Recently,the topic of prejudice, stereotypes, anddiscrimination is abundantly present in our society. Members of the variousgroups are literally not understood, although they mention the same terms asrights, protection, freedom, and equality.Obviously, these are the common values??of the majority of people in our society, but if we divide these people into differentgroups chaos and disagreement start tohappen. Before we start to identify agroup in the UK who face prejudice and discrimination lets explain whatprejudice and discrimination really are.
Prejudiceis an attitude. Prejudice is followed by emotions, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors that are the result of the firsttwo components. It can be positive and negative. Prejudice in the context of anegative attitude on others can be defined as hostile or negative attitudetowards members of a recognizable group of people based solely on theirmembership in that group.
While on the other hand discrimination is any unjustified distinction or unequal treatmentto some people or groups of people as well as to members of their families ortheir close ones, openly or covertly. Now we can talk about a specific group inthe UK that faces these inequalities which is the LGBT community.Likeother marginalized groups, LGBT people, historically speaking, are exposed tooppression in the form of abuse and violence; discrimination in areas such asemployment, housing, access to education and human services, as well as lawsthat have also actively discriminated against them or failed to protectfundamental human rights. For a number of years, this oppression served to keep LGBT people invisible. At the same time,the predominant image of LGBT people was the flagrant stereotypes that encouragehomophobia and heterosexism. Although the situation is slowly changing, LGBTpeople are still faced with multiple forms of social oppression. Violencethreats are part of the everyday life of a large number of LGBT people,particularly young people.
Rivers and D’Augelli documented the stunning shareof LGBT people who were exposed to peer violence, abuse and physical violencein different environments including their neighborhood, home and school; and byvarious groups of individuals such as peers, parents, and teachers. Regardless of the lack of such research, it is enoughto read the newspapers or watch the evening news to see the dramatic nature ofvarious acts of hatred towards young LGBT people. (Rivers, I., & D’Augelli,A.R. (2001). Different forms of discrimination and oppression, supported bylegislation and other forms of legal action, explicitly exclude LGBT peoplefrom the enjoyment of rights and protection that is accessible to mostcitizens. This includes the adoption of laws prohibiting same-sex marriages,which sexual activities among people of the same sex include in criminal law,prohibit the same-sex couple’s adoptionof children and prohibit LGBT people from joining the armed forces.
Inaddition, the omission of sexual orientation into human rights legislationleaves the door open for discrimination based on sexual orientation, includingemployers refusing to employ LGBT people or wanting to release them, housingowners who refuse to lease LGBT people and courts that take sexual orientationinto consideration when deciding oncustody of children. “Extending the psychological study ofsexual orientation to adolescence clearly has generated important findings, aswell as significant challenges to our previous understanding of sexual orientationsover the lifespan.” (R. D’Augelli andCharlotte J. Patterson, 2002. 296 pp).
This volume summarizes conceptualframeworks. Oppression, rejection,discrimination, harassment, and violencehave a negative effect on physical and mental health both among adults and amongadolescents LGBT populations. A study involving gay men clearly established thelink between internalized homophobia, stigma (expectation of rejection anddiscrimination) and real experiences of anti-gay violence and discriminationagainst negative mental health effects (Meyer, 1995).Tofocus on empowering the groups being discriminated against to resist the negativeimpacts of discrimination there are multiple support groups for LGBT community members throughout the UK. One ofthose is Consortium which is a widenetwork that offers lesbian, gays, bisexual,transgender people voluntary and community organizationsin the UK.
They offer counseling and organized assistance to specific groups and/or communities through which persons of similar experience areadvised by other people. Organized assistance is an important source ofinformation and support for LGBT people; many have received support,understanding, and information crucialfor their own self-crushing and coping with homo/bi/transphobia. We can also mention a vital organization for LGBT community which is called Coming Out the UK. It aims to provide safety to people whowant to come out while giving them constantlove and support. Organizing parades also helpthem feel more accepted and help thembecome more comfortable with their sexuality. The counseling center can also beoff for helpingcuring anxiety, depressed mood, low self-esteem, problems with intimaterelationships and communication with a partner, inadequate communication withinthe family, and so on.
We should focus on reducing discrimination and prejudicein the groups doing the discrimination.With that being said it is important toeducate them on human rights and human nature that is the freedom to expresslove to whoever they want. We need towork hard to promote tolerance towards diversitybecause a society that does not tolerate LGBT communityis a society that does not tolerate those who are minorities by any othercriterion. For example, old people do not get the same treatment as younger generations, and old age is what is waiting forus all.
We must stop believing in the myth that it is so easy to divide peopleon the basis of one characteristic and by virtue of one characteristic toevaluate them. With education and quality information,people come to realize that prejudices ofany kind are not good. They have destructive consequences for the mental healthof people, both those who suffer discrimination, and those who have a negativeemotion and prejudice on their own on any ground.