By: Camila Vásconez
Since the beginning of time, history has been writing itself as we act upon it. Historic events of the past have significantly impacted what we see and live today. Throughout the centuries, sexual orientation has been a controversial and delicate reality. However, people within the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community are tired of living in the shadows. As they seek for recognition and acceptance, as well as to be treated as equals, the LGBT community has stood up for themselves through different forms of expression such as protests, music, art and literature. It’s imperative one takes pride in their essence despite what the rest might say about it.
In Kentucky, for example, a state in the US, same-sex marriage is against the law and public policy. However, same sex sexual activity is legal. Moreover, the city of Louisville has a dense LGBT population. Recently, an ad that promotes a Christian ministry was put up in Louisville, Kentucky. This occurrence justly angered the LGBT community. Chris Hartman of the Fairness Campaign in Louisville said the ad was offensive and “to suggest that this organization is going to help anyone is an exact obfuscation of the truth, it’s the opposite. They’re going to harm 90 percent of the people that walk in and out of their door (Sakoda, 2014).” As this ad came up, the LGBT community believes suppressing their sexual orientation, and practically forcing the confused to follow Christianity, was disgraceful. Why hide and force yourself to change for what society expects of you? Why fit into someone else’s comfort zone, when you are able to achieve happiness and comfort through your own practices? Why sacrifice your beliefs and lose pride of who you are in the inside in order to satisfy the desires of all that those who disagree with you?
Ever since the Enlightenment era, same-sex sexual behavior and cross dressing was socially unacceptable. Hence, religion was a way to hide and get over confusion or the attraction that arose towards another same-sex individual. However, times have changed, and society is more accepting. Many of the LGBT communities have come forward and spoken up for themselves despite the oppression and social pressure that has been put upon them. Nonetheless, many countries worldwide still have penalties for same-sex relationships. These penalties include laws against gay expression, imprisonment, and even death penalty such as Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and Mauritania. Who decided love was a crime? Luckily, as there are countries that oppose to the idea of the LGBT’s, other nations have either legalized homosexual acts, supported freedom of sexual orientation, or implemented laws against discrimination such as Bolivia, Italy and Nicaragua.
Presently, by speaking up, someone can make a difference in the world. By standing up for what they identify and feel comfortable with, the LGBT community has gained legal and social recognition in various areas worldwide. Often, the marginalization that occurs has been strong and violent. This is the result of contempt and alienation towards those who are different. Every day, whether it’s part of our immediate reality or not, as are other regions and cultures, exclusions occur, blinding society of a better alternative: acceptance and tolerance. When this happens, those who discriminate are unable to see someone’s true essence, for they have decided to live by what they’ve been told or what they see on the outside instead of someone’s core. Without even knowing someone, people often make false assumptions about others, based on erroneous reasons and arguments. This rejection to dissimilarity is what’s driving what is left of our humanity in decline. Confidence and a desire to live within justice, contributes to the buildup of a proud group of people who in the future may gain complete legal and social recognition as well as equality. Close-minded individuals should take the time to get to know those who they alienate, and not be swayed by rumors and physical appearances, because that is destroying humanity. One must contribute and work to achieve inclusion, not exclusion.