Sexuality Discovery within the LGBTQ Community
Living in a society which is filled with people of different ethnicities, personalities, and values has led to many changes. Some of these changes have been positive while others have led to confused and discomfort in others. Change has become possible in this society, but it hasn’t been easy for everyone. Society has been so conformed to a standard on how others are supposed to act, that people have been confused and have misinterpreted this idea by of others. This misinterpretation is sexuality. Sexuality has been defined in society as heterosexual, straight, the “norm”, the right way to live life, and all of ideas are not true. Sexuality is a unique way of living that should be determine by you and not influenced by others in society. The course gender and sexuality study has taught me that. It has taught me that you do not have to always conform or judge others based on sexuality. It has opened up a range of ideas and values that I have never taught to discover before. The most informed information which has grasped my intention in this course is the idea behind sexuality. That sexuality discovery is unique and you can have multiple values within one. Society should not discover who you are or who you want to be. Sexuality is not just physical as society determines it, but instead it is evoked by involvement and emotions.
Throughout gender and sexuality study, ideas and theories has been brought to surface. A very important central theory that has been brought to surface is queer theory. Queer theory is centered on sexuality and sexuality is centered on queer theory. Queer theory is known essentiality as the process of formation (Jagose). The approach of queer theory has led to many discussions on the idea and interpretation of sexuality. Just as queer theory is a formation so is sexuality. There is no set direction or definition of sexuality or queer. There should not be labels or definitions which define people in society. Therefore the future is the future and the meaning of the word queer could change and vary between multiple people of different sexualities. Heterosexuals might think of sexuality or queer as something different in comparison to a homosexuality, bisexual, gay, or transgender people. Jagose continues on the theory by talking about essentialist and constructionist. In my opinion I believe society should be more essentialist rather than constructionist. Essentialist are people who are born homosexual and has been in anti- homophobic attempts to secure civil- rights based recognition for homosexuality. In contrast constructionist are view that homosexuality is somehow or other aligned with homophobic attempts to suggest that homosexual orientations can be and should be corrected (Jagose). Any type of sexuality should not be judged or determined by societal norms. For example in the movie “Transamerica” the little boy did homosexual prostitution and other “homosexual actions” but also had sexual attraction to women. Many people in society would base his sexuality as either a gay or bisexual in the mind frame of a constructionist. I believe he was having a sexuality issue. He doesn’t know what he wants to consider himself. He should not let society discover what he is, but instead he should let his sexuality discover himself. In gender and sexuality study the idea of sexuality centered on queer theory has been something I have learned most about. Sexuality and queer theory both exposed a uniqueness of life and discovery within the LGBTQ community.
In gender and sexuality studies, sexuality discovery has led to constant involvement. When I speak of involvement I mean actions, which do not restrict sexuality to be discovered, supported, or fought for. I have learned this in gender and sexuality studies. For example, Audre Lorde portrays this by using her illness as push for involvement. Marlon Riggs also had an illness as Lorde. They used their illness to push beyond themselves so it can reflect onto other people to build a better world. She used it as an urgency and impact of her “erotic”. It showed self-determination and survival, which black women fought for daily. She wanted to emphasize the nature of women’s health, struggles, disease, morality, and social struggle. Lorde used here sexuality and voice to display her involvement within the LGBTQ community. They both contributed awareness about gender, about sexuality, about their lives, and about change. These people helped others to define a better understanding of sexuality and self. They did this through awareness. Just like Jagose in “Introduction to Queer Theory”, Marlon and Audre used information from the past about the society to change and to inform others about the future of the LGBTQ community. In his video, Marlon examines and describes a lot of aspects of life which black people have endured in history, in the present, and how our outcome could look like in the future. Audre is a poet, a sister, a writer, a warrior, a mother, black, and a lesbian, because of here many visions, she always made it a goal to be involved. Lorde was involved in the gay movements and organizations to bring about awareness on sexuality and self. This course taught to explore the background behind sexuality, and to learn more about the culture and history about gay movements and gay organizations from the perspectives of other authors. Through Jagose, Lorde, and Riggs involvement they have expressed a clear understanding of themselves, their sexuality, and exploring what others should understand about the LGBTQ community.
Lastly, gender and sexuality studies have taught me about the emotional side of the LGBT community. Sexuality discovery can be a hard thing to discover and scary thing as well. The panel discussion was the most emotional and informative of the course. The panel displayed a face and direct form of communication. The students told their stories about them coming out and expressing their discovery to define their sexuality. The book by Pascoe on “Dude you’re a Fag” expressed similar topics as the panel discussion had did. The students from the high school expressed their opinion and their own coming out stories. The high school students told their stories on how they dealt with being so different in mostly a heterosexual surrounding high school. Their stories expressed their sexuality discovery in a different way because Pascoe did a study on the high school. These females expressed that they were lesbians and they were proud no matter how society looked or viewed them. They also fought for their rights to be equal in their high schools amongst the other heterosexual students, so they could gain equal respect. The stories and the study conducted by Pascoe lead me to learn about other people’s situations. Sexuality can be a struggle to define self. Gender and sexuality studies have taught me to not just judge people. There is no set norm on what sexuality one should be or one should conform too. Sexuality is a self- discovery and society cannot choose for you.
Sexuality has developed over the past years. History has created awareness for the LGBTQ community, leading more people to become involved such as Riggs and Lorde. Emotional stories have been told about the progress about coming out and about how sexuality is a process to discovery. Sexuality has become a transformation of process for queer theory in displaying that idea behind queer theory will never be consistent. Society will always have judgment about the LGBTQ, but gender and sexualities study has extracted me from that judgment. This course has moved from the constructionist to an essentialist. My judgment is no longer clouded by the misinterpreted stereotypes which society has claimed about the LGBTQ community.