Today, I'm talking about LGBT+.
Don't know what that is?
L - Lesbian
G - Gay
B - Bisexual
T - Trans*
+ - And everything else (because it's all about inclusion)
LGBT+ is an acronym for sexual orientation and gender identity. Whether you believe in labels or not, each letter/symbol is a label for somebody's sexuality or gender identity.
The topic has been controversial for many years. Politics, religion, etc. have all been in 'battles' with homosexuality. Why? Why are there any disagreements over love?
The older generation haven't always accepted homosexuality, for whatever reason. Everybody has their different opinions on this topic and that's completely okay. But at the end of the day, we are talking about the common feeling of 'love', something that should be shared with one another way more than it is, something that is not being spread enough in this current world, something that is supposed to connect us as individuals. We are so easily driven by hate that we forget to love... that when two people of the same gender love each other, it's an outrage and a sin.
Now, I'm not saying everyone has to accept the community completely, although that is all we want you to do, but do not preach hate against us for something we can't control. This is not our CHOICE, this is not our FAULT, this is not what we DECIDED. We were born this way and one day, I pray that people can accept that truth.
Most importantly, though, the point behind this blog was to send a message to parents, or really anyone in relation to somebody who is gay/queer (these are umbrella terms) or trans* (or, in the LGBT community as a whole, much easier way of putting it)...
DEAR PARENTS, SIBLINGS, GRANDPARENTS, FRIENDS, COUSINS, COLLEAGUES of anybody who is in the LGBT community...
Love us, please.
For this is all we ask. When we work up the courage to tell you "hey mum, I'm gay", or "hi dad... I don't really know how to say this... I'm trans", or "hey bro, you've been my best friend for a long time and I finally feel able to tell you that I'm asexual", tell us you love us.
You are allowed to feel all kinds of things when we come out with these things. Take some time to process us if you need. But remind us you love us. That is the thing we doubt the most when telling you. In our heads, nobody loves the gay sister, or the bisexual colleague, and we need that reassurance. You should still love us. Why don't you? I'm the same person I was seconds before telling you, nothing should have changed.
However much you might doubt this, we were born this way and we could not control what happened. Trust me, we probably tried to control it. Because it's not normal, right? We're brought up into a world of heterosexuality and 'perfect' families. But that's so false. Why are we not shown or 'taught' what love is? I was attracted to a girl at the age of 6 and I had no idea what it meant. A girl? Should I not be playing kiss chase with the boys instead of getting butterflies over girls? No. Because this is me. I was born to love girls. You're straight? I know you were born that way too, you never got to make the decision either. That's okay, too.
We want more people to understand that we all were born the same - we were all born to love someone. Don't discriminate based on the people we end up loving.
Remember I said it's okay to feel all kinds of things when we open up? It is, take my word for it. We're feeling all kinds of things, too. But you can control what you feel this time. Don't feel angry at us, please. We've already been fighting ourselves for our whole life, we've already been angry at ourselves for feeling the way we do.
When your child tells you something as important as this, love them, care for them and support them. Take the time you need to come to terms with it all and to learn to accept it. But remember, this is YOUR child, the one YOU gave birth to (maybe you didn't, dad), the one YOU raised and loved unconditionally, don't stop loving them now. I don't think you can ever really call yourself a parent if you refuse to love your child for anything they can't control. You decided to have the child. Embrace the person your child is and will grow up to be, don't leave them abandoned because I'm sure that along the journey, they wanted to abandon their self.
I think I'm going to wrap this up now. The journey of acceptance is not easy or simple. It's not a walk in the park. But all we ever want is for people to be willing to learn or to even try to understand. Whether you completely accept it or not, don't stop loving the person for being who they are. Please, put some time, effort and thought into the whole situation. Do not decide how you're going to feel about it for the rest of your life in just 5 minutes. Open up to change, allow yourself to adapt. Love more, please.
Gay is okay.
All the love,
*DISCLAIMER: not everyone will agree with what I have to say in this blog and that's okay. But it angers me how people react to being told these things. When did heterosexuals have to come out as straight? I don't think it's necessarily fair. This blog post ended up being based more on the sexuality side of the LGBT community which is solely down to my biased views as I am gay; I love everyone in this community and accept everyone, don't get me wrong. Some of these viewpoints may come across as strong, which I would apologise for but it's how I feel and it's something very close to me. I just wrote as the thoughts came into my head. I was kind of 'inspired' (if that's the right word) by somebody close to me's recent experience.
I'm also lucky to have a not-so-bad experience with coming out. I'm not saying it was perfect, I still feel 'ashamed' when my family have conversations about it, I can never introduce my partners to them in fear of their reaction
. I may not understand what it's like to not have accepting parents and to anyone in that situation, I am so so so sorry... I love you for you and you should love you for you. One day, you can make the decision to get away from it all. It won't always be like this, I promise.
I still struggle daily with accepting myself because even in the streets of Brighton, the city where being gay is supposed to be so openly accepted, I don't always have the best experiences with strangers. But I'm gay, I was born this way and I am so so so lucky to be loved for being this way. One of my biggest things now is loving myself. This is a reminder that if you're in a similar position to me, I love you.