Gay Men and Their Human Culture, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Introduction

The desire to be free and the hope to be recognized, these are two factors that media tries to appeal to when it comes to representing particular factors in life as they are related in TV programs and movies. Considerably, such appeal is highly relative to the manner by which humans at present view themselves to have the capacity to be ‘just themselves’. It is a common notion that because of the judgmental condition of human nature, individuals become highly concerned on what other’s might say if they do let themselves be taken over by their desires especially if what they want is out of the conventional terms of the norms that a particular society is known to. As a result, these individuals tend to conceal inside a life that they live to reach the expectations that others have upon them.

Problematic as the situation is, modern media serves to be the outlet of such individuals. Exploring and possibly exploiting such emotions and making use of them as the basis of particular stories presented through movies, such desires and concealed identities become known and are at some point encouraged to be revealed. What others seem to be having a hard time presenting as themselves is being supported by the media therefore influencing the minds of the people about their reactions on unconventional situations and issues such as ‘gayness’ or the emergence of the third gender. In the discussion that follows, four particular movies shall be examined and explored in relation to how they represented the emergence of ‘gayness’ therefore affecting the minds of the society. This examination shall be based on how such movies tend to explain the reason behind the ideas of developing homosexual attitude leading to the acts and the emotional distinctions of people undergoing such sexual adjustments. Relatively, this discussion would try to manifest how much media has affected the world view about gay men and gay relationships through time with the utilization of themes in movies that practically represent the idealisms of homosexuality.

Methods

In relation to completing the research process for the discussion of the topic considered in this presentation, a distinct consideration on references that would provide clear description about the movies and the messages they portray has been given specific attention to. Among the references considered include the direct websites of the movies. These websites were chosen as they do present the plot of the story, particular reviews from experts in the movie industry and opinions from the viewers of the films. These elements of description directed to defining the movies’ theme and how they likely appealed to public viewers provide a great indication on how the film affected the thinking and the opinion of people regarding the issue of ‘gayness’ that the movies represent.

Another type of reference considered  is  a commentary write-up from a film critic who has a great command on identifying the different factors that make up a movie and how these elements contribute to the overall value of the film as it relates the important messages of the story. Considerably, this reference is expected to help in determining whether or not one of the films met the expectations of the public based on how they accept the emergence of homosexuality in the society.

Findings and Analysis

Confusion, adjustments and alterations on emotional preferences of a person; this particular situation often happens in puberty. The time when a person is in the middle of making difficult choices, when the hormones are at a race because of the different physical changes that are occurring in an individual, it is most often than not that the confusion over one’s sexual preferences also become evident during the period of puberty among teens. The confusion arises with the emergence of outside influences that define the being of a person. In the end, it would be the person’s decision that would determine whether or not his condition of sexual preference would be that of the conventional or that of the unconventional form.

Back in the days, gayness or homosexuality is highly frowned upon. Men who seemingly develop a disdain desire to be with men are considered immoral. Judged as individuals who do not come from the conventional end of the society, these persons become the center of ridicule. Nevertheless, at the birth of liberty, such social vision of gayness has slowly changed into something more acceptable and at times even more appreciative. Nevertheless, it was media’s influence that has further promoted the emergence of homosexual phenomena that intends to celebrate the idealisms of developing the third gender phenomena.

Imposing that such choice of being among humans should be acceptable, and that those experiencing such imbalance on themselves as they face the issues about their sexuality should not view themselves to be vile but normal, media has affected the modern culture of stereotyping, putting an end to the ridicule that homosexuals receive from the society. At present, media continues to influence the thinking of the society through representing gayness based on the reasons that develop such idealisms among individuals. As if justifying the act and the choices that individuals make, media presentations such as movies intend to bring about the stories that would make it easier for the human community to accept homosexuality as a mere choice of heart and should not be judged upon.

