How long has the problem with 'gays' and 'lesbians' existed?

Expert Answers
durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gay and lesbian people are, first and foremost, people. Just as people are proud of their race, proud of their lineage, and proud of their religion, others are proud to be gay. It is therefore not appropriate to suggest that to be gay is "a problem."

Look at what distinguishing people on the grounds of race and/or religion has done to the world. Instead of celebrating differences and appreciating how each person, culture, religion, sexual preference adds to the interest in the world, we prefer to judge them because they are different. 

Gay and lesbian people have always existed. However, society dictated that it would have to be kept a secret because it is not the norm or because the Bible says so, etc. Gay and lesbian people thus lived secret lives, ashamed, hiding, destroying their lives and families because of guilt or shame.

Referring to the poet John Asbury, John Vincent refers to his depicting his feelings about

 the “peculiar” experience of being gay.

In reviewing literature written by (and for) lesbians, routine subjects reveal characters

who suffer from violence, discrimination, marginalization, and ridicule.

Many different people have different cultures - even within one country. Many people within a culture have different tastes in music, literature, friends, (or sexual persuasion). Does society judge a person who likes Shakespeare differently from one who likes the music of the late Amy Winehouse? No. In fact, having different taste in fashion, music, drama, TV and so on is encouraged as then society can exploit people to pay far more for something than it's worth purely because it is the fashion of the moment.    

In this society, there are many confused people. Technology has introduced us to so many concepts we could never even dream about. At the same time, lives have become rushed and time has become the biggest issue. Many "normal" families have had to make one too many sacrifices and divorces have resulted, abuses have resulted and other worse things unfortunately. Gay and lesbian people have the same family values as the rest of us. They want the same things.

This may not have been the kind of answer you were looking for but the "problem" of gay and lesbian people has always been around. It is the problem of not celebrating diversity, however natural and unavoidable it may be, because it does not fit into a society's concept of the "norm."