Many people have called the LGBTQ+ community needy. People have said that we already have our rights, and that we should back off from the spotlight and be content with what we have.
This is the opposite of what we should do.
It is certainly true that we have made great strides over the past decade. Gay marriage is favored by popular opinion in the West. Being in the LGBTQ+ community is becoming less of an oddity.
Despite our advances, the fight goes on.
Just recently, the Masterpiece Cake Shop Supreme Court case ruled in favor of the shop due to the case's handling and semantics while providing little closure for the actual content of the case. It's not a good feeling to think that it will be a close call for when the court actually rules on discriminating against gay couples.
Our current President Donald Trump has recently enacted his policy announced last year of banning trans people from serving in the military. This means anyone in the process of transitioning cannot enlist, and those without a gender dysphoria diagnosis will likely be punished.
But it doesn't end there.
Here in the United States, it is still legal to be fired, evicted or denied service based on one's identity or sexual orientation either nationally or in several states. How anyone can say that we have been equalized to those outside the community when this is still the case is beyond me.
Globally, rights for our queer brothers, sisters and siblings are dismal. Being killed or imprisoned for being gay is still commonplace, even in America. Although no convictions have been reported in a decade, being gay is illegal in several Muslim-governed countries.
All of this is hardly mentioning the culture surrounding being gay or trans or queer in general. Even though public opinion has largely improved in some Western countries, discrimination still occurs and even more discrimination can be found in cultures where we're less accepted.
What can we do about it? For one, advocation just within your community and family and cliques from the ground up is the only way that we will begin to be more accepted on a cultural level. Other than that, you can contact your Senators and your Representatives as well as sign these petitions.
I am extremely prideful. My family and especially my friends are accepting. I love my boyfriend, and he helps to validate me. But at the end of the day, I know that I cannot sit idly by while others cannot exist with pride. We still have work to do.