The fight for gay rights has lasted for decades. It is an ongoing battle of gay people for observance of human rights, the elimination of discrimination and xenophobia, sexual freedom, tolerance, and recognition. Additionally, LGBT community proposes certain principles of social organization and social and moral values. Today, the fight for equality remains a topical issue. The article, “Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution,” by Linda Hirshman deals with the previously mentioned topic. The author examines the history of the gay rights movement and asks the most important question whether the gay revolution has already won the battle or whether much still remains to be done.
I believe that the article appears to be coherent as well as easy to read and understand due to its structure. The author broke it into two parts, not including the introduction and conclusion. Thus, she powerfully starts the article with the inspiring story of Robert Browne while stating that gay men exist, and the world needs to accept it. In the first part, Linda Hirshman backs her position with various arguments connected with the achievements of the gay rights movement. The second part of the article is dedicated to the goals that have yet to be achieved. Additionally, the author reflects on the question of how to celebrate gay Victory. She mentions various events, law cases, public performances, and individual struggles to which gay people should be grateful, and to whom they owe their current position. The author completes the article with a strong point about gay men and women creating the new world order.
Hirshman starts the article with an amazing story of Robert Browne. He is an estate agent who has been recognized as “2007 Concoran Real Estate National Sales Person of the Year” (Hirshman 567). The peculiarity of the story lies in the fact that he accepted his award in drag. I believe it is a proper and accurate way to start the article as the author immediately expresses her view on this topic. The reader comprehends that the gay rights movement is not aimed only at the equality in civil rights but it also requires awareness and recognition of its existence. Thus, the author points out that “… you can’t pick up a paper without seeing evidence that gay people exist and are compelling America to acknowledge them” (Hirshman 568). At first, this part of the article may sound unnecessary. However, I compliment the author for such a start, as many people still do not want to acknowledge the existence of gay people and their equal rights.
The title of the article looks a bit pretentious. Therefore, the author provides many arguments in defense of her position. The gay revolution is triumphant as it has achieved great results in a considerably short period of time. The federal government protects gay people from homophobic violence. There are anti-discrimination laws in 21 states. Various poll numbers show that most of the population supports protection for gay people against hate crimes. Their equality in housing, jobs, and health benefits is recognized at the state level. The author provides several facts, such as “…the struck down of…the Defence Marriage Act, that excluded gays from the federal benefits” and “the amendment to the California constitution…that limited marriage to a man and a woman” (Hirshman 569). The sphere of art also provides the support for sex minorities. In 2002, Edward Albee won Tony Award for best play. In 2009, Milk, a biopic about gay activist Harvy Milk, won two Oscars. Thus, the reader can conclude that many people support gay rights in various spheres of life.
I believe that the author uses the powerful method to back her position. She compares the current state of affairs with the events that occurred only a few decades ago. For instance, 42 years ago, there was the uprising in gay bar Stonewall in New York. At that time, gay sex was considered criminal in 49 states (Hirshman). Gay people were believed to be crazy. Today, they are enabled to marry by the law in New York. Thus, what was recently considered impossible is a reality now.
It would have been a substandard article if the author had concentrated merely on the achievements of the gay rights movement while calling it a complete victory. Thus, Hirshman lists the derelictions of the movement and what remains to be done. For instance, there are practically no affirmative laws on the equality of sex minorities in 28 states. Acknowledgement of bullying of gay children in schools, antidiscrimination laws, and recognition of gay couples are yet to be provided and achieved in these states. Moreover, the author indicates, “Nineteen of the antigay states have super DOMAs, forbidding the recognition not only of marriage but also of civil unions or any consensual relationship” (Hirshman 570). Thus, gay people do not have the same rights as other people. They cannot adopt babies, come to the hospital ward when their partner is ill. They are deprived of these rights since their unions are still recognized unconstitutional. Another issue is connected with transgendered people. They are not mentioned in some of the hate-crime and antidiscrimination laws. Thus, their situation is even more precarious.
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In conclusion, Hirshman in “Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution” examines the history of the gay rights movement and asks the most important question whether the gay revolution has already won the battle or whether much still remains to be done. The author backs her position with various arguments connected with the achievements of the gay rights movement. I believe that the author picked a topical issue, which should continue to be explored.