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Discrimination And Inequality Amongst LGBT Community

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The LGBT Community has long been existing alongside our society for years and despite that, many choose to ostracize the people who are in the community due to the social norm that was created by the society itself. They call them by hurtful names, attacking them physically and mentally which results in manifesting various negative thoughts and in some severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts. Hence, an array of people are afraid of coming out to their close friends and even their family because they know that they will have trouble fitting in with their social circle or peers and hence, feeling excluded and not having a place to feel comfortable in. In my essay, I will be presenting three main issues faced by the community and how these problems create various negative impact in their daily life.

Unfair treatments and discrimination in the workplace is undoubtedly a common occurence no matter which part of the world you reside in and this is especially more so for the LGBT Community as not everyone is accepting of the ideal that they have to work with someone whose sexual orientation does not fit the society standard. Thus, this would lead to occasions whereby homophobic actions can be seen being demonstrated either through direct or indirect means. According to a survey done in the United Kingdom, employees who have come out in their workplace brings home at least £6703 lesser than what they are supposed to get and this pay gap is shockingly estimated to be 16%, comparing this to the United Kingdom’s gender pay gap, it is actually doubled. This phenomenon is called gay wage gap which is happening not only in United Kingdom but in many other countries as well for example United States, Canada etc. Similarly in Canada, there was a study done on the pay gap and it was evident that the straight men get higher pay. In a year, straight men gets pay at an estimated of $183,000 meanwhile gay men pay per year was only $121,000 making the difference $62,000. One reason as to why there is a pay gap between the employees who are part of the LGBT community and the straights is mostly due to the fact that male pay are generally higher than female and since a gay couple wage will be double of that , the company pay them lesser to display the equality in providing a fair wage. Despite their effort in trying to provide a fair wage, it is still seen as a form of indirect discrimination to many. Unfair wage gap is not the only issue being faced by the LGBT Community, getting fired, verbal abuse and having no promotions are also part of the many discriminations that the LGBT Community have to endure in their workplace. As stated by a survey done by The Williams Institute, 8% to 17% of the LGBT Community reported that because of their sexual orientation, they have been fired and overlooked during a job interview. To add on, there were many instances where this sort of discrimination can be seen documented in a few court cases. In 2017, there was a report on how a senior living facility terminated an employee who is lesbian purely because she defended herself against a resident who was disrespecting and discriminating her for her sexual orientation. The facility clearly showed signs of discrimination as they did not take actions towards the resident who has been harrassing their employee and even calling her “piece of shit”. As for the verbal abuse, up to 41% said that they have experienced discriminatory words which in turn, created a hostile atmosphere in the workplace. More often than not, employers would remind their employees who are gay to not disclose their sexual orientation as it subsequently would evoke a feeling of uncomfortableness around their colleague. With this amount of discriminaton and inequality at their workplace, they would hence feel a sense of fear. This would lead them to not only be super cautious around their colleague but also, be a reason as to why their performance at work is not at their best. Socializing with their colleague will also become one of their problems as they cannot be open and comfortable enough to be talking about themselves. This would not only have a negative impact in the workplace relationships but also when it comes to talking and interacting with future client, employees who have trouble socializing will have difficulty in bringing their idea to words and this can result in poor communication and hence, affecting both the employee and company image. Most of the times, co-workers would ask questions that are directed to gay colleagues about their sexual orientation and even questions that can be interpreted as disrespectful and nosy. In return, this can damage the relationship and future interactions between the colleagues, causing more tension and therefore, difficulties in working together as a team.

Not only are adults facing these discrimination in their workplace but students, as young as 8 years old are also affected by it. School a place known for learning and where diversity is important, is also one of the places where students who are apart of LGBT Community gets bullied the most. The bullying which includes getting called nasty names, physical and verbal abuse etc. gets so severe that some students committed suicide just so that they could end their suffering. Reportedly, 30% of the teenager’s cause of death are related to suicide and these teenagers are part of LGBT Community. This statistic not only shows how big of an impact coming out has on teenagers but also proving to us that they lack support from the people around them which will therefore, become one of the many reasons to commit suicide. With the school censorship against most of the LGBT contents and thus limiting the students exposure to these topics, it is no wonder that many teenagers nowadays commit these homophobic actions. In Fight for Your Right: Censorship, Selection, and LGBT Literature an article by Jen Scott Curwood, Megan Schliesman, and Kathleen T. Horning, they mention that:

One of the key ways that schools condone homophobia is by failing to include LGBTQ literature in the curriculum. In a 2005 article entitled “Teaching Queer-Inclusive English Language Arts,” Mollie V. Blackburn and J. F. Buckley found that only 8.5% of responding schools indicated that they use “texts, films, or other materials addressing same-sex desire in their English language arts curriculum” (205).2 For those that did, it was often a single text or within one class only (p38)

