Whenever the story of a gay man falling in love with a straight woman becomes public, it always baffles people. They may ask, “Why will you go in that direction if you already announced your homosexuality?” Some even fear that the queer will eventually get tired of the relationship with his wife and look for another man.
If you ask a transgender, lesbian, or gay man how they came out to their parents, the responses you will get do not fit for all. The luckiest of the bunch may say that it was as effortless as telling his folks that he’s set to pursue this or that career. However, the most exciting stories typically originate from the ones whose parents opposed – or will likely reject – their sexual preference.
A straight man like me who advocates for the rights of the members of the LGBT community is not unheard of. I have seen a lot of manly guys rescue a gay colleague from bullies, and their relationships are incredibly platonic. Some men take in the festivities during Pride Month. It’s not because they want to make fun the people who stand under the rainbow flag. Instead, it’s because they believe that being able to reveal one’s identity is a cause for celebration.
Now, the reality is that there are not many individuals who bully LGBT members out in public. Some restaurants may still not let crossdressers in while other public bathrooms don’t have a sign for a third sex, but they are getting lesser and lesser. What increases, though, is the number of people who show their aversion to queers online.
How Can Haters Do That?
The internet is comparable to a double-edged sword. On one side, it is extremely helpful. You can use it to conduct quick research or connect with your loved ones. On the other hand, it gives low-life individuals a chance to hate on others anonymously. After all, you can create multiple accounts on social media as long as you make different email addresses beforehand. They can then be used for the sole purpose of spreading meanness on gay people’s pages.
How Can You Show Support To Your LGBT Friends Online?
It hurts for me to see homophobic posts coming from strangers or even the folks I know, even if they don’t pertain to me. In case you still haven’t caught on, it is a transparent form of cyberbullying. Reports reveal that the people who get bullied online have a higher likelihood of self-harming or, worse, committing suicide. So, if you want to save your LGBT friends from even thinking of doing so, you should do the following and more.
Dislike Bullying Comments
One reason why bullies do not stop posting hateful comments about gay people is that nobody stands up against them. Some get angry and curse them under their breath; others may run in private group chats or front of their friends and family members. However, it is sporadic to find someone who dislikes their actions in public.
What are you afraid of, if I may ask? You may say that you don’t want to pick a fight, but you are enabling the bullies by not doing anything at all. Considering you want to bring them back to the ground, you should not be scared of disagreeing with them on a public page.
Spread Positive Information About The Community
From time to time, it is not wrong to share images, videos, or texts that show your support to the LGBT community. For instance, if you found an article about a gay man who does charity work everywhere, you should post that in your social media account. In case you witnessed the union of two of your lesbian friends, you should upload some photos from the wedding. As little as these activities may be, it becomes apparent to everyone that you are against homophobia.
Staying mum even when your friends get bullied online does not make you a supportive friend. It merely entails that you are saving yourself from potential bashers. If you genuinely want people to stop hating on the members of the LGBT community, you should advocate for them in public actively.
The members of the LGBTQ community are some of the loveliest people I know. For one, they are so strong for being able to come out and tell the world, “It’s who I am, and I’m not sorry for it.” Individuals with homophobia may frown upon them and call them names. Others even become discriminated at work or even in public establishments because of showing their true colors. Although such incidents hurt them, they do not hold on to that grudge for long. Instead, they smile and think that they must not be enlightened yet.
You can still hear or see news about gay folks getting mistreated not only in the United States but also in various countries. It is saddening to know that they have to deal with so much negativity before everyone can accept them. That should never be the case because we have the right to choose who we will become, and no one should tell us any differently.
Nevertheless, there seems to be hope still for acceptance to come sooner than later. After all, many Hollywood celebrities — even the straight ones — show their support to LGBTQ friends. We are talking about huge names, such as Chris Evans, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, and former President Barack Obama. Didn’t Lady Gaga even release the song entitled Born This Way, which became the unofficial anthem for the rainbow community?
So, the standing question is, “What does it mean to have celebrities supporting LBGTQ publicly?”
It Prevents The Cultivation Of Hate
The first advantage of having famous personalities saying that they love the gay community is that it prevents the cultivation of hate. Many celebrities have young fans who like to copy whatever their idols do, you see. Even though someone at home may frown upon LGBTQ, if their favorite singer or actor supports it, they will follow the latter in a heartbeat.
