Teenaged Gay Place in Society
Scott is a teenaged, White, English, gay, cisgender male. Scott is from the United Kingdom and he lives in the projects in the suburbs of southwest London. He lives in a low-income, under-resourced community. Scott lives with his father and older brother. The whereabouts of his mother are unknown. His father is an alcoholic who verbally and physically abuses Scott. Scott tries to prevent his father from getting angry by asking neighbors to be quieter so that his father can continue sleeping. Scott’s older brother, Trevor, sells drugs. Scott sells drugs sometimes, as well. He is generally quiet and may be social if he wants to be. Scott spends his days playing soccer and hanging out with friends, usually from his soccer team, and attends boxing matches with his father and brother. One of his neighbor’s is Jamie and Jamie’s mother lets Scott sleep over sometimes when his father gets abusive. Scott and Jamie form a bond together and realize that they are both gay. It was hard for Scott to except this and he struggled with himself to come to terms with his sexuality.
Scott’s micro system includes his family and friends. His family includes his brother and father. He does not seem to have a close relationship with them and appears to feel forced to live with them. Scott’s friends and neighbors are also a part of his micro system because he usually interacts with them on a daily basis. He has a relationship with Jamie, and he is also a part of his micro system. Scott’s mezzo system include his community, neighborhood, school and soccer teammates. He is influenced by the community he lives in because he lives in a low-income class, under-resourced area in the projects. Homosexuality does not seem to be accepted in his community as we see how his neighbors, friends and family reacts to the idea of it. Scott is also influenced by his soccer teammates because they appear to act “macho” and enjoy picking on other people. They get a laugh out of this and Scott doesn’t seem to enjoy but feels pressured to be a part of it and go along with it.
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Scott enjoys going to a gay bar known as The Gloucester. This is an important place for Scott because he realizes that he is not alone in his journey and feels more comfortable when he sees other gay men in the bar. Scott’s macro system includes policies and laws regarding homosexuality. Another one is culture. The culture we are surrounded by affects our upbringing, development and choices we make. Scott is affected by the culture because it is year 1996 and people are still getting used to the idea of homosexuality. There are laws preventing same-sex marriage and family planning by same-sex couples. The culture and laws influence Scott because he feels ashamed of his sexuality and does not want believe that he is gay. When there are laws against a group not being able to do things because of their sexuality, it may trigger all sorts of negative emotions in Scott about himself and his society. Scott is also affected by laws regarding drugs because he sells drugs and could be arrested for that. Scott really needs to be careful with the choices he makes because he could end up incarcerated if he is caught selling drugs.
Scott developed emotional resilience due to his daily struggles. He lives with an abusive alcoholic father and his brother may become abusive at times. Also, it seems that Scott’s mother is not active in his life. Therefore, Scott and his brother are left to fend for themselves since their father is emotionally absent in their lives. In one scene, his father makes his older brother, Trevor, make him a sandwich. The, Scott’s father made him eat the food he did not want even though Scott did not want to, but he felt that he did not have a choice. This shows that his father takes advantage of his sons by making them do work for him. Scott had to struggle with the fact that his mother is not around and he feels forced to support his father. Scott most likely learned to be quiet and not start any drama, but rather stay in silence. Due to the fact that his father has a quick temper, he learned to remain in silence and just obey his father and brother, otherwise, they will resort to violence. Scott tries his best to prevent violence. This is why he does what his brother and father say. Scott also prevents his father from acting out in rage by making sure he stays asleep and gets what he wants. Scott also protects himself when he is out with friends, by acting “cool and macho,” like them. For instance, he attends parties and sells drugs. People may think he is a cool guy. This decreases his chance of getting bullied like Jamie does and it increases his popularity. He has learned how to remain observant in case something happens and he is emotionally prepared for it.
