Through the years gays and lesbians were subjected to unfair violent treatments as a result of their sexual orientation. According to one gay adolescent “violence comes with the territory”, meaning that violence is expected to be a part of a homosexual experience. Types of violence inflicted to them varies and reasons may be simple to complicated but relatively they are called hate crimes.
Gays and Lesbians react to violence in three ways: hiding their homosexuality, joining gay and lesbian support groups to help them fight for their rights as human beings and sadly, some of them resort to suicide. I. Reasons for Violence Basically, gays and lesbians experienced all types of violence and the deep reason for such acts is due to their gender preference- for a gay, a male behaving as female and for a lesbian, a female behaving as male.
In society they are sometimes referred to as the “third sex” and straight males and females generally regarded them as “weird”, “sinful” and dirty with respect to their sexual activities which others termed as “perverted”(LaHaye, 1978,21). Due to these negative feelings, straight individuals, usually guys, abuse the homosexuals. Violence erupts due to simple reasons like when a cop beat a gay in the street simply because the former do not like the way the latter walks. Or oftentimes a lover beats the homosexual when he refused to give money.
Or it can be complicated like when a former male lover wants to protect his reputation so he murdered the gay when the latter tried to blackmail him by exposing their affair to the public (Jay et al. , 1979,699-672). II. Types of Violence Violence inflicted on homosexuals varies (although it must be noted that it is often the gays who are victims), such as throwing stones at them, destroying their belongings, name-callings, taunting, beating them up, individual or gang rape, and worse murdering them.
Violence may be committed anywhere at anytime such as in the street, school, parking lots, inside cars, inside their houses, at night and in broad daylight. It is in the adolescent stage that gays and lesbians experienced more violence. Although all sorts of individual may inflict violence or “hate crimes” against them, it is often the violence committed by the family that hurts them the most.
Instead of supporting their choice, families oftentimes cannot accept their gender preference and beat them up or threatened to drive them out of the house in order for them to “straightened up”(Jay, 1979, 699-675). In some cases gays and sometimes lesbians, suffer physical abuse with their live-in partners. However, oftentimes the victims do not report the abuse to the authorities, as they fear the authorities may not treat their case seriously but instead laugh at them (Elliot, 1996,1-8). III. Effects of Violence to Gays and Lesbians
Generally, there are three ways by which homosexuals react to violence: 1) due to fear they tend to hide their homosexuality to the extent that they marry an opposite sex, 2) they fight back by joining gay and lesbian groups who provide them moral support in pursuing justice, and 3) sadly, some homosexuals committed suicide because they suffer a strong sense of hopelessness and depression brought about by feelings of guilt, shame and unworthiness (Jay, 1979, 707 &719). IV. Conclusion Violence against gays and lesbians may continue until a time when straight individuals fully accept them.
However, whatever may be the difference in beliefs and values it is best to live in peace with homosexuals . We should give them the respect that any human deserves.
Elliott, P. (1996). Shattering Illusions: Same-Sex Domestic Violence. In C. M. Renzetti and Charles Harvey Miley (Eds. ), Violence in Gay and Lesbian Domestic Partnerships. Binghamton, NY: Haworth. Jay, Karla and Allen Young (1979). Lesbians and Gay Men Speak Out About Sexual Experiences and Lifestyles. New York: Summit Books, Inc. LaHaye, Tim (1978). The Unhappy Gays. Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.