The Reality behind Gayness and the Implications of Media

“Normal”, this is how media intends to portray the real situation behind the development of gayness among men. Relatively, such condition of thinking is established through the themes represented in films such as Brokeback Mountain (2005), Shelter (2007), My Beautiful Laundrette(1985) and Weekend (2011). These movies specifically highlight one particular matter about homosexuality, and that is ‘being normally based on emotional dictations of the heart’. Most of these films begin with men who are not gay. They may have problems with their married lives, but they are not originally gay nor do they normally fall for someone belonging to the same gender.

The idea of being comfortable with another person has long been used as a regular theme of romantic films. The same theme is utilized in the movies that were mentioned earlier. For instance, Brokeback Mountain features two men who were likely hired to herd the sheep of another distant friend. The relationship between the two characters were further established through imposing that their background lives have been relatively problematic especially in terms of establishing relationships with women. The thought of being gay was not that evident at the first instance of presenting the film’s ideal presentation, nevertheless, at the turn of events, the audience is lead to believe that the characters become more at ease with each other than when they are with their partners from the opposite gender. Perhaps the problematic state of imbalance of attitude between men and women further affirms the comfort that both men found between each other making it easier for them to ‘fall in love’ with each other. For this movie though, the ending is not favorable to the relationship that has been established between the characters. Nevertheless, the short time of being together in the farm allowed them to become the real people that they are, something that they might not be able to live with, but was certainly something that defined them entirely as individuals.

Meanwhile, the theme of My Beautiful Laundrette is based on finding comfort and attention from a mate who understands what the other needs. The relationship was mutual and the reciprocation of support made it easier for Omar Ali and Johnny to adjust between each other’s differences. Being social minorities within a society that recognizes freedom as a rather vague concept at the time, the characters in the story were challenged as to how they are supposed to present themselves to the society. The movie is set on a time when gay relationships are not yet completely accepted in Britain, although they do happen frequently. Two individuals lost in the idea of hoping to enjoy a better life than what they have, Omar Ali and Johnny were featured to be long time friends who finally realized how much they mean to each other and how much they are willing to risk to make sure that such relationship would remain to define them and their being. The launderette they were supposed to keep became a witness to all their sorrows, their pains, and the comfort that they found between each other’s company.

The movie Weekend on the other end features two ‘gays’ [accepted and specifically revealed at the beginning of the film] who have found their way into each other’s company. The revelation of what they feel about themselves and how they view themselves along with the others specifically relay the condition of emotion that gays actually feel. The desire to be one among the others has pushed them to live a life they do not actually want to live. Relatively, they tend to mix in with the others simply not to feel as if they are outcasts of the society. Nevertheless, they find no happiness from such connections and companionships. Notably, in each other’s company, they are able to be ‘just who they really are’. These two men, Russell and Glen, were represented in the movie as two individuals who have so many frustrations in life and have so much disappointments about themselves. These particular emotional issues between each character became the connecting factor that allowed them to see each other as a comforting ally. The relationship they share is what makes them whole as human individual making it hard for them to keep themselves away from each other’s arms. Later on, at the end of the movie, the film resounds a common message which is to encourage individuals having the same dilemma among themselves to accept who they are and to be ‘out’ in public specifically showing who they really are and not living in another’s shoe just to fit in the society.

The movie The Shelter on the other end, specifically represents the connection between accidental friends Shaun and Zach. Trapped in his life as the breadwinner of the family, Zach sets aside his dreams of being an artist for the sake of supporting his family’s needs. Shaun on the other end is a more defined individual who knows what he wants, who lives the way he desires and who specifically embraces life the way that he things he should. The difference between the lives of these two characters establishes Shaun to be the one with stronger personality. Zach on the end is presented as someone who may not be able to live a life he wants, but is fulfilled with living a life sacrificed for others’ welfare. Relatively, Zach needed someone who could provide him the strength to be himself and he founds such support from Shaun. Cody, Zach’s nephew, on the other end, embodies the desire of all individuals in a relationship to have an ‘offspring’. Gay relationships are of course not given the full freedom to establish a family unless they do adopt or find another way to gain someone to support as their ‘offspring’. In this movie, the ending represents the completion of Zach’s lifelong dreams, becoming an artist, living a life that is free of ridicule and having a family that accepts him as he is in the company of Shaun and their supposed ‘son’, Cody.

