How are the gender and sexual identities of young people shown to intersect with other aspects of their lives, including where they live, their position within a social hierarchy, cultural practices and traditions, ethnic background and nationality, their bodies, religion?
Homosexuality is a romantic as well as a sexual attraction and behaviour among people of same gender or sex. It depends on the sexual orientation of the individuals in the society. It is however considered as a taboo in many societies all over the world and is restricted in a majority of the countries. It has been constrained in several nations and is still not widely or openly accepted by various orthodox people in the societies in large numbers (Boswell, 2015). The question statement, "How are the gender and sexual identities of young people shown to intersect with other aspects of their lives, including where they live, their position within a social hierarchy, cultural practices and traditions, ethnic background and nationality, their bodies, religion...?" depicts a flawed sexual identity of young individuals.
It together demonstrates a major question raised by the community. This has been answered using various illustrative texts namely ‘The Good Daughter' written by Honey Brown and the film text references of ‘I don't want to go back alone/The Way He Looks' (McWhirter, 2016). All of these texts have thrown a strong light on the physical, mental, emotional and psychological conditions of young individuals who are surrounded by this question by the community, showing people doubting on their sexual identities. It hereby urges to pay a significant attention to their wellbeing to the society where a large group of religious and cultural communities is mostly against the practice of homosexuality and mutual attraction towards the other member of the same gender and sexual orientation.
The people who are identified as homosexual are often considered to have certain psychological issues and are ultimately reflected to be the unwanted part of the society where the community people refrain them from staying a usual part of their accepted social hierarchy. Such non- acceptance, in turn, restricts the individuals from taking part in any societal activity. As a result, to which, they are forced to become self-indulged and less social as stated by Lipkin (2018). This makes them go into the state of solitude and loneliness by together impacting their mental and psychological well-being in a negative manner. The hatred and dislike that they receive from others in the society force them to opt inappropriate measures that are often invasive in nature. This increases the hatred sense of the society people towards them by together creating a disturbance in the social hierarchal structure.
They are not only excluded or detained from any sort of social rights in the society but are also mistaken for their real sexual identities as specified by Matos (2016). People avoid contacting them and maintaining any sort of relationship with them, as in the text of "I Don't Want to Go Back Alone/ The way he looks". In which, there exists a depiction of three similar aged friends, studying together in the same high school. Out of all those three, there is a girl who develops some loving sentiment for a guy who in turn has some romantic feelings for another guy. After knowing this fact, the girl ultimately falls in a dilemmatic situation and doesn't seem to support this fact by leaving the room where the guy, whom she started adoring, confesses this to her.
Another reference book titled as, "The Good Daughter", indicates the criminal actions and the horrific past of two sisters. The novel scripts the discovery of the homosexual relationship between two young sisters, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's, followed by the death of their mother and their father being devastated by this fact. They kept their relationship as a secret to avoid any sort of social and psychological trauma or disturbances. This novel showcase that the depression of such urges and hiding such kind of relationship lays a very deep and negative impact on their social existence as well as wellbeing. This novel showcases the way in which the fear and sense of guilt overpower human's emotion and senses by leading to devastating consequences at the end. Other than this, Meyers (2016) states the trauma of discovering such sort of relationship by the family members or society also puts a pressure on the mindset of people involved in it.
The "Night swimming" is a music video that has showcased people's attitude towards the present sexual orientation of young people in today's society and the way they tend to react against such openness of youngsters in an absurd and daunting way. The singer's and songwriters of this song, who are also young have showcased their own feelings as well as their past experiences (Filip-Crawford and Neuberg, 2016). This showed the way in which they denied the orthodox mindset of many retrospective people in the society who are opposing the fact of homosexuality in the most rebellious manner to evade all encountering opinions. The phrases of song showcased the effect of displaying sexuality in public and its effect on people as well as the society. While on the other hand, the film text of, "I Don't want to go back alone/ The Way he looks" has displayed the sexual orientation and showcasing of sexuality between the teen or young people of same gender and age.
