Tree Alexander; Brooklyn, N.Y.
Our society has taught our elders that homosexuality is a lifestyle that a person chooses to purposely be different, like wearing a black wedding gown (which for some means faithful until death). Gay oppression under capitalism, like racism and sexism, serves to divide working-class people from one another in their battles for economic and social justice. Capitalistic conditioning creates the illusion that men and women should lead autonomous sexual lives, yet it simultaneously seeks to impose heterosexual norms on society to secure the maintenance of an economic, ideological and sexual order.
The proof is in the truth that 1 in 4 LGBT youth who come out to their parents are forced to leave home. Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school in the past year, 44 percent of students reported being physically harassed and 22 percent reported being physically assaulted at school because of their sexual orientation. We see suicide rates for LGBT youth are estimated to be up to four times higher than their heterosexual peers due to internalized hatred and homophobia.
So as we take the month of June to celebrate our diversity and sexual pride with nudity, partying and alcohol, let's take the time to explore how we have experienced oppression and ways to free the future of our community and society from this depressive cycle of narrow-minded conditioning.
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