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September 24, 2007 | by  | in Features |
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On Responsible Drug Use (and the possibilities of raising consciousness)

One in seven of us used cannabis in the past year; one in twenty took illegal stimulants in 2005. Despite the wishes of conservative New Zealand, drugs are a way of life for Kiwis. With most of the public debate on drugs and their effects revolving around issues like decriminalization of marijuana and the dangers of P, marijuana and the dangers of P, Salient asked seasoned drug user Amy L. Nightrate (not his real name) to provide a personal account of his experiences with drugs. Nightrate has experimented with a vast variety of drugs, regularly when he was in his twenties. He no longer uses any hard drugs, or hallucinogens, apart from occasionally when he is overseas. He has had counselling for substance abuse. Take a trip with us…on responsible drug use.

THE following are some theories extolled principally by Terence McKenna (Psychedelic plant campaigner, and author, with ridiculous, nasal, Californian accent.

Throughout history intoxication with plant drugs and other psychoactive substances has occurred in almost every species. In the ‘Motherland’ of Africa most hunter/gatherer animals living close to hallucinogenic mushrooms found that at mild doses these fungi made vision slightly sharper, and increased other sensory perceptions which is advantageous for hunting. In the case of our ancestors co-existing in Africa with these animals at the same time, (the Paleolithic era), diet has played a pivotal role in the emergence of Psilocybin mushroom consumption.

Found in the dung of Bison, when administered into the metabolism of their brains, our primitive ancestors had started their journey into the realm of ego destruction and pseudo-psychic consciousness. Hierarchy gave way to equality. Due to sexual arousal at slightly higher doses than other animals, our proto-ancestors increased breeding. Tribal society became an almost orgiastic environment. The population increased, and so too did their food supplies. For more of McKenna’s views regarding these theories, I recommend reading Archaic Revival, and/or Food Of The Gods.

In my opinion, in the 21st Century there is a readily available smorgasbord of mind-altering drugs. Due to local supply and demand the prices vary depending on where on the planet you are. Unfortunately some of us live in New Zealand. Recreational drugs in New Zealand are very expensive, alcohol and marijuana being the obvious exceptions.

“Special effects blockbuster films, or theme parks with bigger rides, they’re all really rush-fix, adrenaline-buzz oriented. These strong psychoactive buzzy things, whether it’s computer games or drugs, are all part of this pure escapist culture… People trying to outrun the nastiness in society, the disequilibrium in people’s lives today.” (Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting.)

Caffeine, nicotine, sex, food, in fact almost anything is addictive, especially in the times we are living in. In order to try to understand some of these potential addictions we should look at the more highly sought after drugs.

MDMA – Methylenedioxymethamphetamine

MDMA was first synthesized in the 1890s and later patented by Merck pharmaceuticals on December 24, 1912, but it wasn’t until the mid 1970s that articles related to its psychoactivity began showing up in scholarly journals.

In the late 70s and early 80s MDMA was used as a psychotherapeutic tool and also started to become available on the street. Its growing popularity led to it being made illegal in the United States in 1985 and its popularity has continued to increase since then.

Today, Holland is a major player in the manufacture and distribution of a lot of MDMA in Europe and throughout the world. MDMA pills purchased in Holland can be as inexpensive as €0.50 each (approx NZ$0.80). This is personally one of my favourite drugs. After a lot of discussion about ‘Ecstasy’, the general consensus appears to be one of guaranteed fun, affectionate feelings, and appreciation of music you usually can’t stand. This, of course depends on the purity of the MDMA.

Is this drug honest? Do you really want to show feelings of compassion towards a person you would normally not even want to be in the same room? Do you really like Hard House? For me, this drug and it’s recreational use is clearly about appreciation of things normally taken for granted.

Anyone with half an ecstatic brain cell realises: “what goes up, must come down”. But in my own experiences of MDMA come downs, a lot of the adverse psychological after-effects have been dependent on allowing one’s self the necessary amount of required sleep in order to re-charge the brains chemical balance. (Not always possible if you have work on Monday). Ecstasy pills are often ‘cut’ with ketamine, speed, or, rarely, heroin.

The fact that MDMA is so expensive and a bit of a hassle to get in this country is disturbing because I enjoy it. So do lots of others. BZP pills are a cruel joke with insanely horrible come down effects made more available by a government that should have considered purifying MDMA pills instead.

Imagine a world with less drunken philistines. Less violence. Less politicians. Peaceful thought huh? But oh no, we couldn’t have that, could we now? A government allowing us to think, act, do, decide, enjoy, learn, communicate, for ourselves? Ludicrous to ever think that, isn’t it?

Alcohol is very Kiwi. Rugby is very Kiwi. Apathy is very Kiwi. Alcohol is a tradition. Tradition is very limiting of evolutionary advances.

No. I’m not bitter.

MDMA is compassionate. It’s not controlling, unless you are one of those DJs trying to excite people via drugs and bad soul-less pap.

KETAMINE

Is a dissociative anaesthetic. It is also a hallucinogen. Though frightening experiences can occur, in doses below the K-Hole threshold there are some desirable effects. However, ‘K’ is definitely not a spectator sport. Imagine a scene from Evil Dead.
Ketamine Drug Chart
In stronger doses, (see table above), speech inability (alogia), and other motor functions deteriorate. The dissociative state produced by Ketamine is characterized by a sense of detachment from one’s physical body and the external world. There can be distortions in bodily awareness ie. the sensation of flying, being tugged, omniscience, etc. Users may experience worlds or dimensions that are ineffable, all the while being completely unaware of their individual identities or the external world.

Some users may not remember parts of the experience after regaining consciousness, in the same way that a person may forget a dream. Yes, blackouts. Reports of Near Death Experiences are common.

Last year I attended a Music Festival in Ireland. A friend of mine gave me some Ketamine in powder form which I ingested nasally. Voila! My first K-Hole. Whilst actually in a tent, I became convinced that I was on a train heading to Hell, surrounded by satanic passengers. I believed I had died, was in some ‘sick’ afterlife, and tried to convince my fellow passengers I was being judged wrongly.

“I’m on the wrong train! You’ve got the wrong person here!”

AAAAAAAAAAAAaaarrggghh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I couldn’t actually speak due to the alogia side effect.

MAGIC MUSHROOMS

Nine species of Psilocybe are reported from New Zealand: P. argentina, P. aucklandii, P. coprophila, P. makarorae sp. nov., P. novaezelandiae, P. semilanceata, P. subaeruginosa, and P. subcoprophila. Of these, P. aucklandii, P. makarorae, P. subaeruginosa, Copelandia cyanescens, and P. semilanceata stain blue-green with damage, a reaction characteristic of Psilocybe species with hallucinogenic properties.

Until the late 1970s, the fact that psilocybin containing mushrooms grew in New Zealand was known to very few. Not until the early l980s did a more general awareness appear, within the psychedelic drug-using subculture, that psilocybin containing mushrooms could be found in both islands of NZ. Copelandia cyanescens (`blue meanies’) predominates in the New Plymouth region, an area of intensive dairy farming. The mushrooms appear during frosts, most commonly under lupine bushes in coastal paddocks. In the lower South Island, particularly the Otago area and Dunedin city, the species consumed by users is P. semilanceata (`liberty cap’).

Psychedelic mushrooms, (like other natural hallucinogens) cause nauseousness during the onset of the ‘trip’. Its effects are comparable to LSD. (Nauseousness may continue, if you think about it too much/allow it to).
Mushroom Drug Chart
Positive Effects
Mood lift, euphoria, giggling, laughter, giddiness, creative, philosophical or deep thinking; ideas flow more easily; boring tasks or entertainment can become more interesting or funny; sensation of insight; life changing spiritual experience; intense feelings of wonder; paradoxical feeling of normalcy; and deep alteration of psyche may interrupt cluster sequences in those suffering from cluster headaches.

