Organizations like the HRC (human rights campaign) and out celebrities are constantly rooting for the sake LGBT and just basic human rights. There are other groups though, like most religious businesses and groups. Or politicians. There are many opposing view that I am going to research in depth.Here we have an organization, obviously formed by necessity, still thriving and fighting for just basic human rights. Then you have Westboro Baptist church. Their site is literally a derogatory word against gays. They have a picket schedule. There is still deep ignorance and hate running through society. The wide acceptance of this hate is an example of that. There must be a way to stop and bring the stereotype of “bad homosexuals” down. In “Stigma and Sexual Orientation: Understanding Prejudice Against Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals” there is a term mentioned, “contact hypothesis”. This means that if the majority (heterosexuals) and minority (homosexuals) have contact, the bias will become decreased towards the minority (74). This goes to show that there needs to be an effort put towards the union of society. LGBT and the rest of the world need to find a way to connect in order for huge biases to no longer exist. “Lesbian and transvestite characters in films are often feared, or ridiculed, almost always negatively portrayed, and so at the instant we see a person that so much as looks like that character, we label her without hesitation.” (2) This is an accurate way of describing what is happening in the media right now. People watch movies with LGBT extremes and they assume the entire community is like that in real life. Does it really exist ? Yes, according to numerous studies, students have increasingly harsher experiences with negative interactions with LGBT’s. In my WordPress , I have some statistics from the Huffington Post. Often, in the age of media, we as a society go at a very rapid pace, but with shallow results. So, we read tons of information on our iPhones and tablets, but we process very little. I think this is a cause for lack of empathy when it comes to understanding the LGBT community. There are victories though, and we are moving forward as society, piece by piece. In recent news, the boy scouts have lifted the ban on gay leaders. “Today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay, lesbian and bisexual adults to work and volunteer is a welcome step toward erasing a stain on this important organization” said the Human Rights Campaign president to CNN.com. This also is a step toward erasing the stain on the image of the LGBT community. With compassion and understanding, society can become more and more educated about the complexity of the soul. Sources: Herek, G. (1998). Stigma and sexual orientation understanding prejudice against lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Tagudina, I. (2012). “The Coast is Queer”:Media Representations of the LGBT Community andStereotypes’ Homophobic Reinforcement. Boy Scouts change policy on gay leaders – CNN.com. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2015.
Stereotypes in the LGBT community is still a very prominent issue in today’s society. Gay men and women still have to battle with stereotypes such as “butch” or “faggot” on a daily basis. Not all homosexuals are blatant about their sexual identity. Some are known to Olympic athletes, like Tom Daley, or a big time actress ( Ellen Page). Being gay does not consume the entire LGBT community’s lives. Recently, in an interview with Magic Mike’s Matt Bomer, he is asked a very narrow question about the community. He shuts it down with “why should I make a community into a yes or no?” He tells the reporter that the stigma about LGBT’s just isn’t really something to bother with, because there are so many people in the community. The point is that they are just people, like you and I. Transgender writer and columnist, Thomas Page McBee said ““Being human” means being at the mercy of others.” That’s a part of aspiration, too. We are born human; with hard work, we achieve humanity.” Are we,as a society, missing that?
Humanity is equality. What is equality in the modern age? I would say regarding everyone as a human, no more, no less. Accomplishments and contributions to society (in a positive way) should be what weighs the qualities of citizens, not their personal/sexual preferences. What really defines a person? That is an ambiguous question, isn’t it? Doesn’t categorizing a person into a generic figure, probably fashioned from misrepresentations in media, also seem just as ambiguous ? If people within society thought of it that way, the large distortion of the LGBT community would definitely be held up more positively.Stereotypes tear the bonds of equality as people.
The media plays a large portion in this social injustice. Nowadays. people often find their opinions online. The internet is so easy to access. “The number of people using Twitter has increased by more than 50 million in the past year. The network now has over 270 million active users.” People are constantly talking online about society and just everything. Out of that 270 million, how many of these people are speaking of the positive things they see in people? Let’s be honest, people tweet, snap, and write statuses to make a joke or point out a flaw in something. It is just easier to do mean things from behind a screen. So when people discourage the LGBT community by laughing at Perez Hilton and his wacky hair/personaor just make any ambiguous assumption about the entirety of the community, it spreads. This hilarious BuzzFeed article accurately shows the black and white’s of the stereotypes attached to being a lesbian. Some of these sound ridiculous, but sadly, are quite common.
