture, so often centred around alcohol, drugs, quick sex and even quicker wit, exacerbates the problem, and what we can all do to make things better
Meticulously researched, courageous and life-affirming, Straight Jacket offers invaluable practical advice on how to overcome a range of difficult issues. It also recognizes that this is a watershed moment, a piercing wake-up-call-to-arms for the gay and wider community to acknowledge the importance of supporting all young people – and helping older people to transform their experience and finally get the lives they really want.
Matthew Todd is the editor of the UK's bestselling gay magazine, Attitude. In 2011 he was named Men's Magazine Editor of the Year by the British Society of Magazine Editors and Stonewall Journalist of the Year. In November 2015 he won Editor of the Year in the Men's Brand Category at the British Society of Magazine Editors Awards.He has written for national newspapers, including the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph and Sun. He appears regularly on tv and radio and is a regular seaker at conferences and events, including the Terrence Higgins Trust HIV Prevention CHAPS conference. He lives in London.