Even as society becomes more and more open to the gay and lesbian community, there are still plenty of people who disagree with it. I have two best friends who came out to me in the past year or so and since they’ve revealed their sexual orientation to me and our closest friends, I find myself more sensitive to subject (even though I’ve never opposed gay or lesbian relationships). I think that the most difficult part of being a best friend of two young gay males is that I’m unsure sometimes of how to emotionally support them. I can’t say that everything’s going to be okay because I can’t possibly imagine the types of discrimination that they may have dealt with, and I don’t know if or when they’ll be able to start a family through adoption or if I can go to each of their weddings.
Since they’ve come out to me, I’ve completely decided that every American should have the same legal rights–no matter what their sexual orientation is. My hope is that the general idea of homosexuality will soon be accepted in our lifetime–perhaps even with the help of the media. In our recent readings, one phrase stood out to me the most–it basically said that homosexuality itself isn’t being kept out of the limelight of the media, it’s “homophobia and heterosexism (DeFrancisco, 2007)”. I’m a Resident Assistant on campus and a majority of my residents are male and I’ve frequently noticed their interactions with one another. I often find them using “insulting” terms with one another out of habit, the most frequent being “fag” (even after the numerous times I’ve told them to refrain from using the word). To them, it’s an insult to be called a fag, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re actually offended by the word. Regardless, it’s used in a derogatory fashion that has a negative connotation towards the gay and lesbian community. Even though we’ve progressed in the terms of accepting gayness, there’s still a vast amount of homophobia evident in the upcoming generations (I’ve even heard my little brother use the term)–though I’m not really sure why. One day, I hope that being homosexual is as accepted as being black is today (in comparison to the racial discrimination from only two generations ago).
DeFrancisco, V., Palczewski, C. (2007). Communicating gender diversity: a critical approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.