Mushroom Storage
Mushrooms can be dried in several ways. (1) Natural drying; if the mushrooms are within a climate that dehydrates the mushroom by natural means (natural dry climate or surroundings), this would dry the mushrooms without processing. Note! Putting magic mushrooms in hot (sub)tropical sun may harm the potency! Manual drying; small amounts may be placed on a few tissues on a warm but not too hot place. For larger amounts see to a warm airflow along the mushrooms. Do not use heat warmer than 40 degrees (C).

In the Netherlands hallucinogenic ‘Shrooms’ are readily available in cafes. In Amsterdam there are menus with the species, place of origin, and a brief description of the effects. Hawaiian mushrooms are very hallucinogenic, Mexican mushrooms are more mild. ‘Philosophers Stones’ are popcornish in appearance and more physical/ecstatic. Though this may be the case, dried mushrooms in the Netherlands are illegal. Consuming Magic mushrooms is illegal in NZ, but then… So is thinking.

MARIJUANA

Mairjuana is an ‘asocial’ drug meaning that it is NOT sociable. It isn’t anti-social. It’s schmocial. Sorry I’m waffling a little bit here. Waffles are a very tasty treat whilst ‘Marijuana’d’. Yeah? Yeah. Use waffles responsibly. Just because we live in a nation of ‘Stoners’, it doesn’t mean that we need to hear so much, (i) Reggae, (ii) Dub, or (iii), ANY music involving formulaic staccato guitar chords on the ‘and’ beat. (Oh, and the uninspired use of a delay pedal is a good disguise for mediocrity). Have I upset anyone in Zion by saying this?

Righteous.

COCAINE

Can’t wait to get back overseas again so I can shove a few lines of coke up my nostrils. This is a common problem for some New Zealanders when they arrive in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the Americas, Hell, and other cocaine addled nations. You see, this is because unless you are very rich and know some bizarrely connected people (not naming any names former co-owner of successful orange juice company suspiciously called Charlies), you are shit out of luck if you want to do some, ‘Charlie’, in New Zealand. A few years ago, myself and two friends were preparing to board a plane from Schipol airport in Amsterdam to head back to Aotearoa.

“Whadda we gonna do with this shit?” (the leftover Cocaine), my dear pal asked knowing the answer. Feverishly ingest it of course. An hour later we were seated for takeoff. I stupidly had approximately six big lines prior to leaving the hotel.

Idiot!

The symptoms of a cocaine overdose are intense and generally short in nature. Although fairly uncommon, people can die from a cocaine overdose. Cocaine is often cut with various adulterants. This increases the risk of overdose, since the purity of cocaine is difficult to determine. An overdose from cocaine can cause a serious increase in blood pressure, which as a result, bleeding in the brain occurs leading to a higher possibility of a stroke. Heart attacks can occur. Cocaine is psychologically, but not physically addictive.

Psychological Effects:
Increases alertness, wakefulness, elevates the mood, mild to high degree of euphoria, increases athletic performance, decreases fatigue, clearer thinking, increases concentration, increases energy, increased irritability, insomnia, restlessness. With high doses may exhibit a pattern of psychosis with confused and disorganized behavior, irritability, fear, paranoia, hallucinations, may become extremely antisocial and aggressive.

I need to mention to all those P users who call P Crack… Wise up fools. Crack is a smoked form of cocaine. P isn’t.

P is short for: Pathetic rip-off.

METHADONE

Methadone was used by Nazis.

It is a very effective synthetic opiate drug used to control people.

It is used in New Zealand to ‘help’ people give up other opiates, meanwhile getting addicted to methadone. It is actually harder to ‘come off’ than heroin.

My advice: Methadon’t.

Harden up and get yourself off stupid little defeatest drugs like morphine sulphate, codeine, or any other opiates you losers use.

Anyone who shares syringes in order to get high off opiates, and is then tested positive for hepatitis C…

Um…

Whose fault was that?

This is New Zealand for fucks sakes! Not Trainspotting. The romanticism and glorification of heroin, and other opiates, is absolutely pathetic.