Perry, F. (2014, August 15). Lesbians: Stereotypes Vs Reality. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
Matt Bomer Shuts Down LGBT Stereotypes – Watch! (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2015.
10 Remarkable Twitter Statistics for 2015. (2014, December 31). Retrieved July 21, 2015.
Giardina, H. (2014, November 15). ‘Man Alive,’ by Thomas Page McBee. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
Perez Hilton’s Ever-Evolving Hair: The Many Styles & Colors Of A 10-Year Blogger [PHOTOS]. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2015.
Books of LGBT Identity Struggles in Society
- Downs, A. (2006). The Velvet Rage: overcoming the pain of growing up gay in a straight man’s world. New York: Da Capo Press.
Downs covers all the struggles that come with being gay, even though he is living in an age of greater acceptance. It’s a self-help that also helps shed light on the marginalization of identity. The way Downs translates the struggles of being a gay mansheds light on how important it is to live in an uplifting society.
- Savage, D. (n.d.). American Savage: Insights, slights, and fights on faith, sex, love, and politics.
Dan Savage has worked with the It Gets Better campaign and covers a variety of topics like health care, gun control, and marriage equality. Savage uses his book as a visual for the mesh pot of inequality that still goes on in the LGBT community.
- Parker, S. (2013). Viral.
Suzanne Parker writes poetry for Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student, who was bullied into suicide.These are all non fiction pieces that are solid proof that show even though the LGBT community has gained some leverage in our society, the community still has many obstacles on an intimate level of identity.
- Giardina, H. (2014, November 15). ‘Man Alive,’ by Thomas Page McBee. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
I actually read this book recently, and it resonated so much in my life. Thomas was once Page, and his struggles of wanting to be a man played throughout his entire life. He was mugged and also molested, all the while his identity being the greatest turmoil he had to experience. This New York Times book review really summarizes this book wonderfully, ““Being human,” he concludes, “means being at the mercy of others.” That’s a part of aspiration, too. We are born human; with hard work, we achieve humanity.”
The existence of the so called-truisms that are “representing” the LGBT community seem to fly over people’s heads. Yes, SCOTUS flew its victory flag over the nation not too long ago, but, there is still a lot of air to clear. Even as I type this blog, that right to marry whoever you please, is being fought over still by officials. According thedailybeast.com, at least 7 states are opting out of the marriage ruling. In 7 states people are still fighting to have a loved one and a family to call their own. (North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky,Tennessee,and Ohio are the current states battling the act.) Equality and acceptance is still an issue. That is a big one. In order to show that the LGBT community is full of humans just like everyone else, society must treat them and look at them as such. Starting with just the realization that not all homosexuals are flaming and aggressive.
Being open-minded and less harsh on the views of people’s sexual identities will uplift society as a whole.Upon society’s acceptance towards people’s sexual identities, they should educate themselves on it as well. Recently,Canadian hockey player, Kendra Fisher came out . She is an elite hockey player and has been battling mental illness. She explains how stereotypes can keep female athletes in the closet : “It’s all of those stereotypes that you fight against because we all have a sense of self. We don’t want to be grouped into this stereotypical expectation of a female hockey player.” Sense of self is a right we are all born with. Blocking a section of society into not having that freedom is revolting, since we live in the “land of the free” not the “land of repressed and narrow”. People need to know that Fisher’s story is not singular. It is everywhere. There is a fear of becoming part of society’s mold of the LGBT’s that not only Fisher and I relate to, but hundreds of thousands.
