E V O L U T I O N
13 April 2019
The evolution of communication continues to change and upgrade. For the generation born during the Great Depression the main form of communication was the printing press and radio. For the baby boomers it transitioned from radio to television being the main form of communication, and now, we’re in the age of digital media. Being a part of the generation where almost everything is accessible with either touch, swipe, or tap the adaptation of technology and communication have made things too easy for the generation. One of the most beneficial contributions of social media has been its impact on marginalized groups; specifically the LGBTQ community. Up until the 1980s, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) finally acknowledged that homosexuality was not a mental health disorder. However for the people who identify with this community often face prejudice from society, experience hate crimes, and may at times feel like they don’t belong. Finding a sense of community has not always been easy as it has until now due to the support that is shown via social media.
In American society, the principle of religion plays a strong factor in other’s moral values. According to Research Gate, an individual’s morals are the principles on which of right and wrong are based. Ethics are principles of doing what’s right. Often the two are closely related and usually mixed together. The main difference is that morals are more abstract, subjective, and often personal or religion-based, while ethics are more practical, conceived as shared principles promoting fairness in social and business interactions. It is usually looked at through a conservative viewpoint that heteronormative relationships are seen as acceptable because the Bible primarily taught that behavior was acceptable to the public. Usually, when it comes to the LGBTQ community people often try to associate their actions with sin. Society already has a preconceived notion that supporting or being a part of the homosexual community is morally wrong. People within this community often face repercussions because of heterosexual people’s morals (examples varying from public shame, hate crimes, and other prejudices) which are morally wrong.
Currently being the age of technological advancement it makes finding people who can relate to one another easier than the years prior. Now with the influence of media and social media, there have been platforms created to appeal to not only to people who identify as heterosexual. Also, there are apps such as Grindr, Bumble, Transdr, etc. these applications being available on the market help breakthrough the heteronormative market. By having this content available to millions of IOS and Android users the heteronormative market has now been interfaced with new products that appeal more to other users other than its straight users. Now that there has been a call for diversity in the dating market often now we see new content and applications that specialize to homosexual users. With these dating/hookup apps the users who can use a preference to filter out what they want in a person. Essentially it is like you’re shopping for a partner, and as you “shop” you can modify your preferences along the way. Nothing is wrong with having a preference, however, homosexual users tend to degrade others in pursuit while “shopping” for their partner. By the stigma in the homosexual community to maintain their appearance often certain accounts (often white males) they would use terms like “no monkeys”, “no chinks”, etc.. Apps like Grindr chose to opt-in and create an advertising campaign to try and bring social awareness of discrimination based on the race and appearance to support app members.
By having new technology it has created a trend for individuals who self-identify with numerous other groups such as gays, lesbians, transsexuals, etc. Here we see intersectionality start to tie into other factors into the homosexual community. For example, we see on Twitter how their our hashtags created for users to help relate. Hashtags ranging from #MyGaySlay, #BlackLove, and #WhatADayToBeGay these hashtags bring a certain sense of inclusiveness to the people being oppressed. By creating this sense of inclusiveness the individuals under these hashtags may feel more comfortable to the fact that they can relate to the other users’ experiences as well. For example, recently at Morehouse College an all-boys institution in Atlanta, Georgia There is a hashtag going around on social media saying, #MorehouseCantEraseMe. This hashtag was created by a transgender student who attends the institution and realized the institution’s policy would actually admit cisgendered, non-binary, and trans men. However, for the individuals who choose to identify as trans women will not receive a degree from the institution. The call for action has started to gain recognition from the New York Times, Buzzfeed, and AJR (Atlanta Journal Review). By creating the ‘MorehouseCantEraseMe’ hashtag this brings awareness of the discrimination that transgender people still face oppression on an everyday. Also, not even transgender people fall victim to this but this happening to students of color since Morehouse College is a historically black college they also fall into another marginalized group for being discriminated against their race and sexuality.
With technology becoming so accessible is bittersweet for this generation because it is easier to find what and who we are looking for. Being a supporter of the LGBTQ community it is important that the members of that group feel safe.