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Gender and sexual identity - Essay Example

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Gender and sexual identity

I love them for who they are. I respect their sexual identities and admire their strong personalities. These gender experiences of my friends demonstrate the intersections among race, class, and gender issues, which help understand how society conditions unfair gender and sexual identity prejudice that affect families and individuals. I have not had any gay friends until I met Joshua, someone who is rich and yet so unhappy because of the prejudice against his gender, and his social status and his family that promote strong prejudice against gays. Joshua is a black gay, which for him, makes his situation more uncomfortable. Being black, he says: “I’m supposed to be a thug, a macho man or something. But I am not a macho man. I am gay, and that puts me at risk in my own racial circle.” At the same time, Joshua comes from a rich family, a family where homosexuality is highly negatively criticized. He says that he wanted to admit the truth to his family already. But something horrible happened. A distant cousin confessed he was gay. His family accepted his admission, but treated him coldly afterwards. In their community, he experienced physical and emotional bullying. In a week, he committed suicide. His suicide was kept under wraps from the media through money. Joshua is shocked. He could not believe that a family member would be so cruel to their own flesh and blood. His analysis of what happened saddened me: “This is not civilization. And that is not a family.” We talked about society and

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sexual identity. He expressed disappointment with families that do not want to support the identities of their children. He could not help it if their neighborhood has a traditional view regarding sexuality, but he expected families to be more tolerant. The discussions and readings in school showed that family, neighborhood, and culture interact to shape individual sexuality and gender identities and experiences. When the culture is not tolerant to diversity in sexuality, and the media looks down on gay people through stereotyping them, families can see homosexuality as something to be ashamed of. Furthermore, some people have deeply-set prejudice against homosexuals. For them, they are lower kinds of people. Joshua experiences gender discrimination because of culture, family, and neighborhood factors. He cannot escape his environment that fails to accept his sexual identity. When asked how he will deal with his circumstances, Joshua notes that he will choose silence, while he is still young and openness by the time he can have a stable job of his own. He feels anxious that he cannot be who he is. But he is a practical-minded person: “I mean, Frederick Douglass learned to read and write first before he ran away. I must be self-sufficient before I admit I’m gay. If they boot me out, I can live on my own.” He wants to be financially independent before saying the truth. He seeks to finish his schooling, which he cannot afford with part-time jobs. Joshua wants to make sacrifices, until he is ready to stand on his own. Another friend experiences assaults on her gender. Belinda is beautiful, funny, and strong-willed, but because she is blonde and heavy-busted, she regularly experiences being sexually harassed and stereotyped as a “bimbo” and a “slut.” She lives in a low-income neighborhood, where many men and boys have some problems with a smart blonde. She says: “

Summary

Name Instructor Class 16 November 2012 Gender and Sexual Identity: Being Gay and a Woman A rich, black gay teenager and a poor, blonde, smart Latina are some of my friends with gender issues. Joshua wants a normal life, but he keeps his real sexual identity hidden from the public view…
Author : nikolausadolfo
Gender and sexual identity essay example
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