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A Change Would Be Good

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Some Change Would Be Good

The attitudes towards homosexuality vary tremendously in different cultures. While some cultures have already accepted homosexual issues and individuals, some still thinks that even talking about homosexuality is weird. While some countries recognize same sex marriage, some countries give death penalty to the people who are homosexual. We live in such a world that if you live in one continent you are accused of your sexual choice, but in the other continent you are not. For example if you are a gay person and Dutch, you are very lucky, because you have the right to marry someone, adopt a child but, if you are a gay person and Nigerian or Saudi Arabian, you will be executed as soon as that is proved. Of course, these countries are too extreme to each other. In this paper, I am going to discuss two different countries in terms of attitudes towards homosexuals: the USA (the center of the cultures from all around the world) and Turkey (the mixture of east and west culture). This essay is going to show a whole picture of homosexual people in two countries in terms of general public opinion, family attitudes and attitudes towards homosexuals who want to work.

Firstly I will give information briefly about the general public opinion on homosexuality in Turkey. In general, people have usual kind of prejudices against non-heterosexuality and non-heterosexual people. Homosexuality is perceived as a perversion, at least an illness, in general. Some suppose that homosexuality can be a sexual fantasy especially for the upper class, not a sexual identity. They are a few, like just a kind of "lunatic in the neighborhood". Your butcher, the nurse in the hospital or "normal" looking neighbor cannot be a "faggot" or lesbian, but a fashion designer or a writer -people who are far away may. For the extreme rightist people, homosexuals should be removed from society by expelling or in more bloody ways. For some people, they are also human and they can be accepted on condition that not being so much out about their homo-sexuality, because it's their private life. But the rising public coming out of lesbian and gay movement and the westernization politics as a whole increase the number of anti-heterosexist heterosexuals, also promotes the discussion on homosexuality in society, and sides are getting more evident. On the other hand, prejudice against lesbians and gay men is widespread in American society. Although Americans' attitudes toward lesbians and gay men have become less negative over the course of the past 30 years, and especially during the last decade, the majority still view homosexuality as morally unacceptable. But the issues discussed are pretty good in the USA. The people talk about gay rights, same-sex marriage. The courts make some verdicts about gay issues. Especially in some districts of the USA gay people are very comfortable. It is easy to find some gay areas in some states especially at coasts in New York, Massachusetts, California etc. In these areas gay people hang out together and walk on the street hand in hand. They can even kiss each other. But in some areas especially in the middle of the USA, people are really conservative. They insult homosexuals under the effect of the church religion and customs. So gay people who live in these areas are moving to the coasts in order to live a better life. As you see there is nothing bearing any resemblance between Turkey and the USA. In the States at least we see some improvements that gay people struggle against the disgusting attitudes towards themselves. Heterosexuals are getting used to living with homosexuals in their daily life. New generation regards this issue reasonably. We see the signs of this in universities in the USA. There are groups of this kind of people who struggle for their rights. In some universities, to find an adviser who deals with homosexual issues is even possible. When you think over all these things in this country, we easily figure out that Turkey has a really long way to drive to achieve these goals that the USA already did for the sake of not discriminating people with their sexual choices.

Another important thing is the attitude of the family who learns their child is gay or lesbian. In Turkey, this situation seems really bad as far I learn from the gay people I interviewed. Traditional family values determine the whole social atmosphere dominantly in Turkey. Although the form of relations within family members and relatives are changing gradually in time, it would be easily concluded that the nuclear family dynamics influence and control the behaviors and the attitudes of individuals in Turkey. The controlling attitudes of nuclear family and relatives have great impact on social order, not just because of their social power but also their economical power over individuals.

Although there are parents who accept their daughter or son as a gay individual easily or hardly, the discriminatory and strict heterosexist families use several methods to "change", "heal", threaten and oppress their lesbian or gay child. Sometimes they prefer the method of "not to hear, not to talk about". The usual oppression methods of families are following:

* They take him/her to psychiatrists in order to provide "treatment".

* They isolate him/her away from "degenerated" social environment and friends. Because the younger is perceived as a victim, not an object, by society, in general. If their child is homosexual then some elements must have seduced him/her.

* They punish him/her by threats, beating, limiting pocket money, limiting social support, etc.

* They give him/her in marriage by using force.

* They expel him away from home. Young gay male who is expelled from home sometimes meets with transgender subculture while seeking similar people like himself and then is exposed the whole difficulties of being a transgender.

This dangerous risk of losing family support and confidence keeps individuals away from coming out to their families. There are lots of married closet gay people in Turkey. Since homosexuality is a secret issue, it is hard to drive the statistical data on discriminations which homosexuals face. We can just have these inferences with the help of emails and letters sent to some gay friendly internet sites with no name. These family issues in the USA are different than in Turkey. But the only similarity both country families have a shock when they first find out their child is gay/lesbian. But some families can not understand neither that sexual orientation is not a mental disorder



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