Without positive reinforcement, society slowly diminishes. It starts with the youth, once they start to become negatively influenced, a domino effect occurs. There are organizations like the Trevor Project , a suicide and crisis prevention service, that solely exist to help the LGBT youth amidst the turmoils of identity and society’s portrayal of them. What? Where is this even happening? I’m not making this up, don’t exit the browser just yet. Huffington Post recently found these staggering numbers amongst peers in school. Across all grades, LGB students were about 91 percent more likely to be bullied and 46 percent more likely to be victimized, compared to their heterosexual peers. That is not okay. These numbers were collected about a month ago. The article ends on this note: “For the kids who aren’t sexual minorities, it’s also sending a message that it’s okay to mock people who are gay”. Whether we say or not, the LGBT community is a minority. There are around 9 million LGBT Americans according to theguardian.com. That isn’t really much when you look at the size of the country. That is more than enough when it comes to individuality though. Every single one of those Americans are just as free and just as unique as anyone else.
Liptak, A., & Parlapiano, A. (2015, July 1). Major Supreme Court Cases in 2015. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
Hockey player @kendra_fisher30 comes out publicly at @TeamCanada #OneTeam event. (2015, April 27). Retrieved July 13, 2015.
About The Trevor Project. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2015
Why LGBT Adolescent
s Are Still More Likely To Face Bullying, Including Social Exclusion And Physical Harm. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2015
For 19 years, I have been trying to live on the “other side” of the identity spectrum. This is an academic conversation by all means. I am just clarifying and it isn’t prevailing. I shall cover the differences some of the readers may be having as they scroll down this WordPress. Many readers who are on straight,hetero, or just not gay, may be stopping themselves right now. Thoughts like “ hey, our side should get a voice too in this.” The thing is, this is an LGBT blog, talking about LBGT stereotypes and issues in the world. Whether your agenda be religious or political or whatever our differences may be, the main goal of this blog is to not fight, but rather let ignorance dissolve and people become uplifted in the community.
In a recent Buzzfeed article (Broderick,2015) that has become a meme (a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (examine the picture below)
and spread rapidly by Internet users. Once again, this lovely definition was provided by Google.) So an overview of this meme: there was a public debate held in Brasília la bit ago between Pastor Silas Malafaia, one of the most anti-gay figures there, and Toni Reis, a professor, social rights activist, and president of the LGBT Brazilian Association. These photos sum up many of the conflicts that occur due to the LGBT communities massive index of personas. I mean this globally, not just in Brasília. Now, the media has taken over our conception of reality. Everything we do is tweeted, posted on Instagram, and emailed. This changes the social situations we deal with daily. These stereotypes I keep ranting about on this blog, are now shouted across webpages through links and sites.
Tagudina stated (2012) “The danger with stereotyping is the over-generalisation that comes along with it. Stereotypes, therefore, carry with them negative connotations and attitudes perceived by those who labelled them as such. These “cultural elites” use this type of segregating to dehumanise cultural groups
who stand lower than their ground.” Tagudina hit the nail on the head in this great text. She talks about media representation in “The Coast is Queer.” She talks about false assumptions and generalizing the LGBT community in media. Everything you see on the T.V. or laptop screen become integrated in your mind and life whether you want them to or not. People find it reasonable to attach images to actual people because that is what is regularly shown on media. Assuming, as Tagudina says, a man in pink is gay, sounds alright because isn’t that what comes ups on Google for “gay guys”? Many religious or just conservative folk consider homosexuals “deviants” or “morally corrupt”. The Bible states “” ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”(Leviticus 20:13) So, many people who lean on this old book for moral advice, find all the LGBT community to be “detestable”. But, that really creates a negative vibe for everyone in the community. Especially when a good portion (or the entire community) just wants to be like anybody else. Take Neil Patrick Harris for example. He is homosexual, doesn’t wear pink everyday, won many awards, and is also just a very happy dad/husband. (As you can see in the photo.)
Stereotypes. What does that even mean? According the incredible Google I have found a solid definition, which is : “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” We are talking about the LGBT community specifically in this blog. To many people my age who have learned to love and identify themselves with this community have definitely had to battle some “oversimplified” images when viewing themselves alongside society. I don’t want to be a “lipstick lesbian” or a “dyke”. I want to be me. I am a human and I love. That’t that. This Huffington Post really hits home. We aren’t gay because of daddy issues and we aren’t all trying to sleep with any girl that breathes.