This short film has showcased the mutual attraction of one of the character, Leo towards another character Gabriel, both being males displayed homosexuality. Despite being visually impaired, Leonard got attracted towards Gabriel without having any idea of his looks. Their common friend, Giovana who was the only girl among them, on discovering their homosexual relationship reciprocated and didn't give a positive response to it. On the other hand, Gabriel, knowing about Leo's Physical attraction towards him, accepted him in a very affirmative way. The short movie has showcased the dependency of Leo on the people around him and his desire to get free from such dependency and perform something on his own and follow his heart. Carlson and Linville (2016) hereby enlightened the realism of such people who want to live free, without considering following the bounded norms and views of other people opposing a factual existence of homosexuality.
On comparing all of these 3 instances that has been discussed above, many things have been found to be in common. First of all, there exists a foremost need of understanding the homosexuality where people of similar gender have a sexual attraction towards one another which is mutual as well as proven to be a normal biological fact. However, people opposing such type of relationship, despite knowing this to be a fact believes that these kinds of relationships should be avoided or kept hidden from various cultural and religious institutes. Also, it should not take place naturally, in the society or else they have a right to exclude individuals indulged in homosexuality with no prior considerations.
Dynes (2016) states that the society is reluctant to accept it as a natural biological and psychological process or a stage through which, an individual can pass on. Whereas, the societal elements opposing this fact are adamant to eradicate such type of kindship in the cruellest and insensible way.
Apart from this, on comparing the 2 texts namely "Two Boys Kissing" and "I Don't Want to Go Back Alone/ The way he looks" slightly differs from one other. It is on considering the fact where the detailing of one text differs from another. It is with reference to the first text of "Two Boys Kissing", it has shown a contemporary America with 7 confident teenagers who have powerfully accepted their homosexuality with one confused for not having any partner (Bennett, 2014). However, none of them have given attention to the social perspectives and the conflicting views of community people. They simply overlooked any such contradicting opinion of others towards their same-sex relationship. This ultimately showed an acceptance towards such type of kinship were in another text called "I Don't Want to Go Back/ The way he looks" directly showed the denial of the girl who entirely went against such type of relationship among 2 of her male friends.
This proves that the sexual identity of youngsters relates with the other aspects of their lives where they are being judged on the basis of their position in the society, their accepted cultural norms, and beliefs, etc. This clearly shows society's attitude towards it as a major issue that lay a very deep and significant impact on homosexual people (Brubaker 2017). The prohibition of maintaining or having a homosexual relationship and showcasing one's distinct sexual identity is often considered to be awkward and an impure deed. Thus, it is being prohibited in many religions and cultures, in many regions of the globe where people are having a non-supportive response towards the revelation of homosexual relationships.
The chances of getting a social acceptance with equal rights of people involved in homosexuality seem to be meagre. The people from various cultural background having distinct cultural beliefs and religious norms and ethnicity, opposing homosexuality judge others on the basis of aforesaid aspects (Parker, 2014). A major difference between all referred cases is the condition and responses that are being received by people on revealing their sexual identity that differed from the normal perspective of others. In the first case, both the sisters were separated on the revelation of their uncommon relationship that ultimately led to the occurrence of crimes and landed their family in a devastated state of affair.
Another case of the songwriter as well as the singers depicted their unconcerned nature where they were unaffected by society's judgment and freely exposed their sexual identity. Lastly, in another referred text that landed on a happy note also consisted of a miserable fact of unacceptance by the female friend towards the homosexual relationship of her two male friends. This is due to the fact where many societies are composed of orthodox people with a strict outlook towards the revelation of one's sexual orientation. Although, raising a social awareness is apparent to make them liberal and adaptable towards a vital change that is required to live in today's modern world. This will also assist people involved in homosexual identities to get acceptance of the mainstream community by together simplifying their lives and safeguarding them with common rights. It will, in turn, provide them a respectable position in the social hierarchy where the fact of homosexuality is not based on a specific culture, religion or ethnicity, etc., and can be found anywhere, in any country, as stated by Kite and Bryant-Lees (2016).
