On the Wrong Side of History: Phobia and LGBTQ
This article could start off in many different directions: it could highlight Kristin’s personal story, her true message to all, the amazing work that HRC does to fight for everyone’s equal rights or it could focus on the great resources, programs, and benefits that our local Las Vegas community provide for the ever-growing LGBTQ community here, in town that we are all trying to help develop.
We are going to start it like this: BULLYING, HATRED, RACISM, SEXISM, HOMOPHOBIA.
All these things were mentioned in Kristin Shrimplin’s story.
This kind of stupidity brings me to tears to write about. I have never been the victim of bullying, but I can still feel the pain and understand the struggle of a life tormented with fear and sadness for no justifiable reason! It’s called being compassionate. It’s called being sympathetic. It’s called being a human being.
Kristin touches on several issues that she dealt with and that the LGBTQ youth still deal with today. Completely unacceptable. Sure, I understand that, for some, change is scary. I also understand that real change takes time. Nevertheless, change will happen. When it does, I wonder how the people who condemned Kristin and others like her— the ones who end up on the wrong side of history— will swallow their pride. Granted, many of these people will be long gone but, even when change comes, there will still be plenty of people left who have their own children have taught them that it is okay to say “fag”, “nigger”, “spic”, and “cracker” without a moment’s thought or hesitation. I have heard this all of my life “Oh, it’s not their fault. That’s just how they were raised.” That is exactly the problem. How do we continue to grow and develop into a more accepting and less ignorant society when we’re not helping to teach future generations that is right and wrong?
That is a question I pose to you.
Not just the LGBTQ community but every community.
We are all responsible for how our lives operate and if something isn’t operating appropriately then it is up to us to change it. If you haven’t yet become an HRC member, check it out here. Anyone that reads my columns knows that I usually keep a bit of comic relief in my writing: Not this time. This issue has been going on for far too long. Yes, we have made progress, but it’s too little and too slowly. We cannot allow people who are, in essence, children to be bullied and made to feel lesser than everyone else for any reason.
We know that suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24 and that LGBT youth are four times more likely, and questioning youth are three times more likely, to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Suicide is never the answer and being driven to that point because you are looked down on and are never given acceptance is unacceptable. Everyone has a story; some are ready to share theirs earlier than others. That’s okay. We need to show those who are unable to share their story that they aren’t alone and never will me. Day-in and day-out I hear negativity regarding the “terrible” Las Vegas LGBTQ community and I’m tired of it. I try to write from a non-personal outlook but, for this, I can’t. I’m tired of it. It’s time for change.
“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou