Homosexuality refers to a sexual relation between two people of the same sex. It involves directing sexual desires towards another person of the same sex. Homosexuality entails gay and lesbian relationships. In most societies, homosexuality is not accepted and is view as evil. Homosexuals have faced various challenges throughout their lifetimes. In the United States of America, homosexuals are treated as a minority group. This makes homosexuals face various specific problems that have direct links to their sexual orientations. Research studies by sociologists and public health officers have shown that homosexuals have considerably greater risks of suffering from psychiatric problems than their heterosexual counterparts. Numerous cases of suicidal attempts, depression and substance abuse have been reported amongst homosexuals.
However, Ekwo argues that there is no solid evidence to support claims that homosexuals have mental disorders. He asserts that these high occurrences of depression, anxiety disorders, behavioral misconducts, increased rates of substance abuse and suicide attempts exhibited by homosexuals result from social stigma generated by the society, and not mental illness (135).
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Coming out as a Homosexual Person
Before I could come out, I was uncertain of how my family would react. I was not sure whether I would be accepted or rejected by relatives, friends and peers after revealing my homosexuality. When I told my family that I am gay, many questions were raised. Family members wanted to know whether I made the choice personally or it was an influence from my peers. They overacted towards the “bad news” and even threatened to chase me out of the family. The family reacted with great shock and disappointment. They were very angry, upset and had lots of negative feelings. My father, for instance, took me for a medical check-up to check whether I was suffering from a mental disorder. These negative reactions and non-acceptance of my sexual orientation made me feel so much guilt. Most of the family members were very angry with me. They viewed me as an insult to the family’s values and beliefs.
It was not easy for me to convince them that it was neither sinful to be gay, nor was it a genetic predisposition. I had to convince the family that I had no option over my sexuality. I had no other choice other than to live with it. I underwent through cruel and harsh denials. At a point, I felt that it was a matter of personal choice and lifestyle. This pressure and stress of dealing with uncertainty made me develop health complications.
Obstacles I Faced As a Homosexual Person
As a homosexual person I have face various challenges and obstacles, especially in relation to my social life. Before coming out as a homosexual, I had to deal with the pressure of hiding my sexuality. I did not want people to know about it. I was afraid of the scary reactions I would receive from revealing my sexuality. Admitting that I am gay was not an easy task.
In addition, I have faced violence and physical abuses, for example, I was molested by my schoolmates for being gay. At times, I used to indulge myself in drugs and substance abuse as a way of overcoming stress and pressure from other people. I experienced lots of socials and health challenges, for instance, most of my close friends alienated themselves from me. They did not want to be associated with a gay person anymore. This greatly reduced my pool of dating partners.
Furthermore, my homosexuality increased my chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), especially HIV/AIDS. I was also greatly depressed by the discrimination I often received from other people in the community. In short, life was really hard for me.
Discrimination of Homosexual Persons
In my opinion, homosexual persons are harshly discriminated against employment opportunities, educational opportunities, in churches and other religious settings as well as in public offices such as law courts. In schools, gay students are harassed by their fellow students and teachers. On the other hand, churches have sermons and spiritual teachings that attack the homosexuals. Priests often preach sermons that unsympathetically condemn homosexual relationships. At workplaces, homosexual are not given equal voices as their colleagues. They are accorded less employee benefits such as family allowances. In our justice systems, gay people have had their human rights restricted based on their sexuality. Additionally, the society sees homosexuality as an evil in the community. Generally, gay people are marginalized, discriminated and often maltreated.
In conclusion, homosexuals should be accepted in our communities and should be given equal rights just like heterosexual persons. The society should accept that homosexuality is not a mental illness, but rather a natural human status. They should not be stigmatized by the society. Human rights activists should fight for equal rights between homosexual and heterosexual persons. After all, it is not a personal choice to be homosexual.