We have come a long way since Harvey Milk and the gay community had to march in the streets against discrimination but there are still people struggling to understand gay culture. For the sake of argument the term “gay” is meant to be inclusive of the entire LGBT community. Originally the term meant happy and carefree, yet for most of their lives the gay community has struggled to fit in.
A Different Struggle
The first thing that you have to understand is that gay people largely have the same struggles as you do. They struggle with careers, student loan debt, what to cook for supper and what to buy their mother for her birthday. They have fights with their partners and oversleep in the morning just like you do. Where the differences come into play is their personal lives and whether they will share their secret with straight people. Straight people rarely have to worry about whether their relationship will alienate their family or derail their careers.
Gay people have had to withstand rejection, hate and discrimination that straight people have never had to experience. They have had to create their own culture where they would be accepted. Rejection from family has led the gay community to create their own social circles with others who understand that same type of social isolation. This happens to members of the gay community often when they are very young and they end up searching for a place where they find acceptance.
While there is an underlying commonality that ties the community together it doesn’t mean that everyone knows or is friends with everyone else. The gay community is a large and diverse group of people coming from all walks of life. They have different faiths, socioeconomic statuses, tastes and life experiences. Not everyone in the gay community has noble intentions you will find predators here too. The worst characteristics of people can be found in the gay community, the same as any other.
While there are more gay figures in the media and on television than there ever were they still present stereotypes for the most part. Gay men are strong, white professionals who are usually promiscuous and lesbians are wealthy and successful but in reality the gay community is far more diverse than that. There are the same proportions of rich and poor, white or black and any other marginal group that you can think of.
While understanding the gay community at large has come along way and there is more acceptance today there is still a long way to go.