Human beings form unique sub-cultural groups depending on their desires, expectations, and values. Such groups are common in every corner of the world. The media is also essential for informing more people about such subcultures. It is agreeable that “most of these subcultures embrace new ideas and practices that may not be supported by their mainstream cultures” (Albury & Crawford, 2012, p. 468). Scholars have described how such subcultures satisfy the needs of their members. The ideas, practices, behaviors, and norms embraced by these subcultures differ significantly from those of the wider society. A good example of these groups is the LGBT Subculture. This paper gives a succinct analysis of the social issues associated with LGBT Subculture.
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Analysis of the LGBT (Gay) Subculture
Description of the Gay Sub-cultural Group
Lesbians and gays form LGBT Subculture. Some “other members of the LGBT Subculture include transgender and transsexual individuals” (Goldberg & Allen, 2012, p. 18). This subculture consists of individuals from different backgrounds. The subculture has a long history. According to Bilodeau and Renn (2003), many historical documents have described the behaviors of lesbians and gays. This fact explains why this culture gets support from different people across the globe. Many people are currently identifying themselves with this subculture. Such LGBTs share their ideas and behaviors with individuals from different parts of the globe. The situation has encouraged these individuals to establish new social networks.
Albury and Crawford (2012) believe strongly that many LGBT people do not identify themselves with this subculture. This “situation occurs because the individuals do not want to suffer the consequences of social stigma” (Bennett, 1999, p. 603). Society is unable to identify every member of the LGBTs Subculture. The number of people supporting this subculture is also increasing in every corner of the world. Some countries have permitted lesbians and homosexuals to marry. This development has encouraged many lesbians and gays to declare their sexual affiliations. Several countries in the developing world discourage their citizens from supporting the LGBT Subculture. According to these countries, the subculture stands a chance to threaten their social norms.
Many individuals are unable to associate themselves with the LGBT Subculture. This “is the case because many gays are unawareness of the culture” (Goldberg & Allen, 2012, p. 18). Some movements and campaigns have emerged in an attempt to criticize this subculture. The pioneers of such campaigns disagree with the ideas and behaviors associated with the LGBT Subculture. Members of this subculture have established new communities called gay villages. Such villages tend to have a large number of LGBTs. According to Cohen (1973), these individuals organize many ceremonies and parties to inform society about their practices.
Does this Group Constitute a Subculture?
The LGBTs have identified unique ideas, beliefs, norms, values, and sexual practices that make themselves a unique sub-cultural group. Although the history of this culture is complex, it is agreeable that many people in society have engaged in homosexual behaviors for centuries. The subculture has been able to express its values and norms thus making it a notable group in the wider society (Clarke, Hall, Jefferson, & Roberts, 1976). This development makes it easier for the subculture to spread to every corner of the world.
Members of the group are currently intermarrying. The individuals also embrace different celebrations to support their identities. Such celebrations and events are meaningful because they encourage more individuals to become part of the subculture. Some artists and politicians have expressed their feelings for this subculture. Some have also declared themselves as members of this subculture. The members of the subculture engage in various activities and behaviors that make it easier for them to recognize one another. This practice has made it easier for more individuals to become part of the subculture. This discussion explains why the LGBT Group has become a unique sub-cultural group (Bennett, 1999).
Activities Associated with this Subculture
This subculture engages in different practices and activities to remain significant in society. The group is associated with different homosexual behaviors. These individuals have been marrying one another. Members of the subculture have unique methods of recognizing one another. For instance, the individuals embrace “specific lifestyles, behaviors, and attires thus making it easier for themselves to recognize one another” (Critcher, 2003, p. 79). This practice has made it possible for the group to succeed in society.
The LGBT Subculture supports a social movement called “Gay Pride”. This movement is common in different parts of the glove. The Gay Pride movement promotes equality and unity among different youths. This movement has been critical towards safeguarding the rights of many lesbians, bisexuals, and gays. This youth movement is common in many countries such as the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. LGBTs use celebrations, parades, and festivals to support their concepts and practices. These celebrations “have also made it easier for different members of the subculture to network and exchange their views” (Goldberg & Allen, 2012, p. 38). These individuals have constantly been celebrating their sexual identities.
The group always protects its members from social discrimination and bullying. Many schools in the above countries have Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). These alliances play a significant role in protecting every LGBT from violence or discrimination. Schools without such alliances have been associated with numerous cases of abuse. GSAs develop the best coping strategies. This approach makes it easier for such members to achieve their academic goals (Goldberg & Allen, 2012).
According to Goldberg and Allen (2012), members of this group also engage in risky behaviors. For instance, many members of the group have committed suicide within the past two decades. Many LGBTs use different drugs such as heroin, bhang, and cocaine. They also drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes (Goldberg & Allen, 2012). Most of these individuals also die prematurely due to drug abuse. School problems and social disturbances are common in every society associated with this subculture. Many LGBTs have witnessed different cases of abuse. Such abuses can be verbal, physical, or mental. The group has struggled to survive in a society that is against any form of homosexuality.
