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Mary Thibodeau


English 1050


Gender Issues in Modern Society


Definition of gender continues to change from the traditional and simplistic view as the

millennials advance and embrace a culture of self-expression. Modern society has evolved and

encourages people to be true to themselves regardless of what the pre-existing doctrines dictate.

However, people in the L.G.B.T community still face many great challenges and do not

adequately fit into the society because there still exists some level of homophobic reactions about

gender issues. Some of these people have to hide their true nature because members of the

community have not fully embraced the millennial revolution. This suggests that the underlying

challenges that societies impose on individuals and the rigidity of traditional systems do not

embrace the diversity and that is a sad problem. The following analyzes the challenges faced by

the members of the L.G.B.T community, including the society’s various levels of response to the

issue with the hope of acclimating the public concerning new sex categorization.

In support of the L.G.B.T community, former President Barrack Obama declared June as

the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride month. The proclamation was in response to

the increased cases of inequality and violence aimed at the members of this community. Obama

released his announcement following the decision by the supreme court to grant equality in

marriages for all sexes within 50 States in the United States (The White House). Recognition of

the community on a national level enhanced the conditions of the L.G.B.T members regarding
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provisions of social amenities. Many advocates of the L.G.B.T communities had struggled

beforehand to promote the equal treatment of all members of the society despite their sexual

orientation. Statistics show that gay and bisexual people are at high risk of contracting

HIV/AIDS, but most of them receive minimal healthcare coverage with poor services (The

White House). In his declaration, Obama promised that from that point on the National

HIV/AIDS Strategy would improve the situation by providing the required services to all


The story of Garvin Grimm sheds light on a different societal perspective on L.G.B.T

issues. His story highlights the stigma that members of this community face in their daily lives

because of differential treatment by the community. According to Grimm, each day brought

about the tremendous agony and fear that once again the school board would find new ways to

exclude him from student activities. In addition, parents and teachers openly discussed Grimm’s

genitals in public, which brought him more shame and embarrassment. In his story, Grimm

emphasizes that L.G.B.T people are no different from others and should not be treated as

obstinate species (Grimm). Grimm’s tale also depicts how the society quickly shuns those

considered different and tends to enforce normalcy amongst individuals.

As some members of the society show support for the L.G.B.T community, their haters

have progressively grown radical as the FBI reported increasing occurrence of hate crimes

directed towards members of L.G.B.T people in the year 2014 (Haeyoun and Iaryna). However,

some victims fear to out themselves to their immediate friends and family, which results in quiet

suffering and they do not report the attacks. In some cases, authorities in the jurisdictions are

adamant, concerning such matters and fail to file them or even recognize them as hate crimes.

Victims in most states are usually minority transgender women (Haeyoun and Iaryna). In this
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scenario, recognition of L.G.B.T rights is a negative factor, because it causes people to feel

threatened and lash out at the individuals who may have a different opinion concerning common


In some instances, stigma starts from childhood and progresses to adulthood suggesting

that some L.G.B.T members lose their self-esteem at a very early age. Bonner recounts his story

and how some boys labeled him a “faggot” even before he knew what the word meant. Sadly,

this redundant name-calling continued until adulthood. Instead of standing up for himself, he

chose to revisit his life choices and reform by the regulations stipulated by the society. Looking

back, Bonner says that he would turn out better if someone had been there for him. Bonner’s

story also provides insight into the challenges faced by parents and family members in dealing

with humiliating circumstances befalling their children. Bonner recalls his mother fighting back

the tears while trying to reassure him that he was no different from other kids in the playground.

Gender issues affect the matrimonial union greatly, as it involves different aspects and

the mitigation of several laws. Cooper-Harris presents a personal situation where the federal

judge refused to recognize her wife Maggy as a legal spouse because the marriage was not

heterosexual. Therefore, since Maggy is not a legal wife, she is not eligible to receive benefits as

a widow of a veteran. Cooper-Harris requested to share a burial ground together, but the city

denied the request due to the relationship between the city laws and the federal laws. In

hindsight, the federal law does not permit any activities that go against the traditional

heterosexual setup of marriage (Levian). Such laws are outdated and unfair to some sections of

the society which goes against the basis of the existence of laws.

