Oppression And Discrimination Among LGBT Community

Historical Aspects of LGBT’s

Lesbian, gays, bi-sexual and transgender individuals are no new discovery and have been present for many years in modern American history. But the same unresolved issues are sending the LGBT community into oppression. With the LGBT community expanding all over the world and becoming more publicly known and forced to be sought as normal; it has initiated controversy because LGBT individuals feel that America should welcome their reality; while others believe LGBT Acts are unruly. The widespread of the LGBT community is now, more than ever causing an uproar; effecting individual in today’s society, those attending school, and adults in the workplace. The LGBT community remains in a state of oppression as they make continuous efforts to be sought as equals in what is known to be a predominately heterosexual world. LGBT’s are facing backlash discrimination and are cut off from the same opportunities as those who are heterosexual solely based upon the way they identify their sexual orientation.

Importance of Discussing the Topic of LGBT Oppression

It is important that we continue to discuss the topic of LGBT oppression because knowledge is power. Becoming more knowledgeable of this topic may help to eliminate reoccurring issues that correspond from it. It could lead to more opportunities for the LGBT community, change the way people view LGBT individuals and their purpose, and allowing people to learn to understand LGBT’s point of view, may even help save lives. It is best not to judge a book by its cover, or better yet to not judge anyone at all. It would be helpful to educate oneself on things like understanding what trans* oppression is and knowing that its meaning is most easily understood as the marginalization and exclusion for individuals who prefer to not identify themselves into the category of man or women (Adams,2018). This could possible help society to realize that trans* reasonings are no different than from a woman not wanting to be categorized by her gender to determine her capability to complete tasks in the work place. Everyone’s goal is to be treated as equals. This requires little to no effort; but huge efforts are taken in order to strip and shame individuals because of their sexual identity preference. If people choose to not want to categorized themselves based on their sexual orientation, the have the right to do so. According to Adams (2018) Some trans* people openly refuse to disregard, hide, or reject the complexity of their gender past for others’ comfort. Although, overtime more and more LGBT individuals have no problem when it comes to publicizing their sexuality; many people feel that their expressions have no room/place in society, schools, and the workplace.

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Issues Related to LGBT Oppression

Issues in Society

All over the world LGBT’s are refusing to no longer keep their private lives a secret; they are becoming more noticeable in society, in schools and in the workplace. In order for them to be heard, whether good or bad, they also have to listen to what people are saying. It is no secret that the LGBT community’s outreach has been causing issues within society as they make continuous effort to be treated as normal individuals. One major issue the LGBT oppression faces in society as result from publicly expressing their sexuality preferences are becoming victim of violence and hate crimes. According to Adams (2018), trans* people experience threats and acts of violence as fueled by the conscious and unconscious fear of those who disrupt gender norms. In other words, most likely the people who fear those who disrupt gender norms cause fear to the people who are disrupting gender norms because they may have a lack of understanding and do not take the time to view trans* points of view. Why is it okay for society to rule out what is and isn’t normal? What does it even mean to be a part of the norm? Ask 3 different people what the norm is, and more than likely, there will be 3 different interpretations. LGBT oppression faces issues in society because of the effect society has on molding the next generation for the future. The future starts with the next generation enrolling in the school system and LGBT oppression has already begun to cause issues in education.

Issues in Education

Not only does the LGBT community face reoccurring issue when placed in the public eye of society, but it has begun to cause issues in the school system and is impacting individual’s education. In the year of 2015, the state of Columbia conducted a survey in three schools ranging from elementary to high school students between the ages of 8-18 who identify as LGBT. Results of the surveys have shown that because of the gender students prefer to be identified has, as caused them to be bullied and receive all types of harassment. The results display, that of the 62 LGBT students asked to complete the survey; 85% of them have experiences verbal harassment, 58% of them have experienced bullying while on school grounds, 38% of them have experienced electronic or cyber bullying, and 46% have experienced physical attacks while on school grounds (Dowd,2018). In states like Columbia, little to no efforts have been made successful in ways to lower the rate of discrimination and attacks on children while attending school. The continuous occurrence of intentional threats and attacks from those who oppose LGBT individuals arising in places of education, forecasts a light on the possibility that a child enrolled into the school system seeking to learn; may encounter limitations and repercussion when trying to seek the same education as heterosexual students because of the way they choose to identify their gender. Issues LGBT oppression as caused in education result in harassment, bullying, suicides, increased rates of absenteeism, lower GPA, and many more. Many states in the U.S have a long way to go when it comes to decreasing the harmful impacts LGBT oppression has on the school system and the way it has allowed this oppression to impact students education.

