Not all gay people have piercings and white hair and just because you get drunk and make out with your best friend at a party doesn’t mean you’re gay. The average college boy would say that two girls making out is hot. So why is there all this stigma built up around the LGBT community? Is it because the public doesn’t accept it or is it because they are unfamiliar with the culture? Regardless of what your sexual orientation is, it is crucial to be accepting to others around you and cautious with your remarks towards others.
Today’s society is constantly changing and is vastly different than the society our parents grew up in. With these endless changes in society, it can be difficult for people to keep up with the latest news and social ques. For those who don’t know, LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Individuals who identify as LGBT are everywhere in the world and around campus everyday with us. Most of the time, you wouldn’t know that someone was LGBT until they told you. Due this changing society, there is a huge miscommunication between the LGBT community and those who support it and then those who simply do not understand it.
On college campuses, according to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio, it has been reported that over one-third of LGBT students have experienced some kind of harassment in the past year, whether it be verbal, nonverbal, physical or sexual. Twenty percent of all respondents stated that they feared their physical safety because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 51 percent of people said that they had concealed their gender identity to avoid intimidation as well. Imagine being so scared to be yourself around your community that you hide 75 percent of your life. That cannot be easy and something that no one should have to go through alone. The LGBT community needs to be brought to the forefront of the community and awareness of these issues needs to be increased.
Surely nearly everyone has heard about Caitlyn Jenner and her sex change over the past year. She has received consistent and ongoing support and praise for what she has done. And also for wanting to make people more comfortable with themselves. She is raising awareness of the transgender community, which is not something that is easy to do. From time to time people do criticize her and say things like “She did it for publicity” or “Just because he is no longer thought of as famous he did this because he wanted attention” when in fact the sex change was something that she had contemplated her entire life. In the interview “I am Cait” she admitted that she had even thought about killing herself because she was so unhappy with her life at that time.
Caitlyn Jenner is not the only celebrity or public figure that identifies with the LGBT community. Ellen DeGeneres is a lesbian woman who has her own television show, Ellen. She is just like any other woman who enjoys laughing, dancing, interacting with others and simply having a good time. In 1997 on the Oprah Winfrey Show Ellen came out as lesbian. Ellen has publicly expressed her sexuality throughout her entire show and is something that the viewer’s barely even think about. People like Ellen because they enjoy her show and her personality. She has also hosted numerous awards like the Emmys and she is the author of three books. Ellen’s goal is to have the public gain knowledge about LGBT and to ease the coming out process for people who are struggling with coming out
As time goes on we realize what is important in life: Happiness. No matter what your gender identity or sexual orientation is. Everyone deserves to be happy and to be themselves both among strangers and friends. Those who identify as LGBT are just another person in the world and should be treated with the same respect that anyone else is. Just look at the famous figures who have come out to the world about themselves, these people are happy and pleased with the change they made in their life. There is no reason to hide who you really are. Be yourself, and most importantly be happy!