This also means that instead of encouraging diversity and educating their students on the LGBT Community, they would turn a blind eye to these issues or just simply be selective on the contents that they are teaching. Another key event that happened recently which also dealt with censorship was the Tampines-Meridian Junior College gay couple photos that occured in Singapore. The couple was seen posting a photo of them kissing online and it gained a lot of attention all over the country online and offline. Despite it just being an innocent post that every couple would do, the whole situation was interpreted negatively by the public because of their sexual orientation. There were homophobic comments thrown towards them on forums and the school requested the post to be taken down as it was making others uncomfortable. From these actions, it is apparent that the school was trying to censor and cover up the fact that they do not allow such behaviour to affect their school image. By making the student delete the online post, it is also a way to warn them that their actions were inappropriate and unacceptable in the current society which would then further encourage discriminations towards LGBT Community. School which is supposed to be a safe place for students to learn and socialize has become a place where students, who are part of the LGBT Community, fear the most. Due to all the harassment that LGBT youths might face, their self esteem will therefore be lowered and up to 30% of these students would have thoughts of skipping classes just so that they would not have to face anymore painful bullying from their classmates and in some cases, teachers. The lack of LGBT education in school also indirectly encourages students to outcast their peers, manifesting a sense of loneliness and isolation in the victim’s mental state and this can lead them to feeling rejected in any social area. These feelings of social isolation can be especially damaging and destructive to the youth’s mental health and state which would then affect their future self and social skills.

As one grows older, marriage and having a happy family tends to come into mind. What may seem like a normal process for some can be a hassle for others, especially the LGBT Community. Starting a family and settling down is in fact a difficult task for many same sex couple because of the laws that some government have imposed on the country. One good example is Singapore where same sex marriage is an huge obstacle and frowned upon. According to an article written by Chow Jia Ying, it is noted that:

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they have to be issued a valid marriage licence, and the solemnisation has to be performed by a licensed official. In this regard, LGBT couples should note that common law unions, or informal unions between people who are not legally married, are not recognised in Singapore. (Point 1. Starting a life together)

This means that to be able to get married in Singapore, both have to be of different sexes during the procedure. But what is more discriminating is that even though both are legally married and accepted in singapore, if ever one partner decided to change his or her sex their marriage would be nullified and considered as invalid because they will then be regarded a same sex couple and marriage. In doing so, the government is indirectly supporting the homophobes which would then cause even more dispute. As a result of this, same sex couples would not only feel that they are being singled out and segregated, but also a feeling of hostility. The sense of belonging would also gradually disappear as their own country is rejecting of them purely based on their sexual orientation. Another way the government is opposing of same sex couple can be seen through criminalising homosexuality and this law is in fact existing in many countries and in some cases, same sex relation is punished via death. A good example of this is the news of Brunei’s new law that quickly became famous and viral for its brutality and how severe it is. Even though their sultan has announced that the death penalty that was supposingly introduced to prevent any LGBT activities from happening in the country has been lifted, the feeling of fear and uneasiness is still strong in the air. As stated by an article from CNN:

A gay man living inside Brunei, who asked not to be named, said while the sultan’s announcement was ‘good news,’ it did nothing to address widespread homophobia and discrimination in the kingdom.

It is clear to say that even if a country’s government has reduce the penalty of a same sex relationship, it will never remove the fear and unease that has been instilled into the society itself as people of the LGBT Community will never truly feel safe under such laws where being in a same sex relationship is still considered illegal. An article in Singapore stated that some of the people who are a part of the LGBT Community would much rather be living behind curtains than in the spotlight. When asked the reason why one couple said that by putting this issue as the center of attention, instead of gaining more support, it might be the opposite of what they wanted.

In spite of the people’s efforts in trying to normalize LGBT and embracing themselves for who they truly are by conducting pride marches and trending inclusive hashtag on social media platform, the world will still be considered a threat to many as each day there are always hurtful and abusive words and actions thrown towards the LGBT Community be it online or in real life. In order to create a safe space for everyone, it is needless to say that it is important to break the stereotype that the past generations has given to us and most importantly, educating ourselves on what is right and wrong. One way in doing so is by having teachers openly discussing about the LGBT Community with their students instead of censoring out those contents. This will not only expand the student’s knowledge, gaining more exposure to the topic but also, create an inclusive environment for any youth who are a part of the community. As a society, we have to also help and respect one another by correcting someone when they are seen using words like faggot to describe someone who is gay. By standing up for the LGBT Community, we can help spread awareness and making them feel included in this society and social circle.

In conclusion, our everyday words and actions is the reason why all these discrimination and inequality amongst LGBT Community are still on going. Even though it may seem like it is nothing to us and that we meant it as just a joke, people will nevertheless get hurt by it and the impact it has on them will never truly be shown on the outside. Therefore, we have to be more tolerant and respect the community.

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Discrimination And Inequality Amongst LGBT Community. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/discrimination-and-inequality-amongst-lgbt-community/
“Discrimination And Inequality Amongst LGBT Community.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/discrimination-and-inequality-amongst-lgbt-community/
Discrimination And Inequality Amongst LGBT Community. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/discrimination-and-inequality-amongst-lgbt-community/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2022].
Discrimination And Inequality Amongst LGBT Community [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/discrimination-and-inequality-amongst-lgbt-community/
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