Gay And Lesbian Community Essay Research Paper

Gay And Lesbian Community Essay, Research Paper

The community I chose to research is the Gay and Lesbian community. I chose to look at this community because, as I meet more and more people in my life, I have found that I come into contact with many Gay and Lesbian people, and to understand their issues, would be good to a societal worker. As Berkman and Zinberg ( 1997 ) , provinces, societal workers are & # 8220 ; susceptible to absorbing the explicit and inexplicit prejudices held by mainstream society. & # 8221 ; I personally feel that the more you learn about other communities, its history and its battles, it gives us a broader scope of apprehension and empathy, in which to make our work.

Up until the sixtiess, no 1 questioned the thought that the traditional household was the basis of American society and indispensable to its really survival. A traditional household was a adult male and a adult female, married to each other, who had kids together and reared them in a community full of other such households. A household 30 plus old ages ago, meant Mom, Dad, the childs, and on vacations, Grandpa, Grandma, aunts, cousins, and in-laws. In those yearss, a adult male and a adult female didn & # 8217 ; T merely travel into an flat and unrecorded together. Occasionally it would happen, but the pattern was non common, and in little town America it about ne’er happened.

In such a universe, so, how were homophiles regarded?

First, no one 30 old ages ago thought a batch about homosexualism. It was non a subject that preoccupied the mean American. You didn & # 8217 ; t hear it discussed on talk shows or depicted in films. You didn & # 8217 ; t see alleged homosexuals pride parades in our major metropoliss. You weren & # 8217 ; t bombarded with political dictums on the topic. You didn & # 8217 ; Ts have homophiles militantly proclaiming to the general public the properness of what they did in the sleeping room. Certainly outstanding political figures did non denote to the universe that they habitually committed homosexual Acts of the Apostless and were proud of it.

If person engaged is such Acts of the Apostless, he or she kept the affair to himself or herself, non merely because there were Torahs against homosexual behavior but besides because the community at big disapproved of it every bit much as it disapproved of any sort of unnatural sexual behaviour.

Not merely did society at big disapprove of a homosexual life manner, there were Torahs forbiding such behavior. Sexual behaviour has ever been covered by jurisprudence, non merely in Western society but besides in Eastern society. Laws were put into topographic point to protect the really immature, who were believed to be susceptible to consider corruptness of artlessness. Statutory colza Torahs were instituted to protect male kids against homosexual behavior, as a hedge against the maltreatment of childs by people of the same sex. Other Torahs existed to protect society against public flaunting of immoral behavior. The thought was to forbid the behavior by jurisprudence, and so you won & # 8217 ; Ts have to be exposed to it in the public sphere.

Coming to the terminal of the sixtiess, homosexual and sapphic groups were jumping up across the United States and Canada, leaping from 15 in 1966 to fifty in 1969 ( D & # 8217 ; Emilio, 1983 ) . They no longer wanted to specify themselves in footings left over to them by the heterosexist resistance ; instead, they sought to construct a new homosexual civilization where homosexual people could be free. Civil rights and integrating seemed like eternal beggary for the charity of progressives who handily ignored the mundane physical and psychological force exerted by homophobic society ( Adam, 1987 ) .

On the dark of Friday 27 June 1969, New York constabulary raided a Greenwich Village homosexual saloon called the Stonewall. Bar foraies were an American institution-a constabularies rite to & # 8220 ; pull off the powerless and disrespectable-and in the predating three hebdomads, five New York homosexual bars had already been raided ( Adam, 1987 ) . What made the stonewall a symbol of a new epoch of homosexual political relations was the reaction of the retarding force Queenss, butchs, street people, and saloon male childs who confronted the constabulary foremost with mockeries and so with a hail of coins, paving rocks, and parking metres. By the terminal of the weekend, the Stonewall saloon had been burned out, but a new signifier of corporate opposition was afoot: cheery release.

Gay release ne’er thought of itself as a civil rights motion for a peculiar minority but as a radical battle to liberate the homosexualism in everyone, disputing the conventional agreements that confined gender to heterosexual monogamous households ( Adam, 1987 ) . Within two old ages from the Stonewall Rebellion, cheery release groups emerged in every major metropolis and campus in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe ( Dannemeyer, 1989 ) . On three continents, cheery motion in the early 1970s developed along a similar class, with parallel Left-oriented cheery release groups organizing along with more broad civil rights organisations.

