Purpose of Life
The theme of justice in human civilization holds significance. It is one of the most urgent and difficult issues, which concerns all countries, including the American society. Currently, the problem of justice greatly exacerbated that contributes the spread of information and communication technologies, the polarization of society and the global economy, and now - the political crisis as well. Equity and social justice protection have faced a challenge: humanity requires fair decisions to create a prosperous society. In this context, minorities are the most vulnerable on any ground. Discrimination, humiliation, leveling of the rights and dignity force every human to seek justice at different levels and stages of life. The essay focuses on the story of a lesbian teacher, who was fired from her job because of sexual orientation; the study of the LGBT discrimination issues; the complex search of justice and protection of the insulted girl’s violated freedoms. The protection of human rights regardless of gender, race, physical abilities, beliefs and sexual orientation, is a worthy and significant purpose of life because all human beings are born equal and should be defended as the members of single society.
Human Tragedy as a Reflection of the Social Depravity
I have been always grateful to my family and friends for the conditions of my life conditions. Of course, I occasionally encounter problems and learn to overcome them. Nevertheless, they have not seemed insurmountable since some period of time. My precious friend Melissa has shown me life from a different angle, proving that the society, in which I live, does not correspond to the American dream, which is famed on the other side of the ocean. The U.S. is a country of the great but not equal opportunities. Paradoxically, it is not a fault of the government or the law but of the people, who compose the core of society, making it unfair. The tragedy of Melissa’s life, which I have witnessed, shocked me deeply as a human being, a male, and a citizen.
I have known Melissa just a few years. Being older than me, she never makes a problem out of it. Her charisma and communication skills have always helped her to find an appropriate approach to various humans of any age. Nevertheless, my friend dreamed to become a teacher and to share her knowledge with students. Melissa successfully graduated the teacher training college and started working at the school. I was proud of her success every time she admiringly told about her job and all kinds of innovative techniques, which were applied. As an employee, my friend was invaluable, given her enthusiasm and love for the solution of difficult issues. She was ready to engage overtime with Latinos and African-Americans to adapt them quicker to the American school realities, to organize collective trips to a forest, to work with several funds to improve the quality of educating process. Nevertheless, it has been crossed by the fact that she is a lesbian.
We have not talked for months. Once, for such reason, I decided to meet Melissa after classes to have a little conversation. Unexpectedly, I was informed that she was no longer working at the school. Next day, Melissa explained to me that one of the teachers saw her kissing with her partner in a cafe late in the evening. Melissa and her girlfriend never advertised their relationship, but it was difficult to hide them permanently. Thus, it was the beginning of the end of her career. News that lesbian was teaching the children spread across the school, and the administration gradually created intolerable working conditions for Melissa. When the woman refused to give up teaching, she was fired.
Information about Melissa’s orientation was a surprised me. My friend admitted that she had recognized it being a teenager. However, the family rejected her. Feeling shame and guilt and fear of losing future friends, Melissa decided not to disclose his secret to anyone. Laura became her close friend and the only partner for many years.
I have experienced the horror and disgust not because my friend is a lesbian but because she has been persecuted and humiliated. The depth of her mental suffering could be determined even by the fact that she has not disclosed me her orientation. Additionally, school officials have expressed anti-humanism and thereby strengthened it in colleagues and students, questioning the normality of the sexual minorities’ representatives. Thus, I have called the personal tragedy of Melissa a reflection of the corruption and decay of American society.
Discrimination of the LGBT Community: the U.S. Realities
The story of Melissa may also be identified as an example of the civilization’s tragedy. Society, which is filled with prejudices, gradually comes to its decline. I believe that it is unfair to deprive a person of a full-right place in community because of its intimate features, including orientation. Sexual preferences are not the only determining factor for a person. Moreover, they cannot characterize an individual as an employee or qualified professional in the chosen field. From this point of view, Melissa’s rights were violated, and the girl was humiliated not only as a person but as a worker, who was compelled to give up the favorite job because of intentional backroom games.
My friend was not the only one, who was forced to fight for her natural rights, while others simply live and enjoy them. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people do not apply for any special or extra privileges; they require the rights enjoyed by heterosexual persons only. Despite the fact that the legislation does not explicitly encourage discrimination on sexual grounds, it provides miserable protection to the people without sufferer’s actions. Among the economic rights, the right for equal labor conditions is mostly affected. Thus, numerous lesbians, gays, and bisexuals have faced discrimination in employment and dismissal on the grounds of sexual orientation. Unfortunately, only the Eastern and Western parts of the American states properly protect LGBT rights in housing, work, and social status.
