[C]ount the number of times you see gay images and portrayals of homosexuality in television or movies today. Now, count the number of times you see these images in your neighborhood, local grocery store or shopping mall. Are you bothered or offended?
Imagine the disgust, disrespect and discrimination members of the LGBT community endure living their daily lives. Now imagine going through all of this, while still figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your sexuality.
In recent years, some might say homosexuality has become ‘the norm’ in America thanks to hit primetime shows like “Modern Family,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and more. And with 32 U.S. states that have legalized same-sex marriage, the LGTB community is one that is more present now than ever before.
We asked young adults (18-25) their opinion on the ever-changing face of America and what it means to be young, Black and gay. Current HBCU senior, Christian Perry, 25, has found himself in an uncomfortable setting or two.
“The settings that I feel most outcast would have to be in some bars, and sometimes some clubs. Also if I’m hanging with the fellas I feel outcast,” says Perry. “As a Black gay man living in the United States, it can be extremely difficult. People can be so cruel and sometimes we do
not get opportunities straight people get due to our preference,” he added.
Many universities across the nation have openly embraced the LGBT community however; some students still don’t feel the love.
[“I feel alienated the most] when I’m using a public restroom,” said college Junior Dejanaye Williams, 24. “I try my hardest not to use them while I’m out. Since I am what you consider a ‘stud,’ more often than not the women think I’m a male. I’ve had a woman rush back out the restroom because she thought she was in the wrong one,” Williams recounts. “I’ve caught people staring at me. The staring is what gets me the most,” she added.
Over the years, the acceptance of homosexuality has been wide-spread, but Christian Perry still believes there are clear strides to be made in terms of people overcoming stereotypes.
“The most noticeable difference in being a young, black gay person in America now verses twenty years ago is people today are very open with who they are,” student Christian Perry said. “Twenty years ago, homosexuality was frowned upon and now it’s almost as if it is the new fad. However there are still stigmas associated with being gay. A lot of people think that many gay black men will die of HIV/Aids virus. People even think that every gay male or lesbian female has to be feminine if they’re gay and masculine if they’re a lesbian…a clear lack in communication between the straight and gay communities.”
Check out some shocking stats on what the LGBTQ community has to endure on a daily basis below.