According to Cassell and Cramer (2005), many LGBT youths have reported different forms of abuse in their respective societies. Such forms of abuse “are usually perpetrated by their caretakers, guardians, or parents” (Cassell & Cramer, 2005, p. 64). Such individuals “have higher chances of being sexually abused by other members of the society” (Bilodeau & Renn, 2003, p. 32, p. 19). This situation explains why many LGBTs are working hard in an attempt to address the challenges facing them. It is agreeable that such efforts have yielded many fruits because more people are currently supporting the subculture.
This sub-cultural group has managed to create new traditions and customs. For instance, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an important occasion for these individuals. LGBTs celebrate the Transgender Day of Remembrance “on 20th of November” (Bilodeau & Renn, 2003, p. 32). The event emerged after the death of Rita Hester in 1998. Hester “was a victim of an anti-transgender conflict or hate crime” (Bilodeau & Renn, 2003, p. 37).
This event is meaningful to every member of the subculture. The group uses the above event to create awareness in every corner of the world. The campaign has been useful for sensitizing people about the dangers of sexual hatred and prejudice. The individuals use these celebrations to honor their loved ones who have suffered different cases of hatred. They also embrace new ideas and show respect to one another (Bilodeau & Renn, 2003).
The LGBT community also holds a peaceful protest during the last weekend of June (Bilodeau & Renn, 2003). This celebration or event “is known as the Trans March” (Bilodeau & Renn, 2003, p. 28). The event takes place in California (San Francisco) every year. The event attracts many people from the LGBT community. According to different members of the LGBT Subculture, the celebration is critical because “it helps them deal with prejudice, discrimination, and hatred” (Goldberg & Allen, 2012, p. 67). This practice makes more people free and happy. This event has made it easier for more people to join the group. The community embraces many celebrations and parties immediately after this event.
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A study by Bilodeau and Renn (2003) observed that many gay men were in monogamous relationships. These individuals have also established several online websites. Such websites encourage these LGBTs to exchange contacts, ideas, and values. These social websites play a critical role in supporting the rights, expectations, and liberties of the gay community. This development explains why this subculture has become popular than ever before.
Presentation in the Mainstream Media
The media has been on the frontline to discuss and analyze the issues associated with the LGBT Subculture. Several media houses broadcast every event or celebration supported by this subculture. The media has sensitized more people about the practices and behaviors associated with this cultural group. This practice has been critical towards informing society about the group. The media also identifies and discusses various laws relating to the LGBT Subculture (Cassell & Cramer, 2005). The approach has encouraged more politicians and sociologists to support the group. This development explains why more people are currently supporting the beliefs and behaviors of the subculture.
The media also caused a major sensation after the culture became a critical part of mainstream society. The media criticized the behaviors and intentions of this group. The approach encouraged more people in society to curse such behaviors (Bilodeau & Renn, 2003). The media also expressed the views of different scholars and members of the subculture. Many people in society understand the issues and ideas embraces by the LGBT Subculture. This practice has been useful in understanding the evils and benefits of subculture (Bennett, 1999).
The “debate aroused by different media houses has forced psychoanalysts, biologists, and philosophers to examine the factors that can encourage more individuals to join this subculture” (Goldberg & Allen, 2012, p. 48). Many studies have encouraged the world to accept subculture instead of criminalizing its members. The role of the media in this issue has been praiseworthy. The media has always explored every issue associated with the subculture. The practice has educated more people about the subculture.
The Gay Subculture and Moral Panic
Moral panic “occurs in the society whenever different media houses report stories that can result in fear” (Krinsky, 2006, p. 12). Many events and behaviors will emerge in every society. Such behaviors have the potential to change the values and norms of many people (Critcher, 2003). The LGBT Subculture embraces new ideas and behaviors that deviate from the mainstream culture. The emergence of this subculture caught many people and cultures by surprise.
The new subculture was extremely unstoppable. The subculture wanted its space in the wider society. The individuals were ready to embrace new norms. The media was ready to highlight the dangers and consequences of this new subculture. This fact explains why the subculture sparked a major moral panic. Many parents and guardians become concerned about the future of their children. They introduced new theories in an attempt to support their children. The people were unaware of the potential impacts of the new subculture.
Society was not ready to accept this new subculture. The society “disagreed with the group’s ideas and norms” (Krinsky, 2006, p. 7). New divisions and disagreements emerged in different corners of the world. A moral panic emerged because of this new subculture. However, “the panic disappeared when the people realized that the subculture was not going anywhere” (Goldberg & Allen, 2012, p. 75).
The LGBT Subculture has become a critical part of a global society. This group embraces different values and social norms that are unacceptable to the mainstream culture. The group has established new events to support its rights and freedoms. The people have created new methods of communication. Every member of society should analyze the behaviors and beliefs of the group to cope with it. The media must play a role in order to support different sub-cultural groups.
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