Have a happy, daily, trip to the chemist/clinic for your life-controlling fix of methadon’t.

Hope being on the waiting list for six months was worth it.

LSD -25

Lysergic “Acid” Diethylamide-25.

The following people have used LSD with constructive results: The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Bill Gates, Eminem, William Burroughs, Jack Nicholson, Aldous Huxley, Ken Kesey, (the list goes on for quite a while)

LSD is the worlds strongest mind-revealing compound. The most common method of ingestion is orally, in liquid form on ‘blotter paper’ (below). These ones are called Getafix, named after a character from the Asterix comic books. The first trip of LSD I ever took was also called a Getafix and it was by far the most riveting, life-changing event I have experienced, so far. There have been many different brands of trips in NZ ie. Strawberries, Orange Dragons, Red Dragons, Janis Joplins, Bart Simpsons, Fat Freddies ( slightly larger in size, ) and Microdots, ( which are small gelatine-like specks of LSD approximately the size of the eye of a small needle.) That’s just to name a few.

In New Zealand, a single LSD tab usually has less than a drop, 80-90 micrograms, to put that in perspective, 250 micrograms = 1 millionth of an ounce.

Unfortunately, most LSD tabs in New Zealand are nowhere near as strong as they used to be.

Quite a few people I’ve talked to have claimed to have taken LSD but said they didn’t hallucinate. Hello? LSD is the strongest hallucinogenic drug in the world. This is very sad because they obviously got ripped off. One ‘trip’ of LSD costs NZ$40 on average depending “Who ya daddy is.” Predictably, it is a lot cheaper overseas.

For a relative comparison of what LSD can do, go to the magic mushrooms section, re-read the effects, pick a number between 23 and 69 and multiply it by that.
LSD Illustration
The picture above was done by your average ‘Joe’ citizen on LSD. Often, pictures speak louder than words. Words depict more smell. Taste is tastier than sound. Sounds sound visions. And waffles aren’t waffles anymore.

Synaesthesia- (One feeling or perception described with words usually used for a totally different or opposite feeling or perception. Ex: “The sky smelled blue. The soft hum of fog.”) Though LSD has many interesting ‘pros’, I really ought to mention the ‘cons’ about now.
anxiety, tension, jaw tension, increased perspiration, nausea, dizziness, confusion, megalomania, over-awareness & over-sensitization to music and noise, paranoia, fear, and panic, unwanted and overwhelming feelings, unwanted life-changing spiritual experiences, flashbacks

It has never been proved that LSD can cause a fatal overdose.

Some people don’t come back from their ‘acid’ experiences. Probably the most notorious example was Syd Barrett, (singer/guitarist/songwriter). He lost it. He basically launched the Rocket Ship which was Pink Floyd, bailed out into the darkest depths of Space in a one-person shuttle, and was never seen again, (apart from through a custom made telescope by NASA as he was spotted passing Uranus in 1975).

1967 was a pivotal year in San Fransisco and London. There were lot’s of crazy hippies running around everywhere raving on about, “Free Love!” and taking LSD trips like after dinner mints. Though this sounds like a barrel of laughs, it can be a bit disorienting. Whilst on 10 tabs each of extremely strong Owsley acid, Jimi Hendrix was caught brutally reaming Syd Barrett with Janis Joplin in the corner masturbating furiously. The San Fransisco police intervened and so was born the trend of famous rock star busts. Keith Richards was taken handcuffed to jail after being caught violating Mick Jagger with a Mars Bar. Both were clearly on LSD. The moral of this story is obvious. Before running around extolling the virtues of “Free Love…” remember this: These ‘events’ of rock and roll history are not examples of ‘free love’, they are random acts of boundary dissolving promiscuous behaviour. Sex is not necessarily ‘love’. Love is an entirely different article in Salient. Love is what I dream about when I think of taking LSD, MDMA, and Milla Jovovich, possibly all at the same time.

The single most important, groundbreaking album, in contemporary musical history is Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. During the recording of this masterpiece, all of The Beatles were swimming in a sea of LSD induced synaesthesia. It is a concept album structured as a musical trip.