Yet, their outlook towards LGBT community is quite varies where many countries have accepted this fact and have started giving equal rights to such people. There existed several movements to defend the LGBT community to improve their condition in the society and provide them a proper recognition (Bennett, 2014). This involves giving them equal rights of marriage and child adoption with equal access to health and medical care services, without any discrimination and for which, a proper legislation with suitable legislative norms have been set up as a way to avoid their exploitation or bullying in any form. Beside this, homosexuality is deeply dependent on the biological, i.e., genetic and environmental factors. The biological factors can lay a significant impact on the teenagers in the society.
Filip-Crawford and Neuberg (2016) specified that the presence of homosexuality is the result of nature as well as the nurturing of the people in a particular social condition. Some psychologists believe that most people's sexual orientation is being determined at the early age while others, it depends on the extent of their sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, etc. Any hormonal imbalance caused due to biological or environmental factors also contributes to the occurrence of different traits producing a distinct sexual orientation of certain individuals in the society. Although, some experts still believe that the sexual orientation is a matter of choice and depends upon the individual.
The social factors include parents, friends or peer's behaviour where one's non-appreciating physical appearance leading to a harassed feeling also impact upon the mentality and psychology of an individual having a distinct sexual orientation that differs from others. (Fejes, 2016) have emphasized on the fact that there is no such existence of gay hormone or chromosomes and thus homosexuality cannot be identified on a prenatal stage. But many religious groups contradict about the fact that wellbeing of the homosexuals in the society by provisioning an affirmative psychotherapy to change the sexual orientation of people belonging to LGBT community.
Such forceful attempt to convert or alter the sexual orientation of these person leads to a state of distress by rising conflicts among the people. Also they go into a traumatic situation; in which they are afraid of accepting the fact and let others know about it. This proves a distinct revelation of young people's sexual identity that is often interconnected with that to their accepted cultural practice and background, etc., where people in opposition to homosexuality judge them based on these parameters.
Bennett, S., 2014. Two Boys Kissing. The School Librarian. 62(3). pp.189.
Boswell, J., 2015. Christianity, social tolerance, and homosexuality: Gay people in Western Europe from the beginning of the Christian era to the fourteenth century. University of Chicago Press.
Brubaker, C., 2017. A Practitioner’s Attempt at Quantifying the Actor’s Experience. Canadian Theatre Review. 172. pp.58-62.
Carlson, D.L. and Linville, D., 2016. The social importance of a kiss: A Honnethian reading of David Levithan's young adult novel, Two Boys Kissing. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. 37(6). pp.887-901.
Dynes, W.R. ed., 2016. Encyclopedia of homosexuality (Vol. 2). Routledge.
Fejes, F., 2016. Gay rights and moral panic: The origins of America's debate on homosexuality. Springer.
Filip-Crawford, G. and Neuberg, S.L., 2016. Homosexuality and pro-gay ideology as pathogens? Implications of a disease-spread lay model for understanding anti-gay behaviors. Personality and social psychology review. 20(4). pp.332-364.
Kite, M.E. and Bryant-Lees, K.B., 2016. Historical and contemporary attitudes toward homosexuality. Teaching of Psychology. 43(2). pp.164-170.
Lipkin, A., 2018. Understanding homosexuality, changing schools. Routledge.
Matos, A.D., 2016. 5 Queer Consciousness/Community in David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing. Gender (ed) Identities: Critical Rereadings of Gender in Children's and Young Adult Literature. pp.59.
McWhirter, J.M.R., 2016. Homosexuality/heterosexuality: Concepts of sexual orientation (Kinsey Institute Series). SAGE. 2900. p.146.
Meyers, J., 2016. Homosexuality and literature: 1890-1930. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Parker, R., 2014. Beneath the equator: Cultures of desire, male homosexuality, and emerging gay communities in Brazil. Routledge.