Homosexuals: Fight for Rights
Gay rights is a touchy subject especially in the united states. It is the fight for homosexuals to be treated as everyone else, the fight to be given what they desearve, the fight to live without torment, the fight for peace. This nation has the state of mind that how the ideal person lives, is normal, and anyone not living that way is wrong. The people of this country pick on and torment people because they are different or not like them. Why do thay do this?who knows. John Catlin M. D. states that ?Many indeviduals that bully other people due to sexual origin, usually are battling sexual insecurities themselves? (1) In New York there was a poll taken from the people, on the thoughts of gay rights. Many of them were displeased at the fact that homosexuals were discriminated against, and didn?t have the same rights as heterosexuals. In November of 1989, Time magazine took a poll on what the people thought about legal benefits that homosexuals should receive. 62% came back saying that homosexuals should be permitted to receive medical, and life insurance benefits from their life long partner. (101) And yet nothing has come of that yet. Homosexuals deserve equal treatment legally and socially.
Throughout the world homosexual people have been discriminated against for all types of different reasons and basically all of them are unjust. Homosexualality is not caused by abuse at a young age, it is not curable, it is not a disease or disorder and it is defiantly NOT learnt. For decades the incidence of homosexuality in the general population has been estimated to be approximately ten percent. Organisations opposed to gay rights have consistently claimed the number to be much lower. Despite the controversy, ten percent still remains the most widely accepted estimate (Issacson, 101) so why do people think of homosexuals as being strange or weird. There are many people around the world who are discriminating against homosexuals without even knowing it. One of these is when someone calls someone else a bad name such as a ?Pofter? or ?Fagot?, not really meaning it but saying it just as a hurtful name just because everyone else says it. This saying is not meant but it degrades every homosexual in the world every time some uses those words. There is another myth about homosexuals and is that a lot of people think that they are obsessed with sex. ?Contrary to popular belief, gay men and lesbians are no more inclined to be consumed with sexual thoughts or feelings than heterosexual counterparts, nor are they attracted to everyone of the same sex they meet.? (Weinberg, 109) The lives of homosexuals, like the lives of heterosexuals are about much more than sex, but it’s easy to see why people believe these common myths that have been expressed by a lot of people. Many people do not even realise that they know someone who is gay because of the amount of gays that are in the community. Unfortunately, these misguided heterosexual?s only knowledge of homosexuality comes from the media or anti-gay organisations that are trying to destroy the gay community, neither of which is likely to show the average gay person or couple in real life. The media is in the business of selling news, and radical behaviour of any kind sells, big time. Anti-gay organisations are in the business of making gay people appear as evil as possible. They will obviously focus their attention on the most radical behaviour that can be found within the gay community. Why do gay people flaunt their sexuality? Why don’t they just keep it private? Well the majority of gay people don’t flaunt their sexuality. As a matter of fact, many go to great lengths to hide their sexual preference. There is a double standard in our society. What some people consider to be flaunting by homosexuals is usually regarded as everyday behaviour for heterosexuals. This is a perfect example : A heterosexual couple walking hand in hand is perceived as normal. Very few would consider their behaviour to be inappropriate or rude, if they even noticed it at all. On the other hand, a lesbian or gay couple show the same behaviour would almost certainly be noticed, and most likely be accused of flaunting their sexuality or promoting their lifestyle. They may be harassed or worse yet, physically attacked which is the case in many situations. Heterosexuals are free to talk about their spouses or dates. They can wear their wedding rings, display pictures of their loved ones on their desks, kiss good-bye when leaving to work, include their significant other in company parties and so on. A gay person who chooses to do the same may be seen as a trouble maker, or a sick homosexual out to prove a point.
Most gay people are not out to make a statement. They simply want to be able to integrate the many aspects of their lives the way heterosexuals are allowed to do. What the majority of people mean when they say that gay people should keep their lives private, is that gay people should keep their lives secret. Imagine your self having to hide the very existence of the most important person in your life, That’s what it is like for a great deal of homosexuals around the world today. Anti-gay activists have promoted the idea that the lives of homosexuals revolve around sex and the pursuit of sexual encounters, and that the only identity homosexuals have is with being gay which is totally wrong. To anti-gay organisations this is the only gay lifestyle that exists, and they do their best to promote this lie. ?In reality, the lives of gays and lesbians are as varied as the lives of heterosexuals (Garnets & Kimmel, 1993).? Some choose to live in long term committed relationships, others choose to remain single. Some couples choose to raise children, others do not. Hobbies, occupations and activities are just as varied as within the heterosexual population. There is no difference.
Another aspect of homosexuality is gay teens. Teen years are a hard time to live in, there is school, dating, first jobs, the pressure of an upcoming adult life. With this being such a time of trials, some teens have it worse off than others: gay teens, they are beat, laughed at, mocked, and hated. Many are forced into denial, and even suicide. Why do teens have this added pressure? Because their peers judge them due to who they date, and who they are attracted to. Matthew Shepard would know this better than anyone else. He was beaten into unconciousness and, tied to the fence of his high school football field until his body couldn?t handle it anymore and gave way. (lambda home page) Matthew?s life was robbed from him, his classmates brutilly killed him because he was a homosexual. Matthew never got his first job, he never got his education, he never got to live. Someone chose to take that from him. Some teens take it from themselves. They cannot handle the stress that their peers put on them. ?If you teach a young person that their life has no value, they?ll treat their life like it has no value? (Catlin, 1.) Gay bashing in high schools is getting better but there are still teens out there suffering and afraid to come out, for they fear they will be judged. And they will be, the pain will be there, and they won?t let their true self be shown.
Not only do they face unrestricted discrimination and harassment at school, they often face similar or worse homophobia at home. Parents, unaware of their children’s sexual orientation, often make cutting remarks about homosexual television characters, community members, or the orientation in general. They may not even recognize their comments, but the child (or children) is hanging on to every word, looking for at least a tiny bit of acceptance from family. Many times they find hate instead of acceptance, sometimes to the point of being kicked out of the house at age 14 or 15 when a homophobic parent does find out. This leaves them with nowhere to turn.
?Just because something is forcefully driven into the closet doesn?t mean it has gone away? (Graff, 13) unless society become more accepting of others differences, gay teens will continue to be killed off and this nation?s views will be like that unto Hitler?s.