For amanda | American history homework help


Your Feeling on the Matter

It is no secret that our nation and our public conversation about LGBT issues has changed in the last, not only 100 years, but more drastically in the last 20 years. This latest generation of kids (Gen Z) have grown up in the most accepting and diverse American culture to date with respect to LGBT individuals, their families, and the issues they stand for. But there is so much history that had to happen in order for society to have moved and shifted to such a place of acceptance and equality. 

This week we watched the dramatized version of The Laramie Project. A play that was written to expose and relay the stories and horrific events of that day that happened to Mathew Shepard.  As mentioned before, this is a play that is performed all over the United States. This play, like so many other plays that deal with  LGBT themes and issues have been coming more and more to the fray of our national and public conversation. 

We have seen the rise of gay and lesbian characters in all of our entertainment including TV, film, and of course the Theatre. We see how the last 25 years of LGBT pointed entertainment has shaped the political discourse of our nations power brokers. We are changing laws and shaping society to a far greater degree in even the last 10 years so as to tackle the discrimination against this particular group. 

The Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress, passed on October 22, 2009, and signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009. Then, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5–4 decision that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to grant same-sex marriages and recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states. 

Gay marriages are now legal all over the states and those that would decry the LGBT lifestyle as something to be covered or shunned for cultural or religious reasons are now beginning to be seen as radical and out of touch where just 20-25 years ago, those same voices held the majority of political power in our nation. How far we have come from even prop 8 in California that would have legalized same sex marriage in the state, but was soundly struck down in 2008 by California voters? If that prop was up for  vote today it would win resoundingly. 

The waves of change are boundless and can be seen almost daily as we here more reports of judges, states, and the federal government ending discrimination all over the nation.

Here is the question(s) I have……

In light of the play you have now watched, the history we have gone over, your research and your own general awareness and knowledge of the state of our national discourse with respect to LGBT issues:

Do you feel that it has been a positive or negative 20 to 25 years for Gay, Lesbian or transgender issues, their families and the way we feel about them? Why or why not?

How and why do you believe we have changed so quickly in our society toward the LGBT community since the Mathew Shepard event in 1998? Why or why not?  

Have you seen any change in your own life with how you feel or behave toward Gay and Lesbian individuals because of the influence of the media you consume? What, in your opinion, is still an outstanding issue for the LGBT community that you feel needs to be made more public or dealt with in a more specific way in our current society?

Would you watch a play or view a film or television that highlights LGBT themes and values? Why or why not?



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