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What Is A Homosexual? Essay

1274 words - 6 pages

Andrew Sullivan, author of, What is a Homosexual, portrays his experience growing up; trapped in his own identity. He paints a detailed portrait of the hardships caused by being homosexual. He explains the struggle of self-concealment, and how doing so is vital for social acceptation. The ability to hide one’s true feelings make it easier to be “invisible” as Sullivan puts it. “The experience of growing up profoundly different in emotional and psychological makeup inevitably alters a person’s self-perception.”(Sullivan)This statement marks one of the many reasons for this concealment. The main idea of this passage is to reflect on those hardships, and too understand true self-conscious ...view middle of the document...

However, this portrays the idea that we truly understand homosexuality; in reality we have not. The more this term is analyzed the more society will stamp homosexuals for being “diverse”. Which they would like to few equal. Sullivan explains, “But as obsession with diversity intensifies, the possibility of real difference alarms and terrifies all the more. They are marginalized as “stereotypes””. This fact demonstrates how homosexuality will be considered different no matter what day in age.
Sullivan speaks of a homosexuals’ desire to cover-up. His own personal feel of emotional rejection fuels his attempts to do things that gave the perception of what he was not. “So I decided, consciously or subconsciously, to construct a trajectory of my life that would remove me from their company; give me an excuse, provide a dignified way out” (Sullivan). His “dignified way out” included creative writing, and theatre. He also goes into detail of how some of his fellow classmates would cover up by joining sport teams, attempting to make themselves fit the norm. This way he gained respect while still being self-consciously different.
More examples of this kind of stereotyped discrimination is thought out in Brent Staples “Black Men and Public Space”. He starts off with a story of the typical discomforting energy he feels when trailing a white woman on his way home. Not purposefully done; however he feels as though he is a criminal, calling this woman a “victim” He feels this way because of her worried looks and a quick footed exit. “And I soon gathered that being perceived as dangerous is a hazard in itself” states Staples. This 6 foot tall black man fights the stereotype every day of his life. He states that he is familiar with the language of fear. He has adapted to the ways of society, but still argues his desire to not be considered a criminal.
Similar to Sullivan, Staples felt the heat of being diverse throughout his life. It affected him in the same way it did Sullivan. They both felt insecure in their differences. The perception of what seems threatening, is not. That it what has stopped the both of them from branching out openly with their identities. To be a victim to societies ridicule poses a huge role in these peoples’ lives, adolescent or not.
Another example of discrimination can be found in Nicholas D. Kristof’s “Saudis in Bikinis”. It is a question of whether or not the culture of the Saudi woman should be pressured to change because of western habits. The viewpoint offers a new perspective that allows the reader to see the life of the Saudi woman through her point of view. This is a great example of how our society is not understanding difference....

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