If you are not of the LGBT community, don’t feel alienated. The purpose of this blog is to help you learn more about it! Also, to make you aware of the dangers that comes with being uniformed about this realm of identity. What does it mean to be a member of the LGBT ? Really, it just means you love people of the same gender (sometimes both) or your gender is changing. Still flesh, bones, and soul. The main issue is that people are watching a movie or a show and homosexuals are often portrayed as very ridiculous and outspoken. Say you watch Will and Grace or Perez Hilton. You see gay men as extremely flamboyant and very emotional. That is not always the case. Sometimes, you can’t tell right off the bat. Usually, when you hear about lesbians, one automatically pictures a heavy-set, baggy-pant wearing, thug woman. NOT ALWAYS THE CASE. These are constant views I hear about my community. We need to clear that up!
As of a few days ago, gay marriage is legalized. The LGBT community now has real rights to live a normal, good life. Now, we are all just a community. In order to prosper together, we can’t be making huge assumptions about people. Unity is a big thing for this nation, and if we really want to be that great country we think we are, ignorance should be squelched.
Why should you care? What makes this relevant to me? How does this provide better insight than a tweet from Justin Bieber or a Huffington Post blog ? It can open your eyes to the beauty of human existence. Learning that we are all equal, we are all human, is one of the greatest, and seemingly simplest things to know, yet, here we are. Equality for the LGBT community just happened. It is 2015 and we had to fight, die, cry, and shout for our place in society, in the world. There is obviously a component missing from America’s mindset as a whole if it took this long. We still have to fight. Now, it isn’t for a document or law. It is just for how people see us a whole. For we are humans with a beating heart as well. People with jobs, families, stories, and scars. We are not a mesh pot of stereotypical homos. We are human.
Since I was a young girl, I knew who I was. I was gay. I liked girls. Little did I know the stereotypes and assumptions being part of the LGBT community came with. Yes, I get so angry when I hear things like, “oh, you don’t look gay” or “ are you going to cut your hair?” etc. I want to know why and how people think that. There are many youth out there that are falling prey to this ocean of identity and sexuality stereotypes. Since the LGBT community has taken its seat on the social platform, there is constantly a new figure to highlight. I want to do this for every post and discuss what is going on behind the visceral aspect of the figure I am speaking about. Yes, it may seem narrow-minded of me to assume that everyone outside of the LGBT community bases their views of such shallow things, but it is from observation.
I am now 19, and I recently came out to my mom. She was the only person I was really hiding from, and now that I am fully “out”, I am extremely passionate about being happy with who you are. I am proud of the person I am becoming and I want to know why other people see me differently. I want to know why people see people the way they. This blog will delve into this. Being a cinema major, I see life from behind a lens. I am constantly looking at things and seeing the beauty. How do I show it ? How will other people see it? These questions run around my head as long as my eyes are open. Also, I want to highlight the beauty of people, not just the negative connotations of a person’s identity. There are many barriers when it comes to accepting homosexuals or the LGBT community. I know gay marriage is offensive (somehow) to many people because of bad impressions or their upbringing. I will cover that as well.
My topic is definitely current. As I type this proposals, they are literal proposals occurring, and the possibility of them too. Marriage is for everyone now as of today. This opens the door for people to live together as themselves, and all the while, being happy with who they are/represent. Places like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post, have columns dedicated to such topics. I would like my blog to be just as relevant and fueling to those within (or not part) of all the communities, not just LGBT.
Identity and stereotypes within the LGBT community have always been on my mind. The idea of writing about it weekly and my knowledge of it growing sounds amazing. There are people like Ruby Rose and Anderson Cooper making headlines with just their sexuality. This series would benefit the readers with not just information, but aid them in their own identity and life struggles. By the end of these eight weeks, I would like to have helped lift a burden off someone’s shoulders. Whether it be a battle with oneself or one’s view of a gender/identity stereotype. I want to tackle and defeat ignorance. It is not bliss. I am so thrilled to be able to freely express my thoughts to my fellow peers on something I would have been condemned just a year ago.