“Every night in my dreams/I see you, I feel you/ That is how I know you go on/ Far across the distance/ And spaces between us/ You have come to show you go on” (from “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion). To the members of the LGBT community, you have definitely shown that your hearts will always go on and will forever beat as one, calling for social justice and the right to express free love. It truly breaks my heart that it has taken America and the rest of the world so long to finally hear your message and to make steps to end discrimination over something that shouldn’t be oppressed or shunned by society. However, I am also amazed with how resilient you have all become, never letting the negativity bring you down and always remaining true to yourself, despite the pain and prejudice that some of you may face in life. And to those of you who are perhaps more cynical than most, never lose faith in the progress that our country has attained as well as the progress that will improve our country for the better in the coming future. After all, there are still good humans out there who will stand up for what is right even if they are the only ones. These people are open to all thoughts, ideas, and people, regardless of where they might come from, their interests, personalities, and the color of their skin. Haters might chant the loudest but that is because they are consumed by fear and are unable to live with anything that is unique to what they consider to be the “norm”. I want to remind you that while there is still work to be done, there has been a massive growth of tolerance and acceptance which will continue to help create a world of amity.
Think about how far we have come since the 1950s and 1960s. Back in those days, if you did not identify as straight, you were ridiculed and persecuted relentlessly, often pressured into conforming to the rest of the crowd through horrible forms of therapy. In fact, in those days, there wasn’t even a community of people who strayed from the heterosexual majority which only made it tougher for such people to find their place in society.
Compare those sexist and rigid times with the atmosphere of today. If you believe that you identify with one of the groups within the LGBT then you should no longer feel alone because now there is a group of individuals who will welcome you with open arms and who will help you feel more comfortable living in your own skin. There are also quite a large number of heterosexual people who could care less about gender preferences in romantic relationships thanks to proper upbringings and a newfound comprehension of what it means to feel an attraction to someone of the same sex, both sexes, or have a desire to switch sexes. In addition, just a couple years ago, America legalized the marriage of same-sex couples which most certainly called for a reason to celebrate and was a huge progressive accomplishment for our country. So while your community may have to still deal with discrimination within the world, just know that we have made great strides over the years and that we will continue to advance with time as we work towards building a much safer, kinder and peaceful world.