The Quest

It is hard to come from a high school background of writing and merge more into a creative realm because of the stipulations placed on creativity. In high school, writing was all presented in a quick and efficient style to increase the pieces you were writing solely for grades. There were no paths of enlightenment or even a source of thrill in the pieces that I wrote so I just had a lot of fluff and b.s. in my writing. The transition is easy when you are able to sprawl out all of your ideas in any format that you choose; there are no limitations on my writing. This semester made me realize how much I do have to say which drove my passion for writing higher than it originally was when I started this journey.

I named my blog the “Quest” for the reason that I figured this new found freedom within my writing would be a journey. Its different layers of the adventure which began with discovering inquiry as a whole, then it moved into inquiries that I had been making for a while. Inquiry doesn’t just involve the question, something that I had to learn the hard way, it’s a lengthy process. This process includes the inspiration, the question, researching the inquiry, formulating an opinion, establishing a foundation for your writing, discovering new sides of your inquiry, and then of course, creating the piece. I must say that researching the question is the most complicated portion of the whole passage.

When approaching the research portion you have to specify exactly what you hope to achieve therefore making it easier to find concepts that relate. Otherwise, you end up with several other pathways to take and then by that time you’re already off track. Trust me, this has happened to me so take my word for it. Figure out what you need to look for then focus on information that directly relates with the topic at hand. Research is going to take a while so do not be aggravated when you doing it because it’s an essential part of your quest.

A struggle of mine during this progression had to be writers block. Sometimes I would sit for hours and think of things to say because of the lack of creative freedom in high school had literally created a mental block. Overcoming the block was extremely difficult at first, then I remembered topics that were significant in my life in one way or another. I took those and ran with it; it fueled me, most of it was outrage at things like a double standards in our society. Ridding myself of this non-creative stand post is what aided me in my quest of inquiry the most; it’s hard to forget something that was instilled in you for four years.

One thing that I realized over my small amount of time in this course was that I actually do enjoy blogging. I get a genuine burst of happiness when I post to my blog, especially when it’s outside of academic work thus giving me free reign. I decided to not just publish academic content that is required for the class but to also publish inquiries that I had always wanted to look further into. Therefore, I started posting things that I was passionate about whereas before I would have never thought to create a blog. Writing was such a turn off to me before I started taking the class. I would even dread addressing my own opinions because I knew there were certain qualifications a teacher would be looking for such as the five paragraph format.

To say the absolute least, I enjoyed embarking on this journey of inquiry. It gave me creative freedom thus making writing more enjoyable. It helped me rediscover the passion and voice that I had back in middle school which was smothered entering my sophomore year of high school. I no longer have writers block which prevented me from actually recognizes the talent that I have for writing. In a sense, I guess you could say that I’m a “free bird”; I have free reign to discuss whatever I aspire to thus rekindling all types of excitement. I do not have to worry about writing just to fulfil academic requirements, writing for a grade that came solely from research and fluff. This journey has been short but a lot has been realized!

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connecting the dots

I have done extensive research on the topic of double standards within homosexuality and have focused on two questions to pave the way for my quest into inquiry. The next step was to review the blogs of those in my inquiry group to ensure that we are all still on the same quest. I did find many connections between our blogs, mainly on the topics of religion, media, and societal repercussions.

While I was reading Alexa’s inquiry blogs I noticed that there were a lot of points that I could question to lead her further into discovery. In her Furthering the Standard blog post (https://akarambe.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/furthering-the-standard/) she discussed gay male identity formation. I would like the term gay male identity formation to be defined and specified to ensure the audience understands what exactly is being discussed. How can families show their support for homosexual child if their child never comes out to them? Is there anything that homosexuals fear more than acceptance from their family or society?

I also read the portion of the blog that covered the article “Attitudes of Black and White College students towards Gays and Lesbians” in which I questioned what the study shows for acceptance among black and white college students; the results were never clearly defined. This article also lead me to the question: Do you think a harmonic acceptance of homosexuality can be procured when there are so many demographics and opinions?

In the article about the tycoon whose daughter is a lesbian, I found the ending inquiry question to be very tasteful and I enjoyed the thought you left me to ponder on. Can you still see a double standard in homosexuality even if you’re not a part of the LGBTQA community and are not abreast of the situations in which they face?

I continued on to the More than a Double Standard Part 2 blog post (https://akarambe.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/more-than-a-double-standard-pt-2/) where I found a connection with my blog where masculinity’s changing definition. I blogged about gay bashing and the changing of it prevalence. Are there any studies that suggest a trend between gay parents and gay children? Are there any studies that indicate lesbian parents are better nurturers than gay parents? Could this be why the problem of children being raised in gay households exist? How have these societal expectations of masculinity in a man arise? When does it date back to or is it a trend of the times?

In Katherine’s blog post I found several connections between mine which was very appeasing. In the “Stereotypes and Does the Media see Homosexual mean as a joke?” blog post (https://kvaugha7.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/stereotypes-and-does-the-media-see-homosexual-men-as-a-joke/) I first noticed that she talked about stereotypes and labeling of the gay community which I also discussed in one of my blogs where I listed various labels that were attached to the LGBTQA community. How do you think that new generations are still learning these stereotypes? Through socialization in a family, school, or even a religious setting?

I also found a connection between Katherine and Alexa’s blog post about Family Acceptance article. Katherine discusses coming out to your loved ones and Alexa’s blog post also featured a piece about that topic. Do LGBT kids give their family a fair chance to accept them when they do not come out to their parents? Next I moved on to reading about Gay men vs Lesbians in reference to media. I too wrote about media in one of my blog post when in relation to how homosexuals are depicted through media. I found that homosexuals are invisible in media and when they’re shown, they’re represented through stereotypes. I like the example that Katherine gave about the Modern Family show and gays in a sports setting; it was a nice point of connection with her piece.

I read her blog post titled Love is Love, Regardless of Race, Religion, or Gender where one of her focuses are generation hate. Has generational gotten worse in this time frame? She also discusses Christianity being against gays which is stated in the bible, I also wrote about that in my blog post. Then I realized that Christianity is not the only religion that is not accepting of the gay community. Is homosexuality a man-made stigma or is it actually God’s testimony? Further into the blog post she discusses masculinity again. Is masculinity dependent on sexual preference of top/bottom/versatile?

Another question that I had while reading this blog post was have the “Stop Gay Jokes” commercials shown a change in societies convictions against gays?

In the “Taking it one step further” blog post I noticed that all of your blogs consistently intertwined with one another and I really liked that. The article that was titled Evaluations and Aggressions directed at gay male targets, I question if you think a lot of the men/women that are intimidated or fear homosexuals if they’re not quite comfortable with their sexuality? Like men/women on the “down-low” or still in the closet?

A Drawn out Fight

In my previous blog, I addressed new questions that came along in my research on the topic of double standards within the homosexual community. This inquiry topic has lead me to new avenues and angles of topic thus making research a bit broader. The ponderings that I stated in my last blog titled “Commune World-Wide” are the exploration of “sinful” and “holy”, media’s relevance in gay bashing epidemic, and religious insight regarding homosexuality. To say that my findings were great would be an understatement; I found a lot of information and inquiry thrived through this exploration.

The first angle that I approached was the religious aspect of the topic; I chose to find a NPR transcript to further explore. The title of the discussion was “Black Christians Struggle Over N.C. Gay Marriage Ban” which can be viewed at this link: http://www.npr.org/2012/05/06/152122167/black-christians-struggle-over-n-c-gay-marriage-ban

A pastor too was on his inquiry process on the subject of homosexuality within the religious realm. He presented the idea to his church while framing it as more of a choice as opposed to forcing it onto his church; he was curious what his congregation felt on the subject. The congregation was split into wanting to accept homosexuals into the church and seeing it as a moral dilemma. Many said that they would allow the couple into the church but they would not stand for the couple being permitted to get married in the church. This inquiry process took a detour whenever I discovered this article because I thought of it more as an opportunity to look into the religious aspect but I also found some culture as well. Blacks have been discriminated against for a very long time in this country yet to only pass the discrimination on further to members of the LGBTQ community. This leads me to the question of why discrimination continues to thrive more than ever in those who have been previously discriminated against.

I continued my research in this avenue of religion and homosexuality and came across an article which can be viewed at http://uncc.worldcat.org/oclc/4593041108&referer=brief_results.

The article is called “Epistemological Frameworks, Homosexuality, and Religion: How People of Faith Understand the Intersection between Homosexuality and Religion”. The framing of this article focuses on the diversity of views on the topic of homosexuality, the article is not meant to belittle the struggles of homosexuals in our society which are still occurring daily. Christians values focus on the “dignity and worth of human beings” thus making an acceptance of gay men and lesbians admissible for the fact that they’re human beings just like everyone else. This however does not mean that they’re accepted by everyone, this means that ideally, they’re accepted by Christians.

One piece of information that I found to be pretty significant was the difference between Progressive and Orthodox Christians. Progressives view tend to shift with the struggles of the current age whereas Orthodox Christians do not shift perspectives based on the current age and still feel the same on the subject of homosexuality: that it is a sin. Both groups agree that there acceptance is a little frothy when it comes to the sexual practices of the gay community. The topic of homosexuality from a religious standpoint is a relatively newer discussion. The bible is used as a source for those of the Christian faith to prolong the argument of acceptance of the gay community. How can we steadily use this a source when it was created by man and is no proof that an actual “God” even exists?

The next angle that I explored was the media outlet’s roles in the epidemic of gay bashing and if it has risen because of the insensitivity towards the gay/lesbian/bisexual community. Media has been a rising influence on everything and every aspect of life in today’s society. My general focus of inquiry is if media plays a role in the epidemic of gay bashing. The peer-reviewed article that I used for this process of inquiry was “We’re HERE, We’re Queer, We’re on tv: The effects of Visual Media on Heterosexuals’ Attitudes towards gay men and lesbians” which can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.librarylink.uncc.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2000.tb02821.x/epdf. How the media portrays the gay community through mass communication has a huge impact on how an individual thinks about the gay community as whole. The article says that the gay community is one of the most invisible groups and subgroups of people because they’re underrepresented in the media realm of the world. It also directly states that the media represents a world where everyone is assumed to be heterosexual. If gays are seen on tv they’re usually the product of malice and stereotypes thus making it easier for our culture to hate and bash gays. I want to know if America is doing this on purpose to assassinate the character of the gay community and keep discrimination against the gay community relevant in society.

The framing of this article seems to be purely informational but there is a bias which sways in favor of the gay community.

The last inquiry process that I sought was the definitions of “sinful” and “holy”. The official definition of sinful is wicked and immoral; committing or characterized by the committing of sins. The definition of holy is dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred. How is someone characterized as holy? If you can judge someone for their sexual orientation does that not make you sinful? So in theory no human being is holy thus making everyone sinful. Those who are religious in some sense tend to discriminate, a form of judgment, against those who do not share the same beliefs as them. The homosexual community has been a key target of the malice throughout the years. Those who discriminate are just as sinful as those who like the same-sex but that is not our judgment call.

Commune World-WIde

Again in this blog we will discuss the inquiry questions I have been presented with in reference to double standards within the gay community. The two questions that I have been researching are a) what are names that society has assigned to female and male members of the homosexual community and what do those referents say about the way members of the homosexual community are viewed? b) does the bashing of gay men stem from a long history of gay men being ostracized in society or has it gotten worse in this time period? My recent research has called into play a lot of new factors that I did not think of such as the way gays are discriminated against.

I can assure you that being a member of the LGBT community is really testing task, especially when the society around you has given you a negative connotation. I am a member of the LGBT community and those close to me have known this for quite a long time. I remember being 8 and starting to notice that I was having feelings towards both sexes but as a child, you’re confused. My sister and close aunts knew about these feelings but I did not introduce the idea to my mother until I was about 14-15 years old. My mother did not accept the idea of her daughter being a member of the LGBT community, especially considering the fact that I was raised in a Muslim household. She eventually came around to the idea but there are still family members of mine that I do not even discuss it with because it’s a touchy subject.

In one of my previous blogs I gave a brief list of names that are seen in the LGBT community, however, when I did further research I discovered that there are many negative connotations but there are also positively associated connotations. Here’s a more extensive list:

Positive

  • Pansexual
  • LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQA, TBLG
  • Pansexual
  • Lipstick Lesbians
  • Allies
  • Cisgender

Negative

  • Top, bottom, versatile
  • Metrosexual
  • Faggot, fag
  • Carpet munchers
  • Fruit cake
  • Anal assassin
  • Butt pirate
  • Dyke
  • Butch
  • Bean flicker

These are a few of the less vulgar ones that I found. Also, in one of my previous blogs I spoke on how it shows a lack of respect for gay communities all over and many of the names that become prevalent are to shame these members.

I think it is absolutely ridiculous to shame someone for how they were born or something that they have no control over. Whether that is their race/nationality, disabilities, gender, or their sexual orientation. How dare you decide that you’re better than someone else because it is seen as a disadvantage to society? If anyone who does discriminate is reading my blog post right now, I speak for everyone who is a member of any of these communities- Fuck you! Society looks to ridicule anyone that is different than the social norm so what the hell is the social norm at this point? Dare to be different!

You know what doesn’t make any damn sense? How members of churches can discriminate against gays but religious persecution was once a thing thus making you a part of what society hates/hated. You’re supposed to be “holy” and involved with the church but I do believe judgment is a sin so you should think about your sins before you cast the first stone. Who the hell are you to play God? I think that the words “holy” and “sinful” need to be explored a little more.

