Does Being Gay Make You A Minority? Part 2

In the first post in this series, I listed 5 sociological characteristics of minority groups, intending to build an argument that LGBT people are, in fact, deserving of minority status. Here’s where I’ll get into the first – and perhaps most important – of those characteristics.

Please note that for the purposes of this discussion, I will be focusing on gays and lesbians; this is not to erase the unique challenges faced by bisexual people, trans*people, queer folks, asexual people, and others, but simply because I’m not trying to conflate all these groups under one umbrella heading, though in some cases it does make sense to consider them grouped together, and I’d argue that they all do deserve minority status based on their uniqueness and their experiences of oppression.

1) Suffering discrimination and subordination: here is a list of atrocities committed against gays and lesbians specifically because they are gays and lesbians:

And here is a list of other ways in which gays and lesbians suffer discrimination and subordination:

Stay tuned for Part 3 and Part 4

About Jeana

Jeana

Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.

  • Sam Kean

    I thank you for shedding light on the statistics regarding the plight and abuse of those who are LGBT. I do not disagree that those of varying sexual identities receive abuse, and I am for the sacred adages, “Do violence to no man,” and, “Consider others as better than yourself.”

    On the other hand, as I wrote in response to part 1 of this series, I must underscore the criteria with which one properly constitutes a minority. While suffering and plight must be addressed, I believe the best way to address them is to socially and organizationally enforce the laws which already exist in the U.S. [Amid your many world-wide citations, I reiterate that we are speaking of the U.S. as a sovereign nation.] Here, we have many laws against, hazing, violence and discrimination… and these are the main reasons that the horrid things happening abroad are not happening in the U.S. to the same degree… and as you point out, there are many bills pending.

    Protection for all (even an entire community of people) is one matter, and defining a minority and the rights which go along with it is quite another matter. As I indicated in the article which prompted your writing this series, the historic and natural definitions of “minority” based on primary descriptors of human identity must not be ignored or skewed. If we do, then the door is opened wide to assertions of rights from groups that even you do not agree with.