LGBTQ Tolerance Needs to Start With Us

Takyla Brown, Staff Writer

A woman sits in her living room scrolling through her Instagram feed on her phone, when she sees a new comment on the photo she posted of her and the woman she loves on their wedding day. She taps on the photo to view the comment and her heart shatters when she sees the words:

“You two disgust me, go die in hell.’’

This is a common reality for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ)  people face everyday. Yet on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states. However, this doesn’t end the fight for equality for LGBTQ+ people. Most would think so, but the reality is legislation can’t stop judgement. Legislation gives rights legally, but it can’t enforce social acceptance of members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Everyday, members of the LGBTQ+ community get harassed, teased, and even killed for being who they are. Survivors of hate crimes who identified as lesbian were two times more likely to experience verbal harassment compared to those who didn’t according to the National Coalition Of Anti-Violence Programs.

It shouldn’t matter what a person’s sexual orientation is to be treated equally as a human. There shouldn’t be a such thing as “minority groups,’’ yet they exist and unfortunately were, and are created by our society. As a whole, society has created an image of what a person should be. It excludes LGBTQ and people of different cultures and color, unless you are white and straight. If you’re anything other than white and straight, then you will be looked down upon because you don’t add up to society’s expectations. Those expectations, however, were created by an old ideal that ignores cultural differences.

Looking back at the history of the fight for civil rights for Japanese-Americans, African-Americans, and LGBTQ+ members; little has changed and it seems that it is nearly impossible for minorities to reach full equality. Japanese Americans were in internment camps for years because of racial fear against them.  If the government can do their part, then the people in our society can make an effort to do so too, just by simply treating others with kindness and respect regardless of race, sexuality, or ethnicity.

Legislation doesn’t change social rules, it just changes the government’s rules. In a perfect world that I hope will exist, people would be able to be in a same-sex relationship without hate. Straight people will see laws passing for minorities like LGBTQ+ people to have rights like same-sex marriage. Their eyes will be open to see that LGBTQ+ are human and deserve the same rights they have.

No matter the amount, or how long minorities put up a fight, no matter the legislation that is passed, there will always be those who will have the mindset that minorities like people in the LGBT community don’t add up as their equal.