Sunday, June 30, 2013

LGBT and Pride - Exposé I

Today many cities around the United States and the world will be having "Pride" celebrations.  These celebrations are a mix of sexually toned political marches aimed at bringing attention to the LGBT agenda.

Often in these marches, there are vile displays of sexual acts, nudity and other indecent things. Religious beliefs are often mocked during them in a condescending and vulgar manner.

This post is an introduction to a new series I am working on regarding the LGBT subculture.  After much research, I have gathered the key aspects of this subculture and will present it to the best of my ability in a way that is academically appropriate. This I have found to be difficult due to the vulgarity that surrounds this subculture.

Most of the aspects of the LGBT involve sexuality and hedonism. Cries for "civil rights" or "equality" are often mixed in order to give some legitimacy to the subculture. There have been many homosexuals who have contributed positively in society; however, little mention is given to them during these "Pride" events.  As a result, the LGBT subculture is represented as a group of modern "Hippies" seeking to live a licentious lifestyle in the public.  

This series will serve as an exposé of the LGBT subculture.  This movement is not as chick as it presents itself to be. Behind the bright colors, sassy attitudes, and unique demeanor's lies a world of hurt, pain, division, prejudice, lookism and so on.

I tried my best to have enough research in order to provide enough details on this subculture; however, I also relied on discussions with people in the LGBT as well as testimony from those who have messaged me via my blog.

LGBT - What is it?

LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual.  It is an acronym meant to describe the different "genders" within the subculture.  This acronym is used to represent the movement that seeks "equality" in societies throughout the world.

It is believed that the movement - in its primitive state - began to form in 1784 when philosopher Jeremy Bentham advocated for the legalization of sodomy.  Prior to this, sodomy was illegal and punishable by death in most of the known world. (Homophobia: a history)  However, it wasn't until during the French revolution in 1791 that sodomy was made legal under the new laws and regime.  France is the first nation to allow homosexuality between consenting adults.

In the United States, homosexuality/sodomy was pretty much illegal in all the colonies.  It wasn't until the 1900's when homosexuals were beginning to organize.  However, this proved to be dangerous.  In 1903, 26 men were arrested in a gay bath house and charges of sodomy were brought against them. (Chauncey, 1995)  Ironically it was a woman named Emma Goldman who first spoke publicly on homosexual relationships and advocated on their behalf despite not having much rights herself as a woman. (Goldman, Emma 1923. "Offener Brief an den Herausgeber der Jahrbücher über Louise Michel" )  She argued that homosexuals should be allow to profess their love publicly just like any other couple.  In 1924, Henry Gerber founded the Society for Human Rights which is the first homosexual rights group in the United States of America.  However, the group did not last long and was dissolved by the authorities.

Homosexuality was frowned upon in early American society.  All states had penal codes specifically targeting sodomy as a grave crime.  Illinois however changes this course by becoming the first state to remove the criminality of sodomy in 1961. (1961 Ill. Laws 2044)

Homosexuals lived their lives privately and engaged in their sexual activities in secret.  The police would often crack down on suspected gay establishments.  Those caught would be arrested.  This would soon end when on June 28, 1969 the unthinkable happened.  A secret gay establishment called "Stonewall Inn" in the Village of Manhattan fought against a police raid.  The Stonewall Inn was run by the Mafia and was a spot where the pariahs of New York society passed the time.  During the raid, homosexuals gathered around the Stonewall inn in order to prevent the police from entering.  A riot broke out with many police officers and homosexuals injured during the scuffle.  This event is given credit as the birth of the LGBT movement in America.

The 60's and early 70's were a time of upheaval and rebellion in the United States of America. It is
no wonder why homosexuals took the opportunity of living in this time period to voice their frustrations and demand rights.  Eventually, homosexuals in New York City were beginning to be treated like other citizens.  Gay establishments were allowed and the raids were halted.  The movement spread around America and sodomy laws began to be erased from the books allowing public homosexuality.

This is the beginning of "Pride."  It is the time where homosexuals recall the events of Stonewall and present their case as to why they deserve the same rights as heterosexuals.

Homosexuality was still considered a mentally illness around this time.  It wasn't until 1973 that homosexuality was removed from the DSM but replaced with "ego-dystonic homosexuality." Ego-dystonic homosexuality means that the person is suffering distress due to his/her homosexuality and has a desire to become heterosexual.  The LGBT protested this and in 1986, homosexuality was removed altogether from the DSM.  Controversy surrounds this decision due to the lack of research done in order to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.  

However, the political activism tone of the marches changed.  They became more sexual and a place where homosexuals freely expressed themselves by wearing strange outfits or nothing at all.

Gender Roles
In the LGBT subculture, gender roles are extremely confusing, even for the LGBT themselves.  Gay men can be "butch" or "fem."  Butch means that the male takes on a masculine role.  Fem, means that the male takes on a more feminine or woman role.  The terms also apply to Lesbians.  Lesbian who are "butch," act like males.  They even style their hair and clothing to match that of heterosexual males.  Fem Lesbians retain their feminine demeanor.

Things get more complicated when transvestites and bisexuals come into play.  Transvestites are gay males who have a fetish with dressing up like a female.  Again, the "butch" and "fem" demeanor can be demonstrated in or out of "drag."  A transvestite can be dressed in drag and sound like a male, or can act completely like a female.  Bisexuals are unique in that they claim attraction to both genders.  This can also create confusion in that a bisexual male can have a female partner and he may have a feminine demeanor as well.

Age/Categorization and Labeling
Age in the LGBT community is significant.  Each age group has a unique label.  The term "Abigail" is used to describe an older male who has not revealed himself to be homosexual.  "Baby butch" is used to describe a lesbian who is masculine but is young.  "Twink" is a term used to describe young boyish looking homosexuals who are known to look "pretty" and behave in a shallow manner.  The term "bear" is used to describe an older hairy gay male. "Cub" is used to describe a younger hairy gay male. "Queen" is another term used to describe a gay male who behaves like a female in an exaggerated manner.  "Daddy" is often used in a sexual manner by younger gay partners when referring to an older partner.

This concludes the first part of my series.  Stayed tuned for LGBT and Pride - Exposé II    




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