Sergeant Peppers utilises sound effects in a novel way evoking unique mental images and create an overall psychedelic aesthetic. Hippie freaks all over the world proclaimed it as a revelation and reports of the album being ejaculated upon were common, especially in Liverpool. Thousands of people can still recall exactly where and when they first heard the magical chords of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. With references to “tangerine trees,” “marmalade skies,” “newspaper taxis,” and “looking glass ties,” it is dubious of John Lennon to claim that the song was not about LSD. The police denounced the album immediately. They were jealous. In one absurd case, two male police officers from Camden Town, in London, were caught in a wanton act of mutual oral sex after snorting cocaine off the cover of Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, tripping on LSD, listening to it’s final track, “A Day In The Life”. They were found not guilty of a variety of charges because they were police officers.

My own bizarre experiences of LSD trips have, at times, proven to be a little hard to swallow. On July 12, 1994, after dropping a strawberry tab, I was startled to find myself determinedly rimming a female baboon in the shower of my girlfriends flat. Now, this was obviously a hallucination. Shortly after, my girlfriend, (let’s call her, Mandy), arrived at her flat to find me naked in the bathroom with a ‘jews harp’ hanging from my erect penis.

But these are just some of the weird stories about LSD misadventure. LSD has been dallied ‘round like a whore from Naenae, (‘Slutsville.’)

In the early 1950s the CIA began testing LSD. Little was known about the drug at the time, even in scientific circles. The purpose of the CIA tests was to embrace it as a potential mind control drug. In one study designed to ascertain optimal dosage levels for interrogation sessions, a CIA psychiatrist administered LSD to “at least twelve human subjects of not too high mentality.” At the outset the subjects were “told only that a new drug was being tested and promised that nothing serious or dangerous would happen to them. During the intoxication they realized something was happening, but were never told exactly what. A dosage range from 100 to 150 micrograms was finally selected, and the agency proceeded to test the drug in mock interrogation trials.

LSD did not prove to be a mind control drug but infamous murderer Charles Manson used it as a sex orgy choreography tool. It wasn’t the fact that the Manson family were trippers which made them kill Sharon Tate etc. It was their predisposition towards violence and hatred of celebrity. For more info regarding LSD: google LSD and Erowid, and float around a bit.

The Internet is a drug. It is addictive.

This pseudo-rant is going to be ended via alcohol consumption. Four beers consumed and counting, “‘cause I enjoy drinking.” So does, [your name here](most likely). Drinking seems to be a very human activity. Escapism too. Social lubrication?

Below are some statistics about alcohol offences.
25,000 drink driving traffic notices (2003/4)
22,000 family violence incidents where alcohol identified as a significant factor (2004)

In Wellington (2002/3)
– Alcohol a factor in two thirds of arrests for disorder, violence and sexual offending.
– Alcohol a factor in 90 per cent of violent offending on Friday and Saturday nights.

According to the more recent Christchurch Health and Development Study, Young people abusing alcohol are 3.2 times more likely to be involved in violent offending than others. Will leave you on that note.

The Harms Associated with Drug Use

Most of the drugs mentioned in our article are illegal. That means that you can be fined or arrested for possession of drugs, possession of used drug paraphernalia (such as a marijuana pipe, bong or roach clip), and growing, manufacturing, selling or dealing drugs. If you are caught and convicted, you may not be able to travel overseas to the places you want to go (some places won’t let people with a criminal record visit), or it may have some bearing on whether or not you get the job want. Being involved with drugs could also bring you into contact with organised crime and some pretty scary people.

Information regarding the risks associated with drug use is surprisingly hard to find. When Salient asked the Ministry of Health what their position is on the safe use of illegal drugs they told us “the safest drug use is no use. If people do decide to take illicit drugs they need to do what they can to reduce the risk of harm.”

While the Ministry of Health have little to say, Urge/Whakamanawa, a youth health and information service, lists important information associated with drug use.


