Sexual Orientation

March 23, 2011
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Sexual Orientation is one of the biggest issues that people, especially young adults in my opinion struggle with. Constantly questioning yourself, not totally understanding your feelings, and feeling like nothing makes sense is hard for anyone at any age. The issues arising from sexual orientation can also make a person more confused. People can be downright awful, making people feel so much worse, and that much more confused. In my freshman year of high school I had a best friend named Kotryna. We were extremely close for over a year; hanging out every weekend, having sleeping overs, and telling each other everything. We also acted for loving towards each other. We would often walk down the hallways holding hands and would think nothing of it. Other people jumped to conclusions though. Some sophomores who did not like us spread rumors that Kotryna and I were lesbians, and dating each other. It did not matter that it was not true; people will believe what they want to believe. Luckily we were able to laugh it off and the rumors soon stopped, but some people cannot shake things off so easily.

A Rutgers University freshman committed suicide after his roommate put up live images of him having a sexual encounter with another man. I am sure the roommate did not understand the full consequences of what he decided to do until the person targeted was found dead, but this shows how nothing can ever be taken lightly. It is hard enough for people struggling with their sexual orientation to face themselves, let alone having to answers the accusing questions of other people. People who do not face these problems do not know what it is like to have to deal with them every day. Society needs to be careful of what they say because you never know how your comments, big or small or going to affect someone else. You do not want to be the person who pushes the person over the edge, and causes them to take that leap down.
It is important to remain open-minded. Just because you do not necessarily agree with certain people and certain beliefs they have does not give you any right to judge them. I always say you cannot tell a person’s life story just by looking at them. You do not know the struggles they really face, and how they feel deep inside; the parts of themselves they do not reveal to anyone. I will be friends with a person regardless of their sexual orientation. I mean are you going to give up a great friendship with a really cool girl or guy just because she/he is lesbian/ gay? I would not, and do not understand why other people would. To me friendship is based on value, trust, and respect; not who is person is or is not sleeping with.
Schools pose a major problem. Rumors get spread, isolation occurs, people cut and commit suicide, all because of their differences in sexual orientation. Sexual orientation should not be used as a basis to determine who is and is not worthy of self-respect and love. School is supposed to be a safe place to learn and grow, but people who are not straight, often get marginalized. There are kids who cry ever morning, and are afraid to go to school because they are treated differently. People need to realize that sexual preference is not a reason kick out certain groups of people, and treat them poorly. School is one big popularity contest, and there is no room for people who are supposedly different.
The sad part is that sexual orientation discrimination still continues. The even sadder part is the bullies who finally make people crack, sometimes do not feel guilty for their actions, even after they see the enormity of what they have done. I have seen guys and girls laugh off attempted suicides of the unpopular, and call people freaks for cuts on their bodies. Those people are not freaks though, they are people in need of love and respect; happiness is not too much to ask for, and there is no reason why everyone has to constantly fight with each other, and put one another down. I hope people will start to realize how big an issue sexual orientation is, and work towards finding solutions, instead of making jokes about it, and just laughing things off.

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