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Astrid Carbajal

Professor Koning
English 113B
20 April 2014
Media Draft
Normal is an ideal. But its not reality. Reality is brutal, its beautiful, its every shade
between black and white, and its magical. Yes, magical. Because every now and then, it turns
nothing into something. Tara Kelly
What one persons point of view on what is normal maybe very different from someone
else's perspective. Going day by day believing no matter what we do, where we go, or how we
look, dress, and act, our intuition is that we are normal. We see a man and woman on a date
holding hands, walking through a park, and bystanders will think it is romantic, cute, and normal.
Looking across the park, two men are seen holding hands and kissing as they are also on a date.
Unlike the straight couple where bystanders thought they were romantic and quite appealing,
looking at two men hold hand and kiss is seen as "disturbing." While some may complain it is a
family location, and try to force two men to take their sexuality somewhere more private, society
constantly fails to recognize and consider homosexuality as "normal." Anything that does not
match with such expectation is represented with hate, disgust, and inequality. Mike Davis in his
book Fortress Los Angeles, often talks about ones surroundings in a city and because of the
color of your skin or social class, people are often excluded from democratic spaces. Those who
are well off, often police themselves and separate from those who are not as fortunate. I picked
these images because they all represent gay discrimination in a public space. We live in a society


with a hetero-normative mind set, constantly marginalizing homosexuality, and in my visual
essay I will be showing how queers are discriminated against in an involuntary and voluntary
public space.
Whether we know it or not, growing up we are unconsciously exposed to society being
"homophobic." The term "homophobia" means fear of homosexuals but it is often interpreted as
hatred towards homosexuals. One of the first places we may come across homophobia is in
school. A school is an involuntary space where we go as children all the way until we are adults
to receive an education. One of my first images in my powerpoint is a teacher working at a
catholic school erasing a student who is gay. Although both people in this image are silhouettes,
the reason we know the student is gay is because his silhouette is rainbow colored. What made
me choose this image is because some teachers may discriminate students who are gay publicly
in front of the class. My following image is boys playing around in the locker room. Although
men could be homophobic, they still like to jock around with each other very playfully. I used
this image to lead into my second image which is a coach telling his team to no cuddle, because
that can be very "gay" and you may be considered "weak." My last image I used is two football
players looking angry as they are bullying a boy who is dressed very feminine. In this hetero-
normative society we are taught to put up a tough front and put down those who may seem to be
homosexual.
Restrooms are considered one of the most homophobic public places, especially mens
restrooms. Public restrooms are considered voluntary public places. My first image is a man
walking next to another man while he is using a urinal. This image is a screen shot of the picture
posted on Facebook with a thread stating "this is an automatic fight in my book....LMFAO"
followed by tons of comments agreeing. I edited this image so the words were bigger and


slightly clearer. I used this image as an example of how some men would react if they had
another man stand next to them while peeing. Another image I used is of two men talking while
using a urinal and his body language shows he is flirting. The third man is looking up and away
reading a sing that says, "Congratulations you are not gay!" and in small print it says "the moral
majority." This image is trying to portray how only moral people are straight because it is
immoral to be gay. Although guy can be friends, to straight men, if a man stands next to you in at
a urinal it is worth of a hate crime.
A kiss can be so romantic and so powerful. The "Kiss Seen Around The World" when
sailors came back home from the war to their wives caught the eye of almost every news stand.
As men were arriving the image was captured of a man kissing a woman as her dipping her. I
used this image to show the ideal "perfection" of love and compassion shared between a man and
a woman as those watching look amused and happy. The following image I used is a parody of
the "Kiss Seen Around the World." This image has two sailors kissing as one man is dipping the
other. Unlike the first image where those around seemed happy, this image has everyone around
them facing away from the men kissing representing disappointment. The following image I used
is a man coming back from war and jumping into his partners arms as the stand in front of the
American flag. The image has the kiss blurred out because it is appeared to be disrespectful as
these two men are proud to be with each other. In addition, the image has a kid circled
emphasizing that children should not be exposed to homosexuality because it can corrupt their
mind. My last image is of a strong built man holding another built man as they are stared down
by two military soldiers. The United States Military is often taught to not associate with
homosexuality. If one can even be accused of homosexual activity, they are at risk of being


