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Keeping It In The Closet Essay, Research Paper

One definition of the word “gay” is a synonym for happy. An adjective meaning one has positive meaning towards something. Another definition of “gay” would be one attracted to the same sex-one that has emotional feelings for another of the same gender. Many people in the world today fit both of these definitions, but fitting one may be a little more dangerous than the other. One who is gay, or homosexual, is a main target for hate crime. Back in the early 1900’s, in American Colonies, anyone convicted of committing any homosexual act could be sentenced to death. Homosexuals were thought of as disgusting and morally wrong. In today’s society, homosexuals are not sentenced to death, but are four times likely to be victims of violence. But what drives people to take their hate or ignorance out on others? What gives others the right to hurt other’s esteem or inner self because of the preference of love they may have?

One example of how gays are main targets of hate crimes is the story about a man named Charlie Howard. Ever since Charlie was a young child he got pushed around, laughed at, and called a “sissy” by other children. As he grew older, the hate became much worse towards him. Charlie started getting hurt by others and called “faggot”. Why did the other children treat him this way? One reason was the fact that he fit the stereotypical “gay” appearance. Charlie was fair-haired and small boned. He had certain girly features and the way he walked and talked set him apart from the other kids. Charlie also had asthma, which kept him from participating in sports. This made the children think poorly of him because he did not do the things other normal children were doing.

As Charlie grew older into a young adult he faced more and more problems in life. He had trouble finding a job and a place to live because of the way the people in the town looked at him and treated him. He moved from town to town never finding a sense of security he was looking for. Finally he moved to a town where a neighbor helped him land a part time job and find a warm community of friends at a local church. Through this church, Charlie became involved in a gay and lesbian support group, which helped in becoming more in touch with his homosexuality and allowed him to feel more comfortable. Charlie no longer camouflaged himself among others in his community and even went to the lengths of calling others “dearie” and “sweetheart”. One time he even danced with another man at a local dance club. This sort of behavior drew the town’s attention and sparked their anger.

One late night Charlie was walking home from a supper sponsored by his church with his friend. Because he looked gay and was walking with another man, a group of teenagers took it upon themselves to teach Charlie and all other gays a lesson. They ran after him and pushed him over a bridge. Since Charlie could not swim, he died minutes later. His death was a result of a group of people’s anger towards someone’s appearance or sexual preference.

If a ball is tossed into the air, because of gravity its effect will be that it will fall back down to the ground. If people continue to pollute the earth, the effect will be that plants and animals will soon die. If a man is gay and decides that he no longer wants to isolate himself from the public and be afraid to show who he really is, the effect will be that people will become angered and turn to violence to satisfy their hate.

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