Thursday, September 19, 2019

Repression and Fear of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender America

Repression and Fear of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender Americans Every June thousands of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender people gather in different locations around the world to celebrate Gay Pride Month with dances, festivals, and marches. The categories of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender are fairly recent; the term "homosexual" used to refer to all individuals of a sexual orientation other than heterosexual. The tradition reached its thirty-fifth anniversary this year, and while the number of participants has skyrocketed since the first march, the rights for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender people have not altered significantly since 1970. For example, not only are same sex marriages not legally recognized or granted the same privileges as opposite sex marriages, the current administration proposed to ban the possibility of same sex marriages ever being recognized by the government through a constitutional amendment. This amendment is one in a series of attempts by the American legislature to restrict and confine the homosexual lifestyle, therefore an entire month seems extraneous to celebrate their identity given their lack of legal rights. But the more the government threatens to interfere with the choices of homosexuals, the louder PRIDE becomes: cities such as New York and San Francisco boast attendance in the hundreds of thousands. The legislative act of prohibition has provided strength to the prohibited acts in the case of sexual behavior and identity. Michel Foucault best explains how homosexuality became an identity and a category. In The History of Sexuality, Foucault explores the validity of the "repressive hypothesis" which claims that sex has been repressed in Europe s... ...story of sexuality has resulted in individuals being defined by their sexuality, thus laws against homosexual acts prohibit homosexuals from claiming who they are. Social and legal attempts to restrain the homosexual identity have been met with increasing support and power. Works Cited: 1. Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality Volume I: An Introduction. Trans. Robert Hurley. (New York: Vintage Books, 1980) 2. Rubin, Gayle. American Feminist Thought at Century's End: A Reader. Ed. Linda S. Kauffman. (Cambridge, Ma: Blackwell, 1993) 3. Paris is Burning. Dir. Jennie Livingston. Videocassette. Miramax, 1992. Internet Sources: 1)Sodomy Laws, A reference site for the history and current status of sodomy laws in the US and around the world. 2)American Civil Liberties Union ,Website for the organization working to defend the bill of rights.

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