Social Cohesion and the GLBTQ Community

Contributor:  Michael Hadous.

Since the beginning of time, the fertilization of human germ cells has led to determinant sexes and characteristics of the baby-to-be.  This “genetic switch” events the developmental fate, psychological challenges and social pressures that the individual will face in the real-world. It’s such a sudden step in the development of an ignorant fetus, but such a monumental impact on the development of an aware being. Juxtapose this inkling with the modern-day approach to sexual identity: “Sexual identity is how one thinks of oneself in terms of whom one is romantically or sexually attracted to. Sexual identity may also refer to sexual orientation identity, which is when people identify or disidentify with a sexual orientation or choose not to identify with a sexual orientation.” In other words, sexual identity is no longer a chromosomal analysis, but a manner of self-identification apart from successive psychological, social, and psychiatric pressures.  Now the controversy has risen and the confusion is raising questions: why does it matter? And how are those that are misinterpreted being affected?

Social normality tensions experienced by the transgender/gay/lesbian communities often “grants” them unequal treatment across all age groups. Let's take a look at the specifics: 

  Sexually Misinterpreted Youth

Service providers estimate that 20% to 40% of homeless youth may be GLBTQ. 50 percent of gay teens experienced a negative reaction from their parents when they came out, while 26% were kicked out of their home.

  • Greater instances of family rejection during adolescence have been linked to negative health outcomes for GLBTQ youth.
  • In a nationwide survey, 84.6% of GLBTQ students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed, and 19% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.
  • 29.1% of GLBTQ students missed a class and 30% missed a day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe at school. GLBTQ who experienced more frequent harassment had lower GPAs than those who were harassed less frequently.

Sexually Misinterpreted Adults

  • 15% to 43% of gay and transgender workers have experienced some form of discrimination on the job.
  • 8% to 17% of gay and transgender workers report getting rejected from a job offer  or fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 10% to 28% received a negative performance evaluation or were passed over for a promotion because they were gay or transgender.
  • 7%  to 41% of gay and transgender workers were verbally or physically abused or had their workplace vandalized.

Unfortunately, the right to be human is perpetually hindered across all age groups.  The social structures implemented into our everyday lives, including media, advertisement, religion, and other standards, have segmented general persona in the worst of ways.  The numbers presented above are less than a few years old.  Although national recognition has been paid to the gay community less than a year ago, changes have been minimal.  The right to free living and equal treatment isn’t a decision to be made by those common origins. What gives?