In the framework of American culture different groups of people can be identified depending on their race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and other peculiarities. Currently, a lot of attention is paid to LGBT people, for instance.
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LGBT people often become victims of homophobic violence. Being 18-30 years old, these individuals tend to identify themselves and try to fight for their rights actively. Thus, they are at high risk of being severely hurt. At this age people usually get married, which can also turn into a great problem for LGBT individuals because same-sex couples, for instance, are not allowed to make their relations official in many states. As a result, they also deal with discrimination in the framework of social protection schemes, such as limitations on access to health care. In general, all people are claimed to be equal in the USA, however, there is a high possibility to lose a job or fail to be applied to it if one is a representative of the LGBT community. Thus, there is a necessity to hide sexual orientation to remain a part of the labor market. Issues with friends and family are also extremely critical during this period. Getting to know that their relative or fellow is one of the LGBT people, others tend to show their estrangement. In educational establishments and workplaces, they can be bullied or treated with invisibility.
As a result, LGBT individuals can leave school, have mental issues, or lose a home. Challenges faced by LGBT people make them likely to have attempted suicide, experience severe depression, use illegal drugs, and become HIV positive. In addition to that, experiencing the lack of family and social support, they may be willing to move to other countries, which can be associated with financial issues and the necessity to leave nearest and dearest people. LGBT individuals are often not accepted by religion, which may be critical if they were rather spiritual initially. In this way, those who resort to Muslims and some Christian Fundamentalist sects will be obliged to leave them. Finally, trying to return to “normal” life and to be accepted by the representatives of the general public, they can decide to marry the opposite sex regardless of being gay. As a rule, such relations end with divorce, which affects both partners and their children (if they have any) negatively (Subhrajit 321).
Being 30-60 years old, the majority of LGBT people have their relations established. As usual, they have a stable job and know how to act to be accepted by the rest of the staff, which reduces stress greatly. However, the possibility to lose a job and become homeless with time remains because the management may change or some interventions may be applied. In addition to that, it becomes rather difficult to find a common language with new workers. Violence targeted at LGBT people can still be observed even from those individuals who do not know one. However, the general risk of being hurt reduces because this person does not need anymore to prove someone his/her position. Issues connected with friends and family also tend to become less crucial because people tend to have vital conversations with them and maintain stable relations with others. Unfortunately, issues connected with marriage and social support may turn out to be the most critical. At this age, people usually reveal their willingness to have children, which can be a great problem for such a couple (Gates F4).
Older adults who are more than 60 years old and represent the LGBT community tend to face physical violence rarely because they do not share this information with new people especially if they do not trust them. Issues connected with labor tend to vanish because of the necessity to retire. However, limits in a pension may be observed. People rarely get married at his age so there may be a positive side of this issue. Still, it is critical to remember that the representatives of the general public may be more affected by the situation when they see a couple of the same sex who are rather old already. It also means that there may be more stigmatization. It is also significant to consider that in a case of violence, he/she will not be able to protect oneself as required. Of course, being more than 60 years old people do not think of children that much but focus grandchildren. However, depending on the relations with family, they can be not allowed to get in touch with them (Mabey 57).
Thus, it can be concluded that the challenges faced by LGBT people at different ages mainly remain the same but tend to have different focuses on the course of time. In general, they need to be ready to face issues with friends and family, social protection, and labor. Additional problems may focus on homophobic violence and marriage limitations. Even though the USA tends to ensure that all its citizens are protected and have equal access to various services, the reality seems to be the opposite, which proves that they should take care of one another in the framework of the LGBT community.
Gates, Gary. “Family Formation and Raising Children among Same-Sex Couples.” NCFR, vol. 51, no. 1, 2011, p. F4.
Mabey, John. “Counseling Older Adults in LGBT Communities.” The Professional Counselor: Research and Practice, vol. 1, no. 1, 2011, pp. 57-62.
Subhrajit, Chatterjee. “Problems Faced by LGBT People in the Mainstream Society: Some Recommendations.” International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies, vol. 1, no. 5, 2014, pp. 317-331.