In the past, being gay was considered taboo and was not socially acceptable. It was seen as unnatural and many thought it to be morally wrong and sinful. In today’s society, the media has shed light on the LGBT community, which in turn has led to certain groups of people to become more socially accepting of the gay community. Although society has become more accepting of the LGBT community, they still face discrimination and experience hate crimes on a daily basis.
For many who display homosexual behavior in the streets or in a public environment they are shunned and exploited by society; some being victims of assault simply because of their sexuality. These issues and challenges faced by LGBT people are the same issues faced in the past by people of color and certain religious groups. The difference is that instead of trying to fix the problem of discrimination of the LGBT community, many states have issued anti-gay bills and have limited the social, religious, and government aspects of LGBT rights.
In regards to these anti-gay laws, very few states have issued laws that protect the rights of LGBT minorities. The LGBT community have been oppressed for years and it has led to fighting for basic civil rights that should be undisputed.
Although the LGBT community is just as diverse as the rest of the world’s population, their experiences of discrimination often lead to health issues. In one study it was found that “Because of mistreatment “LGBTQ individuals […] are at significantly increased risk for disparate health outcomes” (Pomeranz 67).
These health problems develop in response to homophobia such as when one ‘comes out’ to a friend or family member only to be met with rejection. Other health problems can be more physical. Many members of the LGBT community are bullied and harassed daily at their school or workplace. The negativity and danger that LGBT people face every day at the hands of others legitimately hurt their health. The amount of hate and shaming that they endure from society often causes a feeling of guilt which leads to hiding their true sexuality or gender identity. This in turn, often causes depression, anxiety, body or gender dysphoria, and in some cases suicidal tendencies.
Over the years, the LGBT community has made basic political gains in certain U.S. states such as the freedom to marry someone of the same sex. Despite this, some states have legislation that “Preempts or prohibits local governments from enacting civil rights protections for LGBTQ individuals” (Pomeranz 67). Without these civil rights protections, the LGBT community lack legal rights when they are fired or refused services based solely on their sexual or gender identity. The fact that some would argue that someone does not deserve basic civil rights because of decisions that affect their lives only is astounding. Denying a person rights simply on the basis of being LGBTQ is discriminatory and is a major problem that needs to be fixed. All legislation surrounding this issue “fosters inequality that is concerning for public health” (Pomeranz 67). If the current legislation put in place to protect individuals is not doing its job, then new laws need to be put in place. Useless laws or laws that make a bigger problem are not helpful to anyone. Current legislation in some states allows employers to fire employees for undergoing a gender transition (Attia 1). It would be considered unfathomable if an employer were to fire someone on the basis of them being a different race. This shows that people only discriminate about what they do not fully understand. This leads to unfairly punishing certain groups of people for something that they are not at fault for. Current legislation “in the United States does not adequately protect transgender employees from being subjected to such employment discrimination” (Attia 1). As an employee, many people are guaranteed to have certain rights. However, transgender people are having these legal rights stripped away. The job of a society is to protect against discrimination and make everyone equals. This means that laws need to be revised and put into place, instead of being ignored by the majority of the public.
President Trump recently passed legislation attempting to ban transgender individuals from the U.S. military (American Journal 892). This may seem logical in some sense, considering that the ban was based on the argument that transitioning individuals cost more in healthcare. However, “it would cost $960 million to discharge the transgender personnel who are currently serving” to save “less than $10 million in annual health care costs” (Coon 893). This makes it clear that the discrimination that the LGBT community is facing is based simply on dislike for what is different, rather than actual statistical evidence.
Due to foul treatment, LGBTQ individuals “experience anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. Additionally, they face an increased risk for […] risk-taking behaviors” (Pomeranz 67). LGBT people are being treated so badly that it is causing negative outcomes on their psychological health. This further proves that there is a clear problem with the injustice faced by many LGBT individuals on a daily basis. The way in which President Trump took action, as described earlier showed a “belief that our service members lack the ability to work alongside those who are different and still get the mission done” (Coon 893). This seems to be a common thought for many. This line of thinking guarantees that LGBT people will be discriminated against. Statistically, people “who identify as transgender frequently suffer from extensive discrimination in the workplace” (Attia 1). If the United States must protect certain minority groups from discrimination, then it should also protect the LGBT community. Our society is based on equality, but the way that this group of people is being treated is anything but equal. In recent studies by the University of California, it was found that 90% of transgender people “reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination on the job” (Attia 1). This is a large number of people who are being harmed on a regular basis based solely on their gender identity. This is a ridiculously large percentage of people and shows that inequality in the workforce is a major problem.
The recent ruling of “Protecting the right of same-sex couple to marry” (Pomeranz 67) has been very helpful in giving the LGBT community a foundation to build from and eventually gain equal rights. This ruling shows that the public opinion is finally starting to change regarding what our society views as acceptable. As society views change there should be more legislation change to grow with the times. A powerful way to address this problem is “to institute protective policies” (Pomeranz 67). As people, we all deserve basic human rights. The denial of these rights are clearly the problem, so by granting LGBT people their rights would change the treatment that they face in all aspects of life. Today’s society needs to understand that “everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks” (Endsjo 102). By creating new legislation to improve conditions for LGBT people, it would allow for better treatment. With no laws in place to support the proper treatment of the LGBTQ community, it is difficult for others to understand why this group of people deserve proper treatment.
By “examining policies that prohibit increased civil rights” (Pomeranz 67), citizens may be able to better understand the issues and find ways to fix it. Informing people on what the LGBTQ community is will fix the majority of the problems. It seems that the biggest issue is misinformation or not understanding. By providing education and research on the LGBT community would remedy this. When treated as a health problem rather than a social problem, transgender people seem to transition easier (Coon 893). Simply by making the small effort of treating someone properly, they become a much more productive person. The U.S. prides itself on diversity. By harming LGBTQ people this only hurts the U.S. in the long run. Treating LGBTQ people as regular people seems to “consequently improve their quality of life” (coon 893). When an individual is treated as an equal, they become more productive. The issue of discrimination and mistreatment could easily be fixed if laws were enforced to stop the discrimination. This should be common sense because “LGBT rights are human rights” (Endsjo 102). If a person is human, why should they be denied their rights? LGBTQ people have done nothing wrong, and therefore only deserve what is equal to everybody else. In schools that students are protected in, there is an increase in academic achievement and student health as a whole (When Laws 85). When students who are LGBTQ are given a good learning environment that protects them from discrimination from the outside world, they function just as well as any other student. It is illogical to keep hurting these people.
LGBTQ individuals have been looked at with much negativity. Unfortunately, they have experienced issues involving legal rights and discrimination based solely on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Over time they have gained certain equal rights and have made progress in becoming more socially acceptable in today’s society. By educating society on the LGBT community, it will help them to understand and accept this group of people as equals and decrease the amount of discrimination and mistreatment that they face. Enforcing laws that protect the LGBT community will also help decrease discrimination and also provide legal civil rights that protect these individuals from mistreatment in the workforce and in schools. It is important that we as a society help to end the stigma about LGBT people and help them gain basic civil rights. This group of people has done nothing wrong and deserve to be treated as equals and have civil rights just like the rest of society. By ignoring this issue at hands, it will cause people to continue thinking the LGBT community is lesser and should be treated as such. LGBT people are humans and should have equal civil rights and be treated as equals by the rest of society. Society advocates that individuals should be proud of their differences and who they are as a person, yet society judges and treats this group of people poorly for their differences. If we continue this cycle, our morals will continue to be in question.