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The Lgbt: Misunderstood Freedom Fighters

By Ftmalhssn Mar 10, 2013 1209 Words
The LGBT: Misunderstood Freedom Fighters

The lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered are some of the most misunderstood persons in our world today. People have grown close-minded and judgmental towards them, unfortunately unaware of the effects of those actions. Imagine being seen as an outcast everywhere you go, in which you do not have a sense of belongingness and security. People cast you disgusted looks, as if your presence alone makes them uncomfortable. These are what the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered go through almost everyday of their lives, just because they are different from the male and female stereotype. All share the same goal but each is different. Lesbians are what we know to be as homosexual women. Gays, on the other hand, are homosexual men. Bisexuals are attracted to both men and women, while the transgender identify their own gender and do not refer to their biological gender. There have been various movements promoting their rights, and one of the most popular is the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender socio-political movement. The LGBT movement promotes LGBT rights through their advocacies, culture and impact in society.

According to gayshamesf.org, the LBGT movement “shares interrelated goals of social acceptance of sexual and gender minorities.” The Stonewall Riots was the major cause of the establishment of the LGBT movement today. Last June 28, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York, a group of gays stood up for themselves out of anger against the policemen who were harassing them. During the time, gay ostracism was more evident; they were not allowed in public. The event created inspiration for the other gays in the place so much so that the next day, over a thousand gays created a riot outside the Stonewall Inn and “gay power” strengthened. The riots lasted for days, awakening the other LGBT people out there to make a stand. Two years later, gay rights groups established themselves in almost all the major cities in the United States, and the rest of the world soon followed.

The LGBT movement basically wants to change the view of the people towards all the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered around the world. They strongly promote and campaign for LGBT rights and they have both cultural and political goals as well. Sociologist Mary Bernstein explains, "For the lesbian and gay movement, then, cultural goals include (but are not limited to) challenging dominant constructions of masculinity and femininity, homophobia, and the primacy of the gendered heterosexual nuclear family (heteronormativity). Political goals include changing laws and policies in order to gain new rights, benefits, and protections from harm. (Bernstein, 2002, p. 28)” One of the most popular issues they want to resolve is regarding same sex marriage. The case is still not closed, and the LGBT movement is working hard to pursue their stand of same sex marriage being legalized, which has proven to be effective over the years. According to an article in the Washington Post,

“Overall, 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, hitting a high mark in support while showing a dramatic turnaround from just six years ago, when just 36 percent thought it should be legal. Thirty-nine percent, a new low, say gay marriage should be illegal. (Clement and Somashekhar, 2012, p. 3)”

LGBT culture, the culture shared by the LGBT people, is what gives them their identity. Their culture is composed of (but not limited to) the following elements: work of the famous LGBT peoples (e.g. artists, political figures, historical figures), an understanding of the history of LGBT’s political movements, and being proud of the stereotypes, figures and identities linked to the LGBT people (e.g. drag kings and queens, the rainbow flag). Although, according to gayshamesf.org, “not all LGBT people identify by or affiliate with LGBT culture. Reasons can include geographic distance, unawareness of the subculture's existence, fear of social stigma, or personal preference to remain unidentified with sexuality or gender based subcultures or communities.” For example, here in the Philippines, our stereotyped homosexuals openly work in beauty parlors and in the creative industries of fashion and entertainment, such as talk show hosts, female impersonators, writers, directors and comedians. This can be identified as our gay culture. The Philippines also has a number of famous homosexuals, who serve as the icons and inspirations of the LGBT people. Some of them are: (1) Boy Abunda, a very good journalist and TV host, who is also closely affiliated to the LGBT movement in the country (2) Vice Ganda, one of the top comedians in showbiz industry, and (3) the controversial Rustom Padilla, who is now known as BB Gandanghari, an androgynous model in New York.

Despite their generally acceptable goals, advocacies and culture, still, not everybody is pro LGBT movement. There are indeed supporters of the movement but as expected, there are certainly some people at the opposing side as well. Some people think that homosexuals are a threat to society. They believe that making homosexuality allowable will increase the number of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered, which has a negative effect towards society. They are the reason why the LGBT movement is fighting a battle for equality. “The old structure of politics was about individuals fighting political institutions with regard to certain rights in the constitution, whereas LGBT activists attempt to create a new structure of power, one that is more socially and culturally understood. (Querbes, 2004, p. 7)” Simply put, if there were no discrimination in society, there would most likely be no LGBT movement today.

The LGBT movement is not a group of attention seekers, but a group of freedom fighters. They are misunderstood by most people, and not given a chance. People should be open about the idea that they are just like us; they are humans. They have feelings and rights, and they are a part of society. The movement is a blessing to all the LGBT people who need to feel like they still belong, that they have a home. Their only request is to be treated like others. Hopefully, the time will come wherein all LGBT issues will have been settled, and equality will have won over discrimination.

References:

Bernstein, M. (2002). Identities and Politics: Toward a Historical Understanding of the Lesbian andGay Movement. Social Science History, 26(3), 531-581. Retrieved July 22, 2012, from http://ssh.dukejournals.org/content/26/3/531.full.pdf+html

Clement, S., Somashekhar, S., Cohen, J., & Craighill, P. (2012, May 23). After PresidentObama’s announcement, opposition to gay marriage hits record low. Washington Post: Breaking News,World, US, DC News & Analysis. Retrieved July 19, 2012, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/after-president-obamasannouncement-opposition-to-gay-marriage-hits-recordow/2012/05/22/gIQAlAYRjU_story.html

LGBT Culture. (n.d.). Gay Shame: A Celebration of Resistance. Retrieved July 19, 2012,fromhttp://gayshamesf.org

Querbes, S. (2004). Sodomy Laws and Impact of LGBT Movement. University at Albany - SUNY. Retrieved July 19, 2012, fromhttp://www.albany.edu/womensstudies/journal/2004/querbes.htm

Stonewall Riots: The Beginning of the LGBT Movement. (2009, June 22). The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Retrieved July 17, 2012, fromhttp://www.civilrights.org/archives/2009/06/449-stonewall.html

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