It is my understanding that whenever there are two gay males seen showing any type of PDA, public display of affection, they are criticized for their carelessness. If the same people noticed two lesbian women kissing in public, the reaction would be more accepting in society than the reaction to the scene of two males kissing. Generally speaking, heterosexual males are less tolerant of the gay community than heterosexual women are. I have wondered why and how this double standard has arisen throughout history and what factors have contributed to this or social standard. Society praises the intimate interaction between two females especially in communities within younger age groups whereas gay men, teens, are shamed for their sexual preferences.
Often times, gay males are the victims of hate crimes, seen more frequently in southern states because of religious predilections and because it is not seen as a separate crime; such as the states like North Carolina. In the state of North Carolina, there is no state code for the provision of gay hate crimes thus the lack of legislation permits the activity of gay bashing. The double standard is seen in the number of crimes against Lesbians/Bisexuals in comparison with those of gay males. Statistics have shown that out of the 19.3% of hate crimes homosexually-motivated, only 11.8% of those crimes were of women while 57.3% men were targeted (queerty.com); these statistics are in accordance with the FBI’s databases. Another study shows that 4 in 10 gay men are targeted for gay hate crimes but only 1out of 8 lesbians/bisexuals are targeted; the study was done by the University of California (southernstudies.org). In these studies there are vast differences in the percentages of crimes thus showing a trend of more acceptance of lesbians/bisexuals.
The cause of these correlations are being questioned throughout several pro-gay communities and forums because the stigmatizing of anyone is wrong but why target gay males? This leads me to inquiries of my own and one I ran across is the idea of male masculinity. Men are seen throughout history as figures of strength, especially in decades of patriarchy prevalence; women have characteristics of femininity. Many cannot understand that being gay is not a choice of lifestyle but a way that you were born so they think that by bashing/targeting members of the LGBST community will change them. The socialization of males that has been ongoing in society is that you’re supposed to reproduce with a woman and raise a family where you are the sole provider. Men are brought up with the intent of being tough creatures thus eliciting more hate towards gay males than lesbians. Also, something else this leads me to inquire about is the comfort zone that people have around gay males versus homosexual females.
Are people more comfortable with seeing two females caught in an intimate affair? Does gay bashing of males stem from a long history of ostracizing them in society or has it gotten worse with the time period?
These two questions should spark some interest in communities where homosexuality is accepted but I really would like for it to reach places that it is problem, more southern communities. My sole purpose for this paper and my inquiries are to advocate for the issue of double standards within acceptance of the LBGST populations. One day I hope that hate crimes because of sexual orientation is no longer an issue for the reason that I have several friends that who are gay.