Tag Archives: gay history

Fear of the Unknown: Is Unconditional Love Really Unconditional?

“’Coming out’ is often characterized as an invariant, universal progression from initial unawareness and confusion to eventual identity, pride and synthesis,” according to the LGBT Casebook.

Teens who identify as lesbian, gay or bi-sexual are four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers according to a 2011 survey done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“One of the factors to consider is the level of rejection that one may face from their family, faith, etc,” said CSUN Professor of Social Work, Mark Abelson.

With coming out of the closet being such a traumatic experience for many, it can cause people to stay in their comfort zone and avoid revealing who they really are.

“When I came out at sixteen as transgender, I was in foster care,” Lifeworks Mentoring Coordinator Nia Clark said. “When I told my adoptive mother that I wanted to live full time as a woman, I was taken to court and she rescinded guardianship of me.”

With pop-culture somewhat desensitizing kids, it could, in a way, make things more difficult for those who really are going through a struggle to come out.

“Young people don’t know what they are saying,” said CSUN Pride Center Coordinator Sarina Loeb. “Seeing things like that in music and pop-culture I think also it has influence.”

“When you are not facing a certain type of oppression it’s easier for you to overlook when you are oppressing someone else,” Clark said. “So when you hear things like ‘that’s so gay’ think of the subtext of that. That ‘that’s so gay’ are you equating that word with stupid, unintelligent, boring and if you were in front of someone who was gay would you really describe them as stupid or boring or unintelligent or dumb.”

With religion playing a great role in any people’s lives and religious institutions having such anti-LGBT tendencies, it can be something difficult to overcome.

“I don’t normally try to change someone’s belief, but everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” Loeb said.

For those who are coming out, however, resources are available to help. Lifeworks, at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, offers many mentoring programs to help those in the LGBT community throughout the Los Angeles area. Experts say people considering whether or not to come out need to evaluate their whole situation before coming out.

“What will your reaction be at home? Will your parents be supportive or not? And ask ‘what if they are not supportive?’ What could happen to you?” Abelson said.

“You have the inalienable right to be yourself,” Clark said, “and in that you have a responsibility to yourself to accept you wherever you are at, and that’s all that’s important. Everyone else, that’s a lot of noise.”


Moderator: Rosanna Siracusa

Producer: AJ Romero

Anchor: Kelly Hernandez

Reporters: Cyndy Alvarado, Evan Mederos and Sharon Shin

Social Media Editor: Precious Allen

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