Now this is a subject that you may or may not agree with me on, but like all my blog posts, I write from the heart and from what is ignited within. Ultimately, the reader has the choice whether or not to follow or unfollow, agree or disagree. Today I am talking about acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals and their families.
* warning, may be a trigger for some*
Gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, pansexual, two-spirited, however you may identify, we all have something that we identify with. Now I’ve mentioned in the past, sexuality and gender is not something you choose or something you can just shut off. It is something you are born with, even if you may not discover what that may be until you are guided in the direction of self discovery and self-identification. Ultimately it is how YOU identity, not how someone else may define or label you.
A big issue that I have witnessed time and time again, is the act of disowning someone in the LGBTQ+ community from a family member or friend. According to Lesley University, “1.6 million youth are homeless each year and up to 40 percent of them identify as LGBT.” This number is alarmingly high, and I don’t understand how with all the information and growing acceptance out there, this is still happening. Something I will never understand is how a parent can just turn off the love they have for their child because of how they identify or who they love. This brings anger and sadness to my heart and an issue I will never accept. There is simply no excuse. One of the greatest gifts in this life is being able to share your true identity with your loved ones. Just for a second, imagine the pain, the fear, the internal struggle that a child who is transgender, for example, goes through on a daily basis hiding who they are. They’ve gone through 1001 scenarios in their head of how to come out to their family and friends. Now fast forward to that day, where they finally have gained the courage to tell you one of the biggest things they will ever share with you. Upon hearing this news, you react in a negative way; a way full of shame and anger, and you disown your child. Now imagine the pain that brings to your child. The family that has raised them and loved them has just disowned them for bringing forth the greatest gift that you can bring forward; your truth. That child is never recovering from that. That sense of security, of love, of trust has been destroyed. And for what? I don’t understand how we live in a society that can so easily excuse and condone this kind of behaviour. Whether that may be because of generation, religion, family values, or any other kind of reasoning out there, I cannot wrap my head around it.
Starting off with religion, a touchy subject to say the least, I am in no way bashing religion, we all have the right to believe or have faith in something. What I cannot understand though, is how people can use their chosen religion as an excuse and fuel to spread hate amongst others because they may be different from them. How on earth can one justify turning off the love for their child for being gay, or transgender or loving someone who is in the queer community because it goes against their religion? If that’s the religion that people are putting their faith in, I want no part of that. On the contrary, I know many very faithful Christian/Catholic individuals who show me nothing but unconditional love and support, and to me, that proves that it isn’t religion that is the issue here, it is the individual behind the religon.
Time and time again I have heard the excuse “oh well they don’t understand because that’s just their generation, so it’s okay.” Well, it is not okay. The majority of older people in my life are supportive and loving, including grandparents (by blood and chosen). Once again, this is not a valid excuse. It is the individual at hand and their personal values of acceptance and compassion towards another human being, not because of their age or the generation they grew up in.
To conclude, we all have a choice. Everyday we choose how we treat others. What can we do about this issue? Spread some love and compassion towards your fellow being. Be an ally. If someone you know is going through something like this, lend a helping hand. Reach out to them, show them that there are people out there who love you for being you, the real you. Educate someone who has hate in their heart. Educate them on how to be an ally, how to understand and how to accept. If you’re a parent out there and your child has just come out to you, please, please, do your best to show compassion. No body wants to come out to their family and friends. No one chooses that kind of hardship, but you have a choice to make that process a little easier. If you truly love your child and want them to be happy, something such as them being gay shouldn’t be denied or shunned, it should be celebrated. To those I may have offended with this post, I will not apologize for speaking my truth. I will not apologize for standing up for what is right; because loving someone for who there are and wanting someone to be happy in this already challenging world is the only way I will live my life. Spread love, not hate.