It Helps People See The Gay Community In A Non-Stereotypical Light
There is a significant number of individuals from the rainbow community who have contracted HIV or AIDS after having unprotected sex. Even straight people can acquire such illnesses, as well as addicts who inject themselves with drugs using a used needle. However, only gay people get associated with sexually transmitted diseases, to the extent that those are the first words that homophobes think of upon seeing them.
This stereotype is something that celebrities can help squash. By merely posting something about it on Instagram or talking about it in a TV show, they can make people aware that HIV/AIDS isn’t synonymous to being gay. And if you do come across someone with this condition, you should show them love instead of disgust or prejudice.
It Opens Opportunities For Talented Gay Individuals
Gay characters in movies or TV shows used to serve as comic relief. Thanks to the growing support for the LGBTQ community, though, we see more plots that revolve around it and more gay actors breaking into mainstream media. They merely have to be themselves; they do not have to play the role of a straight man or woman. Their parts are still fun — that’s for sure — but they are not made fun of anymore.
No matter what your occupation is, dear reader, you should act like celebrities in this manner and advocate equality wherever you go. Being gay is neither a sin nor a crime. It is not someone’s fault if they end up liking another person from the same sex. To quote Lady Gaga, they are simply “born this way.”
Same-sex marriage has already been legalized by all fifty states in America. It is one of the greatest triumphs of the LGBT community in New York so far, and it signals toward realizing a society that is free from irrational discrimination and hate. Indeed, in no time we can achieve a utopia where each one of us is treated equally and given the same opportunity to build our own homes, where same-sex couples can establish parenting identities like any other individual. They can express their compassion and unconditional love towards the person they love regardless of sexual orientation, and build a family with them.
Being part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, collectively referred to as the LGBT community, can be a proud and empowering fact. Around 91 percent of LGBT members are not ashamed to be part of this community.
However, being part of the LGBT community can be very difficult at times due to the intense societal discrimination that they sometimes face. These difficulties can have an adverse impact on their mental well-being, and indeed they are more prone to psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. This article seeks to quantify the incidence of stress and depression in the LGBT community, identifies factors that contribute to this phenomenon, and suggests ways to counteract it.
Manifestations Of Stress And Depression
The incidence of stress and depression can be very high for the LGBT, with an incidence rate of around 30 to 60 percent that is 1.5 to 2.5 higher than that of non-LGBT members. The amount of stress that they receive can be enormous, and they are exposed to it whether they go. “overwhelm might manifest as an intense emotion, such as anxiety, anger or irritability; maladaptive thought process, such as worry, doubt or helplessness; and behavior, such as crying, lashing out or experiencing a panic attack.” That is according to Marla W. Deibler, PsyD.
Around 37% of LGBT feel unsafe at school due to their gender expression, 55% have experienced verbal harassment, and 11% became the target of the physical assault. Meanwhile, LGBT members are frequently also targeted even by family members. There are severe cases that their own family kicked them out of the house. Evidence of this is the fact that around 40$ of homeless youth identify as part of the LGBT community.
“Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is now on the world stage.” Michael Friedman Ph.D. emphasizes. Around 70% of the LGBT experience feelings of worthlessness, while approximately 95% have sleep problems due to stress. This report is can also be read on a website like whattoexpect.com. The amount of pressure they receive can damage their mental health, making them prone to more disorders. They have a higher incidence of drug use, risky behavior such as drunk driving, and suicide. As will be shown later, several factors contribute to the vulnerability of LGBT members to mental health disorders such as stress and depression.
Stressors For The LGBT
We all live in a heteronormative world. Most people still treat homosexuality as deviance from normal behavior instead of just a regular occurrence. Hence, many LGBT members feel that they are not normal or that there is something wrong with them. Also, many of them are still afraid to embrace their gender expression or sexual orientation.
They may also be afraid of how others would react if they come out. These fears are not unjustified given that the incidence of LGBT-targeted violence and isolation is common. In summary, they are experiencing confusion between expressing themselves and protecting themselves from the world. This mental tension can cause their mental health to suffer.
Providing Adequate Mental Healthcare
“historically, the mental health and health field has been a huge place of discrimination for queer folks. And, sadly, that’s still the case,” Rena McDaniel, licensed clinical counselor said. However, all is not lost in ensuring that LGBT members receive adequate mental health care. LGBT members can be protected from mental health disorders. This is especially true if they have a good support system. They need a loving family and caring friends that will accept them fully and without judgment. They can also be provided a safe space to protect them from mentally damaging discrimination.
