Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues - Homophobia and Self-hatred
- Length: 608 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Essays - A Debt that Must be Paid
Adolescence, under the best of all circumstance, is a time of great stress and confusion for young people. Bodies, relationships to friends and family, and moods change rapidly as social, psychological, and physiological puberty is navigated.
In this society, to be an adolescent who is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered (hereafter referred to as 'gay') means to be at significant risk for suicide, depression, dropping out of school, violence, homelessness, rejection from family, prostitution and substance abuse.
Estimates suggest that at least three million children and adolescents in the United States are homosexual.
For this group, the societal stressor of homophobia (both external and internal) adds a significant and often lethal component. Researchers estimate that up to one-third of all adolescents who commit suicide are lesbian or gay. In addition, gay teens are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.
Data collected in 1985 suggest that 85% of gay youth who attempt suicide also use illicit drugs. Nearly a quarter of that group had already undergone chemical dependency treatment. The mean age for suicide attempts is 15 years and most report multiple tries. Overdose and self-laceration account for 80% of these attempts.
National dropout statistics reveal that 28% of gay and lesbian high school students leave school because of physical and mental harassment resulting from their perceived sexual orientation. While in school, the data indicates that more than 37% of adult gays experienced threats, harassment, or violence in either junior high school or high school.
Feelings of social and emotional isolation are also are rampant. Four-fifths (80%) of gay adolescents report severe problems in this area. According to a 1986 survey, 40% of homeless youth identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. In addition, half of all lesbian and gay youth studied, report that their parents reject them because of their sexual orientation. It is estimated that 26% are forced to leave their own homes.
Gay youth are more likely to experience violence perpetrated upon them by family, school peers, and total strangers. Nationally collected data is not available, since the Bureau of Justice statistics do not indicate crimes against youth who are gay. Non-national studies show that of youth who report assault crimes, 46% say that their sexual orientation was an issue. More sadly, 61% of the violence perpetrated on this group occurred within their own family.
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Homophobia Bisexual Issues Lesbian Hatred Three Times Homeless Youth High School Students Sexual Orientation Homosexual
Going to college does not provide safety from violence either. College surveys report that up to a quarter of these students are threatened with violence and up to three quarters had been verbally harassed.
Finally, conservative estimates suggest that more than 60 percent of gay and lesbian youth abuse alcohol, and that half that number abuse illegal drugs. In fact, in unpublished 1992 data, a study of gay male adolescents reported 68% alcohol use (with 8 % self-identifying as drug dependent). Among young lesbians, the same study indicated that 83% had used alcohol, 56% had used drugs, and 1% had used crack/cocaine in the three months before interviewed.
The above picture brings shame upon America. It is clear that, without appropriate intervention, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youth are considered a "throw-away" population. The interventions needed are twofold: one is for the at-risk adolescent. The other is for the societal value of homophobia that fertilizes the soil in which self-hatred grows into self-destruction for this group of youth.
As a society, we owe a debt to the generation yet to be born. It is in the spirit of that debt that these issues must be addressed.
Traditional Beliefs Is The Key Behind Nigeria’s Homophobia
Nigeria has some very strict laws in place against the homosexual community. These laws have made Nigeria a very violent place to live if you are a homosexual person. They will give a person up to fourteen years in prison if they are married as same sex or engage in same sex behavior. And if you aren’t homosexual, you can still get up to ten years in prison if you attend a gay event or help in gay organizations. These means if you help someone homosexual, you can go to prison as well.
This is all because of religious beliefs of Nigeria, which does not condone homosexuality they see it as immoral. This is why they the country of Nigeria is such a bad place to live if you are homosexual. Most people just except that this is how things are and they don’t question it because of the consequences that can occur if one is caught helping or even being homosexual. Children have even been expelled from school because they were homosexual or caught help one. This makes any kind of reform on the laws and how the people think about homosexuals.
Since the new laws that have been passed in January of 2014, there have been mobs of people that have taken it upon themselves to bring homosexuals to justice. They go into their houses and make them leave, beat them, and blackmail them. This is all done while the police do nothing to stop it. Homosexuals are being blackmailed into giving other money to keep them quiet about their sexual orientation because if found out they were gay, they would lose their job, be put in prison, or even being evicted from their own homes. The treatment of this group of people in Nigeria is a crisis and they are getting very upset that foreign nations are trying to give them aid to help this group of people out.
It is usually after people move away from Nigeria that they see that what the nation is doing it wrong and they are being hateful to a group of people that don’t deserve it. The religion of Nigeria has taken over and is more discriminatory than it is helpful to the people of that country. The only way the homosexual community can survive there is to leave before something happen to them.