Wikipedia-LGBTReports of homosexual persecution dates back to 550 BC where the Abrahamic law forbade homosexuality and declared it a crime. This is also seen in the Leviticus Book in the bible (hypocritical piece of writing written by man). This is not the first occurrence because this is also a trend in Ancient Rome, protohistoric Germany, and Middle Assyrian Law. Many other different instances have been seen throughout history such as in the Middle East where in 76 countries it is still criminalized.

http://www.revelandriot.com/resources/hate-crimes/

Religious objections tend to state that the homosexuality is immoral but their sin is judging those when that is not their right nor their problem. There are many members of the LGBT community that do identify with a religion and to not even be accepted by people they commune with is preposterous. Dante’s Inferno suggests that sin removes us from our better nature but that sparks the question of what is “our better nature”. Why is being homosexual seen as being such an immoral act? Why can I be damned to hell just as someone who has committed genocide?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/14/religious-views-lesbian-gay-survey_n_3442858.html

I’d like to further explore idea of man-made degrading of homosexuals through the bible and through the media which has become way more prevalent. Gay bashing no longer has to be through law or persecution but now it’s through bullying on cyberspace. Our own laws do not protect us so how are we citizen?

I will attach more recent LGBT community news at during this part of my post so feel free to go look on these pages if these ideas interest you. Please comment if you have any feedback or new topics relating to this blog that you want me to explore.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/27/us/mormon-church-lgbt-laws/

http://interviews.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/20830/isis-kills-gays_a-history-of-violence

Are gay men and lesbians/bisexuals equal?

I’ve been watching a few youtube videos in order to get a better understanding about the double standards issues that I am researching. In many of the videos, many people said that they think it’s ridiculous that people can decide what is gay and what is not. One of the users that I watched discussed how many do not consider homosexuality when there are two lip stick lesbians; for you who do not know what a lip stick lesbian is, it’s a feminine lesbian.

The two questions are

1. What names has society assigned to female and male members of the homosexual community and what do those referents say about the way those members are viewed?

2. Does the bashing of gay men stem from a long history of gay men being ostracized in society or has it gotten worse in this time period?

Names that I found for gay men were extremely vulgar and demeaning to this whole community. People said things like faggots, anal pirate, carpet muncher, dyke, butch, and bean flicker were some of the most common ones. Whenever I hear any type of slur whether it is racial, sexuality-based, or any type of discrimination it really upsets me. From the videos that I watched many people said that gay slurs make them feel like society is against them and that leads to frustration and even depression in severe cases. These jokes and names make the gay community as a whole look bad and most importantly ostracize them more than ever.

In an interview with Lillian Collins, she talks about her first experience with standing up to someone who said a homophobic slur while on  a date with her. She speaks about how empowered it made her feel to speak out for a community that is so often bashed for something they cannot help.

Gay bashing has gotten worse in this time period due to all the different forms of media and the socialization of kids. The media is teaching people who saying something is “gay” is a cool phenomenon. Kids also see a lot of this in television programming and through music with artists such as Eminem. I watched a movie called the interview recently where Eminem was casted for a role where he talks about the homophobic slurs in his music being because he was in fact was gay. There are a lot of down low men that bash because they cannot deal or even understand why they are the way they are. In general, I think that homosexuality is misunderstood and that’s where the problem lies.

Double Standards Strike Continuously

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.

Fundamentals of Inquiry

WHAT IS INQUIRY?

  • Inquiry, officially, is the act of asking for information or an investigation which we do through the process of questioning. Questions can be broad and for many of them, there is no definite answer but instead an infinite amount of solutions can be found to these inquiries.
  • Exploration of these inquiries could take paths that lead to larger discussion, and more often than not, to much broader questions that may be circulating. Inquiry just opens up to more discussion on the subject matter because once the question is asked, there are endless possibilities.

WHAT IS INQUIRY BASED LEARNING?

  • . By definition, Inquiry-Based learning is the process through questions that generate from the interests, curiosities, and perspectives/experiences of the learner.

WHO USES INQUIRY BASED LEARNING?

  • The technique of inquiry based learning is commonly found in fields of science and history. Chemistry poses many questions about the understanding of how things work such as solutions while history continuously uses questions to also come to a much deeper understanding of what has happened previously.

DOES EVERYONE AGREE ON WHAT AN INQUIRY AND INQUIRY BASED LEARNING IS?

  • Almost every single field of study uses IBL as a learning style but there are a few out there who disagree with the style. Criticisms of the usage of IBL question in which ways its usage is most effective in guiding students throughout their learning experience and process. This technique pushes students to find their own answers to questions which can cause great difficulty.

USEFUL LINKS:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/inquiry

http://www.teachinquiry.com/index/Introduction.html

http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/

http://www.learning-theories.com/discovery-learning-bruner.html