The LGBT community is quite possibly the biggest community group I've witnessed in my life. It can sometimes be a little problematic, just like everything else in life. Overall, I'd say that they are a group of wonderful supporters and allies that spread a lot of love and tolerance.
I happen to have a very personal connection to the LGBT community as I'm a proud bisexual woman.
I had always known that there was something different about the way I perceived the attractiveness of others. I would be out with my mom and say something about how pretty a woman is and she would agree, but we didn't really mean it in the same way.
I hinted at my attraction to women way before I even knew about sexuality. I remember I was about 11 when I looked up what gay and lesbian meant. I come from a very small, southern town so sexuality was a touchy subject and usually not taken very well. I had an epiphany, if you will, and came to the realization that was long overdue. I liked guys, but I also liked girls, too. I had never really thought about how this would be taken by my family and friends. I felt that either way I was doing it for me and for the betterment of my identity. I made a Facebook post when I was 13 coming out as bisexual. I initially felt like everyone had taken it pretty well. At around 3 the next morning, though, some pretty intense stuff went down in my house due to it.
My stepdad busted into my room, woke me up, and started yelling at me. "What do you mean you're bisexual?" It means exactly what it means. He responded with homophobic slurs. I was crying and I didn't know what to do. He waited until my mom went to work to attack me so I had no one to defend me. "I'm not going to let a f*****g queer live in my house!"
I will never forget those words.
I still have family members "forget" that I'm bisexual and say some super homophobic things around me. I remind them quickly though, and they usually stop talking altogether. It was not easy for me after coming out, but I do applaud myself for doing it. My sexuality is a huge part of my life and I didn't want to have to hide that part of me from the people that I love. I am completely unapologetic about being who I am and I want everyone who is in the same situation to feel that way, too.
I lost people due to being myself, but I would rather be alone and proud of who I am than be in a crowded room and having to wear a mask.
Being a sexuality other than straight is still not fully accepted. We face so many issues on a regular basis just for being different. Tolerance is learned and I hope one day the world will be more understanding and peaceful. Never be afraid of being who you are.
You may lose friends, even family, but that weight will be gone from your shoulders and you won't have to hide anymore. I know a lot of people don't want to lose important people in their lives, but sometimes you have to put yourself and your identity before others. It's YOUR life, and you should be able to live it the way you choose. With who you choose. There are so many people out there like you, who will support you and accept you. I support all of you, the outed and the closeted.