June 26, 2015: the day that #LoveWins trended around the world because the Supreme Court of the United States ruled same-sex marriage legal nationwide. The historic decision was a long time coming, and I, for one, am among the many people that believe June 26th should be a national holiday. I have always supported the gay rights movement and I always will.
I'm proud to see that many people I know who once weren't for equal rights now advocate for them, and I hope I can one day live in a world where people who don't support the movement are as generally looked down on and laughed at as people who support the KKK (who are actually still recruiting, by the way) are today. Frankly, if you don't believe that people should be allowed to love who they want, marry who they want, and be treated as respectfully and fairly as anyone else, regardless of their sexual orientation, you are not somebody that I want to associate with, and you are not somebody that I hold much respect for.
Contrastingly, I have an ample amount of respect for those that proudly broadcast their support for gay rights. From t-shirts, to memes, to lengthy Facebook statuses, countless people show their support for equal rights every day, and I think that is a wonderful and revolutionary thing. We need to be raising our voices on this issue so that we can create a culture where there are no negative connotations to homosexuality. Some people, however, strive for equality and acceptance while going about it the wrong way.
Specifically, straight people who tweet, wear t-shirts, and have bumper stickers with quotes like, "Yes, I support gay rights. No, I am not gay!" or, "Another straight person for gay rights!", or, one of the more popular posts I've seen circulating on Facebook recently, "I'm an ally. No I'm not gay, bi, or trans. I just believe in the crazy notion that every single person should be able to live and love how they please without judgment against them."
The intentions behind sharing these posts are, of course, well-meaning, but the problem with them is that they go out of the way to mention the person posting them is straight. "No, I am most definitely not gay!" Does that need to be said before saying "I support those who are gay"? Does mentioning your own sexual preference really matter when you're simply stating your support for gay rights and the LGBT community?
You're claiming to be giving your support to the community, to be standing by them as if you were one of them, and yet you're going out of your way to make the point that you are not actually one of them, because, God forbid people thought you were gay, right? Why? Would it be the end of the world if some of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers suspected as much because you didn't explicitly state otherwise? Would the two minutes explaining to your Aunt Irene up in Canada over the phone that no, just because you posted you supported gay rights doesn't mean you broke up with your boyfriend and are now a lesbian, really be that agonizing?
We have made fantastic headway in accepting, loving, and supporting the LGBT community. Preaching this acceptance as often as we can is helpful and appreciated in further advancing the movement for equality. However, the next time you think about posting, sharing, or voicing your support, remember that you can cap it at "I support gay rights," or, "I support same-sex marriage," or, "I support the LGBT community." For us to one day know a world that functions and thrives on equality, we must all take the proper measures in advancing forward.
And, simply, I support equal rights for the LGBT community.