From the beginning of cheery release, tribades frequently found themselves immensely outnumbered by work forces who were, non surprisingly, preoccupied with their ain issues and ignorant of the concerns of adult females. Many adult females became progressively frustrated as cheery release work forces set up undertaking groups to counter constabulary entrapment, work for sodomy jurisprudence reform, or organized dances that turned out to be 90 percent male ( Dannemeyer, 1989 ) . Men took for granted many of the societal conditions that made it possible for them to be cheery. But lesbians needed to turn to cardinal jobs confronting all women-such as equal chance in employment and force against women-in order to hold sufficient independency to go sapphic. Most work forces had at least the fiscal independency of pay labour and a well-developed commercial scene to fall back on, whereas many adult females were fighting to derive a bridgehead in employment and create topographic points where tribades could be together. In a motion that was supposed to send on their cause, lesbians grew angry at holding to give clip and energy to & # 8220 ; reminding & # 8221 ; work forces of their being. Many tribades suspected that cheery work forces would be happy to accept the topographic point suiting their sex and category while go forthing the system of male domination integral. As Marie Robertson stated to the Canadian National Gay Rights Coalition, & # 8220 ; Gay release, when we get right down to it, is the battle for cheery work forces to accomplish blessing for the lone thing that separates them from the & # 8216 ; Man & # 8221 ; & # 8212 ; their sexual penchant & # 8221 ; ( Robertson 1982, 177 ) .

The paradox of the 1970s was that homosexual and sapphic release did non bring forth the gender-free universe it envisioned, but faced an unprecedented growing of cheery capitalist economy and a new maleness. While arguments raged inside the motion, the actions of homosexual liberationists and sapphic women’s rightist entered a larger political field, which transformed and expanded the cheery universe in unexpected waies.

Another self-contradictory result of cheery release was the enlargement of the homosexual ghetto. The success of the motion in crushing back province direction and repression ; cheery topographic points allowed for a new coevals on busin

einsteiniums oriented to a homosexual market. Within a decennary, every major metropolis in North America and Western Europe had a new scope of bars and sweat rooms, eating houses and discos, travel agents and dress shops, attorneies and life insurance companies, societal services and doctors, who catered specifically to a homosexual patronage ( Altman, 1980 ) .

One of these countries is Greenwich Village in New York City, where one can witness openly homosexual and sapphic people in a scene that is accepting of them and their picks. Take a walk down Christopher Street from Sixth Avenue to the West Side Highway and you will meet every resource that a & # 8220 ; normal & # 8221 ; vicinity has. Here, work forces and adult females feel free to show themselves in ways that they are comfy with, without being afraid of subjugation or inauspicious reaction from others who are non of the manner they are. In the & # 8220 ; Village & # 8221 ; they are non exposed to abuses that makes them experience as a lesser being. Particularly susceptible are young person that are stigmatized as being aberrant and delinquent ( Herdt, 1989 ) . Even Erik Erikson & # 8217 ; s ( 1968 ) work on individuality and young person makes the aberrant image indispensable to and about obligatory for understanding cheery young person. & # 8220 ; Negative individuality prevails in the delinquent ( habit-forming, homosexual ) young person of our larger metropoliss, & # 8221 ; Erikson ( 1968, 88 ) argued, because of ill will to household and civilization. Merely through complete designation with such aberrant subcultures can relief from abnormal psychology be found for & # 8220 ; coteries and packs of immature homophiles, nuts, and societal faultfinders & # 8221 ; ( 176 ) . The demand to hold a community in which you are accepted for what you are is a cosmopolitan subject.

As the 1980s began homosexuals and sapphic people were once more confronting a crises from an wholly unexpected beginning, with the find of a hitherto unknown fatal virus, which by 1985 claimed more than seven thousand lives, three-quarter of whom were gay work forces ( Kayal, 1993 ) . Lesbians, who were swept along in the prejudiced tide that afflicted cheery work forces following designation of the syndrome, were however spared from the disease itself. That a disease should seemingly pick out certain societal groups and non to others is no surprise to epidemiologist. The virus seemingly responsible for acquired immune lack syndrome ( AIDS ) flourished in blood and seeds, go forthing cheery work forces unambiguously vulnerable to it through seeds transmittal from adult male to adult male.