The described situation becomes dangerous for LGBT people, who work in the public or state institutions. For example, LGBT teachers prefer to conceal the truth about their orientation not without profound fear. A case where a Catholic school teacher, Tippi McCullough, was fired after getting married to her partner in 2013 demonstrated backwardness and conservative of American society. A suicide commitment by a trans woman teacher in Milwaukee in 2014 because of bullying by students and other teachers could serve as the most tragic example. Only one in ten educators is willing to share his/her story, hoping for understanding, in America.
It has been found that tolerance or acceptance level is significantly dependents on the state, district, and distinct schools. In the U.S., the rights of the LGBT teachers are virtually unprotected that makes them vulnerable in the face of humans’ misunderstanding. The cynicism is that the educational sphere workers address the interests of children to shield their intolerance. I am convinced that it makes no sense to separate the children from realities of diverse society, where people of different nationalities, color, religious beliefs, and sexual preferences coexist. Another thing, it is necessary to explain and present such information in the right way. However, rather than to teach children how to take Melissa as the brilliant educator and a trusted friend, the students were demonstrated the strength of discrimination. Accordingly to my considerations, the attitude towards persons, who differ from the majority, is an indicator of society’s culture and its readiness to achieve a new stage of development - freedom from hatred and fear.
Ways to Protect Justice
Exploring the issue of the LGBT discrimination, I decided to assist Melissa to return to teaching. Psychological pressure, the manifestation of latent complexes, fear, and the loss of beloved work, caused a deep depression to my friend. It was the first injustice, which had to be corrected. Moral suffering through humiliation and guilt is one of the primary objectives of the offenders. It is not fair when a person experiences emotional pain because of its nature. I helped Melissa financially and arranged with a psychologist at a local rehabilitation center to spend a few sessions with her. In such cases, the moral support of friends and professional assistance is needed. I convinced Melissa not to conceal her relationship with Laura. Any attempts to hide her preferences give reasons to believe that has something to be ashamed of. However, if other persons do not see her fear, they will not react aggressively and will cease to discuss her private life openly that will provide a psychological comfort.
When Melissa felt better, I persuaded her to apply to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Civil Rights Centerfor advice and assistance. Obama’s current policy is focused on the protection of democratic values and freedoms. DOL focuses on the protection of labor equality and providing jobs for all those who need support. Within the framework of the protection of LGBT rights, the DOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) collects data and communicates with different companies and institutions in order to provide jobs for those, who are discriminated on any ground. I accompanied Melissa to the DOL Civil Rights Center regional department and helped her to write letters to DOL OFCCP. My friend’s data was entered into a database, and she was offered several options for temporary work.
The described situation was our little victory. I saw girl’s inspiration, but she still longed for school. Thus, I decided to act decisively. First of all, I went to the school to talk to her former students after classes. The majority of them were dissatisfied with the teacher’s dismissal, to my pleasant surprise. They did not consider the issue of orientation as the problematic one. Moreover, the students stressed the need to respect privacy. They agreed to express their considerations in written form and send them to me via email. I also contacted several teachers, who felt Melissa promising educator and expressed readiness to evidence her professional ethics as well. After gathering the necessary information, I appealed to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and described Melissa’s situation. Moreover, I attached recalls of students and teachers from the school.
A few weeks later, I was contacted by an inspector from the EEOC local branch and informed that the case of my friend was brought under control. Two months later, Melissa was invited back to teach at the school. Overcoming doubts, she agreed, feeling the support of the favorite students and young colleagues. Under the influence of the EEOC local branch representative, the school authorities try no more to dismiss Melissa and do not interfere rudely in her work. Thus, justice was restored by joint efforts.
The essay analyzes the complicated situation, which could concern every person. Any kind of discrimination is the disgusting, inhumane phenomenon. Unfortunately, the modern American society does not get rid of the prejudices that generate humiliation of persons with different sexual orientations. Representatives of sexual minorities are often faced with a violation of civil and individual rights, which leads to loss of employment, place in society, and the possibility to have a family. It is insulting and unfair, given that a job is the core source of livelihood. Fortunately, there are federal laws and state structures (including DOL, OFCCP, and EEOC), which accept individual complaints and monitor issues of discrimination. However, the situation could not improve without activity of the victims of discrimination and their supporters. The story of Melissa has the happy sequel, but this is an isolated case. Protection of justice should become one of the primary life purposes for everyone. Only then a community can overcome the evil manifestations of American society, and turn the U.S. into the country of the truly equal opportunities.