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Changes in social stereotypes have improved the way that most people  view the LGBTQ community. A few things factor into this, I believe. One  is the gradual agnosticism that is taking over the country as well as  mass public acceptance of alternative lifestyles culturally. The way  homosexuals have were treated throughout history was horrifying. in 1533  in England, homosexuality was a crime punishable by hanging (Pickett,  2009)  even today in countries like Afghanistan and other middle east  nations where Sharia Law is followed, homosexuality is punishable by  death. Even Angela Mason argues that homosexuals have been "The most  sexually stigmatized group within society (Vernon, 2010)."

Only within most of our lifetime have we seen drastic changes happen  in the LGBTQ community. With the public acceptance of homosexuality, we  are now able to study and explore the culture at a macro level.  Friendships that developed between homosexuals tend to have a stronger  bond. Andrew Sullivan describes the types of friendship shared by two  homosexuals as not centered around shared interests, but rather the  alliance and shared experience between the two in a world where  homosexuality is often considered a taboo (Vernon, 2010). We can look to  the modern homosexual friendship as a blueprint of what a bond can be  at its highest level. Not many things can bring people closer than the  feeling of being hated by society and not allowed to express yourself  without the fear of public humiliation or worse the fear of death.  Philosopher Michel Foucault, A leading figure on postmodern thought,  wrote that even psychologists in the late 1950s tried to mask  homosexuality as a form of pathology. Foucault strongly influenced queer  theory and was at the forefront of the early days of equal rights for  homosexuals (Pickett, 2009).

The difference between what I consider to be typical inside a  friendship and what my grandfather thought to be normal is as different  as day and night. My grandfather, being a WWII Veteran and a former  leader in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had different  views on friendship than me. He had a few close friends that he knew  almost nothing about besides their favorite baseball teams and what they  bring to the table when fixing a classic car. I would imagine their  only interactions being a stern handshake and conversations about who  they think will win a sporting event of some sort. His friendships are  vastly different than my close male friends and me. We know everything  about each other. We often greet each other with a warm hug and often  talk about personal things. The taboo that would have been in my  grandfathers' mind when interacting with other men has slowly gone away  because the acceptance of homosexuals in our community has also allowed  non-homosexuals to connect deeper than before.


References:

Pickett, B. (2009). The A to Z of Homosexuality.  Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press. Retrieved from  https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=337420&site=eds-live&scope=site

Vernon, M. (2010). The Meaning of Friendship. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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