REPRESENTATIONS OF TRANS/GENDER AND SEXUALITY

Discrimination, terror, rejection and even confusion are present everyday within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community (LGBT). It was not long ago that homosexuality was considered a disease by doctors and crime by the government (Benstoff 2009). Since the passing of same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015, the nation has slowly been accepting the true meaning of happiness and love for all. Films like Broke Back Mountain, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and even shows such as Glee and Will & Grace have significantly emerged into progression and the acceptance of gay lives in mainstream media (Benshoff 2009). Yet the perpetuating the idea that homosexual people are considered “deviant” and not “normal” in society is still immensely apparent (Benshoff 2009).

Naomi Gordon-Loebl, a writer who lives in Brooklyn, shares her several encounters of people questioning and even asking if she is a boy or girl. In her article “Even Lumberjacks Deserve Lotion: Gender in the Locker Room,” she shares her fear and struggle of keeping a low profile to avoid being kicked out of the women’s locker room. She states, “There are people, real people, many of them, who think we are freaks…” and these are the people who make the lives of LBGT miserable and taunting. Unfortunately studies have even shown that LGBT people have higher suicide rates than those who are heterosexual people. She ends her article with an aspiration to have joy and pride, without being embarrassed or ashamed for whom she is. Although Gordon-Loebl is not the only person who has been terrorized by her own community, Caitlyn Jenner was ridiculed and judged by the entire world. As an Olympic winner back in the 1970’s, Jenner was easily considered a national hero for his heterosexual masculinity and strength. Caitlyn Jenner shocked and confused many audiences when she came out as transgender, yet sparked awareness and much more support for the LBGT community. But before Jenner came out to the world, she hid her identity behind closed doors and continued to dress as man for many years. This supports the notion of many LGBT people who are “scared straight” (Benshoff 2009) in order to be accepted and avoid panic and fear from others. While most are proud and very outspoken human beings, there are hundreds of lives within the LGBT community who are trapped in the conception of fear and scrutiny. Rejection from their family, friends, and society have created a harsh world for these lives who only want to fulfill happiness and find their identity.

 

Benshoff, Harry. “(Broke)back to the Mainstream: Queer Theory and Queer Cinemas Today” in Film theory and contemporary Hollywood movies. Ed. Warren Buckland. New York: Routledge, 2009.

Gordon-Loebl, Naomi. “Even Lumberjacks Deserve Lotion: Gender in the Locker Room” The Toast: LGT. 7 March 2016.

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