The same LGBT oppression issues that lie in the school system effecting both LGBT and heterosexual student’s education continues into adulthood and impacts LGBT employees in the workplace. Issue are continuously on the rise in business corporations as the expanding LGBT oppression enters into the workplace. The impact LGBT oppression has on the workplace encounters conflict. According to Ecker (2017), U.S congress has failed to pass legislation in all states protecting LGBT employees from discrimination. In most states this allows for a business to have the right to either hire or fire a person based on their preferred gender identity. Although there is in fact a Civil Rights Act of 1964, better known as Title VII stating that it is unlawful for employees to be discriminated upon because of his/hers race, sex, or preferred gender orientation; does not mean it does not happen and that the LGBT oppression issues in the workplace are not getting bigger as years progress. Issues that may arise from a LGBT individual for sharing with colleges at work may result in losing out on valuable promotions which causes them to not be able to truly express themselves, keep secrets, and hide their private lives from their job and coworkers. Three major issues LGBT employees encounter while at work are; certain business not allowing for employees to receive health insurance that covers Domestic or same sex partners, Harassment and Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and the fear of consequence the LGBT employee may encounter by reporting acts of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. LGBT employees are losing their jobs left and right upon making the decision to publicly express their sexual orientation at work. In some state’s LGBT employees have not only lost their jobs and health benefits, but have been subject to imprisonment for being homosexual. Many cooperation’s feel that employing LGBT’s, tarnishes company brands and could cause profit loss; which eliminates one issue by causing another.

Towards Social Justice

In order for the LGBT oppression to completely end, there is still a lot to be done. In society, Change will have to come from parties that are for the LGBT community and parties that are against the LGBT community. LGBT individual should continue to make positive efforts in letting their voices be heard but should not forget to not force their reality on people who do not understand or want to understand their views. Efforts can be made to address the issue in society by continuing non-violent rallies and parades to express themselves and let the world know that they aren’t going anywhere. Society can then retaliate by either joining the cause or keeping their opinions to themselves. Those in society who are against the LGBT’s have to work on changing their view point. To understand others situation before casting judgement is better then casting judgment on someone because they do not express things in a way that one may feel is “the norm”. Ways to address the issues LGBT oppression has in education and the workplace can be made by enforcing guidelines such as what is considered appropriate behavior in school and at work, and enforcing dress codes. There should be no forms of discrimination in school and/or at a place of business. To eliminate accusations, stating guidelines and rules is a code of ethics and those who disobey will suffer the consequences. If everyone is presented with the does and don’t, then no one can feel singled out. There is a time and place for everything and the school and work place are a time for hard work and dedication. There is no room for anyone to be side tracked and unfocused, whether LGBT or heterosexual. Every individual is there for one purpose; to either learn, or use their skills to get paid. There is no time for single handed distractions!

Human And Drug Trafficking Across The US-Mexico Border

Human and drug trafficking on the US-Mexico border is an immediate threat to both illegal immigrants and US citizens. Drug cartels seemingly have more authority than police in the border region and minors are targeted for sex work and marriage, which subsequently results in an alarming rate of teenage pregnancies. The porous border allows for illegal substances such as heroin and cocaine to seep into our country-and eventually, each state, county, community, and many schools. A majority of Americans impacted by the overwhelming flow of illegal drugs coming across the border are high schoolers. A lack of border security is dangerous. Many Mexican cities are plagued with drug abuse, sexually transmitted infections, and human exploitation- and much of this is brought with immigrants as they cross the US-Mexico border illegally.

As a result of Mexico’s geographical location, it “is a major source, transit, and destination country for sexually exploited minors.” Some of the main factors that contribute to the overwhelming amount of sexual exploitation of women and girls in Mexico include illiteracy, extreme poverty and unemployment levels, and unaccompanied migration. Additional vulnerabilities include childhood marriage and or adolescent pregnancy. Child sex trafficking is an epidemic for all of Mexico, but it is also close to home. US-Mexico border cities, Tijuana and Cuidad Juarez have an estimated 15,000 female sex workers (FSWs) residing within them. Of these 15,000, 603 were surveyed about their experiences as a minor. ¼ were sex trafficked at an age younger than 18, ? experienced a pregnancy prior to the age of 16, and ? were married before the age of 16 (Boyce, et al).

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From August 2013 to October 2014, a similar survey of 20 FSWs was also conducted in Tijuana and Cuidad Juarez. In this survey, FSWs with a history of involvement in sex work before age 18, completed in-depth interviews about their history in sex work. This study found that sexual and physical abuse, teen pregnancy, and family dysfunction were key factors that contributed to the vulnerability of most minors and their entry into sex work (Servin, et al).

In 2009, two bar owners in Long Island, New York named Antonio Rivera and Jasmin Rivera, were arrested and charged with forcing women into prostitution. Since 2007, the defendants had been luring women into prostitution. Most of the victims were illegal immigrants from Central America who began sex work as young as 17 years old. According to the federal report, “After the women began working in the bars, the complaint alleged the defendants forced them to engage in sex acts with patrons in exchange for money, with the defendants keeping half. When the women refused or resisted, the defendants used physical force, including rape and assaults, and threatened to report the women to immigration authorities” (Winzelberg)

The US-Mexico border is a hub for sex trafficking and prostitution which contributes to both the HIV epidemic in the region and growing risk of HIV developing in the lives of female sex workers (Collins, et al). Drug users are typically more susceptible to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as well as other sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, which is common among women who use drugs. This suggests that drug use may be a marker for high-risk sexual activity. However, syphilis can also be transmitted through blood transfusion, which can take place during the sharing of needles. Regardless of the circumstances under which syphilis is acquired, it is a threat to the safety of immigrants and US citizens (Loza, et al).

