Transgender Issues: Understanding Issues on Gay Rights- Literacy Review
From the beginning of human civilization, there have been many cases of homosexuality around the world. One of the earliest cases of homosexuality was back in the first century. The Judeo Christians have made it apart of their lifestyle to be against homosexuals. They believed that any sexual involvement within the same sex was unmoral and should be put to death. Many people believe that homosexuality is immoral as a result. Personal beliefs were key factors in any argument dealing with the LGBTQ+ community, especially in the past.
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In the 1800’s everything was driven by religion, people lived life following the bible. A vast amount of homosexuals were being executed for same-sex sodomy. Although there were many negatives impacts dealing with homosexuality in the 1800’s, there were some positives. Locations such as The Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Bolivia, and the Empire of Brazil decriminalized homosexuality. Meaning that the criminal consequences placed on an act were lessened or removed. Throughout the 19th century there was little progress being made. Certain countries removed being executed, and others legalized homosexuality.
A century later, and homosexuality is still concealed from the public, however, there are more people being open about the topic. The very first United States organization for LGBTQ+ rights was created in 1924, it was founded by Henry Gerber. Gerber witnessed the homosexual movement in Germany and supported it. When he returned to Chicago he was disappointed in how the U.S. was treating homosexuals. That is what led him to create the movement.
Not only was their unfair treatment in the United States, but also in Germany. When Adolf Hitler took over Germany he targeted different people such as Jews, ill citizens, and homosexuals. Homosexuals were categorized with a pink triangle on their clothes when they were locked up by the Nazi. They were also sent to concentration camps to produce labor. Being in the camp, the Nazi’s assassinated several homosexuals due to not being obedient.
Approximately twenty years later, the 1960’s, the gay rights movement was starting to advance. Advancing had its pro’s and con’s. One of the positives being that they are being recognized for who they are and they have a small support community among each other. Being recognized also meant being targeted by hate. They were being attacked by people who did not support them. There were numerous amount of murders that dealt with LGBTQ+ community. One of the attacks that was significant to the LGBTQ+ movement was the stonewall riots. The stonewall riots was when the officers of New York, went to go attack different gay clubs. The officers beat them and abused them, which led to death.
During the 1970’s there was not many cases of transgenders transitioning into the different sex, but there were a few. Many transgenders were hiding from the world because that was a totally different topic. It was so different that the homosexuals had a hard time to accept them. As time progressed the LGBTQ+ lifestyle is becoming more accepted, and is considered normal now.
A case that caused an important impact to the LGBTQ+ community was the Bowers V Hardwick court case on June 10, 1986. It started when Micheal Hardwick, a well known English author in the early 1900’s, failed to show up to a court hearing because of a warrant he had for public drinking. When police showed up at his apartment to arrest him, they peeked through a door that was half opened and witnessed, Hardwick having oral sex with the same gender. Which in Georgia, this is a felony known as, Homosexual sodomy or when same-sex partners act on having anal or oral intercourse. From there, they were both arrested for “violating the Georgia Sodomy Statue”. However, Hardwick claimed that it was violating the Constitution, and sued the state of Georgia. Hardwick lost the case, however, seventeen years later, the supreme court decided that any anti-soodmy laws or regulations was unconstitutional. Hardwick may have lost, but he was labeled as a hero to many people.
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Another court case that was similar to the Bowers v. Hardwick was the Lawrence v. Texas case in 2003. The neighbors of John Geddes Lawrence, had called the police due to a weapons disturbance. When the authorities showed up they walked into a room of two men participating in sexual intercourse. Lawrence and the other man involved were detained in custody due to violating the homosexual conduct law. Lawrence did not agree with what had happened and appealed. He stated that the law was unconstitutional. The law stated that the intercourse between two homosexuals had to have consent and be private. Therefore, Lawrence did not violate any laws and was protected.
The first ever transgender case was the case of Lili Elbe, originally named Einar Wegener. Elbe was born a male. She realized that she wanted to be a woman when they asked her to sit in as a female model when the model did not show up. At first she was hesitant, but once the clothes were put on her she felt at home and in her true nature. She felt as if she belonged somewhere, like that was who she really was. Since that experience Elbe decided to keep on portraying as a woman. Elbe and her wife moved to Paris where she would be proud of who she was. Elbe found a doctor who decided to proceed with the operation, however, there wouldn’t be any painkillers or medicine to stop the pain. She went for another round of surgery to have a womb inserted in her. Her body rejected the organ and she died. Lili Elbe was considered the beginning of a new lifestyle.
Another transgender court case was Glenn v. Brumby. Vandy Beth Glenn worked at her workplace for two years. She loved her job, but had one secret she was hiding from everyone; she was actually man. She had a mental illness known as Gender Identity Disorder. She went to undergo gender replacement surgery. She informed her the head of the office, Sewell Brumby, that she was getting the procedure done. Brumby then fired her due to her being a man transitioning into a woman. There was a federal lawsuit placed on her workplace for the violation of the constitution for equal protection. On behalf of the constitution Glenn was the victor of the court case.
In 2017 president Donald Trump tweeted that transgender individuals could no longer enlist in the armed forces. This was met with backlash from transgender and non transgender soldiers alike, as well as his former directive, Ryan Karnoski. However, due to it being a tweet of a new law the supreme court did not make it official.
There are many records and court cases displaying the LGBTQ+ movements. Transgender rights began with the movements of gay rights. Transgenders were hiding under the homosexuals and it was not until the more recent century that they have decided to come out. Evaluating the information that we are fortunate to have about the LGBTQ+ community will give us a better insight of the topic and will be important for future purposes.
- ALWOOD, E. (2015). The Role of Public Relations in the Gay Rights Movement, 1950-1969. Journalism History (E.W. Scripps School of Journalism), 41(1), 11–20. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.mclennan.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=hft&AN=102033162&site=eds-live
- Baird, V. (2016). The Trans Revolution. Utne Reader: The Best of the Alternative Press, (191), 39. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.mclennan.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f6h&AN=116339408&site=eds-live
- HENRY GERBER. (n.d.). Retrieved from
- Jost, K. (2006, May 5). Transgender issues. CQ Researcher, 16, 385-408. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/
- Karaim, R. (2011, March 1). Gay Rights. CQ Global Researcher, 5, 107-132. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com.ezproxy.mclennan.edu/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqrglobal2011030100&type=hitlist&num=6
- Morris, B. J. (n.d.). History of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Social Movements. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/history
- Pelleschi, A. (2016). Transgender Rights and Issues [Middle Search Reference eBook Collection]. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.mclennan.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=1&sid=756382f5-ff00-481b-983c-49fa03e3b68d@pdc-v-sessmgr06&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU=#AN=1022705&db=e866sww
- JEFFERY ROSEN (N.D) EXPANDING CIVIL RIGHTS. Retreived from https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_bowers.html
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