Social interaction with LGBT members can help forge their sense of identity and increase their confidence, knowing that they are with kindred souls. Finally, enabling easy access to professional mental health care providers can help them seek out therapy and counseling when they need it the most.
The LGBT community, more commonly known as the gay community, is a group that pertains to the gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexuals who have come together as an organization bound together by a common culture. These communities are comprised individuals who practice freedom by celebrating gay pride, individualism, and diversity through rallies, parades, and campaigns.
Gay villages, LGBT conformist groups, gay student organizations, and LGBT rights groups are considered part of the LGBT community, although not all LGBT individuals are not active participants and do not consider themselves a part of this community.
Like most men and women, there are also distinct LGBT individuals around the world who have made a difference one way or another. They have not only become famous for their unique appearances and personalities but also because of their ability to fight for their rights and excel in their careers of their current positions.
Here are some of the LGBT individuals/conformists/activists who have ignited change and made a name for themselves.
Ellen DeGeneres. Before she became the rich and famous TV show host that she is today, Ellen was ridiculed and lost her advertisements when she went public about her sexuality. In an interview a few years ago, she said she was so afraid to come out and let the world know that she was a lesbian, but she did – and in no less than her TV show!
Lynn Conway. Lynn Conway was an important property of IBM until she came out and spoke of her desire to become a female. IBM immediately fired her, a clearly biased move, which encouraged Conway to seek the help and support of the Board of Directors of the world’s biggest engineering professional society, the Institution of Electrical And Electronic Engineers. Her action was successful.
In 2014 a code of regulations and protections for transgender individuals was established. Conway was then included among the top transgender individuals who influenced the American culture by Time Magazine.
Laverne Cox. One of the stars in the popular series Orange is the New Black, Laverne continues her advocacy for the trans community, speaking about lesbians and gays around the world and how they are special and beautiful, just like everyone else.
Richard Isay. One of the headstrong and fierce gay activists in his time, Richard is remembered for charging a lawsuit against the American Psychoanalytic Association for discriminating LGBT individuals. After the deliberation, the association soon allowed lesbians and gays to train as analysts and in 1997 expressed its support for gay marriage.
Harvey Milk. The LGBT’s gay rights icon, Harvey was a politician and the first openly gay Mayor in San Francisco, California. He was also a visionary and a human rights activist. His battle for equal rights was short-lived, however, as he was assassinated a year after being elected. Various books and movies have been made about him, one being titled after his surname, “Milk,” which starred Sean Penn.
Janet Mock. Mock is a trans woman, an LGBT activist, and a bestselling writer. She is an advocate for equal rights of transgender individuals, especially black trans women. Her book “Redefining Realness” topped the New York Times at no. 19, and she continues to shine as an editor at Marie Claire, where it all started for her in 2011.
Although most countries have embraced the transgender community as part of their own, LGBT individuals still suffer from bullying and discrimination, leading to a large majority of them to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. BetterHelp is a reliable website to find more information about mental illnesses. The stigma is undeniably still present but continues to fade as they make beautiful noise in their career and their personal lives.
The Societal expectation of the LGBT community has arisen for more than a decade, and their fight against equality has always been their top priority. Though there might have been some enlightenment on their side of the issue and the world is now accepting them than it was years ago, there are still facts and figures around the world that doesn’t support their advocacies. In most cases, it happens to be the reason why coming out is an unfathomable struggle.
Intersectionality: An Overview
Intersectionality is most simply defined as the overlap of minority identities. For example, a woman who is both African American and bisexual would be a part of three different minority groups: gender (as a woman), race (as a woman of color), and sexuality (as a part of the LGBTQ+ community). The combination of different identities drastically increases an individual’s likelihood of discrimination, marginalization, and harassment.
Particularly in the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and individuals who identify as a woman are much more susceptible to oppression than the rest of the community. This is because of the oppression combined with being a part of more than one marginalized demographic.
LGBTQ+ Celebrity Activists
One of the biggest issues in the modern LGBTQ+ community is the lack of representation in the media. Thankfully, many different LGBTQ+ individuals have become BIG in the public eye, and many have used their fame to bring attention, awareness, and support to the community. Especially in the last ten to fifteen years, LGBTQ+ actors, singers, leaders, and activists, in general, have made their way into the media, which really helps the community to have a voice and the proper representation.