The LGBTQ Community

Debra Rosenblum

Alexa Smith, Staff Writer

The LGBTQ+ community encompasses lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders/sexuals, questioning/queer and the “+” includes pansexuality, asexuality and more.  Throughout human history the LGBTQ+ community has faced significant barriers and destructive discrimination in their lives. In the past, the community has been hidden and reprimanded as being sacreligious and against all societal norms. But in recent decades, society has become more and more accepting of the community as well as abolishing anti-homosexual laws and creating same-sex marriage laws in most states. In today’s world, many of the younger generation welcomes the LGBTQ+ community with an open heart and many find comfort in the acceptance and find themselves more likely to be openly a part of the community. Judging from a study done by UCLA School of Law, approximately 9 million Americans (roughly the population of New Jersey) identify as LGBT. 

Although the community has had an extreme appearance in the past few decades, they still face unjustified discrimination and hate. There is definitely still growth to be done in our society and it is important to understand how you can do your part as an ally or a member. It is important to be supportive of those who are open with their sexuality or gender identification. Make sure to respect their preferred pronouns; if an individual refers to themselves as non-binary then this means the person does not recognize themselves as female or male and usually prefer the pronouns “they,”“them,”or “their”. It’s important to be open-minded about the way they feel as this is a hard thing for anyone to come to terms with, and give them our respect and support. For those who identify as non-binary, they feel as though they fall into neither category of male or female. For others, it is a form of protest against societal norms and gender stereotypes and expectations enforced by society.

In past years, hundreds of celebrities and idols have come out and shared their ideas about their sexuality and what they identify as within the community. By sharing their stories and being open about it they have inspired growth and positive changes within our society’s views towards the community. Recently, Janelle Monae came out as non-binary when she retweeted a post which stated, “There is absolutely nothing better than living outside the gender binary.” Sam Smith, as well, has came out as non-binary as he explains, “I am just as much a woman as I am a man”, powerfully creating a statement that people can be whoever and whatever they feel and it is perfectly acceptable. Almost a year ago, Brendon Urie, singer for Panic! At The Disco, came out as pansexual, as well as singer Rita Ora who came out as bisexual. Even in the past with significant celebrities like Elton John and Ellen Degeneres has helped to inspire the youth and others who have looked up to them. Pete Buttigieg, a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 United States presidential election, is openly gay. Pete recently shared an emotional moment in front of thousands of supporters when a 9 year old boy asked him for help coming out as gay and Pete helped him through this emotional time with inspirational wisdom and advice.

 

Terms to know:

 

Gay/Lesbian – homosexual; person prefers becoming romantically involved with people of their own gender.

Bisexual – Person prefers becoming romantically involved with people of either gender.

Transgender – person feels they are not the gender that they were assigned at birth and now prefer to be addressed as the opposite sex or intersex.

Pansexualitythe sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity. May refer to themselves as gender-blind.

Asexuality – a person does not have physical feelings or associations.