Statistically, the society has progressed in its appreciation and recognition of members of

the L.G.B.T community. However, some people still suffer from feelings of shame and guilt due
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to the internal struggles they face. It is not easy being transgender or homosexual in a conformist

community and some of these challenges manifest into criminal and suicidal activities. For

instance, Mark Carson’s murderer Elliot Morales was a bisexual (Haeyoun and Iaryna), His

example is one of the many cases where L.G.B.T members fail to appreciate the sexualities of

others in the society. Morales’ prosecutor insisted that the crime was instigated by feelings of

self-loathing because Morales did not want to accept his sexuality. Such cases prove that the

members of the society are still awash with lingering homophobia, which derails the efforts of

achieving equality. In addition, having the right to marry does not necessarily make a person feel

worthy in a community nor does it protect from ignorant bigots (Cooper-Harris).

The fact that some L.G.B.T people still face stigma and discrimination from members of

their own community indicates that the society still has a long way to go in appreciation of the

diversity. Acquisition of rights and representation of L.G.B.T people means nothing if the

members of this community are not alive to enjoy the benefits of their efforts (Bonner).

Therefore, the recent violent events can be used to evaluate the amount of progress made by the

society. Human beings are composed of a variety of facets and continue to evolve in response to

these factors divergently. There is need to identify and embrace all our differences without

having to categorize or maliciously undermine the development of other people. Members of the

society must embrace individuality in the same way that they adopt the traditional, cultural and

topographical laws that govern civilization.

Some of the laws implemented in the country aim at discriminating against the L.G.B.T

community. Most of these laws fail to strike a balance between religious obligation and the

sustenance of equality for all affiliations. Recent psychological research shows that the

tendencies displayed by such laws encourage the increase in levels of discrimination and stigma
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in the society (Levian). Basically, the human mind tends to adapt to practices that align with the

requirements of the laws of the specific authority. However, these laws must also be amended to

ensure that equality is maintained even as the human population continues to progress.

Otherwise, future generations will continue to face the obscene levels of victimization and

discrimination, witnessed in the present generation.

In retrospect, I believe that the society is a long way away from fully embracing diversity

and ensuring equality and honestly we may never get there 100 percent. However, there is hope

for people in the L.G.B.T community because of the increased sensitization of the society

concerning such issues. Every individual has a right to express their true nature and the

community must embrace this diversity. Diversity is an important aspect of human civilization

because it ensures the continuity of life. People come from different backgrounds and are

exposed to different cultures. Therefore, the laws formulated should integrate the various facets

of uniqueness, representing all subgroups of the population. It is unfair for some people to feel

excluded just because they are different or express themselves in a different manner.
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Works Cited

The White House. Presidential Proclamation—LGBT Pride Month, 2016. Office of the Press

Secretary. Released by: Barrack Obama. Washington DC, 2016. [online]. Available at:



Grimm, Gavin. ‘I’m Transgender, and I Can’t Use the Student Bathroom. The Supreme Court

Could Change That.’ Washington Post, 2016. [online]. Available at:




Haeyoun, Park, and Iaryna, Mykhyalyshyn. ‘L.G.B.T People are More Likely to Br Targets of

Hate Crimes Than any Other Minority Group.’ HuffPost, 2016. [online]. Available at:


Cooper-Harris, Tracy. ‘Why Marriage Matters…It's About Family. [online]. Available at:


Bonner, John. ‘Will You Join Me: Mom What Does “Faggot” Mean?’ HuffPost, 2016. [online].



Levin, Sam. White House Announces Ban on Transgender People Serving in the Military. The

Guardian. San Francisco, 2018. [online]. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/us-