It’s the Village – It’s not YOU. I struggle each time I start a post on this topic. I then delete it because I feel that I can’t do it justice. Why? Because I am not a member. I am a visitor of a member. What community am I referring to? Our LGBTQ+ community. I feel that I can’t do this post justice because I don’t understand the struggle. Don’t understand the emotions this community goes through when they are turned against by their fellow humans. That’s what we are, right? We are all humans. So, I am going to speak as the mother of a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
See, I recently found out that I have a son. For the past 16 years, I believed I had a daughter. When my son told me who he really was, my heart stopped. But, my heart didn’t stop because I now have a son. My heart stopped because of fear. Fear for what he will have to face. Read his journey. There are many people who are judgmental and fearful of what is different from them. These people lash out when they’re scared. It’s the village.
I am not saying they don’t have the right to their opinions. Everyone has that God given right. We are entitled to believe what we want to believe. However, what isn’t right? Is forcing others into your box. Life is a lot like Earth. It’s round. There are no corners to slam into when you go too far out of your comfort zone. You are free to soar the boundaries and beyond. But those who are fearful of leaving their comfort zones prefer to have order and to see what is coming. This is what I refer to as their box. Is it wrong? No. Some are just more comfortable and happier this way and that IS ok.
In a recent Gallup article from Gary Gates, 10 million Americans identify as LGBTQ in 2016. That is 4.1 percent of our population. And that is just America. Highlights from that article:
- 10 million American adults identify as LGBT (4.1%)
- LGBT millennials up from 5.8% in 2012 to 7.3% in 2016
- LGBT identification higher among women
Of course, this is only statistics based on those who answered. Who knows what it would be if everyone in the country took this survey. I’m guessing a minimum of 15% – 20%.
With all that said, I feel that we are failing this population of our country. Even in the 21st century, there is so much judgment and recrimination against those who are out and proud. For the most part, this group of humans wants to live and let live. They want to be happy and accepted by their fellow humans. See, they have the same body parts we do. They have hearts that hurt and can be broken. They shed tears like the rest of us.
And I believe quite a few tears were shed when they felt they were betrayed by their country last week. Our government recommended putting a ban on our military personnel because of their gender identity. President Trump announced this abruptly to “resolve a quietly brewing fight on Capitol Hill over whether taxpayer money should pay for gender transition and hormone therapy for transgender service members.” As quoted from The New York Times. This is up to 15,000 service members that are affected.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is NOT a political post. This is a post about Human Rights and the right to live as we choose to. But, one point I will make is, if the transgender community is banned from serving our country, what about our inmates? If the government is trying to save money, why start with those serving our country? I’m not saying we should be taking this given right to live our lives as WE see fit, but why is one group being targeted? What will happen to those who serve in other departments of our government? And discrimination is against federal laws? Again, it’s the village. Even if the village is our government. I love that this Dr is going to do transitional surgery at no cost for our military personnel.
My son has many friends within this community. They lean on one another in times they feel there is no one else in their corner. One particular friend, I am going to give a shout out to is Wrabel. He is a singer that I’ve grown to love listening to. I admit, it’s not my normal music, but after meeting him at one of his concerts and learning that his song, The Village, came about due to two of his biggest supporters made me love him even more for the person he is. For the heart he has, that beats for the entire community. He speaks up the way he can. In song.
The Village is a song speaking out to the community in support and recognition that they are the minority. They need to know they are loved and supported. Here is the video. It’s such a powerful message and I freely admit that I cry each time I listen to it.
So, if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community, know that there are more people out there that support and love you. Even if they can’t speak out in fear of recrimination. I am the mother of an LGBTQ+ member and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Just as I am proud of each member of this community. You face struggles that none of us will ever understand.
One thing I always tell people who say “I can’t accept this lifestyle. It goes against my religion.” is, you don’t have to accept it. No one is asking you to. But you can support the person. There is a difference between accepting and supporting. You support anyone you love. You give them encouragement to follow their dreams. How is this any different? It may not be a lifestyle you agree with or understand, but you don’t have to. It’s not your life. Someone’s lifestyle has no bearing on your life.
I have friends who are religious who may not understand my son’s lifestyle, but that does not stop them from asking me how my son is doing. That’s right. How my SON is doing. Because they love him. Therefore they support him. And for that, I say THANK YOU. I’ve talked and cried to them about my fears for my son. They listen. when I’m done, they don’t offer suggestions because they know my fears aren’t unfounded. They listen and let me cry. Which is all I need.