Like most teenagers, Scott is confused about his identity and his place in society. A developmental theory I will use is Erikson’s stage of identity vs. role confusion. This stage usually occurs between the adolescent ages of 12 – 18. During this stage, Erikson states that adolescents usually think about the future such as housing, intimate relationships, school, career, etc. Adolescents search for a sense of identity and their purpose in society. Scott is most likely thinking about all of those things. The more he thinks, the more confused he may feel about his place in the world and what is out there for him. Also, his environment affects the decisions he makes because he lives with an abusive alcoholic father who rarely guides him in life. All the things Scott does is to develop independence and a sense of self. I would say he is independent because no one really takes care of Scott. He is legally dependent on his father but his father is not emotionally capable of taking care of Scott. Scott takes care of himself and most likely learns more from his peers than his family. If he learns anything, it will be negative things such as alcohol and drug abuse because that is what he witnessed in his household. Scott also witnesses his brother sell drugs and he follows his footsteps. He may do this for a variety of reasons such as to gain popularity, fear, money and a sense of belonging in his neighborhood. Another development theory I may add to Scott’s identity formation is ego psychology developed by Freud.
I will discuss Scott’s superego because it consists of the conscious and the ideal self. Scott’s id consists of repressed desires. The superego controls the id’s impulses which society may frown upon such as sex and attraction. In Scott’s case, his superego controls his id which tells him that he should feel guilty for his attraction towards James. His superego persuades his id to aim for perfection which is why we hangs out with the “cool guys” and sells drugs on the side as well. Scott has an imaginary picture of how society would “want” him to be and this is his superego. He wants to be a heterosexual male who hangs out with friends and plays soccer. Scott’s ego is the mediator between his superego and id. His ego tries to be rational and find ways for Scott be at peace with his true self. Therefore, if Scott’s ego gives into his id’s desires, then his superego will make him feel guilty of his actions and feelings.
Scott has several relationships who influence his development. It appears that the most important relationship to Scott is his relationship with James. James has influenced Scott’s development in many ways. James encouraged Scott to accept his sexuality and feel comfortable with it. Scott did not seem happy with his sexuality before he met James and became even more shameful after him and James had an intimate night. He did not want to accept what happened and ran away from it. James stood by his side and did not let Scott run away from his problems but to face them. James was more comfortable in his skin and with his sexuality than Scott. It is normal for adolescents to be fearful and cautious of what they do because of what their friends and society will think. Jamie tries to pull the real Scott out and reassure him that it’s fine for people to know about his sexuality and that they can go through the journey together since Jamie is going through the same thing. However, Jamie has the support of his mother and mother’s boyfriend who do not judge him for his sexuality. Scott’s relationship with his father and brother negatively influence his development. His father is abusive towards both of his sons and is an alcoholic.
Scott’s brother gets abusive some times because it is what he used to from his father. His father has a lot of pressure on him because he is a single father and may not know how to raise two sons completely on his own. Therefore, he most likely deals with this by abusing alcohol. Scott’s mother is not in his life and this has a great impact on his development. Boys are taught to not cry, express emotions and talk about feelings. Society puts pressure on men since they are young to be strong and provide for their families. They are constantly pressured to compete with each other. All of these create feelings of anger, shame, resentment, etc. Scott and Trevor do not have a woman to speak to but only their father. All three men are missing a woman in their daily lives such as a mother. This has a major effect on Scott, Trevor and his father. This may create feelings of anger and sadness amongst the three and they release rage on each other. Trevor learned to fend for himself and sell drugs. Scott learns from his father that he can be walked all over because his father does that to him, as well as Trevor. This affects Scott because it may make him feel worthless if his own father and brother walk over him and do not acknowledge him.
