In my Culture Immersion Project, I sought to gain a better understanding of the LGBTQ community. While generally aware of its problems, I still had insufficient experience with it. The project slightly deepened my intellectual understanding of LGBTQ and, perhaps more importantly, exposed me to the cultural representation of the community.
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LGBTQ culture, in its current form, has formed through opposition to heteronormativity in society during recent decades. Being the products of their experiences, members of the community tend to support the Democratic Party and distrust conservative organizations and institutions, such as the Republican Party or the military (Pew Research Center, 2013). Due to the sheer diversity of the community, there are few, if any, shared customs and cultural practices that unite it as a whole, although the Pride Parade partially qualifies (Bruce, 2016). LGBTQ’s relation to religions is complex, as most Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, have a negative view of the community, and its devout member may face identity conflicts arising from that (Pew Research Center, 2013). In general, the conflict with heteronormativity is the defining feature of the LGBTQ cultural experience.
Cultural representations of the community are among the most interesting things I experienced during this project so far. Cultural products created by the community often reflect on overcoming the difficulties experienced by its members (Sivan, 2015). They may also involve political messages, as LGBTQ rights were and remain an acute issue for the community (Anohni, 2016). Apart from that, cultural products by the community members may also cover the history of the group’s struggle for its rights as in Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Sciamma, 2019). These pieces of art prompted a genuine empathetic response in me, showing that the cultural products created by the LGBTQ community may well be enjoyable for those outside it.
To summarize, my Culture Immersion Project provide me with a slightly better understanding of the LGBTQ community. The research did not reveal any ground-breaking or particularly surprising information. However, my exposure to the cultural representation of the community was largely enjoyable and made me more empathetic toward its members, showcasing how the language or art may transcend social groups.
Anohni. (2016). Hopelessness [Album]. Secretly Canadian; Rough Trade.
Bruce, K. M. (2016). Pride parades: How a parade changed the world. New York University Press.
Pew Research Center. (2013). A survey of LGBT Americans. Web.
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Sciamma, C. (2019). Portrait de la jeune fille en feu [Portrait of a Lady on Fire] [Film]. Lilies Films.