LGBTQ+ individuals have faced adversity throughout history, and I want to state that we will always be fighting for equality as far as mankind will live. Our rights differ depending on where someone is geographically situated. In Western culture we are generally accepted as a community, though it may be easier for certain people to live their day-to-day lives than others. We will never be able to please everyone, and I feel there needs to be more of an understanding that this will always be the case. However, to what extent is the LGBTQ+ society unified, and do people need to tolerate our own community before we can stand hand-in-hand to rage on in battle? Are there people who do not want to?
In some areas of the world, leading an ‘LGBTQ+ lifestyle’ can lead to dire consequences. In Eastern Europe, it is viewed as taboo to embrace the LGBTQ+ custom, with folk putting themselves in danger, in countries such as Russia and Ukraine to march in pride parades where they are expectedly met with virulent homophobes. Same-sex intimacy may be punishable by death in particular African or Middle-Eastern countries, such as, Uganda, Somalia, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, and Sudan, to name a few. Donald Trump winning the presidential election and becoming leader of one of the most prominent countries of ‘The Free World’ is an ironic affair considering what the future may being. His second-in-command, Mike Pence, Vice President, believes in gay conversation and shock therapy, and his congress is bound to have senators who wish to revoke gay marriage and destroy equal rights.
Is it fair to say that a fair portion of LGBTQ+ people turn a blind-eye to this? In times of need, we normally come together in sorrow. The Orlando shooting, for example, allowed the community to put any differences aside and commemorate the lives of those who were cruelly taken from us under horrific circumstances. Many people changed their profile pictures on Facebook to claim that ‘We Are Orlando’. If that is the case then why are there problems within our own group? It seems to be the tradition that our amalgamation only lasts a short while before we turn our profile pictures back to normal and relax in the settings of our own lives. Despite the fact there are still problems amidst civilisation.
The list of gender identities and sexualities is ever-growing, and never before have we seen so many labels attached to the community. In fact, the full term that should be appropriately used to include all types of individuals belonging to the group is ‘LGBTTQQIAAP’ (including less known bases, such as, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and many more). It is important to recognise these parts of the society, as well as ensuring they feel safe especially if you are gay, lesbian, etc. It is all part of becoming aware of your own culture, as a lot of people outside the group will presume that the main prerogative of this movement is to protect or fight for gay and lesbian rights.
Nearly half of Trans people under the age of 26 have proclaimed to have attempted suicide, and 42% of trans people are not living by their preferred gender in fear that it will negatively impact their employment status. Trans people are likely to feel ostracised and abandoned by their own community. Not every LGB person is aware of the suffering they will have to go through in their everyday life, but it is the people who identify as intersex, non-binary, or genderqueer who I feel sorry for. Many people are ignorant to the fact that some people do not believe in gender, or that others believe that gender is on a spectrum of which you are free to be a combination of both conventional male or female stereotypes or simply do not adhere to conventions of gender at all. These people need more awareness within our culture, but there appears to be no advocates within mainstream media. Well, how are we supposed to help these people when there are LGBT’s who do not tolerate minorities within minorities?
Due to technological convergence, there has been a soar of online dating applications. Grindr in itself has gained a reputation within gay culture, it may be positive or negative contingent to the particular individual. However, what a lot of people do not know is the sheer racism and prejudice that occurs on a majority of these online dating applications and websites. White men especially hold a higher standard for Asian and Black men when in regard to romantic relationships. There is consistent discrimination that is now being highlighted within popular culture; the phrase ‘No fat, no fems, no Asians.’ is a colloquial term used in gay dating apps from those who shun other gay individuals purely based on judgemental ideals. It raises a much more serious issue within the LGBTQ+ community, where folk understand their own scenarios of discrimination or lack of rights, but do not realise that issue is far more complex. They need to grasp the intricate complexities that amount to the colourful personas who with us on this journey.
LGBTQ+ rights will always be a significant issue across the globe, but the groups itself needs to come together and realise there is hatred within the community. Bisexual people are constantly being referred to as attention-seekers and having their sexuality question, by other LGBT people. Many gay celebrities in mainstream-media have said that the most abuse they get through social media or in person is from other gay people themselves. The world is vicious enough without us turning on each other and discriminating within the community itself. As famous drag queen RuPaul says, ‘if you cannot love yourself, how the hell can you love somebody else.’ Letting go of prejudice or ill-thoughts, and embracing the community on a mass-scale will raise and enforce the argument that we need to come and aid others in any way we can. Every day should be pride parade, and with that, we should do more to use our voices to help those who are in the worst possible scenario due their sexuality or gender-identity. Think before you hate.
Words by HQ