Growing Up LGBTQ In The American Midwest
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Politics and Activism

I'm A Midwestern College Guy, I'm A Liberal, And I'm In The LGBTQ Community — Please Respect That

When your opinion disregards the identity of so many communities and individuals I will remain civil, but I will not be kind.

I'm A Midwestern College Guy, I'm A Liberal, And I'm In The LGBTQ Community — Please Respect That

I got a chance to read an Odyssey article titled "I'm A Southern College Girl, I'm Not A Feminist, And I Want The Wall — Please Respect That" by Brianna Allen and there are some things that were of particular interest to me. I want to take this opportunity to highlight the main topics that I took away from reading this article, and how I interpret them.

The beginning of the article states, "Growing up a conservative girl in an increasingly liberal world isn't exactly always a walk in the park." Well, Brianna, I am so sorry to hear about your circumstance. I know what it can feel like to have an opinion that other people may not agree with. I might say though that growing up a liberal guy in an increasingly divided nation that has the highest courts debating for the past two months about whether or not LGBTQ rights exist "isn't exactly always a walk in the park."

In fact, this is not a walk in the park at all, but rather a run through hell.

Trying to get people who have similar beliefs as yourself to understand that what I do and who I love has absolutely nothing to do with their lives is no "walk in the park." People like us having to worry about getting attacked while holding hands in a park located in a southern town like yours is no "walk in the park." Again, I am so sorry to hear about your walk through the park, it must be so difficult.

Brianna writes in her article, "Until I came to a large university, I never imagined that I would have friends that would promote LGBTQ or go to a women's march, but I do." I don't believe that you have friends that "promote LGBTQ." I do believe that you have friends who promote the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ folks because they understand that we deserve the same treatment as themselves. It is impossible to build a wall to keep LGBTQ folks out and this probably frustrates you. We are your neighbors, your best friends, your cousins, your professors, and your public figures. We are already here and we are here to stay Brianna, so let us not "promote" but rather "encourage" the love and acceptance of others who do not identify just like you.

At this point, it may seem that you and I don't hold similar perspectives on things, but I do agree with you on vaccines and the immigration process that we have in this country. You told a classmate of yours, "'Vaccines protect your child. They protect future generations and why wouldn't you want to keep your child from getting a PREVENTABLE disease'" and I completely agree with you. You also stated, "'Why don't we focus on simplifying the citizenship process and encouraging others to come here to work...'" which I couldn't agree with more. Why is the U.S. not simplifying the citizenship process so that individuals who want to enter the U.S. can through the proper methods? These things we can agree on.

You end your article by writing this, "I am a conservative female in a liberal world. I am a millennial that does not encourage feminism or LGBTQ... Respect my opinions as much as I respect yours." Brianna, the very definition of respect is to consider worthy of high regard, and you stating that you do not "encourage LGBTQ" is the opposite of respect. It is purely ludicrous. About a week ago, Ellen DeGeneres spoke out about the photo that was taken of her sitting next to former President George W. Bush. where she stated, "When I say, 'be kind to one another,' I don't only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone."

However, I refuse to hold my tongue when this topic is brought up. When your opinion disregards the identity of so many communities and individuals I will remain civil, but I will not be kind.

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