Intersectionality: An Overview
Intersectionality is most simply defined as the overlap of minority identities. For example, a woman who is both African American and bisexual would be a part of three different minority groups: gender (as a woman), race (as a woman of color), and sexuality (as a part of the LGBTQ+ community). The combination of different identities drastically increases an individual’s likelihood of discrimination, marginalization, and harassment.
Particularly in the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and individuals who identify as a woman are much more susceptible to oppression than the rest of the community. This is because of the oppression combined with being a part of more than one marginalized demographic.
LGBTQ+ Celebrity Activists
One of the biggest issues in the modern LGBTQ+ community is the lack of representation in the media. Thankfully, many different LGBTQ+ individuals have become BIG in the public eye, and many have used their fame to bring attention, awareness, and support to the community. Especially in the last ten to fifteen years, LGBTQ+ actors, singers, leaders, and activists, in general, have made their way into the media, which really helps the community to have a voice and the proper representation.
Continued Marginalization: Societal Expectations
Although the LGBTQ+ community has made tremendous strides in the fight for equal rights in the last decade, there is still quite a long way to go. Gay marriage was legalized by the Supreme Court through the Equality Act in 2015, which was a huge step for LGBTQ+ couples. However, members of the LGBTQ+ community are still being discriminated against and oppressed on a daily basis. There are people who are purposely cruel and belittling to LGBTQ+, but there are also a lot of cultural and societal norms that contribute to the discrimination of and stigma surrounding the community.
One of the most common societal norms that are prevalent in our culture is heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is best defined as the general assumption that everyone is heterosexual, or straight. This has been produced by the mindset that being straight is “normal”, while any other sexuality is strange or unfamiliar. These messages are supported by the media. There are rarely LGBTQ+ individuals portrayed in movies, television shows, commercials, and other mass media. Representation has gotten better, but it’s not always accurate or shown in a positive manner. (more…)
Education is a basic human right that every parent, non-government sectors and government agencies must help children to attain. With this, the school has become the second home for students. Being considered the second home and spending almost half of one’s life in school, there is much responsibility towards providing the right education and instilling correct life behaviors and values in the minds of young individuals. This article will examine the role of schools in the life of the LGBTQ students.
The good and the bad
The moment children enter school, parents have tremendous fears that their children will be bullied, will get easily intimidated by bad influences, and will suffer irreversible psychological effects. Although it is expected that the school environment will help in the development of the youth’s intellectual, emotional, moral, physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions, it is also considered as an avenue or place where children can be ruined, especially if the child is known to be an LGBTQ youth. (more…)
Important Events: A Comprehensive Time
The LGBTQ+ community has gone through a tremendous amount of pain, but there have also been some victories along the way. Although the fight for equality is far from over, there have been some strides in addition to the setbacks. Here are some of the crucial events that have paved the road to present day:
- 1930-1940: During the Holocaust and Hitler’s reign, countless homosexuals were taken to concentration camps. They were branded by a pink triangle that was upside down to represent their unacceptable sexual habits.
- 1945: The first female to male sex change took place in Britain on Michael Dillon.
- 1948: Alfred Kinsey published the book “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male”, which revealed just how common homosexuality really is. Kinsey also created the Kinsey Scale, a revolutionary tool used to describe someone’s sexuality on a scale from completely heterosexual to completely homosexual.
- 1952: The American Psychiatric Association released its first list of mental disorders and illnesses, including homosexuality. In the diagnostic manual, homosexuality is described as a “sociopathic personality disturbance”.
- 1953: President Eisenhower banned homosexuals from working for the government, reasoning that they are a security threat and shouldn’t work for the federal government if they engage in what he calls “sexual perversion”.
- 1956: Evelyn Hooker approached the American Psychological Association after researching the differences between heterosexual and homosexual men in regards to their mental health. Her results showed that there were no differences in the mental stability when the two were compared.
- 1962: Illinois decriminalized homosexuality and homosexual acts (as long as it is consensual and in private), being the first state to do so.
Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (or LGBTQ for short) youths are just happy and try to thrive during the time of their adolescent years. Going to a school that creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and getting care and acceptance from parents are most important. This helps all youths achieve good grades and maintain good mental and also physical health. Therefore, some of the LGBTQ youths known to me more likely compared to their heterosexual peer groups to experience such difficulties in their lives and school environments, such as violence. If you are concerned about your sexuality or that of your teenage child, you can seek professional advice with free online counseling.
What Schools Can Do
“Mental health issues can be caused by a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors, and can have a minor or major impact on a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.” Christina L. Gmyr, LMHC, NCC said. So for youths to thrive in their schools and their communities, they must feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe, as well as being supported. A positive and comfortable school climate can be associated having a decreased depression, substance use, suicidal feelings, and also an unexcused school non-appearance among all the LGBQ students. (more…)