Channels Are Focused Term Paper

Pages: 10 (2749 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
His father had just joined the conversation and was drunk. He spat out in front of everyone..."You all better keep your young boys away from my son, I think he is a faggot." Doug reports that the room went silent. Looking back on it now Doug realizes that the silence was because his father had made a drunken fool of himself and they felt bad for Doug. At the time however, Doug believed the silence was because his secret was out. He believed that they all saw him for what he was and were not pleased.

It was about a month later that Doug sought treatment for depression and anxiety. His counselor was the first person Doug told of his sexual orientation. When asked how the counselor reacted Doug said he was very supportive and he sent Doug to a group therapy center where he could meet and talk with other gay men. The psychological relief that this atmosphere provided began to reduce Doug's problems with anxiety and depression. Within six months he was able to stop taking all anti-depressants and within a year the anxiety meds were stopped as well.

One of the things Doug had to work through as an adult was anger at his father. He had always felt his father's distance toward him and when that was said at the block party Doug felt ashamed, guilty and angry all at once. He avoided any conversation with is father from that day until his dad was dying 14 years later. Doug said that his dad apologized for the comment but Doug knew how his father felt about his sexual orientation and knew the apology was only because Doug's mother nagged him into doing it.

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Psychologically Doug believes his sexual orientation has created family stress, and for that he is still dealing with feelings of guilt. The fact that he feels guilty about something he believes is not bad makes him remain angry at his father even though his father died years ago.

Term Paper on Channels Are Focused on the Assignment

While I was asking the questions and listening to the answers I felt a great deal of sympathy for Doug. I sat before a full grown man who had his own shop, a life partner and owned a beautiful home, however, when he was relating his life story to me I envisioned a little boy who knew he was different and had no one to talk to about it.

SOCIAL

Socially being gay is much more accepted now than it has been in the past according to Doug. When he was small and he would get in a fight with another child the insults would always include something about being gay. No one knew at the time that Doug was gay, but the way to insult any boy one was mad at was to call him gay, or homo. Socially, Doug's life is divided into two sections. He refers to them as IC and OC..(in closet, and out of closet). Before Doug accepted who he is and began to build his life with pride he remembers spending most of his time observing others and trying to mimic their actions and attitudes.

He went to clubs, picked up women and even had sex with them so that his buddies would not realize he was faking it. When he finally decided to accept who he was he felt a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. He said it was interesting to note that his friends did not turn their backs on him when he finally told them. They actually worked hard to accept his orientation and began teasing him about all the girls who were going to be crushed when they found out.

Doug said that society molds its members to reject gays. While individual groups of friends may accept their gay friend, society itself does not. Doug pointed out the fact that one never ever sees a commercial with a same sex couple. He was quick to remind me that the show Ellen was cancelled when she tried to become a lesbian on her sitcom. While Will and Grace is highly popular Doug believes it is because it pokes fun at gay men and mocks their lifestyle. Doug admits to watching it and getting a kick out of it but believes society will not truly have learned tolerance until movies of the week, and serious dramas include characters that are openly gay and accepted as such.

The acceptance by society of sexual orientation is going through the same obstacle course that being African-American has faced. It is a little different because of the societal debate about how one arrives at being gay.

For many top managers, the fear of extending fair employment to gays and lesbians is based on claims that serious moral and societal problems will result from this recognition -- the same claims made when equal opportunity employment was sought for African-Americans and women (Neely, 1998).

One reason attitudes have not changed is that controversy exists over whether sexual orientation that deviates from the societal norm is an innate characteristic or whether it is a matter of choice. And for many individuals, homosexuality goes against their basic religious beliefs (Neely, 1998). Another reason attitudes have not shifted is that many managers believe gays and lesbians do not exist in their workplaces. Mark Kaplan, partner of Philadelphia-based Kaplan and Associates, a firm specializing in sexual orientation issues, said: "If there are not openly gay people in the workplace, you have to ask yourself why. If you have 5,000 employees, for example, you have at least several hundred gay and lesbian employees (Neely, 1998)."

There are many advantages to society accepting the differences in sexual orientation. "Managers have to educate themselves about gays and lesbians and understand their own attitudes toward the group," he said. "They must understand that not everyone is heterosexual, and they must understand their responsibility as a manager to make the work environment positive so all employees can succeed. For example, if they hear negative remarks, managers really have to confront the problem. It is their responsibility (Neely, 1998).

This struggle for gay and lesbians to conceal their personal lives also hinders their networking and mentoring experiences, because those relationships are based on trust (Neely, 1998)."

CONCLUSION

This interview taught me that discrimination against gays is still here. It may be subtle and insidious and it may be outright and blatant, but the fact remains it is still here. It is evidenced by employer reluctance to hire gay men into jobs that are not health care or beauty related. It is evidenced by the fact that there are not commercials, or serious television shows that portray same sex couples as normal and healthy. It is evidenced when men like Doug tell stories of depression, anxiety and shame throughout their childhood as they realized they were different.

After interviewing Doug I realized that I had been treating my gay friends differently than my straight friends. I now understand that they are no different than anyone else. They love, live, fight, eat and sleep and there does not need to be a great mystery behind it. I commend Doug for deciding to live openly with a life partner. It is this kind of openness and societal defiance that is going to change the way sexual orientation is viewed.

References

Recognizing sexual orientation is fair and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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