AIDS was foremost brought to wide public consciousness in the summer of 1981. On July 3, the New York Times reported that 41 American homophiles were deceasing from a rare malignant neoplastic disease and infective complications stemming from an unaccountable depression of the immune system.

From the beginning, AIDS was socially constructed along a series of moral resistances that defined cheery work forces as disease bearers fouling an guiltless population. Homosexuality, which had merely late been de-labeled as an unwellness, became rapidly remedicalized, with cheery work forces labeled as responsible for their ain predicament and therefore undeserving of understanding.

The Christian right was speedy to work the new chance. Jerry Falwell, promoted as an instant expert on the subject by an compeling telecasting web, announced that AIDS was God & # 8217 ; s penalty upon homophiles, called upon people with AIDS to be quarantined ( or imprisoned if they had sex with anyone ) , demanded compulsory blood trial for AIDS antibodies and a cardinal file of those proving positive, and urged the shutting of homosexual bathing machines ( Body Politic 96, 1983 ) . Rumors began go arounding in the homosexual imperativeness that AIDS was a virus developed as a biological arm by the CIA.

The consequence of media exposure was the beginning of research support and the development of a public terror. Medical forces denied people, who looked homosexual, services. Funeral managers declined to accept the organic structures of people who had died of AIDS. An AIDS-antibody trial was developed, and the U.S. armed forces announced that all military forces would hold to take the trial and those proving positive would be expelled without benefits. The antibody trial alternatively of assisting, merely lead to placing big figure of traditionally stigmatized categories of people, originating a new unit of ammunition of prejudiced patterns.

It is a narrative that is still ongoing. Unrecognized by the larger public are 100s of narratives of single gallantry both of people with AIDS and their protagonists & # 8212 ; such as the Gay Men & # 8217 ; s Health Crisis ( GMHC ) , who have struggled to do the thought of cheery community a world and have ministered to the demands of the beleaguered.


The jobs of tribades and cheery work forces populating in modern societies will non be merely solved through public instruction or good will. The on-going undertaking of adult females and cheery people, every bit good as many other subordinated peoples, can merely be to force for the democratisation of the communicating industry in order to get the better of the capitalist or province disposal of thoughts and to review media discourses so profoundly infused with machoism, militarism, and consumerism. Any group of people earnestly interested in societal alteration must see its topographic point in the larger political context and the potency for alliance with other peripheralized peoples.

I have learned a great trade about the homosexual and sapphic community and I & # 8217 ; m more cognizant of many of the jobs that they face. I know I will non be as judgmental and accusative towards that community as I was. It is of import for a societal worker to hold these accomplishments and I feel comfy in stating that I can overlook a individuals & # 8217 ; sexual pick and work with them without any scruples.


Adam, Barry. 1987. The Rise of a Gay and Lesbian Movement. G. K. Hall & amp ; Co. Boston.

Altman, Dennis. 1980. & # 8220 ; What changed in the Seventies? & # 8221 ; In Homosexuality: Power and Politicss, edited by the Gay Left Collective. London: Allison & A ; Busby.

Berkman, Cathy S. & A ; Zinberg, Gail. 1997. Homophobia and Heterosexism in Social Workers. In G. Castex & A ; P. Moore ( Ed ) , Encounters in diverseness. A Social Work Reader ( 78-89 ) . Copley Custom. Massachusetts.

Body Politic 96 ( 1983 ) : 21. Gay Community News 13, no. 3 ( 1985 ) : 2.

Dannemeyer, Congressman William. 1989. Shadow in the Land, Homosexuality in America. Ignatius Press, San Francisco.

D & # 8217 ; Emilio, John. 1983. Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Erikson, Eric. 1968. Identity, young person and crisis. New York: W.W. Norton.

Herdt, Gilbert. 1989. Gay and Lesbian Youth, Emergent Identities, and Cultural Scenes at Home and Abroad. In G. Herdt ( Ed. ) , Gay and Lesbian Youth ( 1-42 ) . Harrington Park Press, Inc. New York.

Kayal, Philip. 1993. Bearing Witness. Gay Men & # 8217 ; s Health Crisis and the Politicss of AIDS. Westview Press. San Francisco.

Robertson, Marie. 1982. & # 8220 ; We Need Our Own Banner. & # 8221 ; In Flaunting It! Edited by Ed Jackson and Stan Persky. Vancouver: New Star.

A limited
time offer!
Save Time On Research and Writing. Hire a Professional to Get Your 100% Plagiarism Free Paper