Growing up gay in an intolerant society ~ Just over two years ago, my daughter came out to me as Bisexual. She was 13 years old. Still trying to identify and find her place in the world. Shortly after that, she came out as gay. Said that she wasn’t sure how to come out completely. Her father and I were completely accepting. Though she said she was afraid of how I would respond.
“Why?” I asked. “Because you told me before that you would be upset if I were gay.” She replied. That broke my heart. She was afraid to come out because of a conversation we had a little over a year before. So, I had to explain to her that I wasn’t upset that she was gay. I was upset because I knew what she would have to face as she grew up.
This generation is more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community than any other generation. However, there are those who are not so accepting. I’m not going to call them bigots because everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs. But, when those people ACT on those beliefs and force others to become a part of their hatred, that’s when it becomes unacceptable.
America has the foundation that everyone has their rights and freedom to be who they are. Some rights took longer than others, but, we’re going in the right direction. Some people have a stipulation. You can be who you are, as long as it doesn’t infringe on their beliefs. You can be who you are, but, not in the light of day. Only be who you are as long as they can’t see it. If you don’t want to see it, then avert your eyes.
The LGBTQ+ community is a proud community. As they should be. They’ve overcome obstacles like no others. Fighting for their rights just as strongly as any other minority group. My daughter is one of these members. She is proud to be gay and to be part of this community and understands it’s going to be hard. She doesn’t identify with either gender and prefers the they/them pronouns. As her mom, I still call her by the she/her pronouns. As do other family members. She may not like it, but, accepts it.
She’s faced bullying in Middle School. Shoved out of the way in the halls, called fagot by her peers. She finished out the school years there and started high school. She still gets words tossed at her, but, they aren’t physical (that’s she’s told me). But, she handles it better now because she has a great group of friends who stand by her and they laugh it off.
This past weekend, with the shooting in an Orlando night club, she got a dose of the hatred someone felt towards the LGBTQ+ community. And it scared her. It angered her. And what does she do when she’s angered? She confronts it head on. My chick bought two pride shirts and wore them proudly. What can I say? She takes after her mom :).
Does this scare me for her future? Absolutely. I don’t understand the hatred people feel towards a certain community. It’s the 21st century. You’d think we’d be past all this BS by now. If they aren’t hurting you, just let them be. They have the same rights as EVERYONE else. It doesn’t matter who they love. Same sex or opposite sex. They have the right to be Bi, Gay, Transgender, Gender Fluid or Asexual. I know there are more, but, sorry, it’s me writing this, not my daughter….
No one has the right to take a life because of that persons lifestyle. No one has the right to put their beliefs ahead of others safety and the right to their freedom and lifestyle.
I have other family members and friends who are also part of the LGBTQ+ community. I am so proud of my daughter and them as well. They have a strength we may never understand, to continue fighting for their rights. I will be right there with them, pushing and fighting for their right to be part of and live in harmony within society. It’s not the LGBTQ+ community that we should be fearing. They are a soft target. They want to live and let live.
What do I hope for my kiddo as she grows up? That society can get their act together and understand that everyone has the right to their freedom. No matter their color or sexuality. We are one. We need everyone to be able to survive this crazy thing we call life, as Prince said.
That those in the LGBTQ community are no longer growing up gay in an intolerant society.