Appearances: They Say More About You Than You Think
The term “homophobia” brings to mind individuals that hate those who are homosexual. Most of us aren’t ignorant to the fact that homophobia is a problem in America. These homophobic people call homosexuals “faggots” or “dykes” with no regard as to if these people are actually gay or not. We often believe this is as far as it is taken. Carmen Vazquez’s argument in her 1992 essay “Appearances”, slightly changes the definition of homophobia (Goodreads). Her argument is effective because she offers convincing evidence of these events, uses a tone that does not attack those she is standing up against and uses pathos to gain readers emotionally. Vazquez brings the issues going on today that many of us may not be aware of to the readers’ attention; the people who are commonly abused for being lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, or simply appear so. In the paragraph before the essay begins, an important question is introduced: “Have you ever gone for a walk in the evening, ridden a city bus, or gone out dancing? Did these activities make you fear for your life?” Most of us would be able to answer “no” to this (Blumenfeld 489). Vazquez’s tone and language throughout the essay was appropriate and effective. She targets an audience of those who are heterosexual to inform them of the issues she presents. Many good examples of figurative language are used to paint vivid pictures of what it is like for the LGBTQ community. An example of this is “The straight jacket of gender roles suffocates many lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, forcing them into closets without an exit and threatening our very existence when we tear the closet open” (Blumenfeld 493). Vazquez’s persona and tone increases the audience’s adherence to the claim by not attacking or criticizing those who are homophobic in her attempt to raise awareness and persuade people affected by homophobia to take action. The author uses satire to effectively show how serious...
Cited: Blumenfeld, Warren J. "Appearances." Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price. Boston: Beacon, 1992. 489-96. Print.
Goodreads Inc. "Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price." Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price. Goodreads, n.d. Web. 09 June 2013.
NATIONAL COALITION OF ANTI-VIOLENCE PROGRAMS. "2012 Hate Violence Report (NCAVP)." (n.d.): n. pag. Rpt. in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV- Affected Hate Violence In 2012. Comp. Osman Ahmed, Tasha Amezcua, Shelby Chestnut, and Ejeris Dixon. N.p.: Arcus, n.d. 19-20. NCAVP. Web. 09 June 2013.
Vazquez, Carmen. "Voices of Feminism Oral History Project." Interview by Kelly Anderson. Sophia Smith Collection. Smith College, 25 Aug. 2005. Web. 09 June 2013.
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