Have you ever been scared about being yourself in front of strangers, or even love ones? Imagine being someone who is not accepted, because they loved someone as the same gender as them, or they are not their ‘assigned’ gender. About 19% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults say there is ‘a lot of social acceptance’1. Yet, 42% of LGBT youths say the community they live in is not accepting of LGBT people2. Is there really acceptance of LGBT community in our society, or is this society still controlling people by homophobia? Reading this may shed some light on this problem in society in our country, America, with the LGBT+ communities. Yes, some will agree the LGBT+ are welcome in our society. That people are now more acceptable towards this certain topic. By ending this false cover over people’s eyes, society will fall. In this paper, there will be topics such as the history on society has been calling ‘gay’ in the past, what homophobia is, and the trouble it has cause. Then about the violence caused by homophobia, and how LGBT teens are treated.
When it comes to the the teen life of the LGBT, 25% of LGB youth have been physically attacked, because of their sexual orientation, and 55% of Transgender youths for their gender expression3. Sometimes when they are not accepted by their families, teens will be kick out to the street. There are about 1.6 million to 2.8 million, and 20 to 40 percent of the homeless youth population who consider themselves gay or transgender, compared to only 5 to 10 percent of the overall youth population4. Yet, they are not welcome home since they are ‘homosexual’, or a freak.
Until the 19th century, having sexual intercourse with the same gender was referred to sodomy after the story in the Bible in Genesis Chapter 19 verse 1 through 8 of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was mostly towards intercouse between men. It was condemned, and the punishment if caught was death. The word homosexual was not used until a Hungarian writer and journalist by the name of Karl Maria Kertbeny wrote his article about homosexuality. Homosexuality took place of sodomy in the 19th century., which in turn in the future leads to homophobia.
Homophobia, according to the Anti-Defamation League, is the hatred, or fear of homosexuals. Homophobia can be found in all people. It makes every one of us wonder, how did homophobia start? There is no real evidence on when it started, but society might have played a part of it. At the same time, society would have not been if there were not people sharing the same laws, or traditions. Homophobia leads people to violence and to harm what society fears will ruin their perfect picture of a traditional,or heteronormative life.
Society plants fear and hatred into people to take matters into their own hands, which sometimes lead to violence. In which some actions might lead to death of the person that sets the alarm of society’s perfect picture. Some acts of hate crimes include the murder of Matthew Shepard in 19985, or in 1997, when bomb exploded in a gay bar in Atlanta, Georgia, injuring 5 people6. The murder of Mercedes Williamson, a 17- year-old transgender, who was murder on May 30th, 2015, was not label as a hate crime since the investigation is still underway7. Those were some of the accidents that happen, some years back, some even close to today. Yet, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program’s 2013 report of hate violence was 2,0001 incidents, which was just a slight decrease from the report of 2012. Luckily this year, the report of hate violence lowered; a significant 32% decrease from the 2,001 total incidents reported in 2013, about 1,359 incidents of anti-LGBT violence in 20148.
It brings back the question; is homosexuality accepted in society? It might be hard to change some people’s minds on the topic. Remember, society has taught sodomy is wrong and should be shunned. It also has put homophobia into people to stop them from seeing ‘gay’ people as people. If people could join together, they might be able to throw off the old rules of society, there might be not as much violence as in the past. Leaving with one question. If you were a teen, who was part of the LGBT+ community, would society accept you now?
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“Growing Up LGBT in America: View Statistics.” HUman Rights Campaign. Web. 16 Nov. 2015
“Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers.” Center for American Progress. 21 June. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2015
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Andryszewski, Tricia. Same-Sex Marriage: Moral Wrong or Civil Right? Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Book Adivsion of Lerner Group, 2008. Print.
Drake, Bruce. How LGBT Adults See Society as the Public Sees Them. Pew Research Center RSS. 25 June 2013. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
Fone, Byrne. Homo-phobia: A HIstory. Metropolitan Books. 2000. Print.
Gray, Jeremy. “Alabama Transgender Teen Mercedes Williamson Was Beaten to Death, Investigator Testifies.” AL.com. 29 July 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
"National Report on Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities Released Today." NATIONAL COALITION OF ANTI-VIOLENCE PROGRAMS, 9 June 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
Sack, Kevin. “In LAtest Atlanta Bombing, 5 are Injured at a Gay Bar.” The New York Times. 22 Feb. 1997. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
Varnum, Gregary. National Report on Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities Released Today, Equality Michigan. Equality Michigan. 29 May 2014. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
1Drake, Bruce. How LGBT Adults See Society as the Public Sees Them. Pew Research Center RSS. 25 June 2013. Web. 9 Nov. 2015.
2"Growing Up LGBT in America: View Statistics." Human Rights Campaign. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
3"LGBT Youth Facts and Statics." Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
4"Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers." Center for American Progress. Center for American Progress, 21 June 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
5"About Us." Matthew Shepard Foundation. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
6Sack, Kevin. "In Latest Atlanta Bombing, 5 Are Injured at a Gay Bar." The New York Times. The New York Times, 22 Feb. 1997. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
7Gray, Jeremy. "Alabama Transgender Teen Mercedes Williamson Was Beaten to Death, Investigator Testifies." AL.com. 29 July 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
8 "National Report on Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities Released Today." NATIONAL COALITION OF ANTI-VIOLENCE PROGRAMS, 9 June 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.