March 26, 2018
By , Missouri City, TX

In modern day society, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are often overlooked and degraded. Many battles have been fought within the last century in order to guarantee a state of equality for said population. Although they are a minority group, the LGBTQIA+ community should be allowed to reach the status of social normalcy, ridding the idea of discrimination against other sexual orientations besides heterosexuality.

Although many strides have been taken to assure this social normalcy, the most significant stride is the legalization of same-sex marriage in all 50 states during Barack Obama’s presidency in 2015. Before this law was enacted, for several years, same-sex marriage was only recognized in a few states in America, and even then, the act of wedding between two people of the same gender was frowned upon by the people as well as state legislatures. In this particular law, it was stated “In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court ruled on June 26th [2015] that states cannot ban same-sex marriage...Married same-sex couples will now enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples and will be recognized on official documents.” (LGBT Rights Milestones Fast Facts). After so many years of trials and tribulations the legalization of this, now, law has become a reality. Along with this accomplishment, many others have been made such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” which ended the ban on openly gay men and lesbian women serving in the military, the Democratic Party becoming the first political party to publicly support the LGBTQIA+ community, Proposition 8 being found unconstitutional, and so much more. These laws that have been enacted and repealed, along with the positions taken by public figures, have made a remarkable difference in the LGBTQIA+ group. Although milestones, these repealed and enacted laws should be considered basic fundamental rights, not an achievement. Nonetheless they are steps toward the beginning of an empowering movement.

Despite successes in said community, there is still backlash. For the past few years, a recurring argument has been discussed on whether or not one is born gay and if homosexuality is a choice.  Although a controversial topic, this discussion somehow seems to continue to make its way to headlines. To simply state, homosexuality is most definitely a choice. However, not in the way most think. To live as a homosexual is to choose whether to be true to yourself or to conform to societal norms. In an article written about the details of homosexuality, it is stated “It was not a decision that you came to, but a realization” (Pavlovitz). Faced with many forms of oppression, being openly gay is, and has always been, a big decision to make. Presenting yourself as a homosexual, you face the risk of being confronted about how others don’t agree with your “lifestyle” or how kissing someone of the same sex is “disgusting” or how having children is no longer a possibility for you. What most people don’t understand is that, in today’s society more people, especially the youth, refuse to associate themselves with a gender, also known as gender fluidity. Therefore, they become attracted to a person and their personality and not their sexual orientation. Furthermore, it is scientifically proven that there are hormones in the brain that affect sexual preference. In an article about these hormones, it is written “The third interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH3) was found to be more than twice as large in heterosexual men as in homosexual men” (Korte). The lack of largeness in the anterior hypothalamus causes a deficiency resulting in the attraction to the same sex, at least in the case of men, proven by this scientific research. So to answer your question, yes, you are born gay. Yes, homosexuality, although a difficult choice, is a choice nonetheless.
As stated before many forms of discrimination against those in the LGBTQIA+ community has been prevalent, especially now in Trump era politics. Homophobia, whether obvious or not, is a large part of the Republican party proved by President Trump’s actions. President Donald Trump has been continuously used his religious freedom to combat LGBTQIA+ civil freedom. The most recent example happens to be  “In July, Trump tweeted out a ban on transgender service members” (Gessen). Furthermore, “In September, the Justice Department filed a Supreme Court brief in support of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding” (Gessen). The most frustrating part of it all is that the Republican party has not even attempted to pretend as though they care for the LGBTQIA+ community in any aspect. Also the lack of representation of LGBTQIA+ members in the Republican Party chairs do not make up for the constant oppression that these people face from their own government. The Republican party consists of only white conservative males or females, making change hard to accomplish when there are people who demand to control the social life of every American citizen. In order for societal standards to change the government must be open to change, especially when dealing with a minority group like this one. The continued discrimination against those who want to pursue relationships with the same sex is unacceptable. Allowing more members of said community to join the forefront of the Republican Party could possibly be the start toward social and political change in America. However, we as a society have yet to see that happen.

Although homophobia has become a very known and talked about issue, it seems to be even more prevalent in ethnic minority groups such as African Americans. Being an African American myself, I have first hand knowledge of the homophobia that occurs within the race. For many years I have been taught that homosexuality is bad and if you are a homosexual you go straight to hell. I have a reason to believe that these messages are spread among ethnic minority children due to the fact that ethnic minorities are more centered in the Christian church. You grow up being forced to attend church every Sunday, whether you like it or not. It has been said that “The ‘black church,’ long held up as the vector for black opposition to homosexuality” (Demby). In the Bible, it is stated that it is a sin for one man to love another man. Therefore, those who are centered in Christianity believe they have no other choice to follow the teachings of God. Otherwise, they are sinners as well. Also, with many issues occuring in the black community, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, LGBTQIA+ rights are put on the backburner. Therefore, homosexual needs are rights are neglected and disregarded. “Few would argue that because homophobia remains a problem in black communities that we should not tackle the racism that contributes to the fact that there will be three times as many young black men in prison this year than in Russell Group universities” (Berkeley). Racism is still a very current and fresh topic, so when bringing up subjects like LGBTQIA+ Rights, it is seen as a secondary issue. The primary problem to solve within the African American race is keeping our unarmed men from dying at the hands of police officers, which, may I add, are people who are supposed to serve and protect. Another issue in this particular race is keeping black women, and especially black men, protected from unfair sentencing. A young black man is three times more likely to get sent to jail for the same crime that a young white male commits. However, LGBTQIA+ rights in ethnic minority groups need to be acknowledge alongside civil rights so as Americans, we can limit the amount of discrimination against all minority groups.

Despite continuous opposition, the LGBTQIA+ community still presents to be strong and united. This community represents not only those who are homosexual or queer or curious or asexual.  The LGBTQIA+ community represents those who are constantly discriminated against. They represent those who have been told they are not good enough, who have been given an ultimatum, who have struggled with not just sexuality but personality.  As a nation, we must come together to protect not only this group, but all minority groups. We are all members of the same society. We eat the same food, we breathe the same air, we laugh together, we cry together. So why does it seem to be so difficult to coexist? LGBTQIA+ members are the discriminated of the discriminated. They have become the biggest population to be looked down on in such a manner that we, as a society, have done and continue to do. Thus said, they deserve the same protected rights and normalcy as the white, straight, male majority in regards to social life, religion, and politics.

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