When my parents discovered that I was a heroin user, they were very understanding. In fact, they seemed as though they had been waiting for something. And that something seems to have been that I was gay. “A junkie?! At least he’s not gay!”
Admittedly, heroin use is a choice and homosexuality is not. And junkies are much more likely to produce grandchildren—especially male junkies. So I understand where my parents were coming from.
But if I did have a choice, I would have picked being gay. To me, being a heroin user is largely about finding one’s place in the world. Nothing gives a life more focus than a good, expensive dope habit. Somehow, I believe that if I had been gay, that would have been enough. And that would have been really nice, because in my time and place, homosexuality was not a crime.
Someday, people will look back on the treatment of drug users today with the same horror that we look back on the imprisonment, castration, and murder of gays only a short time ago. For now, however, I wish I were gay.
“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed- interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing sprit- crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing you last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that?”—Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting (via songfordrella)