discharged from the military because of their sexuality. It emphasizes that homosexuality should
not be publicly displayed.
One of the biggest disagreement when it comes to homosexuality is if it same sex couples
should be allowed to get married. My first image portrays a feminine dressed in a suit while his
partner is a built man dressed like a woman in a skirt and heals. They are attempting to get
married, but the man trying to marry them is looking at the man dressed as a woman very
awkwardly. In trying to make sure that same sex couples do bot get married, their is a sign that
says, "Gender Inspections" with an arrow pointing. This image shows how homosexual marriage
is publicly not accepted and can often be put down. My second image is of two men getting
married. Usually when two people get married the people are usually asked if anybody objects,
this image has a quote asking if anyone beside the Republican Party object especially because
this image is taken in a church. The quote also says if there are any reasons why these two
should not be in holy matrimony. Because this wedding is taken place in a church although one
man is sitting down smiling, the woman next ti him is frowning because of the action taken
place. The following image is of a gay couple that just got married but they are surrounded by
unhappy people. There is an angry religious woman holding a bible, a police officer attempting
to arrest the couple, a judge confused, and a lawyer upset. This image shows some of the reaction
from different people or how some may react to homosexuality displayed publicly.
Although some may believe being gay does not affect how well someone does when it
comes to work, sexuality can determine your employment status. My first image shows the states
in the United State that allow employers to fire someone because of their sexuality. It also color
codes the states representing the darker colors as, "the less we recommend moving there and
taking your chances." Since work is an involuntary space, it is unjust to marginalize queers. One


well known fast food place known as Chick-Fila is often marginalizing homosexuality. My
image displays a group of Christians praying in a circle in front of the Chick-Fila. My following
image represents two men kissing in front of Chick-Fila as bystanders stare. My last image has
two women kissing inside Chick-Fila as customers stare with jaws dropped in shock and
disturbance. Although some places may fire someone because of their sexuality, in a work place
homosexuality can be marginalized in more than one way through employers and customers.
My last set of images revolve around the concept of being proud of your sexuality no
matter all the discrimination. My first image has men on a boat filled with vikings. I edited this
image so it would focus on the men on the boat, I particularly drew a rainbow line around the
man in the center. As all these big strong men look angrily at the centered man, I drew this line
to bring all the attention to him. The reason why everyone is so angry at him because unlike the
other men he is scrawny and instead of him being masculine and having a dragon on his shield,
he has a butterfly. Although everyone else may be upset, he is still with breaking the norm. My
following image is Marlene Dietrich in the 1930 movie Morocco. Marlene Dietrich is sitting
down dressed in a tuxedo which is very unlikely, especially for the time period. Even though no
one is upset, she is is the center of attention and both men an women are admiring her as she is
proud to be changing the norm in a public space. My next image is of two women kissing
publicly as a bunch of people look. As I look at who is looking at them some people kiss and
other looks upset because they are publicly displaying their affection. My next image are two gay
couples kissing in a park as protesters discriminate and preach hate on homosexuality. Just like
that image my next image also has a gay and lesbian couple kissing as people protest in the
background. These two images are very similar as all couples are proud to be queer and they are
not afraid to hide their sexuality although there are protesters that may even threaten them.


No matter how much those who believe heterosexuality is the norm, being queer does not
mean we should hide who we are, but rather be proud even in public. My last image is of a man
standing on his own as he leans on a graffitied concrete wall. Although he is alone I feel this
image is my strongest image because the was has the words "Homo!," "Faggot," and "No son of
mine." In addition the wall has two young men holding each other and two older men kissing
humbly. Behind the couples there is an angry man who's image shows more than once. This man
looks angry with his fist pulled back as he is about to punch and attach the gay men. The reason I
believe this image is my strongest image because a though the man is standing alone, I believe
the work of art behind him defines how homosexuality is constantly being marginalized by those
who have a the majority of society that has a hegemonic mind set.