Things to Think About

There are lots of things you need to think about if you’re planning to take drugs. You need to know about the risks and ways to keep yourself and your friends safe. The safest option is not to take drugs at all, but if you’re going to, check this out and be prepared.

Staying Safe
Avoid buying or accepting drugs from people you don’t know. You can never be sure of what you are getting.

If you are going to use drugs, plan what you are going to take, if anything, beforehand – not when you’re out of it.

If you’re feeling anxious, stressed, depressed or moody, or you’re just not feeling good about yourself, then taking drugs might make you feel worse.

Only take a small amount of the drug, and wait for it to take effect before taking the rest. Each dose may have a different effect, and some might be effects you don’t like or want.

Be aware that the lighter your body weight the more powerful the effects of the drugs may be.

It is dangerous to mix drugs, and not just the ones you’d think. Mixing recreational and prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as mixing recreational ones.

Only take drugs in a safe and comfortable environment.

Ensure you have cold drinking water and food.

Never take drugs on your own – be around friends you can trust from the time the drugs come on until they wear off.

Tell your friends if you are taking drugs and what they are – that way they are prepared if something goes wrong.

Never share needles and syringes or other preparation equipment, as HIV and other viruses such as Hepatitis B and C can easily be passed on.

Keep an eye on each other to make sure that everyone is OK.

Tell someone responsible where you are going.

Organise safe transportation, a sober driver, public transport or taxis.

It could be unsafe to go home alone or with someone you have just met.

Drugs can affect your decision-making, so be aware of what you are doing. Watch out for traffic, don’t climb things or muck around near water, and always carry and use condoms to protect you and your partner from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unplanned pregnancy.

Keep in safe and well-lit areas to avoid the possibility of getting attacked.

What to Do in a Crisis

If someone overdoses or has an adverse reaction while using drugs, it is very important they receive professional help as soon as possible. Quick responses can save lives. If you are in this situation:

Call an ambulance. Dial 111. Don’t delay because you think you or your friend might get into trouble. Ambulance officers are not obliged to involve the police.

Stay with the person until the ambulance arrives. Find out if anyone at the scene knows mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Ensure the person gets enough air by keeping crowds back and opening windows. Loosen tight clothing.

If the person is unconscious, don’t leave them on their back – they could choke. Turn them onto their side and into the recovery position. Gently tilt their head back so their tongue does not block their airway.

If breathing has stopped, give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. If there is no pulse, apply CPR.

Provide the ambulance officers with as much information as you can – what drugs were taken, how long ago, and any pre-existing medical conditions that you know the person has.

Talk to your friends about what to do in a crisis before you take any drugs.

Disclaimer: Salient in no way condones or encourages the use of illegal drugs. If you choose to do drugs, Salient in no way accepts responsibility.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (6)

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  1. xox says:

    I have it on fairly good authority that Steve, the editor, was the one who penned this piece. It makes you think.

  2. tristan says:

    I can confirm on far better authority that that is not the case.

  3. lul says:

    I can state, with no regards to any authorities whatsoever, who cares who wrote it, its nice that someone has finaly written an article about this ‘touchy’ subject, which is relevant for a lot of people.

  4. junkie says:

    It’s a shame that coke didnt kill you asshole.

  5. aaron says:

    in dunedin we consume p.semilicata p.subaeruginosa coplandia bispora p.makarorae p.baeocytisis and one that may be p.pellicalosa sp may be wrong the conifer psylocybe and also a weird one does grow in nelson which is unidentified but strong libertys are far less likely to have been consumed over as a long term program of “sporing” has made subs prolific all through the city and suburbs whereas libbys although plentiful are often misunderstood they grow from dec to june on a good year and this has been an excellent year despite 6 arrests so far for picking so cheers any more info required then email

  6. aaron says:

    oh and i think your source is less informed on this subject than he thinks shoomies are complicated creatures and time and dose lead to understanding and also there are a lot of “adventurers” eating a lot of unknowns to good and psychadelic effect so the book is still open on our shrooms here in nz keep searching hail mushroom morgan from duds king of explorers

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