Overall, the movies examined herein resounds one specific message about being gay. Like normal people who have normal sexual preferences, they are individuals who have dreams, aspirations and goals that they simply want to be fulfilled. The nature of humans to want to be with someone they are comfortable with is rather natural, only that homosexuals find such comfort from individuals from the same gender. Relatively, being from the same gender, the problems of imbalance due to gender differences is eliminated. The focus on comfort and freedom then becomes the central idea of the grounding foundations of the connection that these individuals share. Based from the presentations noted herein, homosexuals or ‘gays’, per se, are not as abnormal as they may seem to others who do not accept their preferences. Like normal people who have normal preferences, they have their own baggage they carry, they have their own dreams they hope to fulfill and they have their own personal voids they want to fill in with someone who could reciprocate the ‘love’ and emotional support they are willing to give. Apart from wanting someone of the same gender, gays are basically represented as average individuals who want nothing but average, happy lives.

The Development of Culture on Gayness due to Media

Through the years, the understanding over the evolution of emotional development that happen among gay individuals have become much clearer to accept among members of the society. Aside from being able to take on positions in the industry that they are most capable of doing such as design, art and entertainment, gays have gained a rather high pedestal that recognizes their capabilities as human individuals and not simply as homosexuals (Barkan, web). Their private lives and personal relationships, although specifically ridiculed and judged upon by several moral and religious groups, are now gaining ground because of legal sanctions and provisions that support the idea of ‘two  people having the right to live life as they want and to love whoever they may desire to’. The condition of customizing the thoughts and the opinion of the public towards the acceptance of the culture of homosexuality through the aid of media is a classic presentation of social influence (Balkan, web). This is the reason why gay marriages have been specifically accepted in some areas of the globe and is still being heard on courts on other countries where controversial questions on homosexuality remain unresolved with the matters of morality and social norms.

Nevertheless, amidst all the controversial imbalances in the society in relation to the acceptance of gay relationships in the society, media, through movies, continue to support the idealisms about the said issue and tries to send out a message that stereotyping gays as unworthy individuals is a complete diversion from the ideals of being human. Respectively, these movies try to impose that it is rather hypocritical to be judging gays as somewhat immoral when they want nothing more than being loved and feeling comfortable with whoever they hope to share their lives with like normal individuals do.

Conclusion

Is it human-nature or should it be morality that ought to be used to measure the need for homosexuality to be openly accepted in the society? The movies examined herein try to relatively set a normative stance on explaining why men fall into the hold of homosexuality. Their desires and their being recognized and accepted by another person is one aspect of the matter, nevertheless, it is the comfort of being with someone who understands them that seals the idea of wanting to share their lives with someone belonging to the same gender. What makes their decision abnormal is that of their unconventional choice of partner, question is, should this be a reason for them to be judged? The movies examined specifically intend to say otherwise. Nevertheless, it still depends on the decision of an individual whether or not he or she would accept homosexuality as something normal or would view it as something immoral and thus should be put behind closed doors.

References:

Barkan, S. Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, Brief Edition: Chapter 8 Gender and Gender Inequality. License by Creative Commons.

Proulx, Annie; McMurtry, Larry; Ossana, Diana (2005, 2006). Brokeback Mountain: Story to Screenplay. London, New York, Toronto and Sydney: Harper Perennial.

Shelter: Official Website. http://www.heretv.com/sheltermovie/. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.

IMDB: My Beautiful Laundrette. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091578/business. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.

Weekend: Official Website. http://www.weekend-film.com/. Retrieved on August 9, 2013.

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