LGBTQ – An acronym heard many times over in media of all sorts.
But some wonder when we’ve hit enough letters to represent who we are. I don’t know, I personally like the addition of letters – it’s creating a catch-all for those who have nowhere else to go. It might just be my altruistic nature. I know I’m not the only one who recognizes the importance of this though.
Facebook has adapted its selections in regards to gender to encompass a wide range of identities. And yet again, as with any change, there are the detractors – those who don’t understand the idea of gender identity and don’t get the fact that sex and gender and identity are not the same, and they’re the ones who try to shout the loudest.
What’s sad is some of those doing the shouting, are from within our own community. In fact, I think that may be the saddest thing of all. Not knowing who your allies are, not knowing who your fight for equality affects. We chastise those ignorant of our struggle, yet we wear blinders ourselves, so focused on our own personal successes in our fights that we fail to see the bigger picture.
We stick to our cliques. We keep within our comfort zones. Those on the outside, well…they can fend for themselves. It’s a dog-eat-dog world after all, isn’t it? I can profess anger and concern for issues, but if it truly doesn’t affect me, how much effort am I going to put forth?
I don’t know…maybe it’s because of these things that I feel such a connection to everyone who aligns themselves as anything other than heterosexual. Regardless, I think it’s important that we keep adding letters if necessary. And I think it’s even more important to know what those letters mean.
In my journeys I have met some incredible people. People who are simply looking for their place in the world. People with incredible stories, amazing journeys, and beautiful insight on the world around them. Why wouldn’t I want to be an ally? All of the people I’ve met – they’re fighting just as hard for my rights as they are for theirs.
These last few weeks…I’ve seen things from so many perspectives; I keep surprising myself at the revelations I’m having. Like differences between identity and orientation – little revelations in the grand scheme of things, I’m sure, but it’s a big deal to me. I had always thought I was open-minded. No, no I sure wasn’t. And now I’m finding a new passion, one that fits my altruistic nature. And it’s a passion that everyone should have – the passion of being human.
This may be the most clichéd analogy ever, but it works for me. It’s one of the snowiest winters in my state. And it got me thinking about snow – specifically, snowflakes. They say each snowflake is different, that no two are alike. Yet, any search on the internet, and you’ll find that there are 6 general categories for the different forms of snowflakes. But, each snowflake really is different; different patterns, each one unique, but able to be categorized on a basic level. And if you dig even deeper, each snowflake, with their genuinely unique pattern, is absolutely identical on a molecular level. Snowflakes, for all their individuality, are made up of the same molecules – every single last snowflake.
People lose sight of that. While our outward appearances are different, and with the exception of twins, absolutely unique, at the most basic level, we are all the same – our molecular structure is identical. Yes, our DNA is different, but even that is made of the same four nucleic acids.
There was a point where I didn’t know any transgender people, and it wasn’t until recently that I met a genderqueer person and an androgyne. Funny, my Microsoft Word doesn’t understand these terms and insists I’m spelling them incorrectly. I guess other aspects of technology need to catch up as well. I still need much education in regards to all of this myself.
I just don’t understand why gays and lesbians would discriminate against transgender people, and anyone else, frankly, who identifies in the wide spectrum. After all, lesbianism is a sexual orientation, while transgender is an identity. So why discriminate against someone’s gender identity? Hell, why discriminate at all? We’re all fighting for equality. We’re all fighting for the day when gender and orientation and identity are no longer such inflammatory issues. We’re all fighting for the right to be treated as humans.
So yeah, while the court case in Texas that ruled in favor of the transgender widow might not directly affect me, I celebrate it regardless, because it’s one step closer to equality and tolerance for all. But you can’t efficiently fight for a cause unless you believe in it and respect it.
The letters LGBTQ are nothing more than ways to define individuals who don’t fit in anywhere else. Stop taking issue with the string of letters, and get to know the people who represent the letters. That’s what’s important.
Our community is huge. Our community is diverse – filled with beautiful people, each as unique as a snowflake. Get to know them, their stories, what makes them who they are. I guarantee you’ll surprise yourself too. We avoid because of ignorance, which breeds itself in many forms – fear, disgust, anger – don’t get sucked into that. Rise above. Know the members within your own community, and fight inequality together.
Don’t just say you’re a member of the LGBTQ community. Be a member of the LGBTQ. Get involved. Meet your fellow advocates. Know what you’re fighting for.
“The moment a little boy is concerned with which is a jay and which is a sparrow, he can no longer see the birds or hear them sing.” ― Eric Berne
“The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.” ― Aristotle
“The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied rights granted to others.” ― Julian Bond