Mexico continually proves itself to be a safe haven for gangs who sometimes rule an entire town. Kidnappings occur frequently, elected officials are often assassinated, and beheadings are far too common. These atrocities are not far from home. Within a 2 year time period, 2,400 or more people can be killed as a result of drug and gang violence. In July of 2010, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called for action on our southern border. He claimed there was a need for federal funding on the Texas border because “it is more dangerous to walk to the streets of Juarez than to walk the streets of Bhagdad” (Antal). Similarly, in 2009, the Attorney General under the Obama administration, Eric Holder, announced that there was a disruption of American operations of a Mexican drug cartel. This operation lasted for two years and during that time, 750 people were arrested for their involvement in the cartel’s illegal drug smuggling, and 12,000 kilograms of cocaine were seized (ABC Premium News).

According to Joe Arpaio, a former sheriff from Maricopa County, “Illegal immigration is so lucrative that drug gangs have not only gotten into the business, but they have begun to dominate it” (25). Vicious gangs, usually originating from Latin America, control border cities and flood our border and our country with illegal drugs and unnecessary violence (Arpaio 24). In one instance, Joe Arpaio’s team was tracking two drug dealers whose information they had gotten from a teenager trying to get off of heroin (Arpaio 69). They bought heroin from the dealers 6 times, for prices ranging from $40 to $60. Eventually, after much surveillance, the detectives decided to contact some of the customers. One customer was a 17-year-old girl who cooperated and admitted to using heroin for about a year (Arpaio 70). The surveillance continued and more teenagers were interviewed. Eventually, 11 drug dealers were discovered and arrested. The drug dealers targeted high school students and many of the users admitted that heroin and cocaine were readily available in the school bathrooms (Arpaio 71). All of the dealers were Mexican citizens who found themselves in the US by way of illegal immigration. 18 high school students were arrested, seven of whom faced charges of possession of narcotics because they did not cooperate with the investigation. Because of illegal immigration, 18 teenagers faced avoidable chaos and legal predicaments (Arpaio 72).

Looking specifically at the drugs being trafficked across the US-Mexico border, most people might be surprised that in 2017, it was estimated that there were more than 70,000 US citizens who died as a result of the opioid epidemic and the number one culprit for those deaths, was fentanyl-laced heroin, which was produced by Mexican and or Central American drug cartels. The number of US citizens who have lost their lives to Mexican Drug Cartel Heroin is greater than the number of lives lost in the entire Vietnam War and the wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan combined and many of the victims of this epidemic are US inner city and suburban high school students. This particular heroin is often brought across the border illegally via smugglers called mules. They might carry the heroin for pay, but many smuggle it in simply because it is the price they pay for entry into the United States. Too many lives are lost as a result of our porous and unsafe border (PR Newswire).

Border towns and illegal border crossings- an unprecedented danger. Violence including kidnappings and killings have escalated on the border as drug cartels battle for turf (ABC Premium News) and the majority of illegal crossing into the US are motivated by the convenience for the movement of illicit goods, drug smuggling, or human trafficking (John Antal).

Illegal immigration is an immediate threat and should be treated as one. In 2017, then President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto condemned President Trump’s call for a border wall on our Southern border, but President Trump and many Americans still stand behind the cause. In 2017, there were an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States who originally immigrated from Latin America. Because we have no records for each of these people, we cannot come to a conclusion as to whether or not they are involved in human or drug trafficking, making our understanding and knowledge of the particulars of these epidemics unclear. As if the danger of human lives is not enough, in 2017, President Trump also began looking into suspected voter fraud committed by non-citizens who voted in the 2016 presidential election (Waikato Times).

To summarize, Mexican cities are home to intense crime, violence, drug abuse, and human exploitation. Border cities are often said to be less safe than war-torn middle eastern countries (Antal), and women and girls report that several experienced sexual exploitation, pregnancy, and or marriage at ages younger than 18 years of age (Servin et al). Many fall victim to sex work and exploitation because of social factors as mentioned, but many are also uneducated and have very few options for financial survival (Boyce et al). Sex work is a career for many women and sexually transmitted infections are spread seemingly exponentially (Loza et al). Vulnerable women who enter sex work, are likely to find themselves victims of sex trafficking and involuntary exploitation, which is both a concern for immigrants who are put in this situation and American citizens who are influenced by the influx of exploitation in our communities (Boyce, et al). American high school students use heavily addictive drugs that would not have had a passage into our country if our border did not allow for an intense flow of drugs via coyotes to corrupt our schools and their students (Arpaio 72) and largely because of fentynal-laced heroin originating from Latin America, 70,000 people died from what is called the opioid epidemic (PR Newswire).

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