Scott may expect the same treatment from society because it is all he knows. Furthermore, He also has a good relationship with James’s mother who allows him to spend the nights sometimes when his father is acting out in rage. Scott’s relationship with James’s mother is important because he lacks a woman figure in his life. Scott may have feelings of abandonment from his mother and this may lead to a lack of trust in people. James’s mother is there for Scott and helps him in times of need and when his own father is dangerous to be around. Scott’s relationships with his neighbors impact his development because even though he may not like them much, they are always there. Scott and his neighbors develop a feeling of security among each other because they most likely lived there their whole lives. As far as Scott’s peers, they negatively influence his development. He usually hangs out with his soccer teammates and they are stereotypical athletic males. This means that athletic teenage males in high school tend to act superior among vulnerable teenaged boys and enjoy picking on people. Scott may feel that he needs to act this way too in order to feel accepted into the group of soccer players. In the film, Scott does not seem to enjoy what the soccer players do to others and how they pick on people, such as James, but Scott does not know how to speak up against it.
Scott lives in an oppressed community because he lives in the projects. The projects will always have a bad reputation due to the way society perceives it. Projects were formed for low-income class families and it becomes a cycle of generations. I am not fully aware of projects in London but I am aware of projects in USA. There are stereotypes that non-white people live in the projects in USA. Stereotypes are that they are usually full of drug dealers, people who abuse drugs/alcohol, prostitutes, gangsters, etc. People in the projects feel oppressed because of the way society views them. Scott is a white teenager living in the London projects and may be viewed by society as a low-life or “white trash” as they say in USA. There are myths that people in the projects will always remain there and live miserable lives. This is not true because there are families who are hard-working and make sure their children get an education. Many are immigrants who are trying the best to give their children a better life than what they had. Scott is already living in a life of oppression due to where he lives and low economic social class. Scott could very much remain in the cycle of living in the projects because due the lack of resources, education and the way people perceive him. People who live in the projects may feel isolated from the community and worthless. They are aware of how society perceives people from the projects. Scott may believe that he is not worthy of succeeding in life because of what he sees in his neighborhood and family.
Unfortunately, Scott also lives in oppression because of his sexuality. LGBTQ members face discrimination and oppression by society, policies and laws. Many may be turned away from job applications, housing, religious groups, friends and even their families. I am not too aware of how LGBTQ members were perceived in the 1990’s in London but I can only research. From what I saw in the film, Scott felt ashamed to tell people about his sexuality. His father and brother did not approve of it and would probably physically abuse him because of it. Gay men are often times looked down upon because they are not seen as the “real man.” What a “real man” is changes over time. Ever since humans came into existence, men were taught to not express vulnerable feelings, to be competitive, to be “hunter-gatherers,” to be providers for women and children, even their own parents in some cultures, to dress “manly” and not smile much. Men are discouraged from smiling too much or wearing tight clothing because it makes then appear less manly.
The list may go on and on about expectations of a man. All this affects Scott because the world has all these expectations about him as a man and this may bring up feelings of anger, guilt and shame. He may feel less of a man because of his sexuality. In society, men were always supposed to be attracted to women and vice versa. There are also laws which prohibit same-sex marriages. This really makes a person feel oppressed and not even like a human. To be prohibited to marry someone you love because the person is not the opposite sex makes people feel inhumane, guilty and may feel that they are the crazy ones. These laws were created to make members of the LGBTQ community to feel like they are wrong for their sexuality and their actions are frowned upon by society. The fact that Scott is attracted to James makes him confused and in denial. He does not want to believe that he does have feelings for boy and tries to run from the situation. Scott is aware of the oppression and discrimination he will face if people find out about his sexuality. He could lose his reputation, get kicked off the soccer team, or lose his friends and family. These systems of oppression influence Scott’s behavior because he may keep his emotions bottled up and this won’t lead to anything good. He feels that he has no one to speak to or seek out for help. Scott is probably unaware that there are organizations who help members of the LGBTQ community. There are even organizations who aim to help youth in projects. There are resources out there that Scott is unaware of.
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- Last Name, F. M. (Year). Book Title. City Name: Publisher Name.
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Teenaged Gay Place in Society. (2021, May 17). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/teenaged-gay-place-in-society/
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