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Over the years, humans have been adaptive and accepting to the minorities and changes in our society. Nevertheless, it is hard to say that they have been successful in adapting the changes since problems like racism, sexism and especially homophobia are still on the rise in so many countries.
Homophobia is the feeling of hatred or distress towards the people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Homophobic attitudes are a growing disease that the minorities in our society are experiencing every day, therefore this disease should dissipate to mend the hearts who have lost their loved ones because of these attacks and to make our society safer and accepting. Homophobia has numerous enduring negative impacts especially to the people’s mental health who are being bullied by their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The damaging effects of homophobia has been growing over the years. First, people with different sexual orientation are more likely to experience violence from the majority of the society. LGBTQ+ Community are twice more likely to be targeted with violence than African-Americans. The rate of hate crimes against them are higher than of the crimes compared to Jews. As of the people who think that it is right to discriminate people with different gender identity as theirs, people who encounter hate attacks would consider that it is acceptable to do the same thing and it is fine to put the minorities in harm. Being different than most of the population will always be hard and frightening since they are prone to people discriminating them for they are the unique ones. Twenty years ago, in October 1998, a gay 21-year-old University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was robbed, beaten and tied to a fence by two homophobic men and he died later that week he was found. This occurrence sparked LGBTQ+ protesters and gay propaganda 20 years ago and it still remains the most gruesome hate crime that was ever done to a young 21-year-old man who is just the same as everybody else. The increasing hate attacks or hate crimes are targeted to mostly people in the LGBTQ+ community for being different than others.
Moreover, people who are victims of homophobia are more likely to suffer from mental illness, anxiety and depression. These individuals face mental health conditions because of the society’s stigma towards gay people, discrimination and the denial of their civil and human rights. LGBT individuals may experience mental health challenges in their lifetime just like everybody else. Nonetheless, the rates of people having mental health complications has increased particularly in the LGBTQ+ community. People in this community often struggle with depression, trauma, anxiety and self-acceptance as a result of facing continuous discrimination (insert citation). Not everyone are living the same lives and some might be experiencing family problems other than being judged by their sexual orientation. Many families do not accept their gender identities either because of past experiences and cultural and religious beliefs but it is also morally wrong not to accept people as who they are or who they want to be. As a result of severe mental illness, its is “estimated that 20-30% of LGBT individuals abuse substances, compared to about 9% of the general population. 25% of LGBT individuals abuse alcohol, compared to 5-10% of the general population”.
Dealing with mental health illness is very difficult when ongoing hate attacks are circulating them. Many youths deal with these mental illnesses by having therapy but some do not feel comfortable enough to talk about these problems since most of the encounters are traumatic. Homophobic actions have negatively affected the LGBTQ+ community, increasing the rates of having mental health problems and worse, committing suicide. Finally, as an effect of homophobic attacks, there are higher suicide rates in the LGBTQ+ community. Some gay youths find suicide as the “way out” of unbearable homophobic bullying. Youths who can change the future and have dreams to reach are ending their lives because of the endless bullying about their sexual orientation. A nine-year-old kid, Jamel Myles, from Denver, Colorado committed suicide after he was bullied by his classmates for coming out gay. This little boy’s classmates kept telling him to kill himself because he was unique and different than everybody else. Those kids were not educated at all by their parents and how different this society is from decades ago. Hearing hurtful words from friends or classmates must have been difficult that the only way that Jamel thought of doing was ending his life. Jamel did not deserve the hate he received from those kids. He deserved all the love the world can give for being so strong and confident that he came out to his classmates and teachers. Kids who are proud and confident of themselves are the ones who are prepared to transform the future and make our world a better place to live in. Yet they end up being bombarded with homophobic remarks and eventually suffering from all the pain that the ‘normal’ people caused.
Homophobia in schools, families, communities and workplace is the main cause for many suicide cases among gay people and it has to renounce. Homophobia is a growing problem that our society is facing. Most targets of these acts are youth and children who just want to express themselves to the world. Homophobia is an epidemic that is spreading all around the world, leaving damaging effects to the people in the LGBTQ+ community. Homophobic attacks destroy a person’s well-being and threatens their safety in the world they are living in. All things considered, this disgusting behavior has to cease for a better, safer and accepting society.
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