Universally accepted kids

September 28, 2007
By Andrea Schneck, Pleasanton, CA

Today’s society is shaped by universally accepted ideals. Of these, kindness and acceptance are said to play key roles in the formation of our present-day society. Unfortunately, these morals are not always practiced. People are always struggling to obtain acceptance, and in doing so often deny both tolerance and kindness to others. Because of this desire to fit in, people develop a public image that differs from their personal thoughts.
I have experienced many events that put my public and private personas into conflict. For example, the fact that my brother is gay provides for much internal conflict. Personally, I don’t care whom my brother chooses to like. He’s my brother and will always be a person who I can have fun with and trust with anything, regardless of his sexual orientation. Sadly, the rest of society does not always share my tolerating views. It has become almost acceptable to discriminate against homosexuals, making both my brother’s life and mine more difficult. Society attempts to force ignorance upon me, and rarely allows me to talk openly about my brother and his partners. When my conservative grandparents ask me how his love life is doing, if he has any “fine ladies” in his life, I have no choice but to pretend that I don’t know. If I say that he is indeed seeing another boy, I risk angering them and losing their acceptance toward my brother, myself, and my entire family.
Although society can be so intolerant, I try to ignore it as much as possible. I openly discuss my brother’s sexuality with those who I feel will be accepting. Granted, I have to keep his sexuality a secret from some older, more conservative family members, but I feel that overall people are beginning to be more accepting. Hopefully in the future tolerance towards homosexuals will be wide-spread, and I will no longer have an image that contrasts with my personal thoughts.

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