For centuries my people have been hurt and killed for no reason. Many people have been silently agreeing to this treatment and many others advocate it. In South Africa’s army they castrated or, in their eyes, fixed the problem of homosexuality. We have all heard the news about conversion therapy, or electroshock therapy of old. Religion has been expressing hatred toward any group that they can oppress, and the LGBT community is no exception. We have to acknowledge how the LGBT community has been hurt and see how we can fix it.
It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime—and a cruelty too. - Sigman Freud. If one of the greatest and most influential figures in psychology says being gay is ok, then who are religious fundamentalists, without any medical degrees, to say differently. Between the years 1967-1989 gays and lesbians were treated horribly, being chemically or physically castrated, along with the ever popular, aversion therapy. This is an especially fun way of reassigning sexual orientation, they would show a picture of a naked man and shock the gay man. Now the next extreme and one without any proof to show it worked, was gender reassignment surgery. If you couldn’t change their mind just change their bodies. Many of these patients died during or after the surgery. Of course the National Technology for Biotechnology Information is a fairly reliable source.
Now to move closer to home, It’s a warm June day. Crowds are gathered outside of the supreme court waiting to hear the verdict. A few adults, interns probably, come running to reporters, the crowd is feeling a nervous agitation. The cheer starts small, a few scattered voices cry out, “love has won.” This catchphrase catches fire and suddenly the crowd is burning with passion and victory fueled yelling, “LOVE HAS WON!”
Same-sex marriage was recently allowed by the supreme court. This victory did not come without suffering, and it will not end it. For that small moment in time, however, everything seemed right for the LGBT community. Eventually the thrill of victory wore off and we returned to a discriminated class.
Grand Forks, when you think about it, is a pretty progressive city, at least for North Dakota. In fact, we are the first and only city in all of North Dakota to ban discrimination in rental housing based on sexual orientation. Grand Forks, Fargo,and Bismarck both have ordinances banning discrimination in public employment because of sexual orientation. Now everything has some bad and North Dakota is no exception. If you want to commit a hate crime against a member of the LGBT, then that’s fine. There is no law protecting people of the LGBT community from hate crimes.
When your society shames both men and women to contort their bodies to conform to society's standards, then you are doing something wrong. The topic of women’s body types is too large a can of worms to open so I will keep to the standards set for gay males in particular. If a supermodel is representation for the female form, then a football or hockey star is a model for all males. And if the representation is relatively the same we can assume the effects will be the same. In fact, Gay males were 7 times more likely to report binging and 12 times more likely to report purging than heterosexual males, multiple studies from the National Eating Disorders Association. Just as porn portrays sex in an unrealistic sense, and action movies depict kidnappings as much cooler than they are, the media shows off gay males as muscular and attractive, what anyone would want to be. This hurts a developing child’s vision of himself. Those who aren’t strong or muscular don’t fit into the stereotypical image.
Religion is a double edged sword. It can bring people together and tear people apart. An extreme example of religious hatred is the Westboro Baptist Church.
Some of their beautiful works of art include:
“Fags doom nations.”
“God hates sluts.”
“Pray for more dead soldiers.”
“Fags die god laughs.”
I mean how much classier can you get than that, protesting multiple funerals is just so incredibly beautiful.
These people are sick or in more religious terms, perverted, however they are in no way indicative of the rest of christians in America. They are, however, the more extreme side of still obvious religious intolerance going around in the U.S. For instance the LGBT community makes up 10% of youth, but make up 40% of homeless youth. That’s a huge difference! In conservative numbers that turns out to be between 320,000 - 400,000 children, according to americanprogress.org. Another fun statistic related to how LGBT youths are treated is how they are treated. In fact, 86% (thats a whole lot of people) reported being verbally harassed in 2007 in one survey. In out-of-home placement, 88% of the staff say that LGBT youth are not safe in those types of environments.
These problems don’t have to exist, the LGBT community doesn’t have to face discrimination on a daily basis. We as a society have to change, and what we are doing right now isn’t working fast enough. Churches need to stop preaching hatred and bigotry towards the LGBT community. If you logically think about being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, there are no logical reasons for objecting. It’s always hard to change how a society thinks, but it can be done. America has to follow the ways of numerous European countries in how they treat their LGBT people.
Lavender, Paige. "Here Are A Few Of The Things The LGBT Community Is Still Fighting For."
Kaplan, Robert M. "Treatment of Homosexuality during Apartheid: More Investigation Is Needed into the Shameful Way Homosexuality Was Treated."
"Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers."