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.

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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.