Friday, April 24, 2009
Who's Got it Worse in the LGBT Community?
I don't mean to be biased or anything, but I believe my lesbian sisters are likely to experience LESS hostility than gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people. Whether it's looking at hate crime statistics or just the overall societal perception, lesbians seem to fare better. With the exception of Sakia Gunn, I do not recall hearing or reading about any lesbians (in the United States) being attacked or killed. Pondering the rationale for my observation, I can only surmise that the reason for the increased hostility toward gay men is as follows. Perceived heterosexual men perpetuate the vast majority of hate crimes. As men are conditioned from an early age to not strike women, the cultural expectation overrides their desire to seek retribution against lesbians. Further, men look stupid when they attack females, regardless of sexual orientation. From what I've read, men are more likely to react negatively (or violently) toward lesbians after their sexual advances are rebuffed.
Bisexuals are also characterized negatively. Often seen as "straddling the fence," their existence is used to refute the possibility that sexual orientation is a genetic, hard-wired attribute, leading to increased vilification from WITHIN the LGBT community.
I cannot end this post without acknowledging my transgender brothers/sisters. They, of all people, experience extreme prejudice and hatred. It seems that not a day goes by without learning about the murder of a transgender woman (especially in Memphis, Tennessee). Also, gender identify is commonly cited as the reason for sexual orientation legislation being stalled or abandoned completely. It's completely unfair and unjustifiable.
Now that I've kicked my soapbox aside, it's time for y'all to vent.