Monday, February 7, 2011

Being Gay in America.

The issue of contemporary masculinity identity that I’m focusing on is homosexuality. For that I am using a blog created by a gay male called Aaron.

I use information from both of the blogs.
You don’t really know much about him as a person other than he is gay and has a large interest in gay rights and the issues affecting him and the public.
The first post I found was about the Native Americans and how they had their own same-sex marriages. It was called “Two Spirits” allowing males to marry males, and for that marriage to be as valid as any other in their tribes. So for people to believe that gay marriages and gay rights are new and becoming introduced is actually incorrect. White settlers redefined “marriage” due to religious and racial views and persecuted those who carried on following the Two Spirit life.
Allowing same-sex marriages means to simply include old ideas into a new society, something that America is supposed to be all about embracing.

The blog posts show a lot of the issues that are challenging for contemporary gay males. I believe that the masculinity that is being defined through this blog and through gay people are linked to the challenges they face. They are faced with a lot of diversity and discrimination and because of that I feel that it defines who they are as males.
From the blog, and Aaron, the only thing they want from the public is acceptance. There have been various reports of a “gay agenda” stating that gay people are trying to “convert” others to join them. But this is not true. They only want to be accepted to go through life just like anybody else.

They face being invisible in many senses. They can sometimes feel excluded from welfare services and education services, depending on the beliefs of the workers. But regarding role models and television storylines; only recently have same-sex relationships become very main-stream. 90210, The O.C, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee and Gossip Girl all have gay characters; Gossip Girl having multiple. Linking to a blog post from Aaron, he focused on various celebrities that are gay and real role models, telling their stories. Clay Aiken, an American Idol competitor came out as gay two years ago, at the age of 30, only deciding to open up after the birth of his child. Rick Martin is in a similar situation. He came out as gay only last year (aged 39 years old) after having twin boys via surrogate. Adam Lambert, another Idol contestant, never confirmed his sexuality but instead was seen with his boyfriend. It seems that the role models gay people have are those that are afraid to show it. Thus, believing that there is something wrong with their sexuality which in turn, is put to younger teens and adults for that matter who are closeted.
Another thing to pick up on is that both Clay Aiken and Ricky Martin had children before they went public with their sexuality. This may have been a coincidence, but if you add in the recent Elton John & David Furnish issues, it seems that people may believe that it is easier to have children via surrogate, or any other way, if you are thought to be straight.

Regarding Elton John and David Furnish; they have a son, Zachary, born via surrogate. And as public figures, did a magazine cover to share their story. But one chain store in Arkansas used a “Family Shield” on the magazine – normally used for porn magazines – to protect the young shoppers at their store (Harps is the store). What is that suppose to show to children and families? I personally find it disgusting.

Another issue that are presented as a challenge for contemporary gay men is how they are seen abroad. In November 2010, the United Nations amended one of the minorities that were protected from execution – gay people – to now allowing it to happen. 79 countries voted for gay people to be executed due to their sexuality. Obviously they were mostly African and Asian countries where there are very strict laws about same-sex relationships. And although the States voted for them to be protected, and have their own laws on the subject, these gay Americans are scared to go travelling purely because of the discrimination against who they are and the things they could be faced with.

When you look at the fact that countries and societies allow same-sex marriages and relationships, it shows you that these cultures are only condemning it on the grounds of personal distaste rather than any real danger to the workings of society as they claim it would bring.
For this blog and opinions defining what masculinity is in contemporary America, I have a very Twenty-first century opinion. I believe that masculinity is character. So for each male, gay or not, “masculinity” differs. Real masculinity is defined by acceptance, respect and confidence to show the real person.

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