Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Homosexuality Around the World

Ashley Driscoll

Homosexuality in the United States

Homosexuality has always been a touchy subject in the United States. However, recently the U.S. has made a monumental change regarding the subject of gay rights. On June 26, 2015 gay marriage was legalized in all 50 states. This historic change was life altering for many people.

The legalization of gay marriage triggered a burst of courage in many homosexual people. It seemed to me that it was easier for homosexuals to be comfortable in their own skin, and have pride in their sexuality.

I have this opinion because of an experience I shared with a close family member of mine. Shortly after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, my cousin said that he had something important to talk to me about. Once we began talking, he shared with me that he was gay.

As the conversation continued, he began to cry and express to me how difficult it had been for him to keep this secret for 25 years. It broke my heart to see how emotional he became when he talked about how he finally felt that he could be accepted into society. Even though he was crying, many of those tears were happy tears to finally be comfortable in his own skin.

He continued with saying that even though he finally had the strength to share his secret, he still knew that living a life as a gay man not be easy. This conversation made me think about what it would be like to live your whole life feeling like you don't belong.

Then I began to ask myself: "Would I rather live my life hiding who I really am, or risk being treated differently by society?"

Parvez Sharma's Story

There are many instances in the United States where gay people are discriminated for their sexuality. However, in other countries this discrimination is much worse. Gay filmmaker, Parvez Sharma experiences this discrimination first hand in his Muslim culture.

Photo Courtesy of filmmakermagazine.com
Sharma is a member of the Muslim community. In Muslim countries it is unacceptable to be gay. In some cultures it is said to be "frowned upon", but in the Muslim culture it is much more than this.

According to NPR, the Iranian President stated that homosexuality does not exist in Iran. In many Muslim countries being gay can result not only in social isolation, but even death. 

This treatment of homosexuals is definitely one of the most extreme, but I also feel like it many people overlook what is going on. In my opinion, America tends to get caught up in their own issues and ignore issues in foreign countries that are much worse. 

As journalists, is it ethical to cover these stories on different religions and cultures if we are shedding a negative light on them? 

Homosexuality in Different Cultures 

Homosexuality is a subject that is treated differently all around the world. Some countries are very accepting of the LGBT community, while others are not. I think it is important to be educated on these different issues that are relevant around the world. However, it is important to form your own opinions once you are educated on what it going on, rather than forming an opinion on what you THINK you know. 

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